3 Biggest Hashtag Mistakes To Avoid On Instagram


You might be thinking…how is Oanh focusing an entire blog post about hashtags? Well, it’s possible and lately I’ve seen too many people making the same mistakes over and over. So I decided to write a blog post focusing on the 3 biggest hashtag mistakes you need to avoid on Instagram.

But before we dive in, I wanted to remind you about my blog post My Review of 3 Online Instagram Courses that I wrote a few weeks ago. I hope you found it helpful, especially if you are just in the beginning stages of implementing an Instagram strategy. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, what are you waiting for?

Alright, let’s get started….

You might not realize it, but hashtags play a critical role in your Instagram strategy. Without them, you’re missing out on an opportunity to get noticed.

There are around 8 million users on Instagram daily and if you can capture 1% of those daily users with your content, that’s pretty good. Of course, you need to be consistent, create relevant content for your followers, and include hashtags to give you that extra boost to increase awareness.

I always tell my students that hashtags are like your calling card. You post in your feed or in your stories and your current followers see your content. But what about new followers?

How do new followers find you? Well, if your new followers are anything like me, they troll Instagram finding content to engage with by using a particular hashtag.

I use this strategy because I want to find my tribe who have similar interests. I want to relate to my followers, engage with them, and build meaningful relationships. So hashtags are my way of connecting with like-minded people. But, I avoid the 3 biggest hashtag mistakes on Instagram:

1 | Not using all 30 hashtags when you post

Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post and while it seems like a lot of work, not using all 30 will diminish your awareness and engagement on the platform.

Back in the day, Instagram was about posting multiple times a day so your content or photo would be at the top of someone’s feed. That’s no longer the case and in fact, it’s more about engagement these days. It really is why Instagram is called social media. We need to be social.

So using all 30 hashtags ensures that your content is noticed, which in turns increases your engagement. And in the end, you have a better chance of staying top of mind with your followers and finding new followers.

I always suggest to my students to build a list of hashtags in three categories:

  • your competitors

  • complementary industries

  • location: where you think your audience spends their time

When you post, pick at least 5-10 hashtags in each category.

2 | Picking hashtags that have over 500k posts

I get it, you want your photo to be showcased with the popular crowd. Basically the crowd that has 1 million followers if not more.

There’s a problem with that strategy. Your post will never get noticed, because it will be lost in a sea of 1 million or more posts.

It definitely sounds cool to use those popular hashtags, but it doesn’t help people to see your post. Instead, pick hashtags that have less than 500k posts to increase awareness and ultimately increase your chances of connecting with your followers and engaging with them.

For example, take the #digitalnomad hashtag, it has 1.8 million posts, therefore not a good hashtag to use. Whereas, #digitalnomads or #digitalnomadlife has much fewer posts, so are much better to use.

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3 | Using hashtags in your bio

I remember when Instagram rolled out the ability to search via hashtags. I was elated because I could now search for like-minded individuals so easily.

I even went one step further and included relevant hashtags to my business in my bio. I thought this would make it easier for people to find me if they searched profiles via hashtags.

Well, I quickly realized that bios do not get listed in hashtags searches. Doh, what was I doing?

I was wasting valuable space in my bio with hashtags. Instead, I needed to use that precious real estate to share my value proposition or even list a call to action.

Also, using hashtags in my bio could send potential followers to other accounts since they would get distracted by all the other photos listed in the hashtag. Thus, decreasing the likelihood of potential followers remaining on my account.

Oanh Jordan2 Comments