The Ultimate Guide to Baseball & Softball Hashtags on Instagram

January 09, 2024

47 min read

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Ultimate Guide Baseball Softball Hashtags Instagram B P056

Since Instagram’s beginnings in 2010, hashtags have been a central feature of the app. 

Using, organizing, and optimizing hashtags remains one of the best ways to reach new audiences on Instagram. 

The right hashtags also keep your content relevant to your existing audience.

If you’re looking to establish your baseball brand on Instagram, or grow your existing presence on the app, then hashtags should factor into your overall strategy. 

In this ultimate guide, you’ll learn exactly how to find the best hashtags for your baseball or softball brand and use them to drive engagement. 

There are 9 sections to cover:

  • Why Do You Need Hashtags on Instagram?
  • Getting Started – Building an Effective Instagram Hashtag Strategy
  • Choosing the Right Hashtags for Your Instagram Post
  • The Most Popular Baseball Hashtags on Instagram
  • Softball Accounts to Follow for Hashtag Inspiration 
  • How to Use Instagram Hashtags to Get More Followers
  • Improving Engagement Rates with Hashtags on Instagram
  • How to Use Hashtags to Build a Community Around Your Brand
  • Organizing Your Instagram Hashtags

Why Do You Need Hashtags on Instagram?

The success of hashtags on Instagram posts is proven. According to Agorapulse, posts with at least one hashtag got 70 percent more likes and 392 percent more comments than those without. 

The reason for these numbers is simple – hashtags are designed to help Instagram users find your account. 

📚 Definition: Hashtags are categories that posts get filed under in Instagram’s system. 

When someone searches the hashtag #baseball on Instagram, all the public posts that have used this tag will populate the search results. We should note that posts from private accounts won’t show up in these searches.

Dbaseballtraining Instagram Post B P056
@jdbaseballtraining uses tags like #pitching #pitchingdrills and #pitchinglessons so users who are looking for content about baseball pitching can easily find his training video.

By using hashtags, your objective should be ranking as highly as you can in those search results. 

Hashtags also factor into Instagram’s Explore algorithm. Your tags help identify what your content is about, and Instagram will use this information to suggest your content to users who already follow similar accounts.

Hashtags are a great way to increase discoverability on Instagram. 

By using hashtags, you’re more likely to end up with followers who are interested in the topics you’re posting about. 

And even if people are searching for your tags directly, there’s still a chance your content will be seen on the Explore page. 

Getting Started – Building an Effective Baseball and Softball Hashtag Strategy on Instagram

Before you start crafting your Instagram strategy, you should know which hashtags to use. 

Feed posts and Reels allow for up to 30 hashtags and Stories allow up to 10. 

Opinions differ on how many hashtags you should actually use though. 

Some influencers say to max out at 30, so you increase your chances for visibility as much as possible.

Others say that closer to 10-15 is better, to avoid making content that appears too spammy. 

Ultimately, the number of hashtags per post is up to you. 

Quality is more important than quantity here, as you’ll want to include tags that are relevant to your content and that pinpoint your target audience. 

🚨 Important Note: If you post a video of a fielding drill, for example, adding hashtags like #hittingdrill or #hittingpractice just to get to 30 would be ineffective. In fact, doing so may even be penalized by an Instagram algorithm that has ever-improving image and video recognition capabilities – since the content of this hypothetical post isn’t about hitting at all.

When creating your hashtags, there are a few very basic things to keep in mind:

  • Profiles set to private won’t appear in hashtag searches
  • You can place numbers (1,2,3…) in hashtags but not special characters ($,%,&, etc.)
  • You can’t add hashtags to other people’s posts, only your own 

But to craft your professional baseball or softball hashtag strategy, you need to rely on 4 different categories of hashtags. 

These are hashtags with between 100k to 500k posts linked to them. 

More than 500k posts is too many for two reasons: 

  1. Your post will be drowned out forever by other content seconds after publishing.
  2. Your post could attract bots, which can become unintentional red flags for your account in Instagram's eyes.

That tag #baseball, for example, has over 17 million posts. If you only add this tag to your content it’s highly unlikely your target audience will ever see it.

#Baseballmom is another with over a million posts. 

