Hashtags. Confusing? Weird? Why do we use them?

Instagram Hashtags 101 for Travel Bloggers is a lesson for using Hashtags for Instagram that will help you grow your reach quickly. This means more likes per photo and more followers.

1. Why Hashtags?

A #hashtag is a clickable link. When you use hashtags in your posts you and anyone else are able to tap the hashtag to see a page that shows all photos and videos people have uploaded with that hashtag.

Here is an example for the hashtag #Instatravelling. You can see there are over 76 thousand images to scroll through with this hashtag. This is how some people search and find new people to follow.



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2. There are three main types of hashtags:

  • Branded hashtags. These are directly related to your travel website and emphasize your brand. Choose a hashtag that represent your brand that is simple and easy to remember so that users can find your content on Instagram without having to dig through random hashtags that are not specifically targeting your brand.
  • Community hashtags. These are tags used by many people to share content regarding a specific subject. Examples of this type of hashtags of that kind are #outfitoftheday, #ootd, #welltraveled, and #instafood.
  • Trending hashtags. These are specific topics that to viral through a content piece on social media, a campaign or cultural event. These hashtags usually last only for a few days and max a few weeks. An example of a trending hashtag is #metoo.

3. One of many reasons you must have a public account if you are a blogger

If your posts are set to public, you can add hashtags to your photos and videos. So, if you have a private account and you tag posts, they won’t appear publicly on hashtag pages.

4. Where to Post Hashtags

As with many things in Instagram, where to post the hashtags has changed over the years. You can add your tags in three ways.

a). Add all of your tags in the main post.

b). Add 5-10 hashtags in the original post (either the brand-specific one used for your brand (your custom hashtag) or maybe the location name or the location preferred hashtags). Then add the remaining hashtags in a comment to your post. If you do this method, include the most important tags in the original post. These should be the tags with the highest volume or that are most relevant (the ones you want to potentially land you in “top posts”).

c). Add all of your tags into the first comment.

I currently use methods a & b. See below for an example from my 52Pefectdays Instagram page. See that the top text is from my post and the one below is a new comment with my hashtags.


View this post on Instagram


Did you know we have castles in the U.S? This is Boldt Castle Located in 1000 Islands, New York. The castle can be toured, but you have to get to it first. It’s located on Alexandria Bay & on Hart Island. I took a tour with Captain Jeff Garnsey & Classic Island Cruises. We visited the castle, Rock Island Lighthouse and cruised around the islands. It was truly a perfect afternoon. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #tmsniagarafalls #tmsniagarafallsusa #visit1000islands #1000islands #stlawrenceriver #claytonNY #theriver •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #boldtcastle #travelobsessed #nylovesfall #iloveny #newyorkstate #riverday #ilovenewyork #woodyboater #woodenboats #getoutside #beautifuldestinations #chriscraft #instatravel #writetotravel #wanderlusting #worldwonder #ig_great_pics #bestviews #lighthouse #worldbestshot_ig #letsgosomewhere

A post shared by Alexa Williams Meisler (@52perfectdays) on

Here is another example from my feed where I added all my tags into my caption.

Instagram Hashtags in a comment

5. Hashtag Limits

You can use up to 30 tags on a post (including your first post / first comment). If you include more than 30 tags on a single photo/video, your comment won’t post.

Numbers are allowed in hashtags. However, spaces and special characters, like $ or %, won’t work.

6. Landing more Likes Using Hashtags

Adding hashtags will produce the most likes and new organic followers. Do a simple test. If you are currently not using hashtags or using just a few, the next time you post add at least 25 tags and up to 30. See if your likes increase.

On the flipside, if you currently use 20-30 hashtags, then next time you post, don’t use any to see if you average less.

7. Getting into Hashtag Feeds

Tags will appear from the time that you post the original image, not when you applied that hashtag. This means that you will no longer be able to add hashtags to your Instagrams after the fact and expect them to show up at the top of hashtag searches. So, if you are adding your hashtags in the first comment, add them immediately after you post the image. If you don’t you post will most likely sit dozens of pages down the hashtag search – no one will see it.

Tip for Hashtags:

Create a list of hashtags in your notes app on your phone. Or create several note pages. This way you can copy and paste and only add specific hashtags to each post.

For more about the best hastags to use please check out: “Best Instagram Hashtags for Travel Writers and Photographers“.

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Instagram Hashtags 101 for Travel Bloggers
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