Secret Instagram hashtag formula I was on Twitter the other day when my friend, Anne Parris, tweeted that the optimal number of hashtags for Instagram was 11. She was at Affiliate Summit in a session and we chatted a bit about it until she went to another session. Follow Anne, she is a smart cookie.

11 Hashtags for Instagram Posts

Why 11? After our convo via Twitter I wanted to do some more research and test it out. Buffer says:

Instagram is another hotspot for hashtags, and the good news for those who love to extensively tag photos is that there doesn’t seem to be a saturation point.

Interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.

A rule of thumb could be: Don’t sweat your amount of Instagram hashtags.

Limits to Hashtags?

Well, you can only post 30 in your initial caption. You can put 30 more in each comment after, but that might be a little too many.

Friday Fun! Working on my blog content calendar for the month. I use a Passion Planner, Post It Notes and a Sharpie to lay out what I want to focus on each day and throughout the month on my blog. Creating content everyday is my goal for the remainder of 2015 and my blog is a big part of that. Are you creating content everyday? Blog posts, Instagram posts, tweets, Facebook posts, Periscopes, YouTube videos, email newsletters? All of it counts towards helping you brand your business and help your potential customers understand that you are an expert in your field. Having a plan helps tremendously. Winging it everyday, not so much! #plannergirl #planneraddict #plannernerd #planner #goals #calendar #PostItToDo #ToDo #blogging #content #writer #creative #businessinspiration #marketingpro #entrepreneur #success #marketingtips #dogoodwork #branding #keynote Brands tagged.

A photo posted by Jacqueline Wolven (@jackiewolven) on


How To Easily Add Hashtags?

I have a note on my iPhone that is called Hashtags. I have added hashtags under subjects that I post about often.

Goals: #plannergirl #planneraddict #plannernerd #planner #gettoworkbook #planner #plannerlove #goals #getthingsdone #makeithappen #calendar #PostItToDo #ToDo #JustDoIt  #DontQuit #NeverQuit #NoLimits #hustle #workhard #inspiration #determination #motivation #dreambig #success


Simple Living: #simpleliving #livebetter #simple#happy #lessismore #minimalism #KonMari #cottageliving #tinyhouse #simplicity #liveauthentic #ozarks #backtotheland #realsimple #slowliving
Marketing: #businessinspiration #marketingpro #entrepreneur #success #marketingtips #hustle #workhard #dogoodwork #onlinemarketing #wordpress #branding #keynote
When I post a photo I can quickly go to my note and copy and paste the hashtags.
How to Research Hashtags for Instagram

One place to find comparable hashtags is It allows you to put in a hashtag that you want to use and gives you others that are used in conjunction with it. Plus the interface is kind of fun. hashtags data by

Another option is Google+ /Exlpore, but this awesome tool might disappear soon. Put your most used hashtag themes in now to get your list that you can use for a while. Given that we know that Google is shutting the door on G+ any minute!
My Experiment with Hashtags on Instagram
I have been using Instagram for quite some time, but never with any real brand intention. It was just where I showed my life as it was unveiled. I realized (a big Aha!) that I was wasting this really powerful social media tool by not spending the right energy, time and focus on it for my brand. Last week I started posting things that are more relevant to my brand and adding using the magic formula of 11+ hashtags and I have seen really positive results.
Instagram Post Research
Old Instagram Post
Instagram Post Research
New Instagram Posting Style
Instagram Post Research
NEW Instagram Posting Style

That is a pretty significant jump. I’m not a lifestyle brand with pictures of fashion, pretty parties, or other things that catch the eye of Instagram lovers so I have to be a little creative in my posts. The challenge is fun and I’m excited to see if I can get better at this.

xo – Jacqueline, who believes that we all have the power to learn new things and if you are on Instagram you can follow me here.

A little hashtag humor with two of my favorite people: Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake (and Quest Love!)  

