In the age of social media, knowing how and when to use hashtags is essential. If you’re wondering how to use these hashtags, a significant component of doing so correctly is knowing how to use hashtags after posting.

Below, we’re going to go over adding hashtags to Instagram after posting and how you can use them efficiently.

How many hashtags can you use? #

The maximum number of hashtags that you can use is 30. That being said, you may want to avoid using so many because this can be viewed as spamming by some of your visitors.

Some social media experts suggest using between 5 and 6 hashtags in your posts whether you do so before or after posting. Others suggest using a maximum of 11 if you want to get the best engagement.

A few years back, people found a glitch on Instagram that allowed you to go back and add 30 more hashtags after the images had already been posted. This would come out to 60 hashtags in total. However, the social media giant caught onto the glitch in 2018. Now you can only use 30 hashtags even if you go back to add more after posting.

When to use hashtags #

When Instagram first started, you could post your hashtags right away and go back to delete them later. Then you could add more hashtags in order to show up more recently in hashtag feeds. Now, though, things have changed.

As of 2015, your post will appear in feeds at the time it is posted. If you take too long to include your hashtags in your posts, you’ll immediately be placed further down the feed when you do include them. If you include them right away or right after you’ve posted, your post will be included immediately in the hashtag feeds, making it more discoverable.

If you delete your hashtags and go back to add more however, you’re not going to show up more recently than any of the other posts. Your image or video will only be shown at the exact time you posted it.

For example, if you post an image with a hashtag at 7:00PM, it will immediately show in the recent images of the particular hashtag’s feed. If, on the other hand, you post an image and wait 5 minutes to add the hashtag, your post will be further down the hashtag feed and it will say, “Posted 5 minutes ago.”

Should you use hashtags in your captions or in your comments after posting? #

There’s a debate online as to whether you should post your hashtags in the comments or captions of your posts. So far as the algorithm goes, both function the same.

The benefit of posting them in your caption is that you won’t lose time posting your hashtags and, as such, your images will show up right away when someone searches one of your hashtags.

The benefit of posting your hashtags in your comments is that you can keep your captions engaging and dynamic without distracting viewers and visitors alike with a paragraph of hashtags.

Should you post hashtags on someone’s image after they’ve posted? #

You may have seen people posting hashtags in the comments of photos before. In truth, this isn’t useful because the hashtags that are commented by other people will not make the image appear in the hashtag’s feed any higher.

You can, however, add hashtags to the comments of another account if you’re suggesting that they add the hashtag to the caption of their comment.

Avoiding banned hashtags when hashtagging after posting #

You may also be interested to know that there are some hashtags that are banned on Instagram. When you use banned hashtags, this will prevent your image or post from showing up on the hashtag’s feed. When you repeatedly use banned hashtags, your account can be banned altogether or you can have a shadowban placed on your account.

The best way to prevent using banned hashtags is to do some research into a hashtag before you use it on your post. You can also use a search engine to find out more about popular hashtags that are actually banned. #HappyThanksgiving is an example of a popular hashtag that’s been banned.

For some, avoiding popular hashtags altogether is the best way to avoid using banned hashtags. Instead, they look for niche-specific hashtags.

Adding custom hashtags #

A great way to use hashtags is to create customized hashtags that are specific to your brand or campaign. This can raise awareness and increase your reach. As more people use your hashtag, your posts will be viewed more.

The downside to using custom hashtags is that if you don’t have a big following, your posts may not be seen by a large audience. In this case, you may want to use a mix of known and custom hashtags. This way, people who go on the feeds of the common hashtags will see your image and will also be exposed to your custom hashtag.

Other Hashtag Tips and Tricks #

Now that you know more about adding hashtags to Instagram after posting, you may want some other tips and tricks.

Here's our guide on mastering hashtags in 2020.

You may have Googled something along the lines of “Best hashtags to use on Instagram” and a list of potential hashtags popped up. While these hashtags will get you quick likes and may even increase your engagement, it’s often bot accounts that like images with these hashtags.

If you are followed by bot accounts, you’ll notice because your number of followers will significantly increase for a short time before decreasing when the bots unfollow you.

What is a shadowban? #

A shadowban occurs when your hashtags are not viewable to users. When this happens, only the people who follow your account will be able to see your posts. You can tell if you’re shadowbanned if you click on the hashtags you’ve used and your image doesn’t show up.

While there is no clear reason as to why Instagram shadowbans users, it looks like it happens when a user has gone against Instagram’s user policy. If your account appears to be spamming regarding hashtags, posts, comments etc., you may be shadowbanned. If you use too many hashtags on your posts or if you comment too much after you’ve posted, this can result in you getting shadowbanned.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to social media management, hashtags are one of the most complicated and worthwhile components of building a solid online presence. The more comfortable you are with using hashtags, the more exposure you’ll get in a short amount of time. If you have any questions about adding hashtags to Instagram after posting, feel free to reach out to us today!