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What Is A Hashtag Cloud?

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

Understanding Hashtag Cloud

There are two types of people in the world:

1. People who are cool with hashtags. 2. People who DESPISE hashtags.

No matter which type of person you are, there’s one thing everyone can agree on…

This Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake skit is #PERFECT

Hate it or love it, the symbol formally known as The Pound Sign is a very important tool to use in order to deliver a successful digital marketing strategy – especially on Instagram.

Using hashtags increases the exposure of your content by reaching audiences that aren’t in your immediate pool of followers.

While it’s common to use a few hashtags with each post on Instagram, using a Hashtag Cloud – a group of relevant or strategic hashtags – can greatly increase your exposure on the platform.

Hashtag Clouds Are An Easy Way To Help Grow Your Instagram Account In 2018

Some common concerns with using hashtags are knowing which ones to use in the first place, and where to even use them within each piece of content.

One of the biggest concerns people have with hashtags is that they can come across as annoying, or even “spammy.” There are some strategies that you can use to make your content look less desperate, however.

Check out these three important things to know about using Hashtag Clouds on Instagram!

1. Know Your Limits

Instagram currently allows up to 30 hashtags to be included per caption or comment.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to use the entire allotment, but it does provide you with a lot of opportunity to gain exposure with different audiences.

If you’re looking to grow your Instagram exposure and followers, you definitely need to utilize as many appropriate and relevant hashtags that you can with your content.

“Hashtags can help you build a brand for your business or yourself by engaging with customers and joining the conversation about what’s trending.”

— Jenna MacDonald of Business 2 Community

2. Feature A Healthy Mix

When choosing hashtags to fill up your 30 count allotment, it’s important to include hashtags that fit the purpose of your content and your account. No one likes to be tricked, so it’s best not to include misleading hashtags.

For instance, using a hashtag such as #fashion on your picture of a cup of coffee is not relevant, and viewers will most likely dislike that your account is misrepresenting itself for the sake of exposure.

So while you begin to collect hashtags for your content, make sure you feature a healthy mix of both general and niche hashtags that relate to your brand qualities, the industry you are a part of, the community you are a part of, and the location(s) of your business.

Some other hashtags you may want to include are:

  1. Additional brands featured in the post

  2. Unique hashtags for events you are present at

  3. Holiday and seasonal hashtags

  4. Even more unique hashtags related to your content or brand

An example of a niche hashtag is 'roses' in comparison to the more generic 'flowers'. By tagging roses, which is much more specific, you will reach a smaller and more niche audience who is directly interested in roses as opposed to flowers in general.

“If you’re hosting an event, pick a hashtag beforehand and encourage your followers to share content surrounding it on Instagram. It will help drive participation and engagement, and will also organize all the posts that are tagged with it on a hashtag page.”

— Taylor Loren of Later

3. Follow The 3 & 30 Rule

Now that you have a healthy mix of hashtags, it’s good to know where to include them in each post.

Hashtags can actually be included in either the caption or in the comments section of each post. Either way, the post will be included within the search results of the hashtag.

When trying to avoid the “spammy” look of a large group of hashtags, I like to follow the 3 & 30 Rule.

The 3 & 30 Rule states that you feature only 3 hashtags in the caption of your post, then feature the additional 30 hashtags in a comment of that same post. By doing this, your post will gain the increased exposure you desire while also not looking like spam.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where you include the Hashtag Cloud in your post. Shashwat Gautam on Quora provides a great short answer as to the benefits of both options.

Just remember, if you’re trying to grow your Instagram account organically, you should be using a Hashtag Cloud.


Overall, Hashtag Clouds are an easy way to provide your Instagram posts with the opportunity for greater exposure.

The majority of the work will take place upfront with researching the various hashtags that are right for your brand, then choosing the top 20-30 that will provide you with the healthiest mix of generic and unique interest.

After that, it’s as simple as saving the group of hashtags somewhere on your computer or your mobile device, like the Notes app on iPhone, for quick access to copy and paste with each post.

Using Hashtag Clouds isn’t the only simple step you can take to grow your Instagram following, but it’s definitely an important strategy to start using right away!

Your Turn

Got any other easy ways to grow your Instagram account?

If you found this tip to be helpful in growing your followers or increasing your engagement on Instagram, let me know! I love learning about how other small businesses are experiencing success with their marketing strategies.

Additional Resources

  1. The Complete Instagram Hashtag Guide for Business, by Michael Aynsley of Hootsuite

  2. 2018’s Instagram Hashtags Rules No One Tells You About, by Ericson Da Silva of Riotly Social Media

  3. How To Use Instagram Insights, by Amanda Zantal-Wiener of HubSpot

  4. The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags in 2017, by Taylor Loren of Later

  5. The Importance of Hashtags: Know Where, Why, and How to Use Them, by Jenna MacDonald of Business 2 Community

  6. VIDEO: How To Get More Instagram Followers 2018, by Zak Longo


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