But #baseballswag on the other hand, has about 446k posts, making it a bit easier to rank for and worth considering – if it’s relevant to your post, of course. 

Ideally, you want to aim for 5-7 extremely popular hashtags per post.

Extremely Popular Hastags Instagram B P056

Moderately popular tags have between 10k to 100k posts associated with them.

These will often be general and industry-relevant tags, as well as content-specific ones. 

Terms like #baseballpractice, #baseballgames, #softballers, #baseballboys, #travelballparent, #homeruns, and #catchers are good examples. They’re all roughly between 10k-100k posts and they’re all general while still being relevant to the content. 

You’d want to choose 5-7 moderately popular hashtags per post. 

3. Niche

These hashtags are the most specific to your niche or industry.

With less than 10k posts, they should be laser-focused on your unique target audience. 

These terms should directly address what your audience is searching for. 

On the softball side, the profile @360u_softball uses the tag #onlinehittinglessons because she offers this service to her clients. 

This is a great niche term because it has fewer than 5k associated posts and it speaks directly to what she offers. And people searching for a virtual hitting work will easily find the @360u_softbal account. 

You should try to use between 3-5 of these niche hashtags in each post. 

360u Softball Instagram B P056

4. Branded

The final type of hashtag to put in your strategy is the branded hashtag. 

These tags are related specifically to your brand, whether it’s your name, a catchphrase, or tied to a given campaign. 

Since these are specific to you, they will have the fewest number of posts linked to them. 

The account, @appliedvisionbaseball, for instance, almost always tags its posts with #appliedvisionbaseball so that their account will show up in both topic and user searches. 

You’ll want to aim for 1-3 branded hashtags per post.

Appliedvisionbaseball Instagram Post B P056

It’s important to include hashtags from each of these categories, as they have different impacts on your post’s visibility. 

By using extremely popular hashtags, you’ll get a burst of activity as soon as you hit publish. 

With moderately popular hashtags, your content stays active for a few hours longer. 

And both niche and branded hashtags help you stand out to folks with high intent to buy or at least consider, as they connect you to people searching specifically for those terms.

Before you start adding hashtags to your Instagram content, it’s a good idea to make a list of industry, niche, and branded hashtags you might use. 

Researching niche hashtags can be trickier than the other categories, as these tend to be less popular and less obvious. 

It’s best to identify your brand’s unique offerings to help come up with a list of these terms.

Think about what makes you “you.” 

Are you just another hitting instructor? 

Or are you a hitting instructor that uses cutting-edge technology to train 14-18-year-old travel ball players in San Diego California who are looking to be recruited for college baseball? 

Determine what makes you stand out and choose hashtags to describe these exact services or unique qualities. 

And if you want some help creating and establishing your baseball or softball brand in our industry today, don’t miss these free professional guides:

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Hashtag Groups to Research

Aside from the main categories we’ve introduced, both your initial and regularly ongoing hashtag research should also extend to considering the following three groups: 

Your audience

What is your target audience posting about? 

If you're a private instructor, what are your clients talking about with their peers and what topics come up again and again during your sessions? 

Use hashtags that help them find content on the topics they’re interested in.

Your competitors

What are similar brands to yours using for their hashtags? Do they have better engagement than you? 

Pick one of your industry terms, like #baseballtraining, and search for top posts with this hashtag. 

And also check which other hashtags the most popular profiles you come across are using.

You may not be able to compete with ultra-popular accounts directly yet, but you can gain a sense of where the conversation is on your most relevant subjects.

Industry leaders

Follow baseball or softball people of influence on Instagram that have the same audience as you. 

These could be other coaches, famous players, or whoever is putting out content that targets the same eyes and ears that you wish to get in front of. 

If you’re struggling in your hashtag research, a great resource is looking at Instagram’s search results. 

There’ll be suggested or related hashtags based on your search, so you can dig deeper into these and see if they’re a good fit for your baseball brand.

The account @baseballrebellion, for example, does a good job of incorporating all the types of hashtags discussed here. 

