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 succeed in even additional, proper?

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

As we’ve found by 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 in all probability contain movies of pancakes. So.

Speculation: 3-5 hashtags on reels offers you a similar 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 lets you add as much as 30 hashtags to any given put up, in apply, doing this may simply make your content material look spammy, and may very well damage your attain.

Based mostly on this discovery, it’s cheap to imagine that three to 5 hashtags may also be the perfect wager for Instagram Reels hashtags, too, proper?

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

Instagram Creators account hashtag dos list

Supply: @creators

However! Instagram Reels’ greatest creators usually transcend that 5 hashtag suggestion (@Gabe, with greater than 1,000,000 followers, appears to make use of 10 to 12 in his vids), so who is aware of what’s going to really be true?

Time to hit the lab!


I made a decision to create six Instagram Reels, which I might put up twice, every time with completely different quantities of hashtags. (I used stock video footage, FYI!) That manner, 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 stored 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 ability of the Hootsuite Owly AI writer to compose the right 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 ideas, 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 put up 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 rely reigned supreme.

The preliminary outcomes (and a revised methodology)

I used to be actually not anticipating the outcomes to be so devastating. I acquired zero views on something.

This was a real shocker. Not one in all my #unimaginable #hashtags helped my content material get found?! However then I assumed again to all the pieces 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 generally a fantastic place to check issues out with out bothering my actual pals or infusing my followers list with paid spam bots, on this specific case, I acquired burned dangerous. Instagram was punishing me for my dangerous ‘Gram conduct as a result of, actually, I used to be performing like a scammer. I don’t have any actual followers. I don’t observe anybody in any respect. I put up 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 bear in mind: failure is a part of science! For those who’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 match apples to apples by creating content material that was comparable for every hashtag group—as an example, 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 data 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, lively accounts, 30 hashtags appears to be best for increasing your attain with Instagram Reels.

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

Video Content material Model with 30 Hashtags Model With 3 Hashtags
Wrestling 512 views 7 views
Japan Journey 350 views 8 views
California Journey 7 views 7 views

As you may see, there are tragically no quantity of hashtags on this planet that might 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 once I utilized the utmost quantity of hashtags.

So clearly, the content material must be fascinating to a variety of individuals for this to really work, however if you happen to’ve acquired high quality, participating 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 regular, it’s essential to notice that this experiment doesn’t essentially provide an absolute conclusion, and your mileage might range relying in your specific social media strategy. However primarily based off of my expertise, listed here are some key Instagram Reels hashtag observations to think about.

In relation to 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 would possibly assist). In fact, it might need simply been a case of 1 or two key hashtags serving to with that discoverability, but it surely’s arduous to know what these ones would possibly particularly be.

Attempt to be clear, genuine and descriptive along with your hashtags to seize viewers who will really get pleasure from and have interaction along with your content material — tagging one thing particular like #indiewrestling will enable you attain your target market, whereas #instagood may be too obscure that will help you join with the best 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 which you can simply magically create with the best 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 perfect have been ones that supplied one thing of worth to viewers. (Self-indulgent trip movies, irrespective of what number of hashtags, acquired 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 impression.

The remainder of your Instagram conduct issues, too

As I discovered 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 into consideration the remainder of your Instagram conduct, too.

Do you might have a sturdy following who likes your different content material? Are you interacting with different customers on the platform? Are you posting constantly? How a lot do folks have interaction with you?

The underside line is that Instagram desires to reward creators who’re participating with the app authentically, and bringing enjoyment or worth to others. For those who’re not doing that, all of the hashtags on this planet aren’t going to save lots of you. So research up on the Instagram Reels algorithm and check out your greatest to be an excellent 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, try the remainder of our Hootsuite Experiments here.

Begin constructing your Instagram presence utilizing Hootsuite. Schedule and publish posts on to Instagram, have interaction your viewers, measure efficiency, and run all of your different social media profiles — all from one easy dashboard. Attempt it free right now.

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