How Many Hashtags to Use on Reels?


We don’t simply do social media experiments to kill time over right here at Hootsuite HQ: we do them to serve the folks. So when one in all our readers asks us to determine what number of hashtags to make use of for Reels, we get to work.

Reels proceed to be one in all Instagram’s top-performing formats… however there’s no hurt in getting a little hashtag help to achieve even additional, proper?

The query, although, is what number of tags are literally useful? Whereas it’s potential to add up to 30 tags in your Instagram Reels caption, extra isn’t at all times extra.

As we’ve found by means of rigorous abuse of my Instagram account, three to 5 hashtags is the candy spot for Instagram posts. Will the identical be true for Reels?

As at all times, there’s just one strategy to discover out: submitting my Instagram followers to a barrage of hashtag-based exams. However in my defence, that barrage of hashtag-based exams will most likely contain movies of pancakes. So.

Speculation: 3-5 hashtags on reels provides you an identical quantity of attain as 30

We experimented just lately with hashtags on Instagram posts, and found that sticking to a most of 5 is the place you’ll obtain probably the most attain. Although Instagram permits you to add as much as 30 hashtags to any given submit, in observe, doing it will simply make your content material look spammy, and may very well damage your attain.

Primarily based on this discovery, it’s cheap to imagine that three to 5 hashtags can even be the very best guess for Instagram Reels hashtags, too, proper?

In any case, the Instagram Creators account explicitly recommends holding the variety of hashtags at three to 5. (Although, to be truthful, this submit doesn’t particularly reference greatest practices for Instagram Reels hashtagging.)

Instagram Creators account hashtag dos list

Supply: @creators

However! Instagram Reels’ largest creators typically transcend that 5 hashtag advice (@Gabe, with greater than one million followers, appears to make use of 10 to 12 in his vids), so who is aware of what is going to truly be true?

Time to hit the lab!


I made a decision to create six Instagram Reels, which I might submit twice, every time with completely different quantities of hashtags. (I used stock video footage, FYI!) That means, I may precisely examine apples to apples — or, on this case, waterfall video to waterfall video.

Instagram Reel new post on Hootsuite with OwlyWriter AI

Instagram Reels captions may be as much as 2,200 characters lengthy, however I saved the captions quick and candy, in order that I may attribute attain to my hashtag strategy, and never keyword SEO. As a result of I’m a busy gal who likes to boss robots round, I tapped into the facility of the Hootsuite Owly AI writer to compose the proper captions.

Instagram Caption

When it got here time to jam-pack my caption with hashtags I used a mixture of Hootsuite Composer’s AI hashtag recommendations, hashtags from this checklist of the best Instagram Reels hashtags, and hashtags generated by aggregator Display Purposes Only.

Hootsuite Composer AI hashtag suggestions

I used the Hootsuite Planner tool and scheduled these Reels to submit at optimal times over the course of per week.

Hootsuite Calendar scheduled Instagram Reels

Then I checked again in with Hootsuite Analytics to see simply which hashtag depend reigned supreme.

The Preliminary Outcomes (and a Revised Methodology)

I used to be definitely not anticipating the outcomes to be so devastating. I received zero views on something.

This was a real shocker. Not one in all my #unbelievable #hashtags helped my content material get found?! However then I assumed again to all the things I knew in regards to the Instagram Reels algorithm and realized I’d made a horrible blunder by doing this experiment on my Experiments Solely Instagram account, @thereeldealxo.

Whereas this impersonal account is often an awesome place to check issues out with out bothering my actual mates or infusing my followers list with paid spam bots, on this specific case, I received burned unhealthy. Instagram was punishing me for my unhealthy ‘Gram conduct as a result of, actually, I used to be appearing like a scammer. I don’t have any actual followers. I don’t comply with anybody in any respect. I submit not often and sporadically. I by no means work together with some other accounts. And as we all know, your interactions with different accounts is a key a part of the Reels algorithm.

So it was again to the drafting board with this hashtag experiment. (Please keep in mind: failure is a part of science! If you happen to’re offended about it, DM the daddy of the Scientific Revolution, Sir Francis Bacon!)