Let’s break down their use of hashtags further:

  • Content tags are things like #hittingpost and #hittingdrills which are hyper-specific and relevant to the hitting video they posted.
  • Industry tags, like #baseballdad, and #baseballmom, are also extremely popular hashtags – potentially too popular for other brands with lesser followings even.
  • Niche tags are #launchangletee, #rackbat, and #hittingcoach because these are far less popular and related to their unique offerings to their target audience.
  • Branded tags are #jointherebellion and #softballrebellion because they co-opt part of their brand name, @baseballrebellion.
Baseballrebellion Instagram Post B P056

When it comes to finding popular Instagram hashtags in a particular niche, you can also check tools like Flick

Flick lets you search a hashtag and will show you the performance metrics for that hashtag on Instagram. 

You can see how many total posts it has, the number of posts associated with it per day, and the difficulty getting ranked for it. 

The hashtag #baseball, for example, has a difficulty score of 82 out of 100, since it has over 17 million total posts and over 4k posts per day.

You can also see related hashtags. When you search for #baseball, you can see about 80 other popular tags that are similar to #baseball. 

Some other top performers are #mlb with over 8 million posts, #softball with almost 4 million posts, and #yankees with about 3 million posts. 

Again, extremely popular hashtags like these won’t help you reach your target audience, though. 

Instead, you can look at the moderately popular hashtags, like #perfectgame, #baseballteam, #baseballpractice, or #baseballcoach. 

While tools are great, always ensure the baseball or softball hashtags you’re using are relevant to your content and your target audience.

Example Softball Accounts to Follow for Hashtag Inspiration

Again, following other Instagram profiles can help you with your own hashtag research. 

Here are three softball accounts that are great examples of using relevant, targeted hashtags. 

1. Fastpitch Power

@fastpitchpower runs live and online pitching clinics. They post videos of pitching drills captioned with detailed descriptions. 

They also include hashtags in the first comment of each post that you can look to for ideas.

Fastpitchpower Instagram Post B P056

2. Jen Schro Catching

The profile @jenschrocatching is run by former UCLA catcher Jen Schroeder, where she posts videos from her catching lessons and online training program. 

She does an excellent job using relevant hashtags to connect with her intended audience. 

3. Pitching Angel

On the profile @pitchingangel, former elite softball player and ESPN sportscaster Amanda Scarborough shares advice, inspiration, drills, and motivation geared toward helping pitchers. 

She uses softball hashtags in her posts, but relies more on pitching-specific tags since that’s her particular niche. 

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How to Use Instagram Hashtags to Get More Baseball or Softball Followers

If you’re reading this guide, you probably want to reach more followers, right? 

To get legitimate followers who are genuinely interested in your brand and content, you need hashtags. 

Here are some hashtagging tips to help acquire more followers:

Cross-promote

If you do any advertising outside of Instagram, either online or offline, use your hashtags. 

People may not be able to tap on the hashtag printed on a vinyl banner in your local batting cage like they can within the Instagram app.

But putting up your branded hashtags in your other marketing channels will still encourage your clients to use your hashtags when they post about you.

Be creative

One-word hashtags are great, but sometimes adding clever words or phrases can help get you noticed. 

The trick is using phrases that are related to your caption. 

If you have a Saturday morning training session, for example, you could post about it with a hashtag like #earlymorningbaseball. 

People may not be searching as frequently for this hashtag, but the people who find your content and see your creative captions might be more enticed to follow you.

Add branded hashtags to your bio

This wasn’t always an Instagram feature, but you can now add hashtags to your profile bio. 

This is prime real estate for getting your brand out and encouraging people to use your branded tag when they post about you. 

Don’t forget to follow your own branded hashtags, that way you can track how many other posts appear with it.

Join the conversation

As previously mentioned, you should add extremely popular and industry hashtags to your posts. 

You should also be following these hashtags, so you can find content that’s similar to yours.

🧢 Pro Tip: A great way to improve engagement is to search the most recently added posts for your target hashtag, just after you post. Then, give a like or comment to some of these posts, as these users are still online and might reciprocate with a like on your new post.

When you add comments to posts that are related to your brand, you show both instagram and people in your space that you’re informed and engaged when it comes to your industry. 

Adding useful – not spammy – comments to other accounts is another great way to get more followers. 

As people within your target audience who are also following our industry leaders may see the intelligent comment that you’ve left and get interested enough to check out your profile.

