How to Use Hashtags on Instagram Stories: 8 Effective Tricks

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TheContentWing team

Learn how to use hashtags on Instagram Stories and effectively maximize its impact. Boost your visibility and engagement with the right hashtags.

Instagram is one of the most popular content creator platforms of the current era. And, Instagram Stories are a big deal in the world of social media, giving users a fun way to share fleeting moments and connect with their audience on a personal level. They’re not just for individuals but are a valuable tool for brands and businesses too. These 24-hour stories offer a unique chance to show behind-the-scenes action, run promotions, and share updates. But to really make the most of them, you need to know how to use hashtags on Instagram stories effectively.

Imagine this fact: over 500 million Instagram accounts interact with Stories daily. According to a Facebook survey, a whopping 58% of people have shown more interest in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories. That’s a huge potential for growing your audience just by using hashtags in your Instagram Stories.

In this guide, we’re going to understand the world of Instagram Stories and how hashtags can boost your visibility. We’ll help you understand how to make the most of hashtags in your Stories. So, let’s get started!

What are Instagram Story Hashtags?

You’re probably familiar with hashtags – those keywords or phrases that start with # on Instagram. They’re used to categorize and discover content. But when you use hashtags in your Instagram Stories, they work a bit differently – in a good way!

See, they help your Stories get discovered by a broader audience, not just your followers. For example, if you’re sharing your weekend mountain adventure, tossing in hashtags like #TravelGoals or #MountainEscape can get your content in front of folks who follow or search for those hashtags. That’s a nifty trick for more engagement and maybe even more followers.

Instagram Story hashtags act like a bridge between your story and a bigger crowd. When you paste a hashtag on your Story, it pops up in the ‘Explore’ section for anyone into that hashtag. This means even folks who don’t follow you might come across your Story if they’re exploring that particular hashtag.

For example, say you’re showing off your mouthwatering homemade pizza and you add #FoodieDelights as a hashtag. Well, anyone looking for or following that hashtag will spot your scrumptious pizza story. And that’s a great way to gain more followers, crank up engagement, and make it onto the ‘Explore’ page. 

How to Use Hashtags on Instagram Stories

Instagram stories hashtags

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Hashtags are a powerful tool on Instagram Stories, helping you increase visibility, engagement, and discoverability. To make the most of hashtags in your Instagram Stories, follow these key strategies:

1. Location-based Hashtags

These are like your secret weapon when it comes to Instagram Stories. They’re all about getting your content in front of a local or event-focused audience, which means more eyeballs on your Story.

  • Use Local Landmarks: If you’re hanging out at a famous spot like the Eiffel Tower, throw in hashtags like #EiffelTower or #Paris. It’s like a GPS for your Stories!
  • Event Hashtags: Got an event or conference to attend? Check if there’s an official event hashtag and use it. This will connect you with fellow attendees and everyone else keeping tabs on the event online.

The beauty of location-based hashtags really shines for businesses with physical locations or strong ties to specific areas. When your audience is joining in on the location-based Story, and you’re right there with them, it creates an authentic connection. You’re showing that you’re part of the same community, and that’s gold in building a personal bond with your audience. 

2. Choosing the Right Hashtags

Selecting the correct hashtags is important for the success of your Instagram Stories. The goal is to find hashtags that are not only relevant to your content but also popular enough to have an engaged audience.

  • Relevancy is a Key: The hashtags you pick should be a spot-on match for your Story. So, if you’re showing off some killer fashion, go for hashtags like #Fashionista or #OOTD (Outfit of the Day). It’s all about making sure your hashtags sync up with what you’re sharing.
  • Mix Broad and Niche Hashtags: Don’t put all your eggs in one hashtag basket. Mix it up with a combo of broad and niche hashtags. Broad ones, like #Travel, can put your Story in front of a huge audience. On the flip side, niche tags like #SoloTravelEurope get you in touch with a smaller but super-engaged group. It’s like having the best of both worlds!

3. Understand Your Audience

Understanding your audience’s preferences and interests is essential to use hashtags in your Instagram Stories effectively.

  • Research Your Followers: Take a little moment to understand what your followers are all about. What kind of hashtags are they into? What are their interests? Go ahead and weave those hashtags into your Stories. It’s like speaking their language, and it’ll definitely strike a chord.
  • Engage with Your Audience: Here’s where things get fun. Get your audience in on the hashtag action. How? Well, you can cook up a challenge or a theme and invite your followers to jump in using a unique hashtag. It’s like throwing a party, and everyone’s invited!

4. Utilizing Branded and Campaign-Specific Hashtags

For brands and businesses, creating branded or campaign-specific hashtags can help boost brand awareness and track the success of marketing efforts.

