Hashtags are an important part of Instagram and using the right ones can help you get more likes and followers.
But how do you know which hashtags are the best for your account? How many hashtags should you use? And, how can you use them effectively?
In this post, I'll discuss why to use Instagram hashtags and how. You’ll also get access to a list of the most popular Instagram hashtags by category and how to pick the most relevant ones for your business account.
So, what are you waiting for?
#LetsGrow with Instagram hashtags…
Table of Contents
What Are Instagram Hashtags?
A hashtag is a combination of letters, numbers, and/or symbols that are used to categorize content on Instagram. Instagram hashtags make your content more discoverable for users who are likely to find it relevant to their interests.
To use a hashtag, you need to simply type the “#” symbol followed by the keyword or phrase you want to tag.
For example, if you wanted to tag a photo of your breakfast, you could use the hashtags “#breakfast” or “#food.” Someone who is searching for that hashtag will be able to find your photo and may click on it to view your profile if they find your post interesting.
Hashtags are clickable. This means anyone who clicks on a hashtag or conducts an Instagram hashtag search will see all of the posts tagged with that particular hashtag.
With that being said, some of the most popular Instagram hashtags are “#love,” “#instagood,” “#me,” and “#cute.” Using them can increase your reach.
How Do Hashtags Work on Instagram?
Instagram hashtags work by labeling, organizing, and categorizing content. When you use a hashtag, your content is added to a stream of content that has been tagged with that same hashtag.
This makes it easy for users to find content that interests them. For example, if someone is interested in travel, they can search for the hashtag, “#travelgram,” and see all the latest content that has been tagged with that hashtag.
Most of these posts are likely to be from users who like to travel and document their experiences on Instagram.
In a similar fashion, when you tag your Instagram posts with relevant and popular hashtags, they will be more likely to appear in the search results of users who are interested in that particular topic.
Not just Instagram posts but you can also add hashtags to your Instagram Stories, either by using the hashtag Sticker or by simply typing your hashtags as text on the Story.
If you don’t want viewers to see too many hashtags on Your Stories, you can also hide them under a GIF or emoji. Your Story will still reach users who follow the hidden hashtags.
- Saul Fleischman’s views about hashtags and social media visibility
- How to get more views on your Instagram Stories
Why Should You Use Instagram Hashtags?
While using hashtags on Instagram is not required, it's highly recommended because it's an easy and effective way to get more eyes on your content.
If you're not using hashtags, your content is only being seen by people who are already following you. But, when you use relevant hashtags, your content has the potential to be seen by thousands, or even millions of new people.
If you're using popular hashtags such as “#food” or “#travel,” your content will be competing with a lot of other content for users' attention. But don't let that discourage you!
Even if your post only gets a few views, that's still a few more people than would have seen it otherwise.
Not only that, but hashtags can also help you connect with Instagram users who are interested in the same topics as you. By using and following popular hashtags, you can engage with a larger community of like-minded people and potentially gain new followers in the process.
You can also create your own branded hashtag to increase awareness about your business or personal brand. This is a great way to increase the reach of your content and connect with existing and potential customers on Instagram.
For example, Calvin Klein enjoyed great success with their branded hashtag campaign, “#MyCalvins.” They encouraged users to post photos of themselves in the brand’s undergarments.
The campaign helped generate a lot of user-generated content (with currently over 915K Instagram posts tagged with “#mycalvins”) and also got the brand 1.8 million followers.
The brand’s name is another popular hashtag with over 7 million posts tagged with “#calvinklein” on Instagram.
When you use branded hashtags, it will also make it easy for you to track your brand mentions on Instagram using hashtag search and see what people are saying about your business and products online.
Here are 15 successful hashtag campaigns to get some inspiration. 😉
How Many Hashtags Should You Use on Instagram?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors, such as your content, your audience, and your goals.
That said, Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags on each Instagram post. However, using too many hashtags can come across as spammy and, as a result, turn off potential followers.
A good rule of thumb is to use about 10-15 hashtags per post. This allows you to target a variety of keywords without coming across as spammy. Some experts recommend limiting hashtag usage to just 5-10 per post.
You can experiment with different hashtag strategies to see what works best for you and your business. Just remember to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to using hashtags on Instagram.