Tornadobaseballtraining Instagram Post B P056

The account @tornadobaseballtraining does a good job using creative hashtags, like #powerhitter and #stronglegs, which are directly related to the content they’re posting. 

By using more creative, community-oriented hashtags, you’re likely to reach more people. 

If you consistently post good content, users who discover one of your posts through your hashtags will follow you. 

Having the right hashtags pays off because they can bring more – and better engaged – followers. 

How to Improve Engagement Rates with Hashtags on Instagram

Not only do you want more followers on Instagram, you also want people liking and commenting on your content as well. 

Higher engagement leads to more exposure, enriching your profile and establishing your brand as more authoritative. 

There are a few specific hashtag strategies you can use to boost engagement on Instagram. 

1. Narrow your hashtags

The importance of specific, niched-down hashtags cannot be overstated. One way to use specific hashtags to boost engagement is with daily tags. 

Terms like #TuesdayTip, #WednesdayWisdom, or the classic #ThrowbackThursday can help you stay connected to your audience. 

A few more things to consider when finding and using narrower hashtags is your physical location, any and all holidays, or special events.

2. Hide your hashtags

Some people are afraid that putting a list of 30 hashtags in a post’s caption area will ruin the post aesthetic or look spammy. You may want readers to focus on your caption, not on your hashtags. 

There are two ways to hide hashtags on your post. 

The first is to enter a series of periods and hard returns between your caption and list of hashtags. This creates space between your post’s caption and your hashtags. 

When the post appears in the feed, text after the caption will be hidden and users will have to tap “more” to read the rest of the text that includes your hashtags at the very end. 

The second way to hide captions on Instagram posts is by putting them in the comments. To do this, immediately after posting, comment on your own post with your list of hashtags. 

Your tags won’t be viewable unless users navigate to the comments section, but Instagram will still clock and register your hashtags.

Proformhitting Instagram Post B P056

Check out @proformhitting for an example of hiding hashtags. Instead of using periods in between hard returns for spacing, they’ve used baseball emojis.

Juancero10 Instagram Post B P056
The profile @juancero10 adds hashtags as the first comment on his posts. 

3. Don’t forget about stories

You can use up to 10 hashtags in an Instagram story, so why not make use of it? 

If you’re using stories to share updates directly with your followers, then using hashtags will give your content an extra boost. But it only helps if you’re posting quality content in your stories. 

You can put hashtags in the text, in a sticker, or use a location tag. 

If you’re trying to reach clients in a particular city, then a geographical tag – only posted as a sticker, not as text – can help you get 79 percent higher engagement. 

🧢 Pro Tip: Accounts that don’t want the hashtag to interfere with their Story’s visual aesthetic, will hide the hashtag’s visibility to the audience behind a sticker. 

This is a neat trick worth trying out. The hashtag will still be logged by Instagram, but viewers won’t see it.  

Instagram users can also search for Stories using hashtags. 

So, for example, if you use #powerhitting in your story enough times and consistently add quality content, your story could show up in the results when users look for #powerhitting.

How to Use Hashtags to Build a Community Around Your Coaching Brand

On Instagram – and on all other social media – one of your ultimate goals should be building a community around your baseball or softball brand. 

Ideally, your posts will spark engagement and encourage other users to post about you. Hashtags are a big help when it comes to communities on Instagram. 

There are a few tried and true techniques for connecting to and building your community using hashtags.

Focus on community hashtags

Community hashtags are simply hashtags that connect like-minded users on Instagram. 

These include hashtags we’ve already discussed, like niche hashtags, industry hashtags, and product or service hashtags. 

They could also be based on location, special events or seasons, creative phrases, acronyms, emojis, or daily hashtags. 

Use a variety of community hashtags in your posts to reach the most people.

Use topic channels

📚 Definition: Topic channels are the areas of interest that appear at the top of an Instagram user’s Explore page.

Instagram aggregates these topic channels based on the user’s activities and followed accounts. When users tap on one of these channels, they see content with hashtags relevant to that channel. 

To reach more people and build up a community, look at the hashtags displayed in the topic channels of your own posts, and use those to extend your reach.

