New Examine Appears at Optimum Hashtag Utilization in Instagram Feed Posts, Primarily based on 18m Examples

How many hashtags should you add to your Instagram posts to maximize engagement?

The advice varies – previous studies have shown that less is better, while Instagram itself says you areYou should try adding 3 to 5 highly relevant hashtags to reach the right communities.

Really, like all social media, a lot depends on your specific audience and focus. However, the Later team recently conducted an analysis of more than 18 million Instagram feed posts (excluding videos, reels, or stories) to measure the optimal hashtag usage for increasing engagement and reach.

Your most important finding? More hashtags are definitely better on both fronts.

First on range – Later’s study shows that posts with 20 hashtags see the highest average reach, while those with 30 hashtags aren’t too far behind.

This is in line with Later’s earlier research, as you can see in this comparative graph.

Later hashtag study

In terms of engagement – meaning more likes and comments – it was later found that 30 hashtags were getting the best results.

Later hashtag study

In fact, contrary to Instagram’s own advice on limiting hashtag use, Later’s study found that more was much better. This is useful to maximize discoverability by including your posts on more Explore feeds and lists. But it can also make your posts look cluttered – although what the evidence here suggests isn’t as important to users as it might seem.

So what should you take with you? Well, there is no definitive answer as again it mostly comes down to your unique audience and what they are responding to and what you want your posts to achieve.

If you’re trying to connect with very niche communities, it may well be that fewer hashtags are better, as the interest you might get from wider tag usage may not translate into actual traffic to your website. But maybe more is better, because a wider reach would mean getting your updates in front of the right people more and more often, even if you reach more uninterested users as well.

It takes experimentation to find out what works for you – and as the various recommendations show, there probably isn’t one right answer for all. But in this case, based on a wide range of feed posts (again without videos, reels, or stories), it seems that more is better for engagement.

It might be worth trying out and reviewing your own results – and if you’ve avoided adding too many tags in the past, you might not need to hold back so much.

You can read Later’s full Instagram hashtag study here.

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