How Many Hashtags On Instagram? A Forensic Digital Marketing Answers

Are you wondering how exactly you can find the gold of Instagram Hashtags that everyone talks about? Are you confused about how many hashtags on Instagram? 

Some marketers say it’s 30, but others say don’t do it because it’s spammy. This is very confusing, especially because they don’t tell you a logical reason. 

Spoiler alert! My Instagram Hashtags Cheat Sheet is coming your way. But… numbers truly don’t matter, unless you are using each # with a specific strategy in mind.

I promise! You will get the golden ticket via Instagram marketing, just keep reading! 

Key Elements Of A Successful Instagram Strategy

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of where the gold is, let’s cover the key elements of a successful Instagram strategy and why you need it now more than ever.

Make sure you don’t confuse Instagram marketing with Instagram strategy. As a forensic digital marketing and educator, I can assure you, they are not the same.

Social network marketing is a way for businesses to interact with their target markets over the Internet via various social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram (to name just a few).

A social media strategy then must consider how social media can be used and if it is needed:

  1. For social communications internally and externally
  2. To harness value from collaborative relationships
  3. As a tool to manage and monitor brand reputation (internally and externally) 

Setting up your expectations and goals from each channel is the first key element of a successful social media marketing strategy.

4 Most Important Elements Of Your Instagram Hashtag Strategy To Get Followers In 2020

  1. Who do you want to attract?
  2. WITFM (what’s in there for me). What will be the one thing that your users will stop at your account, follow you, and make them come for more?
  3. Metrics and benchmarks so you have a GPS to track your route to success
  4. Amazing content, not just based on what you think but based on your metrics

How Do You Use Hashtags on Instagram?

Don’t feel bad if you don’t know exactly what this # is. This is one of the most asked questions during my social media workshops and webinars.

In information systems, a tag is a keyword or term assigned to a piece of information (such as an Internet bookmark, digital image, database record, or computer file). This kind of metadata helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching. 

A hashtag is a type of metadata tag. Ok…. This didn’t seem too basic…

From a user standpoint, hashtags are used to categorize content, making the discovery of new or related articles and insights easy to do. 

Every time a post has a hashtag at the caption or on the first comment, it will be added to a tag category that makes people find your post. 

Important note: your posts will only be visible in public walls if your profile is public.

Instagram Hashtag Search

What many Instagrams marketers seem to miss is that search engine marketing is applicable on Instagram. 

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a digital marketing strategy used to increase the visibility of a website or a social media channel, in this case.

I know what you’re thinking: Can I really employ the same SEO techniques I use to optimize web pages for a social media app?

Fortunately, you can. 

The trick isn’t shoe-horning Instagram into your existing SEO strategy, but rather to use what you already know about SEO to drive organic growth to your Instagram account. 

Think of Instagram as its own search engine. The platform has built-in search functions that act like its own mini-Google.

You can search and see Instagram search trends. If you are familiar with SEO and Local SEO, you can also use locations to see the top posts and quickly identify a strategy to climb up there!

For now, even if you’re not a digital marketing expert in SEO, just know that you can use the search bar to see the popularity of a hashtag. 

Instagram Hashtags For Likes

Who doesn’t want to feel like the Kardashians? I mean, hello! We all want to reach that level of visibility … but… What is the point behind showing likes?  Read this again.

You certainly can explore what are the top hashtags using a tool like All Hashtag and get ideas to get more likes… but you need to be careful in the application of those #’s.

Adding a # on a post means that your picture will be visible on that # wall. You better watch what else is there before using those #’s with millions of images.

Therefore, when hashtags are used incorrectly, people looking for new content have to dig through irrelevant, miscategorized content to get to what they’re actually looking for. 

You don’t want this bad user experience associated with your brand! 

So, as a forensic digital marketing expert, I say, stay away from this practice. You want to see your very own # planner and explore how they perform. I will discuss this so keep reading!

Top Instagram Hashtags To Attract Real Instagram Followers

Hashtags are supposed to help users to search particular topics and join conversations. When done right, a good hashtag strategy should help you get visible in front of your ideal users. 

Be strategic. Take some time to think about your imaginary buyer. 

  1. Interests
  2. Journey
  3. Vibe
  4. Location
  5. Associations
  6. Influence
Come back later and learn more about my Visibility Planner.

