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Should you now use 3-5 hashtags on Instagram?

With Instagram’s creator account saying you need to use 3-5 hashtags on your post, is it time to change your content strategy? We dive in deep on all things Instagram hashtags and what this new announcement means.

Posted 1 year ago
3 to 5 hashtags on instagram

Written by

Mackenzie Taylor
Posted 1 year ago

Last night, the @creators page on Instagram released a bombshell on us all and stated that 3-5 hashtags should be used for Instagram posts. 3-5 hashtags? In this economy?

tips for using hashtags on creators instagram page

Now, before we start changing up our entire social strategy and freaking out about which hashtags we are going to use, let’s take a step back and look at the larger picture. More and more recently, Instagram has stated that using generic hashtags that have no relevance to your image will not be helpful to your reach. And we’ve seen this! If you’re using a hashtag that doesn’t make sense for your image, you’re not going to get the reach you’re seeking. But does that mean strictly using only 3-5 per post?


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Let’s dive in:

How instead should we interpret this new 3-5 hashtag strategy? By recognizing that Instagram wants you to use extremely relevant hashtags for your image! It could be easily seen that they’re tired of people using hashtags that have no reason to be used and trying to make sure that users start using super relevant hashtags instead of 30 just for the sake of it.

This is a way to push people to prioritize their tags more. We don’t believe there’s been any significant change to how hashtags work, and as we calculate the data in the backend and look through other Content Creators’ stats since this info was released last night, neither does anyone else! People are still ranking on more than 5 hashtags per post and that hasn’t stopped happening. So why would you want to only stop at 5 hashtags when you could reach more?

content creators reaction to hashtags
From Creative Gal Gang’s Instagram Story

Our conclusion? Focus on the core principles we’ve discussed in the past which is:

  • Use the most relevant hashtags possible
  • Use hashtags that make sense for the size of your account
  • Make sure your content is top quality and will grab the attention of your target audience
  • Try lots of different approaches and double down on what works best for you, your workflow and your account.

And … let’s be a bit honest here. As pointed out by our friends over at @yoursocialteam, the creators’ account has released a lot of conflicting information over the years—even stating you can use up to 40 hashtags (false), saying you should use hashtags in ads (noooope), and even contradicting Mr. Instagram himself, Adam Mosseri.

your social team instagram

Instead of rushing to adopt this change: Experiment! Figure out which hashtags are going to work best for you and your account. Start tracking your ranked hashtags on your Flick account to see which ones are the most relevant to your niche. The more you understand and dive into which hashtags are actually helping your content perform well, the better your hashtag strategy will be and the more your content will reach people.


Should I now change my hashtag strategy?

This depends on what’s working best for you right now. If you’re using 25 hashtags and seeing really good results, we wouldn’t recommend that you change anything. But there’s no harm in looking at the hashtags you’re using before you post and removing any you feel aren’t actually that relevant.

You could try out using less and see what the data tells you back. Luckily, with Flick, you can track exactly which hashtags are working from inside your Content analytics.

Who should I believe?

It’s going to take some time for us, or anyone to gather data on what’s really working best. So, try not to let someone’s opinion sway you from what you know to be working or not working for your account. If your account is killing it with using all 30 hashtags, keep killing it! If you’re wanting to try and test a few different amounts of tags, go for it!

If I was to use fewer hashtags, what size hashtags would be best?

As highlighted in their post, it’s still important to use a variety of hashtags, and the best thing you can do is test what works best for you. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer.


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