I recommend using a few relevant, popular Instagram hashtags that describe your content, rather than a long list of less popular ones. This will help you reach a wider yet targeted audience that is likely to be interested in your posts, profile, and products/services.
Types of Instagram Hashtags
There are many different types of Instagram hashtags, some of which are mentioned below. Using a mix of these hashtag types can help your Instagram posts and Stories get more reach and engagement in no time.
Here you go:
General hashtags are the most popular and widely-used hashtags on Instagram. They can be used to describe any type of content, such as photos, videos, and even Instagram Stories.
Some of the most popular general hashtags include:
- #tbt (Throwback Thursday)
You can use these hashtags when posting any type of content on Instagram. However, keep in mind that they are very popular and, therefore, can be quite competitive.
Branded hashtags are created by businesses or individuals to promote their brand on Instagram. They can be used on any type of content, but they're most effective when used on branded content such as photos and videos that feature your product or service.
Some examples of branded hashtags include:
Using branded hashtags is a great way to increase the reach of your content and connect with existing and potential customers on Instagram. You can either place the “#” symbol preceding your brand name or add other words to your brand name in your branded hashtag.
For example, Nike's branded hashtag, “#JustDoIt,” is basically driven by its tagline and has been used over 20 million times on Instagram.
Niche hashtags are similar to general hashtags, but they're more specific and target a smaller, more specific audience. For example, instead of using the hashtag “#fashion,” you could use “#streetfashion” to reach a specific group of people who are interested in that niche.
These hashtags are used to label and tag content related to a specific niche, interest, or hobby, such as:
Using niche-specific hashtags is a great way to reach people who are interested in your niche. Even users who do not follow your account will be able to view your next Instagram post if they follow that specific hashtag to stay up-to-date with industry trends and news.
For example, if you're a photographer who loves to shoot infants, using the hashtag, “#newbornphotography,” can help you reach a targeted audience group of parents to newborns who are likely to be interested in getting their kids photographed by a professional.
Product or Service Hashtags
Product or service hashtags are used to describe a specific product or service. They can be used on any type of content related to that product or service such as product demo videos, tutorials, or user-generated content.
Some examples of product or service hashtags include:
Using product or service hashtags is a great way to connect with people who are interested in that specific product or service.
For example, Coca-Cola launched their “#ShareACoke” campaign in different regions including Australia and the United States. It resulted in an 11% increase in Coca-Cola sales in the U.S. with 1.25 million more teens trying a Coke during the following summer of the campaign.
Though the campaign is long over, “#ShareACoke” is still one of the best Instagram hashtags for posts that are related to the beverage. In the image below, you can see the user, Cora Myers Lupardo, sharing her proposal story with a customized bottle of Coca-Cola.
Location-based hashtags are used to describe the location where a photo or video was taken. This is a great way to connect with local people or people who are interested in checking out the same location as you.
For example, if you're posting a photo of the Eiffel Tower, using hashtags like “#EiffelTower” or “#loveparis” can help you reach people who may be planning to visit Paris in the future. Such hashtags are best used by travel bloggers and influencers to grow their following and engagement.
Some examples of location-based hashtags include:
You can also combine branded or niche hashtags with words related to specific locations to attract relevant local people. For example:
“#dmvfoodie” is another example of a location + niche hashtag that is used to tag posts giving food recommendations or users in the DC metro area.
Acronym hashtags are the new trend on Instagram. Many people are using acronyms to create hashtags that are more memorable and easier to remember.
For example, some popular acronym hashtags include:
- #TBT (Throwback Thursday)
- #FBF (Flashback Friday)
- #OOTD (Outfit of the Day)
- #YOLO (You Only Live Once)
If you want to get more followers on Instagram, using acronym hashtags is a great way to do it. Just make sure that you use them correctly and don't overuse them. Otherwise, you might end up getting unfollowed by people who think you're spamming.
Popular hashtags are those that have been used frequently and have a large number of posts associated with them. Using them will help you reach a wider audience.
With that being said, here are the most popular Instagram hashtags:
However, using trending Instagram hashtags that have no relevance to the content of your post or Story may do more harm than good. Remember, people will only follow your profile if you have something relevant and valuable to offer.
