Hashtags can be a great tool to help drive people to your social media sites or they can completely ruin a post.  Improper use of hashtags can make you look like you don’t know how to use social media.  Hastags that aren’t relevant to your brand will drive people away in annoyance. Hopping on a bandwagon hashtag like #TBT can be great but being a fried chicken company using #BLM can quickly lead to testing your crisis management plan.  This is a list of things about hashtags on Instagram that can cause some real problems…for me…because it makes me angry.


  1. Spelling is importantlearn_to_spell                                      It is not that hard to read through your post and make sure nothing sounds wrong or has squiggly lines under it.  All else fails type it into Google, who will then say, “Did you mean…”  And most likely you did.

2. Don’t #hashtag #every #word


You think this is a no brainer?  On Instagram #is has 14 million posts, #a has 27 million, and #the has 33 million posts. None of these posts are related to each other. Hashtags have replaced key words. Stop thinking everything is important!

3. What’s your branded hashtag again?


On Instagram branded hashtags go before the jump, search word hashtags goes after the jump.  You want your viewers to see the hashtag that can make them part of the conversation. If you bury it after the dots it can go unnoticed and thus reduce your reach.  Search words, on the other hand, can clutter up a really powerful message.  Hide these hashtags and make people click the see more option to view them

4. Your message is all hashtags and no content.


Sometimes a single hashtag can be a powerful message on a simple picture or contribute to a visual conversation like #OOTD or #dogsofinsta.  But it is not okay to post a picture of your dog with #shoelaces, #notyouwhenhungry and #Aftermath.  No one will know that your dog just ate your shoes and this is a picture of him at the emergency vet.  If your image needs some backstory, give it to me.  Give me something to comment on.

5. Stay on message


I just wanted to use this gif that has been sitting in my favorites folder for a week. Instagram is all about telling a story visually.  A string of images tells a bigger story so when you interrupt your game day coverage with an image about a flower store it can be very confusing.

Posts that use hashtags get more interaction and the ideal amount of hashtags is four to five per post and at least one that is specific to you.  If you stick to these rules I probably won’t scream when I read your posts, and hopefully neither will your followers.


Want some more reading on hashtags? Read this article for a great guide without the drama.  Seen some horrible hashtag use? SHOW ME!! I love it. #HorribleHashtags



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