How many Instagram hashtags are the best for engagement?


Previous studies have shown that less is more. However, Instagram says you need to add 3-5 relevant hashtags to reach your target audience.

What to do?

As with all social media, it all depends on your focus and audience. The Instagram marketing platform recently analyzed over 18 million Instagram feed posts (not including videos or stories) to determine the best use of the hashtag to drive engagement and reach.

Their main discovery? On both fronts, more Instagram hashtags are indeed better.

Posts with 20 hashtags have the highest average reach rate.

Posts with 30 hashtags are not far behind.

This result is consistent with previous research by Later, as you can see in this comparison chart.

Number of Instagram hashtags versus reach rate per post 2020-2021

Later, I also found out that 30 hashtags produced the best engagement results, generating more likes and comments.

Number of Instagram hashtags vs. engagement rate per feed post

Interestingly, this data contradicts Instagram’s own advice, which states that creators should use 8-15 Instagram hashtags for best results.

Using more hashtags makes sense to maximize discoverability and bring your posts to more Explore channels and lists. However, this approach can make your posts more cluttered, although it doesn’t seem like a major concern for users.

What should I choose?

Number of Instagram hashtags for optimal reach and engagement

There is no one right answer. It will depend on your unique audience, what they like, and what you’re trying to accomplish with your posts.

Findings later, based on a wide range of posts in the feed (again, not including videos, reels, or stories), indicate that more is better for engagement.

You may find that using fewer Instagram hashtags works better if you are trying to reach niche communities, as the potential value of using tags more widely might not translate into actual niche traffic for you. your website. However, in this case sometimes more is better – a wider reach means your updates will be seen by more people, even those who are not interested, and could potentially increase your brand awareness.

You will have to experiment to find what works for your needs.

It might be worth testing and looking at your own results. On the other hand, if you’ve been successful with fewer Instagram hashtags, you might not need to make any changes.

Read Later’s full review of Instagram hashtags here.


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