Reference more than once

It’s likely your content will be relevant to more than one specific area, so don’t pigeon-hole yourself with your hashtags. 

If you’re a personal trainer specializing in working with baseball and softball athletes, your hashtags could include #baseballtraining and #softballtraining to reach these specific athletes. 

But you could also use #athletictraining to broaden your scope beyond just baseball and softball athletes. 

Cross-referencing hashtags this way helps you tap into more than one audience, building up your brand’s Instagram community further.

Dr.dalebartekdpt Instagram Post B P056

How to Track and Organize Your Instagram Hashtags

What use is any strategy if you’re too disorganized to execute it effectively?

The same hard truth holds true for Instagram hashtags strategies. 

We know that it can seem overwhelming – researching the right hashtags and using them correctly. 

There are ways to keep your hashtags orderly though, and even ways to save your frequently used hashtags so you don’t have to type them in on every new post. 

Of course, you can just keep lists of hashtag clusters for free in your phone’s Notes app and many do. 

But, if you want a more robust solution, we’ll describe two useful tools for organizing your Instagram hashtags: Later and TextExpander. 

With a tool like Later, you can create lists of saved hashtags, sorted by subject. You could make lists for posts about hitting, pitching, fielding, baseball products, training, advice, or whatever type of content you post often. 

If you posted a video of a pitching lesson, for example, all you’d have to do with Later is type out your caption and just insert your saved list of pitching hashtags, then hit share. 

Later syncs with your Instagram account, so you’ll no longer have to keep phone notes or a spreadsheet of your target hashtags and do the additional step of copying and pasting them over. 

Another way to save time writing hashtags is with a tool like TextExpander. 

TextExpander is a software and an app that works on Mac, Windows, and your iPhone or iPad. 

It allows you to create a set of shortcuts for pre-set words, phrases, or even blocks of text. You can use it to add a set of 30 hashtags to your Instagram post. 

For example, you’d create a group of hashtags for your posts about pitching lessons and designate it as “pitching”, so every time you type the word “pitching” into your Instagram caption, you would have the option to populate it with all of your well-chosen hashtags. 

The tool syncs across devices, so you can type out all your hashtags on a laptop, then your groups will be saved and ready to use when you post a photo or video in the Instagram app on your phone.

Tools like Later and TextExpander are great for saving you time and helping you focus your larger Instagram hashtag strategy. 

But, it’s important not to let yourself become too complacent when relying on these tools. 

Save a list of your hashtag clusters after researching which hashtags are the best for your content, but don’t forget to stay updated on the latest hashtag trends in your subject area. 

🚨 Important Note: Hashtags are dynamic, with new ones being invented constantly. At a minimum of once per month, you should modify your saved hashtag clusters to better reflect current trends. 

Besides the necessity to tap into dynamic industry trends, if you needed even more inspiration to keep changing and updating your hashtag clusters regularly, some marketers have postulated – though it’s still unverified by the platform – that Instagram’s algorithm actually penalizes your account’s reach as spam if you use many of the same hashtags on multiple posts for too long a time.   

So make small adjustments and rotations on all of your hashtags on at least a monthly basis. 

Later Hashtag Suggestions B P056
An example of how Later’s Hashtag Suggestions works.

How To Optimize Instagram Hashtags for Your Baseball and Softball Account

To get the most out of your Instagram hashtags, you need to optimize them for maximum reach. 

Here are five additional things you can do to make your hashtags work for you.

1. Examine your analytics

To see which hashtags perform the best, check how well they’re doing with Instagram’s analytics tool, Insights. 

You can grab insights on how many people saw your profile based on which hashtags you used. 

Instagram shows you the percentage of the accounts you’ve reached that weren’t following you before and shows you how many impressions a post got specifically from your hashtags.

If you haven’t made the switch to either a Business or Creator account on Instagram yet, find out here why it’s a must do for serious baseball and softball brands.

And if you’re unfamiliar with all things Instagram analytics, look no further than our ultimate guide to using IG Insights to grow your business.

2. Contest using hashtag

Launching a campaign or holding a contest are great ways to get brand exposure. 

When doing so, make sure you use a hashtag specific to these events to promote them even further. 

