Are Hashtags Still Relevant in 2021?

Last updated on: 2021


Are Hashtags Still Relevant in 2021?

Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Only if used correctly.

Hashtags have become a powerful tool to increase engagement, organize content, and connect users on various social media platforms. However, with their usage stereotyped as spam content by “bots” in 2021, brands must use hashtags correctly to maximize their performance.

Follow these 4 hashtag tips to get a #win every time.

  1. Perfect Your Placement

The great debate: Where is the best place to hide your hashtag cloud? While some brands use line breaks in their caption followed by the hashtags, others prefer to include them all in the first comment. But which is the best method? 

Socialinsider studied 649,895 Instagram posts from over 6,700 business profiles of different sizes to determine what placement was the best for engagement rate. Interestingly enough, the size of the account affected what placement was better. 

  1. Don’t Use Too Many and Don’t Use Too Few

According to Later, one hashtag averages a 12.6% increase in engagement. Following that line of thinking, the more hashtags, the better, right? Wrong! It is unclear why using a large number of hashtags (such as the full 30 allowed) does not perform well. It may just look “spammy” to users. Similar to the ideal placement of hashtags, the most effective number of hashtags also depends on the account size. 

Refer to the below chart for the ideal range you should include in your cloud:

  1. Create the Ideal Cloud

Get Specific!

Following a general rule of thumb, the more relevant a hashtag is, the better. For example, if your brand were doing a spring product release, using “#Spring” would not help bring awareness to your campaign or allow you to organize UGC content. Your post would likely get lost among the 127 million posts using that hashtag.

In contrast, if you used “#HoppyHighlighterSpring”, you would be able to organize all the content tagged around your specific campaign and make it easily viewable for your audience.


Use the Correct Content
Within the post, there should be static hashtags that are present in every cloud and reevaluated every 2-3 months. There should also be flexible hashtags you can switch per post. HippieOnHoliday suggested a rough breakdown of the type of content that should be in each hashtag, which we have broken down into a chart:

Specific: Hashtags that are intended for your unique product and post.

Audience and Industry: Tags your audience’s questions, branding partners, and industry niche.

Branded: Allows for UGC congregation, campaign for your brand, and communities for users of the product or service.

Trend and Daily: Allows for viral sensations, trends in the industry, and popular timely hashtags like “#ThrowbackThursday”.

Location and Product: These hashtags are determined by the content’s location and the product being featured or used in the post.


  1. Keep Track of Performance


Manually track your progress via the number of impressions each hashtag cloud has garnered from your posts. Do this by tapping “View Insights” on your post, then swiping up to reveal the number of Impressions “From Hashtags”. 


Tools like Iconosquare, Display Purposes, Ingrammer, and Flick will help you generate new hashtags and store your highest performing copy. 

Looking to stay updated in all things social media? Check out our Social Media category to read more!

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Alexa is currently an Account Coordinator at Taylor & Pond. She is located in Miami, FL.