Attract Users Who Are Ready To Buy

Instagram is not Amazon. Users are not there with their credit cards ready to buy. 

If you are not getting users who are ready to buy, maybe you’re reaching users who are not ready for you.

Instagram has users ready to buy! But remember, it’s not like Amazon. They don’t have a credit card in hand and are actively searching for a product or a service.


Great news! More than one in ten users are using the platform specifically to shop or find new products. 

Your future best client is active on Instagram and yes, could buy from you! 

Maybe they are searching for ideas and find your picture. If they stop and click on it, they will come to your profile. That is a conversion!  Of course, you don’t see this activity unless they hit like, comment, or follow you, which might not happen for about 50% of people.

Once they see you, the ball is in your court! 

The Seductive Instagram Marketing Funnel

The game is on. 

When users are on your page, your goal is to captivate their attention and show them your value in less than 5 seconds.

Do you think your Instagram page can do that?  Be honest. 

The seductive Instagram Marketing Funnel starts with your strategic thinking!  

As a forensic digital marketer, I always advise marketers to design their social media channels using Information Architecture Principles

Never take a digital marketing plan from anyone. As a business owner, you know your audience best.

Seductive Instagram Marketing

Here is the template we used to seduce users to buy our Social Media Planner.

Who are our raving users?

  1. Entrepreneurs who want to create consistent content. They see themselves as content creators or brands.
  2. For them to be ready to buy, they would be looking for “planner templates”, “planning tips”, “productivity tips”, “business tips”.  
  3. Users who are into personal growth, self-help, positivity, and creativity 
  4. Location: USA
  5. They could be moms and hang out with other moms. Also, they associate themselves with entrepreneurs, agency owners, freelancers, content writers. 
  6. They are considering other planners in the market, such as Erin Condren. Also, they follow content creators and content marketing experts. 

What makes them buy a planner from me?

Following the Visibility Planner example, the imaginary user is considering creating more content. Is actively searching for a social media calendar, social media templates, marketing calendar. 

My imaginary user will like the idea of the planner, but won’t buy from me unless I create an amazing call to action.

How To Turn Users Into Customers

Remember, Instagram users are mostly searching. They are on top of your funnel. Your goal is to lead them as close to you as you can. 

Direct messages are a great option, especially when you are starting. Therefore, get used to having real conversations with your users and invite them for a call.

Collaborate With Other Brands For More Visibility

In our case, we also collaborated with to help them spread awareness about the COVID experience, so that worked very well with our Visibility Planner campaign.

How Many Hashtags On Instagram

You definitely want to attract as many users as possible to your Seductive Instagram Marketing Funnel.

You will be using 30 hashtags. Why? Because … why not. 

The caveat here is how will you turn this magical number into deposits on your banking account.

We recommend dividing them into 6 categories.

  1. Your expertise: what kind of expert would your imaginary user listen to?
  2. Your segment or niche: think about how those users who are actively considering 
  3. Your brand voice: what would get users to join a conversation?
  4. Your content: description of your picture.
  5. Your location: your city or place where you want to do business.
  6. What’s today: leave room for spontaneity! 

Pick 5 of each category so you can get the 30 hashtags.

Hashtags Cheat Sheet

Instagram Hashtags For Realtors

View this post on Instagram

🔑 🏡 Tag a #realtor who needs this strategy for yesterday. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I’m a mentor and coach for professionals, freelancers, entrepreneurs and marketers who have one thing in common: passion for what they do.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ The best way I can describe what I do is by showing you these words of love from some of my clients:⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 💫 I’m on Jessica’s Boot Camp and just one module gave me a strategy that worked like a gem! I’ve doubled my followers and have 2 new clients from just this class! Can’t wait for more! ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 💫 In my first year working with her, I doubled my revenue!⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 💫 Wow! What a year. I have increased revenue 50% over last year. I now know what social platforms will make the most impact on my business and my SEO skills have soared. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 💫 Within one session with Jessica, I had a name for my program, a price and a strategic launch plan!⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 💫 I always look forward to our mastermind calls and always get nuggets I can use to grow my business.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ❤️ Marketing relief is coming your way. We can just chat here or have a quick call. ⁣Check link in Bio – Forensic Marketing Session. It’s free. ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣⁣ #socialmedia #marketing #branding #socialmediamarketing #business #marketingdigital #digitalmarketing #joy #purpose #realtor #redvelvet #bizzle #realestate #parksooyoung #purposetour #kidrauhl #belieber #beliebers⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣

A post shared by Jessica ATX Marketing Firm (@coachjessicacampos) on

Instagram Hashtags For Life Coaches


Best Places To Get Hashtags Ideas?