14 Comments on The Magic Formula of Hashtags for Instagram

  1. Awkward Paws Pet Care
    August 7, 2015 at 2:43 pm (2 years ago)

    I like using the TagsForLikes App! Very easy, you just select your topic, copy, paste, edit to make sure you only have 30 hashtags. Because if you put more than 30, the entire caption goes away! And we don’t want that!!

    • Jacqueline Wolven
      August 7, 2015 at 2:50 pm (2 years ago)

      I have the app, but I found that by creating my own hashtag lists they were even closer to my brand. Plus some of those are old (they have tags that say 2014). That said, it is a great tool if you are new to generating hashtags for your posts! Thanks for the reminder, Awkward Paws Pet Care

  2. Helene Cohen Bludman
    August 7, 2015 at 3:00 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow, this is good to know. I had no idea that 11 hashtags is the optimal number.

    • Jacqueline Wolven
      August 7, 2015 at 3:34 pm (2 years ago)

      11+ up to 30! Isn’t that crazy. I’ll keep experimenting and sharing that. My hope is that everyone gets better at what they do! – Jacqueline

  3. imnotasupermom
    August 7, 2015 at 3:03 pm (2 years ago)

    I was going to recommend a personal hashtag list. That’s some next level skill, so I’m impressed.

    • Jacqueline Wolven
      August 7, 2015 at 3:33 pm (2 years ago)

      I try to learn from the best… which is you! Upping our game is what it is all about (without being icky!) – Thanks for the magic formula, Anne! – Jacqueline

  4. gina
    August 7, 2015 at 4:16 pm (2 years ago)

    Per usual, I’ve been keeping an eye on what you’re doing across all social media channels (stalker, much?) and I’ve noticed when you’ve changed things up. Trying to emulate. I used the Tags4Likes once but it drew too many weird and/or spam-ish comments. I was deleting them too much. Do you delete them or block users who appear to be spammers?

    • Jacqueline Wolven
      August 7, 2015 at 6:42 pm (2 years ago)

      Wow! I didn’t think anyone noticed. Do you think it is better? Do you think it matches my brand? Do you think I’m trying to hard? I curious because we’ve followed each other for a while. (And thanks for noticing!) – Jacqueline

      I forgot. I don’t care about spammers. I don’t have time to look at all of those accounts and see if they are for real. I will hope they are and just move on. I did, after you said something, go in and look at the comments on one and they all seemed legit.

      I also think that I may not be getting them because I’m not using just generic hashtags like #love #like #followme. Instead I am using hashtags that make sense for my brand and the photo.

  5. Alexandra Williams (@Alexandrafunfit)
    August 7, 2015 at 6:47 pm (2 years ago)

    I also use TagsForLikes. My niece recommended it. And my kinds mock me, because I am the hashtag QUEEN. And it works for me.

    • Jacqueline Wolven
      August 7, 2015 at 8:07 pm (2 years ago)

      That is great! I just found that using hashtags that are more in line with my brand will bring the kinds of people who will follow me. And let them tease you! You have it going on! – Jacqueline

  6. terra
    August 10, 2015 at 9:22 am (2 years ago)

    thank you for this!

    • Jacqueline Wolven
      August 10, 2015 at 11:35 am (2 years ago)

      You bet! I will continue to document my process so that others can get better at Instagram too! I’m NEVER going to be a fashion model or pretend fashion model, but I think I can still grow an audience of amazing people who are into what I have to share. And YOU can too. – Jackie

  7. Delta Moxie
    August 10, 2015 at 4:48 pm (2 years ago)

    Jackie, Thanks for sharing this. I’ve used your tips on my last two posts and I’ve gained much more likes and comments (even for first day of school pics). Hashtagify will change my life!

    • Jacqueline Wolven
      August 11, 2015 at 10:09 am (2 years ago)

      It’s working for me too! I’ll do an update at the end of the month! – Jacqueline


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