  • Branded Hashtags: Trick up your sleeve – create a special hashtag that’s like your brand’s calling card. It should scream “you.” Take Coca-Cola, for instance, they have #ShareACoke. It’s like your brand’s signature scent but in hashtag form!
  • Campaign-Specific Hashtags: when you’re out there running a marketing campaign, don’t forget your campaign-specific hashtag. This little gem helps you keep score on how your campaign’s doing and invites your audience to join in the fun. It’s like throwing a party and giving out invites with a secret code.

5. Researching and Exploring Trending Hashtags

Keeping an eye on trending hashtags in your niche or industry can give your Instagram Stories a significant visibility boost.

  • Use Trend Discovery Tools: First off, you’ve got to find the trends. Instagram’s got some cool tools to help you out – there’s the search feature and the trends section. You can also hop on third-party tools to get the lowdown on what’s hot in your niche.
  • Stay Relevant: The trending hashtags you pick should sync up with what you’re sharing. Don’t try to force a connection if it doesn’t quite fit naturally. It’s like trying to squeeze into jeans that are two sizes too small – uncomfortable and not a good look!

6. Avoid Banned or Irrelevant Hashtags

Using banned or irrelevant hashtags can harm your Instagram account’s visibility and reputation. Always double-check the appropriateness of the hashtags you plan to use.

  • Check for Banned Hashtags: Instagram sometimes puts the smackdown on certain hashtags because they’re linked to sketchy stuff or just overuse. You definitely don’t want to use these. Keep an eye out for updates on banned hashtags, so you don’t end up in Instagram jail.
  • Relevance Matters: Your hashtags should be like best friends with your content, not just random acquaintances. Don’t go using those super popular but totally unrelated hashtags just to get noticed. It’s like showing up to a beach party in a tuxedo – you’re there, but it’s a bit awkward! 

7. Measuring the Impact of Hashtags

To assess the effectiveness of your hashtag strategy, it’s essential to measure its impact and make data-driven decisions.

  • Analyzing Instagram Insights – Instagram’s got your back with some nifty insights about how your Stories are doing. It’s like your own secret agent for assessing your hashtag strategy.
  • Access Insights: If you’ve got a business or creator account (and you should!), open your Story. Then, just swipe up on the Story screen – that’s your golden ticket to insights.
  • Review Reach and Impressions: Check out the number of people your Story reached and the total impressions. See how your Stories with hashtags compare to those without. It’s like comparing apples to oranges, but in a good way!

8. Tracking Reach and Engagement

Monitoring the reach and engagement of your Stories with hashtags can help you understand their impact on your audience.

  • Note Increased Engagement: Keep an eye out for any unusual activity on your Stories, like a sudden burst of likes, shares, or replies. If you spot this happening on Stories with hashtags, that’s a sign that things are going pretty darn well!
  • Compare Different Hashtags: Think of it like a hashtag face-off. Try out different hashtags on similar Stories and see how they perform. Which ones get your audience all excited? It’s like a little experiment, and you’re the scientist figuring out the magic formula!

How to Add Hashtags to Your Instagram Stories

add hashtags on Instagram

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Adding hashtags to your Instagram Stories is a straightforward process. You can do it using the text tool within the Instagram app or by using the hashtag sticker:

  • Using the Text Tool: First, create your awesome Story content. Then, tap on that little text icon (it’s an “Aa”) up in the top-right corner of your screen. Type in your hashtag, starting with the trusty # symbol, like #TravelDiaries. Stick it anywhere you like in your Story. You can make it big, small, or give it your own style. It’s all up to you!
How to Add Hashtags
  • Using the Hashtag Sticker: If you’re in the mood for stickers, here’s the deal. Create or snap your Story content, and then, go ahead and tap on the sticker icon (it looks like a square with a smiley face) at the top of your screen. Find the “Hashtag” sticker, type in your hashtag, and paste it onto your Story. You can even make it look just the way you want. 


Well, folks, that’s a wrap on the hashtag adventure in Instagram Stories! We’ve seen how these little wonders can take your Stories to a whole new level.

Remember, hashtags are your ticket to a bigger audience, better engagement, and more followers. From location-based gems to the right hashtag mix, understanding your fans, rocking branded tags, checking out trends, and tracking your progress – these are your keys to Story success.

So, why wait? Dive into the world of hashtags in your Stories today, and let the magic begin. Keep your finger on the pulse of trends, and keep fine-tuning your strategy based on what the numbers say. It’s your Instagram Story, and the world is waiting to see it!

FAQs on How to Use Hashtags on Instagram Stories

Do hashtags work for Instagram Stories?

Yes, hashtags are effective for Instagram Stories. They make your Stories discoverable to a wider audience, beyond just your followers, increasing engagement and visibility.

Is it worth putting hashtags on Stories?

Absolutely. Adding hashtags to Stories can significantly increase their reach and engagement, making it a valuable strategy for individuals, brands, and businesses.

Can you put hashtags in captions?

Yes, you can include hashtags in the caption of your regular Instagram posts. However, in Stories, it’s recommended to use the methods mentioned earlier (text tool or hashtag sticker) for better visibility and engagement.

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