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Hashtag mistakes you didn't know you were making

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Hashtag mistakes you didn’t know you were making

Are you using Hashtags on Instagram?

Of course, you are! Who isn’t? But are you using the right ones and are you using them effectively? Hashtags are a powerful tool to boost your online presence, but they can also hurt your strategy if not used correctly. As Instagram evolves, the way we use hashtags has changed, and it’s time to adapt.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the hashtag mistakes you may not even realize you’re making and how to avoid them. From how many hashtags to use, using the wrong hashtags and which Trending hashtags tp use, we’ll cover it all. By the end, you’ll be able to elevate your social media game and maximize your online presence. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

How many hashtags should be on each post?

A small, but growing account needs all the help it can get in reaching new clients! That’s why I suggest using 30 GOOD, QUALITY hashtags on each post! Remember, Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, so use them!

Now you may hear some “experts” say use 3-5 but I will respectfully disagree. In my own testing as well as testing done by they found that using 20-30 hashtags on your Instagram posts is the best way to increase your reach and engagement rates. And I completely agree! As long as you are using good quality hashtags, use 30!

Using Hashtags with too Many Uses

Have you researched your hashtags recently? It is a process, isn’t it? BUT it is SO important to keep track of how many times your hashtag has been used!

As a small but growing account, you want to keep the hashtags you use around the 1,000-5,000 uses sweet spot.

Lots of new accounts use hashtags that have been used in the 100,000s of thousands and millions of times. That is a HUGE no no!

Not sure why? Think of it like being at a Taylor Swift concert (Are you a Swiftie?) You and your friend both were lucky enough to get tickets but you don’t know where her seats are! So, you try to find her, in a sea of 150,000 people. YIKES! What are the chances? Not high right?

Multiply that out…If you use a hashtag with 1,500,000 uses, what are the changes your bestie (ideal client) is going to find you? Not high if you are a small account! So, research your hashtags and use hashtags that have a much smaller number of uses. Keep them in the 1,000-5,000 use range, and occasionally up to 10,000 if you have a new or smaller account.

Using Banned Hashtags

What is a Banned Hashtag? Good question!  Banned hashtags are hashtags that violate Instagram’s community guidelines and can result in your post being shadowbanned or removed altogether. And they aren’t always what you would expect! Click here to see a list of SOME banned hashtags.

It’s not just about the number of hashtags you use, but also the ones you choose. Using banned hashtags can also hurt your account’s visibility.

To avoid using banned hashtags, do your research and make sure the ones you’re using aren’t on the banned list. PS I do this in the Hashtag Hub for you!

Additionally, stay away from using the same set of hashtags on every post. Mix it up and use relevant hashtags that truly apply to your content, niche and location. By doing so you will ensure that your posts remain visible and engaging to your followers.

By avoiding banned hashtags and using relevant ones, you can ensure your posts remain engaging and visible to your followers. Next, let’s dive into how to avoid another common mistake: avoiding the use of Trending Hashtags.

Avoiding Trending Hashtags

First, let’s answer the question: What is a trending hashtag?

Trending hashtags are hashtags that are popular in the moment. They can be holiday related, seasonal, or pop culture and they help encourage engagement with your clients.  

Using trending hashtags with a strong call to action are an effective way to increase your reach and engagement on social media. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the hashtags you use are relevant and appropriate to your content. Take the time to research and understand the context behind a trending hashtag before using it. This will ensure that your posts remain engaging and visible to your followers while also helping you maintain a positive brand image.

Putting Hashtags in the Comments

This is a HUGE no no! For years there was an ongoing debate, where to put your hashtags. Some experts said comment because it kept the caption cleaner. Others said caption.

In 2021, Adam Mosseri confirmed that for a post to be found in search, we should put keywords and hashtags in the CAPTIONS, not in the comments. End of debate!


The long and short of it is Hashtags have changed but they are still a valuable tool in growing your Instagram account. They are no longer just for organization and discovery on Instagram – they have become a powerful tool for amplifying your message, categorizing your content and maximizing your online presence. However, if not used effectively, common mistakes can hurt your strategy. By choosing the wrong hashtags, using banned hashtags, avoiding trending hashtags, and choosing the wrong types of hashtags, you can actually hurt your account.


If I could leave you with one thought, remember, use good hashtags like the ones in Hashtag Hub, stay consistent and be social on social media.

Jenn Penn

Jenn Penn

I have been where you are! Super busy, family commitments and starting a new business trying to learn all the things.

I've got you! I have easy to understand, affordable digital products to help you grow your business on Instagram! My methods are created specifically for small businesses like yours!

Jenn Penn headshot
Hi! I'm JENN!

I have been where you are! Super busy, family commitments and starting a new business trying to learn all the things.

I’ve got you! I have easy to understand, affordable digital products to help you grow your business on Instagram! My methods are created specifically for small businesses like yours!

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