If you use Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that you can add hashtags to your bio, but you might have been left wondering what they do and whether or not you should use them.

In this article, I explain how hashtags in your bio work and how you can use them to increase your visibility on Instagram.

What does adding a hashtag to your Instagram bio do?

In How many hashtags should you use on Instagram? I covered how hashtags work in captions/posts, so we already know that they’re used to group and categorise content to be more easily discoverable.

But using hashtags in your bio is a little different.

Back in 2018, Instagram released an update that allowed you to add clickable hashtags to your bio. However, unlike in a post, placing a hashtag in your bio doesn’t make your profile searchable within that hashtag. For example, if I add the hashtag #SocialMediaManager in my bio and someone searches for that hashtag it won’t guarantee that my profile will show up in their search results.

But just like in a post, if you add a hashtag to your bio and someone clicks on it they will be taken to that hashtag’s page showing all the posts containing that tag.

Clearly, we don’t want to drive our profile visitors away to view other people’s content! So, how can you make bio hashtags work for you?

Using custom hashtags in your Instagram bio

By allowing us to add hashtags to our bio, Instagram has provided a great opportunity to create custom hashtags that serve a purpose. A custom hashtag can help you to build brand awareness, highlight branded content and direct profile visitors to engage with you.

In this version of my Instagram bio, you can see I’ve used the hashtags #KoalaVA and #SocialMediaMadeSimple (my business name and tagline) and if you click on them you’ll find more of my content or content relating to my business.

Another great way to use hashtags in your bio is as an easy way for your followers to engage with you. You might use your bio to instruct followers and fans to tag their posts with something specific for a competition or to join in a community conversation.

Buffer uses #BufferLove to encourage its followers to talk about how much they love the service.


Buffer uses #BufferLove to encourage its followers to talk about how much they love the service.


And Later use the hashtag #talkthetok in their bio to advertise the free 10-day TikTok challenge they’re running.

In Summary

Using generic hashtags, such as #therapy or #counselling will only really serve to drive visitors to your competition using those hashtags in their posts.

By using custom hashtags, such as your business name, tagline, event or competition you can build your brand awareness, help visitors see your other content, and even build a community.