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Why (And How) To Hide Hashtags on Instagram

Instagram tips

Why (And How) To Hide Hashtags on Instagram

To hide or not to hide? When it comes to hashtags in your captions on Instagram, this has become one of the most popular questions lately among social media marketers and clients alike. I’ve done some digging (and testing) and come up with an answer.

First, let me present both sides of the argument:

Hashtags are necessary to Instagram marketing. There’s no need to hide them.

Hashtags are the way we promote our photos beyond our own feed to the masses. When chosen correctly, these promotional buckets get our name and brand out to our target audience. They are the lifeblood of promotion, expanding your reach and key to gaining more followers. Everyone knows this, so there’s no need to hide it. Besides, Instagram cuts off your captions after a certain character length anyway.

Hiding all hashtags on Instagram is key to growing your account.

On the flip side, there are many out there who preach that hiding your hashtags can–and will–get you more followers and increase engagement among said followers. This camp agrees with the former that hashtags are necessary to search, but further points out too many of them can come across as spammy. This serves as a deterrent to converting a viewer to a follower. Use too many and people will think you’re a troll looking to increase your numbers rather than truly provide value to an audience.

Before I reveal where I fall on this debate, let me explain how to hide hashtags:

  1. Write out your caption without any hashtags.
  2. Immediately hit ‘return’ after the last character of your caption. Careful not to put a space in or Instagram will not break the line to the next paragraph.
  3. Insert a period and then immediately hit ‘return’ again.
  4. Repeat this process 2 or 3 times, no spaces after any of the periods, and then insert all of your hashtags.

But the question still remains, should you bother?

After some research, I’ve come to the conclusion that both perspectives are correct. It all depends on your brand, Instagram marketing goals, and your target audience.

Hiding hashtags on Instagram depends on your brand, marketing goals, & target audience.

I’m not out to make everyone happy by telling you both schools of thought are right, but rather point out that one tactic can work amazingly for one brand while it fails for another. The key is knowing your audience and using hashtags and methods that resonate with them. And of course: test, analyze, test, analyze, then test and analyze some more.

Instagram Insights can provide you with great data about what works with your audience and what falls flat. Review the impressions, reach and engagement for your content and look for patterns. See what is getting the most traction and recreate that in future content.

Turn a passive viewer into someone who engages with your brand via liking, commenting or reposting by providing content they want rather than what you are most interested in promoting.

Looking to better hone your social media strategy? We can craft guidelines tailored to your brand. Get in touch today! 

Channing Muller is an award winning marketing & public relations consultant and the principal of DCM Communications. She works with event professionals and business owners to grow and scale their businesses with refined marketing strategies developed through one-on-one and group consulting, customized marketing programs and public relations. She has been named a "25 Young Event Pro to Watch" by Special Events magazine and "40 Under 40" by Connect Meetings. Channing is an avid runner, lover of labrador retrievers, good food, delicious drinks, and an advocate for the American Heart Association. Follow her on Instagram @ChanningMuller.

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