There are many features to automate the tedious work of searching for hashtags.

Hashtag Generator – a hashtag generator that generates top, random or live hashtags and shows you the best hashtags you need.

Hashtag Creator – helps you create your own hashtags

Hashtag Analytics – analyzes a hashtag to get some analytic information about your hashtag for your marketing strategy.

Top Hashtags – tells you which hashtags are the best and which hashtags are the most popular

If you want to get new followers as quick as possible, we recommend to combine the following tools:

Hashtag generator 

Display Purposes

All Hashtag

Don’t forget that Instagram search will also serve as a tool to get hashtags ideas. 

Where Do Hashtags Go? In Comments or Caption?

The question “Instagram hashtags in comments or caption” is very popular. 

My answer: Mix them!

Post some hashtags in your Instagram captions and the rest in the first comment.

While adding hashtags to your posts is one of the best ways to boost your engagement and get your posts in front of your target audience, too many hashtags in your captions can look untidy (or worse, spammy!).

Instead, posting your hashtags in the first comment is a great way to make your caption the star of the show, without compromising any of the engagement you can get with hashtags.

If you have a social media management platform such as you will be able to automate your post with the first comment with hashtags! 

Be Careful About The Instagram Themes 

Since the boom of influencers on Instagram, it seems like everyone uses the influencer style to boost their channels.

I’m the first to admit that I fell for that! 

I wanted the color-coordinated feed. The beautiful pictures. Well… I was boosting my vanity… but not my banking account. 

In this example, which picture do you think got the most conversions? 

Picture A has 60 ways to get Instagram Followers. Picture B has just me with an inspirational story.

Picture A got viral in just about minutes and I booked 3 appointments within 3 hours of sharing this post.  

Picture B, not so much.  It helped with awareness, but it’s not an authority post. 


View this post on Instagram

💵 𝐃𝐢𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐚𝐲 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐬? Here’s a list of 60 ways. I can probably come up with 200 but let’s start here. Literally woke up inspired 🦄! ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣ 💫 𝐓𝐚𝐠 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐛𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐰𝐧𝐞𝐫 you know who needs this. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ ✳️ My short bio: ⁣⁣⁣ Jessica Campos, JD, BBA⁣⁣⁣ Forensic Digital Marketing Mentor & Partner For Purpose-Driven Business Owners Seeking Sustainable Growth & Profits.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ ✳️ If you Google me you will find my old videos from 𝐏𝟗𝟎𝐱. That’s how I became obsessed with the online marketing world. Sadly, I put my efforts in a pyramid that collapsed. But I’m grateful for those hardships because they sharpened me to be where I am today. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ ✳️ I’ve traveled the world teaching social media marketing. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ ✳️ Let’s connect for real. Send me a message! I do NOT use robots it’s me. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ ✳️ I’m in the ATX zone and run a Marketing Firm conveniently from my home office. I also host Austin Networking – we are 4,600 business owners. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ ✳️ I’m a mom of 4 and happily married to the love of my life. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ ✳️ I love partnering with business owners!⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ – #instagramtips #instagram #instagramstrategy #likeforfollowers #marketingtips #socialmediatips #socialmediamanager #smm #facebookmarketing #instagrammarketing #instagramcourse #keynote #morefollowers #realfollowers #givingback #giveawaycontest #giveaways #lifecoachmentor #mentor #ceo #workfromhome

A post shared by Jessica ATX Marketing Firm (@coachjessicacampos) on

The more I understand who my audience is, especially their ages and digital preferences, the more I can share content that is relevant for them. Even if it’s not color-coordinated and doesn’t make me look like an influencer.

Be Careful About The Shadowban 

As good as Instagram is, the platform still has plenty of spammers. From time to time, #’s can get blocked and if you use one of them, your post won’t get visibility. This happens typically when you use hashtags for followers. They will activate those spammers and your content will get blocked.

The good news! You can test if you have been banned.

Use this shadowban tester to get out of the doubt.

In Closing

The number of hashtags matters for your social media marketing, but the content you share matters the most for your banking account.

Commit to getting to know your audience and give them what they want!

Virtual coffee? Let’s chat! I would like to discuss your questions!