Gain Followers with Instagram Hashtag Best Practices

Hashtags in the comments? Or hashtags in the caption?

These are questions that every digital marketer eventually asks when posting to Instagram. Instagram (and parent company Facebook) keep their algorithm closely guarded and don’t give indication one way or other.

Both methods are effective

You can post comments in the caption or the comments and you will gain momentum with Instagram’s algorithm. While we have no way to test this on a large scale, an audit of our marketing peers finds that both methods work.

Hashtag in First Comment Looks Professional

Why are hashtags more effective in comments? This method looks cleaner and makes your photos look nicer. People don’t want to be bombarded by marketing or hashtags. They want hashtags to be effective when searching for a topic, but they want those hashtags to be secondary to the content their looking for.

Use Line Breaks in Caption Hashtags

If you use hashtags in your Instagram captions, insert line breaks to push the tags down past where the copy gets cut off. This way the tags are still used for search but hidden from view.

Use Bullet Points or Periods for Line Breaks

Instagram will not allow more than two lines of empty text in a post. Therefore it can be hard to push your tags out of view. To fix this, you can insert a period on each line or a bullet point to create more space between posts.

Post Your First Comment Immediately

One thing we do know about the Instagram algorithm is that it moves quick. Many have argued that putting hashtags in the comments may take too much time, losing the momentum of the original post. But in practice we’ve seen that if you catch the first comment on your own post, you’re usually catching the wave in time.

In summary:

Both methods are effective
Post hashtags in Instagram comments because it looks much more professional
Post hashtags in captions but allow line breaks to push tags out of view
Post comment as soon as possible after original post