Beverly Hills Hotel vacation of dreams Instagram Reel

For this second take, I logged into my private account and pulled collectively six extra Reels. Three featured minimal hashtags; three featured the utmost. (I attempted to check apples to apples by creating content material that was comparable for every hashtag group—as an illustration, one extremely hashtagged video about professional wrestling, and one minimally hashtag video about professional wrestling.)

personal account

Then, lastly, I went again to Instagram to get some precise useful info to share with you all. Time to get off the #fringe of your #seat and into some outcomes!

The Precise outcomes

TLDR: You want greater than only a nice hashtag technique to thrive on Instagram Reels. However for genuine, energetic accounts, 30 hashtags appears to be handiest for increasing your attain with Instagram Reels.

This was a shock to me, contemplating we found the alternative was true with our Instagram posts experiment. However reviewing the attain of all six of my Reels, the very best performing movies had 30 hashtags every.

Video Content materialModel with 30 HashtagsModel With 3 Hashtags
Wrestling512 views7 views
Japan Journey350 views8 views
California Journey7 views7 views

As you possibly can see, there are tragically no quantity of hashtags on this planet that would make anybody care about my cute journey to California with my child and bestie. (Impolite.) However my wrestling content material and Japan journey content material clearly thrived after I utilized the utmost quantity of hashtags.

So clearly, the content material must be attention-grabbing to a variety of individuals for this to really work, however for those who’ve received high quality, partaking content material to share, it appears to me like there’s no hurt in going ham with these ‘tags.

What do the outcomes imply?

As common, it’s necessary to notice that this experiment doesn’t essentially supply an absolute conclusion, and your mileage could differ relying in your specific social media strategy. However based mostly off of my expertise, listed here are some key Instagram Reels hashtag observations to think about.

On the subject of Reels, pile on these hashtags

Although Instagram posts appear to do higher when there are fewer hashtags, Instagram Reels apparently have extra attain with extra hashtags (I used the utmost quantity, however even upping your hashtags from 5 to 10 or 10 to twenty may assist). In fact, it might need simply been a case of 1 or two key hashtags serving to with that discoverability, nevertheless it’s exhausting to know what these ones may particularly be.

Attempt to be clear, genuine and descriptive together with your hashtags to seize viewers who will truly take pleasure in and have interaction together with your content material — tagging one thing particular like #indiewrestling will show you how to attain your audience, whereas #instagood is likely to be too obscure that will help you join with the fitting folks. And your reel may get misplaced in a sea of content material earlier than attracting any views.

Compelling content material issues greater than hashtags

Engagement isn’t one thing you can simply magically create with the fitting variety of hashtags. It calls for time, effort, and a considerate strategy.

Whether or not I included three hashtags or 30, the posts that did the very best have been ones that supplied one thing of worth to viewers. (Self-indulgent trip movies, regardless of what number of hashtags, received me crickets.) The lesson right here? Your time might be higher spent crafting nice movies or writing copy than furiously hitting “NEXT” on a hashtag generator.

Try our information to creating impactful visual content here, after which brush up in your editing tips here to make Instagram Reels with influence.

The remainder of your Instagram conduct issues, too

As I realized from my first try at this experiment, you want greater than only a handful of nice hashtags to succeed with Instagram Reels. The algorithm takes under consideration the remainder of your Instagram conduct, too.

Do you’ve got a strong following who likes your different content material? Are you interacting with different customers on the platform? Are you posting persistently? How a lot do folks interact with you?

The underside line is that Instagram needs to reward creators who’re partaking with the app authentically, and bringing enjoyment or worth to others. If you happen to’re not doing that, all of the hashtags on this planet aren’t going to avoid wasting you. So research up on the Instagram Reels algorithm and take a look at your greatest to be a very good Instagram Citizen as you’re placing your content material out into the world.

All proper, time for this courageous Instagram Reel hashtagger to hit the showers. But when this experiment has you hankering for much more social media exploration, take a look at the remainder of our Hootsuite Experiments here.

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