How to Find the Right Instagram Hashtags for Your Business
Simply adding hashtags to your Instagram feed posts and Stories isn't enough. The key is to find the right hashtags to help your Instagram account reach your target audience and help grow your business.
But with over 500 million posts tagged with hashtags on a daily basis, how do you sift through all of them to find the most relevant ones for your business?
The answer is twofold: using a mix of both popular and niche hashtags and changing up your hashtag strategy on a regular basis.
In this section, I'll show you how to find the best hashtags to increase the reach and engagement of your Instagram content. Here you go:
Do Your Competitor Research
The best way to find hashtags that are most relevant to your business is to look at what other businesses in your industry are using and see which hashtags have the most engagement.
For example, if you run a sustainable fashion brand, you can look at the Instagram business accounts of brands like The Summer House and People Tree, which also promote organic or sustainable products.
See what hashtags they are using and which of those you can replicate in your Instagram hashtag strategy. For example:
Learn From Influencers in Your Niche
Influencers are experts at creating content that has the potential to go viral on Instagram. When searching for the right hashtags to use, you can learn a lot by studying what influencers in your niche are doing.
Take some time to look at the hashtags that popular accounts in your industry are using. If you can find any patterns, you may be able to use similar hashtags to get your own content in front of a larger audience.
For example, if you run a makeup and cosmetics business, you can refer to the accounts of the top beauty influencers on Instagram such as Huda Kattan to find trending hashtags.
Of course, you don't want to copy another account's hashtags exactly. But, you can use their strategy as inspiration for your own hashtag research.
Use Hashtag Generators and Analytics Tools
Most of these tools generate a list of relevant hashtags based on a keyword you enter. You just need to enter a keyword that is related to your business or products.
Hashtag generators can be a great asset when it comes to jumpstarting your hashtag research and getting some ideas for new hashtags to try.
Just keep in mind that you'll want to vet any generated hashtags to make sure they're relevant and popular enough to be worth using. For this, you can use hashtag analytics tools, which give you insights into factors like:
- How many likes an Instagram post tagged with a specific hashtag gets on average
- The expected reach your post can get using a particular hashtag
- How many new posts used a hashtag each day
- Related hashtags that can help boost your post's reach
For example, if you want to analyze which hashtags are the best hashtags to tag your post about healthy food, you can use hashtag tools such as Inflact to search for hashtags related to “healthy food.”
This tool gives you a list of related hashtags along with:
- The number of posts tagged using each related hashtag
- How often the hashtag is used
- And how easy or hard it may be for your post to generate engagement if you use that hashtag
The best hashtag tracking and analytics tools will not only help you vet potential hashtags for your Instagram content but will also let you monitor how each of your hashtags is performing.
Instagram Hashtags Best Practices
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Instagram is probably pictures and selfies. The second thing would be hashtags, as they are the most popular feature on the platform.
Hashtags have become a way for people to connect with one another around a particular topic or interest. They help users find new content, follow trends, and share their own photos and videos.
Now that you know what hashtags are and why you should use them, it's time to learn how to use them effectively. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when using hashtags on Instagram:
Use a Mix of Popular and Niche Hashtags
Once you've done your research, it's important to use a mix of popular and niche hashtags in your posts. Popular hashtags will help you reach a wider audience, while niche hashtags will help you reach people who are interested in your specific product or service.
The most important thing to remember when using hashtags is to use relevant ones. It’s good if they are popular too but relevance should be the top-most criteria for hashtag success.
Make sure your hashtags are relevant to your niche or industry and are related to your content, your brand, and your target audience. This will help you reach people who are searching for specific terms on Instagram.
For example, if you sell healthy food, you might use hashtags like “#healthylifestyle,” or “#fitfam.” If you're a travel blogger, you might use hashtags like “#travelblogger,” “#wanderlust,” “#vacation,” or “#explore.”
Don't Use Too Many Hashtags
While it's important to use hashtags, you don't want to use too many. If you do, your post will look spammy and people will be less likely to engage with it. So, you should use them sparingly and only when they're relevant.
The general rule of thumb is to use between 5 and 10 hashtags per post. This will help you reach a wide audience without coming across as spammy.