This actionable guide to growth hacking for baseball and softball experts breaks down all the contest creation best practices

3. Avoid banned hashtags

Another important thing to look out for when choosing hashtags is banned hashtags. 

You don’t want to go to the trouble of researching and adding hashtags to your post – not to mention, crafting its visual and composing its caption – only to find out that they won’t deliver any results. 

Some say that using a banned hashtag can completely keep your post off of your followers’ and anyone else’s feed—meaning no one will see your post. 

Using banned hashtags on multiple occasions can even lead to a full “shadowban” on your account.

Never heard of a shadowban? Here’s what you need to know

You can also check out this list for Instagram’s banned hashtags as of 2021. 

Another way to know if any hashtag is banned, is search for it on Instagram’s Explore page. If it delivers no results, then it’s banned – either temporarily or permanently.

Avoid Banned Hashtags B P056

Baseball and Softball Instagram Hashtags FAQs

How Many Hashtags Should I Use?

You can use 30 hashtags maximum on your Feed posts and Reels, and 10 hashtags maximum on your stories. 

It’s up to you how many you want to use, the focus here is ensuring that your hashtags are super relevant to your target audience. 

Some experts say you should always use 30 hashtags on each post, to better your chances of being discovered. 

But if you don’t have 30 relevant hashtags to add to your content, it’s alright to do fewer. 

If you just use the formula we described at the beginning of the chapter, you’ll easily end up with between 14-24 hashtags per post.

Should I Put Hashtags in the Comments or as the Caption?

There’s a debate amongst Instagram experts about whether putting hashtags in the caption or the comments is better. 

The concern with adding hashtags to your content is that it’ll make your caption look cluttered or spammy. 

But with both the caption and comments methods, you can avoid making your post look too busy. 

If you include your hashtags in the caption, you can add a series of periods and hard returns to space the text of your caption from your hashtag cluster. 

When users scroll past your post in their feeds, you want them to focus on your carefully-crafted caption, not so much on your hashtags. 

By putting the cluster of hashtags after the series of periods and hard returns, Instagram will hide the hashtags when the post appears in the home feed, and users will have to tap on “more” to see the hashtags.

Unfortunately, in order to save server space, Instagram usually will not respect your regular spacing attempts, i.e. just hitting enter or return. 

But, if you paste your caption here and then copy it to your device’s clipboard and put it back into Instagram, your desired spacing choices will be honored. 

That’s the first solution to avoid cluttered-looking hashtags. The second is adding your list of hashtags as the first comment on your post. 

You post your photo or video, then immediately after, comment on it yourself, with your prepared cluster of hashtags. 

This method also hides your clunky list of hashtags from users when they see your post in the home feed. As they’ll have to open the comments to see them.

Both methods work equally fine, and it’s up to you to decide which works best for you.

How Do I Own a Hashtag on Instagram?

Technically, you cannot legally own a hashtag. You cannot claim any sort of copyright to a hashtag on Instagram, Twitter, or another platform. 

The closest you can come to “owning” a hashtag is creating your own and working to ensure that it becomes deeply associated with your brand. 

There are a few situations in which you’d create your own hashtag. Though they are less common for solopreneurs and small businesses. 

If you want to make a branded hashtag for your company or organization, you simply start using it on your posts or Stories.

Then, to help it gain traction, you have to encourage your followers to also use your hashtag when they post about you.

Can I Add Hashtags to My Post Afterward?

Yes, you can add hashtags after you post. If you edit your post and add them to the caption, the post will still appear in the hashtag search according to the time of the original posting. 

So it won’t jump to “recently added” if you add hashtags a few hours after posting. 

You can also add hashtags as the first comment on your post, which we discussed above.

Try to add your comment as soon afterward as you can though, that way your first comment will move down as more people add comments to your post. 

Wrapping Up

Putting together a winning formula for your Instagram hashtags doesn’t have to be complicated. 

Try different hashtags out on your posts to see how they perform. Figure out which ones work best for you. 

You now have all the tools you need for a successful Instagram hashtag strategy – so let’s get after it. 

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About the Author

Mike Rogers

Co-Founder & CEO

Mike Rogers has spent a lifetime entrenched in baseball and softball as a player, a private instructor, a training facility owner, and the son of two college-level coaches.

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