Is 3-5 hashtags the magic formula for Instagram Reach?

Instagam created a HUGE buzz this week when their @Creators account published a post that, among other things, recommended only using 3-5 hashtags.

What the what?!??

They even went further to say "adding 10-20 hashtags will not help you get additional distribution".

Ok, ok - let's stop right there.

Instagram provides us the ability to add up to 30 hashtags.

If they only wanted us to use a max of 5, they would be like TikTok and only allow up to 5 hashtags.

But they don't.

And when I look at the Insights to my posts, I can see exactly how many additional accounts have seen my post thanks to the hashtags I've used.

Let's look at some hard Instagram Hashtag Data

For example this post where over half of my reach was thanks to hashtags, and 58% were people who weren't following me. FYI - I used 10 hashtags here.

Or how about this one for a client post I created. I used a whopping 24  hashtags in this one!

So what should you do when it comes to your own Instagram strategy for your equestrian account?

The Instagram experts I've spoken with all agree on these fundamentals when it comes to your hashtags:

  • Use as many hashtags as you can which are relevant to your post whether that's 5, 10, 27 or all 30;
  • Each hashtag is another potential door that can open for new people to see you;
  • Avoid overly generic hashtags (ex. #business) and ones that are super fast-moving if you're a smaller account;
  • Check the hashtags your current followers are following to see if you can incorporate any of them into your strategy;
  • Track your insights! This will tell you if your hashtags are working (or not) for that post.

And remember, hashtags are really just the sprinkles on top of your Instagram cupcake.🍰

The best hashtag strategy in the world won't do much for you if your bio isn't optimized, your feed isn't cohesive, and you're not producing content your audience cares about.

I'll leave you with this excellent statement from @Creators which perfectly sums up how you should approach hashtags:

Think of a hashtag as a tool that prvides context about your post and supports delivering content to people who are interested in that particular topic.

Your marketing BFF,

Kerri 😊

photo by: Veann - Dressage Coach