Instagram Hashtags for Business: The Ultimate Playbook in 2023 (1/2)

Have you ever wondered how to use hashtags on Instagram in 2023? Do you want to know how many Instagram hashtags to use and how many to use? This article will teach you how to use Instagram hashtags, as well as other ways to drive discovery.

Hashtags on Instagram in 2023: To Add or Not to Add?

Undoubtedly, Instagram hashtags remain valuable tools for marketers in 2023. While they may not be an instant solution to reach or engagement issues, including them in your feed posts and reels can assist in getting your account and content in front of your target audience.

In March 2022, the Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri made a series of comments regarding hashtags that garnered attention. During an ask-me-anything session, Mosseri asserted that Instagram hashtags did not enhance views. Shortly afterward, he posted another story that affirmed that Instagram hashtags did not meaningfully impact reach.

Since those statements were archived, neither Mosseri nor Instagram has disclosed any new information regarding hashtags. However, why should you keep using hashtags on Instagram, and what benefits can they provide?

It is vital to interpret Mosseri’s statements literally. Instagram hashtags are not a panacea for growth, and they will not generate a significant increase in views or reach for your content. However, they can perform other tasks.

Hashtags Inform Instagram About Your Content

Hashtags contribute context to your content and help Instagram comprehend its subject matter. The more Instagram understands your content, the higher the likelihood of it reaching the right audience.

Instagram’s main ranking signals depend on users’ expected interest in the content. If a user usually engages with content on a topic, Instagram perceives that they may engage with content that you publish on the same topic. If they follow your account and engage with your content, Instagram will be more inclined to show your content to them.

Because hashtags provide significant context, it’s crucial to ensure they are relevant. Avoid including hashtags that don’t accurately describe your content or business, as irrelevant and low-quality hashtags won’t provide context.

Remember that hashtags aren’t the only method of providing context to your Instagram content. Below, we’ll go over other options for giving social network information about your content.

Hashtags for Instagram Increase the Discovery of Your Content

The aforementioned ranking signals are relevant for delivering content to your followers, but using relevant Instagram hashtags can also help your content appear as suggested posts for non-followers. User activity is crucial for suggested posts, such as the accounts they follow and the topics they engage with.

With Instagram’s emphasis on suggested posts, having your content recommended to non-followers can significantly increase visibility, audience growth, and engagement. When users come across your suggested content, they can follow your account or interact with your content directly from the feed.


Suggested posts aren’t the only way to increase the visibility of your account. Instagram may deliver your content to users’ feeds if they follow the hashtags you add to your posts and reels. In the following example, content with the hashtag #instagramstrategy appears in the feed.

Your content has the potential to be featured on relevant hashtag pages, which are displayed when users search for keywords. Currently, Instagram’s hashtag pages showcase three types of content. The first tab highlights top-rated hashtagged posts and reels, which have received the most engagement. The second tab displays recent content in chronological order. Additionally, on the mobile app, there is a third tab dedicated to top-performing reels.


Furthermore, we will delve into the ways in which you can make the most out of each element of a hashtag page.

#1: How Many Instagram Hashtags Should You Use?

There is a significant difference between how many hashtags you can use, how many Instagram recommends, and what your account insights indicate. Here’s how to weigh your options and determine the best balance for your account to use hashtags on Instagram in 2023.

Instagram’s Statement on Hashtag Numbers

Instagram lets you use a maximum of 30 hashtags on any feed post or reel, and up to 10 hashtags per story using stickers or text overlay. However, it’s not always a good idea to use the maximum amount of hashtags.

In 2021, Instagram officially advised using only three to five hashtags per post. Although this limited number of hashtags reduces your chances of providing enough context and expanding your reach, it helps avoid looking spammy. Therefore, it’s important to choose relevant and high-quality hashtags to make the most of your post.

Your Instagram Insights on Hashtag Numbers

The difference between the official limits and recommendations for hashtag usage on Instagram can be significant, so it’s worth experimenting. If you have a business or creator account, you can easily assess the impact of hashtags on your content’s performance.

To view hashtag analytics, access the Insights section of the Instagram app. (Alternatively, you can use Creator Studio until it is sunset by Meta.) Click on any published feed post and navigate to the Reach panel to see the analytics.

Instagram hashtags in 2023 (4)

The Impressions breakdown is a useful feature in Instagram Insights as it tells you exactly where users saw your content, including how many people found your content through Instagram hashtags. Although Instagram doesn’t provide metrics for individual hashtags, the app does give you a total count that can help you quantify the value of the hashtags you add.

To get a better sense of the value of individual Instagram hashtags, you can experiment with creating a new post and adding just one hashtag from your top-performing content. This way, you can establish a baseline for hashtag performance.

Then, in separate feed posts, you can add combinations of your most common Instagram hashtags to see which ones contribute the most impressions. By doing so, you can pinpoint the optimal number of hashtags for your account. Remember, the more you experiment, the more you can refine your hashtag strategy and drive engagement for your content.

Instagram hashtags in 2023 (5)

If you’re unsure about the optimal number of hashtags to use, leverage your insights to find the right balance for your content. Do you see no significant difference in impressions once you add more than five hashtags to a post? Or do your hashtags continue to drive substantial impressions when you add as many as 30?

Keep in mind that Instagram only provides hashtag metrics for feed posts, not for stories or reels. Therefore, you’ll have to conduct most of your hashtag testing on carousels and other feed posts.

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