“Hi Kim, I have a question! I don’t use hashtags because I don’t think they look good, but I think that strategy is hindering my growth. How can I make Instagram hashtags more aesthetically pleasing?”
When this question bounced into my Instagram DMs, I felt it in my soul. I feel *exactly* the same: hashtags look ugly.
There’s no two ways around it, they look ugly, spammy, and ruin the aesthetics of a well-curated Instagram caption.
That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.
Sadly, as much as Instagram hashtags are ugly and all of the other things I just said, they’re also really useful, especially if you’re the owner of a small business or blog account, just starting out and trying to grow bigger.
Each hashtag you use in your caption opens up a potential new audience group, so the more you use, the more chances you have of your posts having high reach. (In theory — lots of other factors will affect the outcome.)
In short, you have two choices:
- You can ignore hashtags completely and have beautiful captions, but you might potentially lose out on reach;
- You can learn how to use hashtags so that they ARE aesthetically pleasing.
Today, I’d like to show you a few ways in which you can do the second option: make Instagram hashtags more aesthetically pleasing.
Instagram Feed Posts: Caption vs. Comment
You have two main options when it comes to using hashtags in your Instagram feed posts: putting the hashtags in the caption, or putting the hashtags in a comment.
It actually doesn’t matter from an analytics standpoint whether you put them in the caption or comment.
People who work for Instagram have spoken out and admitted that hashtag placement doesn’t make the blindest bit of difference to how much reach the post will get.
The choice is yours.
You’ll get the same post reach either way.
Which do you prefer? Not sure? Why not put a poll up on your Instagram Stories and ask your audience what they think you should do. They are the ones reading your caption, after all.
Your followers are able to offer you a unique insight — you just have to ask them.
I put my hashtags in the caption, but that’s because I’m too lazy to faff around and do it in two stages — first the caption, then copy/pasting hashtags into the first comment. I have a habit of forgetting about them completely when I plan to paste them in a comment.
I also tend to use [mostly free] scheduling tools for Instagram. Inserting hashtags into the first comment, rather than the caption, is a paid-for/additional service with most scheduling tools, especially if you want things to be completely automated. I’m not bothered about doing it enough to pay out for that one feature.
As far as I’m aware, Facebook’s Business Suite doesn’t offer first-comment scheduling at all.
How to Post Instagram Hashtags in a Comment
I know, I know, how hard can it be to post Instagram hashtags in a comment? You don’t need a tutorial for that, right?
But … well, I have a little trick I’d like to show you, if you don’t mind.
If you start your comment with 5 full stops (or periods, if you’re American), adding a line break between each one, your comment will look like this: […], instead of this: #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag …
If you want my opinion, it looks much better — neater, less spammy, etc.
How to Post Instagram Hashtags in a Caption
You can use the same full stop (or period) + line break technique to separate the hashtags from your caption, too — and I highly recommend that you do this.
When hashtags immediately follow the caption, with no break in between, your audience is faced with a large chunk of text that looks fussy and cluttered. When something looks fussy and cluttered, people are going to scroll right on by.
Just like this 👇🏻
Users of the internet, generally, don’t appreciate large chunks of text — not in blogs, and definitely not in social media captions.
I don’t mind large chunks of text myself, but even I skip right past a caption+hashtag mess that looks all cluttered and messy.
You could also consider putting the hashtags inside other punctuation/symbols/etc. to completely separate them from the main text of the caption, but I personally recommend putting as much space between them and your caption as possible whether you do this or not.
Here’s a couple of final tricks and tips that you can use to make Instagram hashtags more aesthetically pleasing —
1 – Don’t use all 30 hashtags
Do you need to use all 30? No.
Could you cut it down to 10 or 15? Yes, if you wanted to.
Some of the biggest and fastest-growing Instagram accounts use only a handful of hashtags per post. Some of them don’t include any hashtags at all.
Look at how many hashtags your successful competitors use, and then give their strategy a try.
2 – Don’t use hashtags at all
As I said right at the beginning, you don’t NEED to use Instagram hashtags in order to grow. You really, really don’t. There are accounts out there that have grown by thousands of new followers in just a few months without using a single hashtag.
Lots of factors make up a full Instagram strategy, including hashtags, caption length/style, times and days that you post, how much you engage with your audience, and a lot more. Focusing all of your attention solely on hashtags is a pointless exercise and your time would be better spent elsewhere.
3 – Experiment to find your sweet spot
The only way you will know what works for you, your content, and your followers is to try some stuff and see what happens.
Try posting content with and without hashtags — which one gets the highest reach or most engagement?
4 – Check out these other posts …
Are you interested in learning more about hashtags on Instagram? I’d like to personally recommend these:
Thanks so much for reading my blog today — I really appreciate you stopping by and checking out my content.
Do you have questions of your own? An Instagram puzzle that you just can’t solve? A query that you’ve had for a while? Feel free to ask me! You can slide in my Instagram DMs at any time, or give me a message on Facebook/Instagram. You’ll find all of my social links below.
Enjoy the rest of your day! I hope it’s a fabulous one.