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How to use hashtags on Instagram the right way!

90% of businesses on Instagram aren't using Hashtags the way it's supposed to be done.

A lady uploading a picture of her coffee on Instagram

Hashtags are easily the most confusing aspect of Instagram. What hashtags do I need to use? How many hashtags per post? Using the same hashtags on every post leads to shadowbanning? Some businesses don't even bother using hashtags.


Hashtags are your best choice when it comes to increasing organic reach and growth particularly when your follower counts are low. It is how people can find your business when they tap on a hashtag and see your post under it.

Here is how to build an effective hashtag strategy for Instagram -

  • Use all available 30 hashtags. Instagram has given you the option of a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. Why not use all of them? It appears spammy? Post it in the comments for a cleaner look. It looks desperate trying to use all available hashtags? No, it doesn't. You are maximizing your organic reach.

  • Use hashtags that are right and relevant for your business. Just because a hashtag is trending, you don't need to use it for your posts if it has no relation to the post or your business.

  • Create a set of niche-related hashtags. These are hashtags relevant to your niche which could be social media, career, fitness, etc. For example, if you are into fitness you could have hashtags like #personaltraningcoach #dietandnutrition

  • Create a set of location-based hashtags. If your business caters to an audience in a specific location or you are trying to target an audience in a particular place somewhere in the world, you need these hashtags where people from that location can find you.

A lady scrolling through Instagram on her phone.
  • Your hashtags need to be of a smaller size. When deciding your hashtags related to your niche and location, don't opt for hashtags that are larger in number, i.e., hashtags that have posts of over a million under them. Use a mix of hashtags majorly ranging from 10k to 300k posts under them and a selected few ranging from 300k to 1 million.

  • Avoid using hashtags that have been banned by Instagram. For example, #skype #shower #snap have been banned by Instagram. Instagram has disclosed the entire list of hashtags that they have banned so do make sure that none of your hashtags fall under that list. A quick search on Google should lead you to that list.

  • Also, create a set of post-related hashtags. At times, your posts could be a quote or a meme, or something related to current events. In these cases, use hashtags that are relevant to that specific post.

  • Lastly, for the best Hashtag Strategy, create 3-4 sets or more of 30 hashtags each that use a combination of niche-related, location-related, and post-related hashtags. Keep switching between these different sets for your Instagram posts and watch your organic reach grow.


At The Side Hustler, we realize the importance of social media for your blog/side hustle/business, which is why we are offering you an opportunity to avail of our Social Media Services that include Social Media Audits, Content Creation, Community Management, and Consultation.

Write to info@thesidehustler.org for more details.


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