You can also consider hiding your hashtags in the comments section so that your Instagram post’s caption looks short and concise.
In the post below, a media company, The Adelaide Vegan Review, used this tactic to reach a wider audience without cluttering their post caption with too many hashtags.
Create a Catchy Instagram Hashtag for Your Brand
A great way to promote your brand on Instagram is to create a catchy hashtag that represents it. This hashtag should be short, easy to remember, and relevant to your brand.
For example, if you're a travel blogger, you might use hashtags like “#Wanderwith[yourname].”
Vlogger and traveler, Aakash Malhotra, has created hashtags like “#wanderwithsky” and “#wanderwithskyarmy” to build an engaged community of travelers and travel lovers who love and follow his content.
Once you’ve created a unique hashtag, make sure to use this hashtag in all of your posts as well as in your bio, so that people can easily find your content.
Encourage Others to Use Your Hashtag
Once you've created a catchy hashtag for your brand, it's important to encourage others to use it. You can do this by using it in your posts as well as by asking your followers to use it in their own posts.
For example, you could post a photo of your product with the hashtag and ask your followers to share their own photos with the hashtag. Sometimes, offering a sweet deal like featuring the best posts of the day on your office Instagram profile works wonders.
The famous watch brand encourages users to tag its branded hashtag, “#danielwellington,” by picking one user-generated photo each day and posting it on its account under its “#DWPickoftheDay” campaign.
You can also run contests or giveaways that require people to use your hashtag in order to enter. This is a great way to get people to engage with your brand and promote it to their own followers.
In the post below, IGersBoston encourages users to use their hashtag – “igersboston_UFO.”
Also read: Best Instagram giveaway ideas
Follow Hashtags to Connect with Other Users
Hashtags are a great way to connect with other users who share your interests. For example, if you follow the hashtag, “#vegan,” you'll be able to see all of the posts that have been tagged with this hashtag.
This is a great way to find new content and people to follow.
To follow a hashtag, simply go to the search bar on Instagram and type in the hashtag you're interested in. Once you've found the hashtag, click on it and then click “Follow.”
You can also use the “Explore” page on Instagram to find new hashtags and content. To do this, simply click on the “Explore” tab at the bottom of your screen and then browse through the different categories.
When you find a category that interests you, click on it and you'll be able to see all of the posts that have been tagged with that particular hashtag.
As you can see, hashtags are a great way to connect with others on Instagram. By using the tips above, you can make sure that you're using them effectively to reach a wider audience and promote your brand.
Keep reading to learn how to become an Instagram hashtag pro.
List of Most Popular Instagram Hashtags
Let's start with the most popular Instagram hashtags you should include in your posts for greater exposure. However, ensure they are relevant to the context of your post.
The 20 Most Popular Instagram Hashtags
Best Instagram Hashtags for Likes and Follows
Here are the best Instagram hashtags for likes:
Here are the best hashtags to get more follows on Instagram:
However, using these hashtags doesn’t guarantee the quality of followers or likes that you’ll get. These hashtags are most used by new Instagram users to trade likes and followers while they are just starting out.
What you actually need for a successful Instagram hashtag strategy is to identify trending hashtags related to your niche and business and use them to attract relevant people to your account.
To help you, I’ve put together a list of the best hashtags for various niches and industries in the coming sections. Keep reading…
Best Instagram Hashtags for Travel Lovers
Best Instagram Hashtags for Pet Lovers
Best Instagram Hashtags for the Fashion Industry
Best Instagram Hashtags for Fitness Influencers
Best Food and Beverage Hashtags on Instagram
You may also like my post on, “How to Use Wedding Hashtags.”
Top Tools for Instagram Hashtags
Here are some of the best Instagram hashtag generator tools and hashtag analytics tools that can help you win the hashtag game successfully.
Also, check out: HashtagsForLikes vs. Flick
Instagram Hashtags FAQs
1. Are hashtags still a thing?
Yes, hashtags are definitely still a thing on Instagram! In fact, they're one of the best ways to help your posts get seen by more people.
When you use relevant hashtags on your posts, it makes it easier for people who are searching for that topic to find your content. For example, if you're a travel blogger and you use the hashtag, “#travel,” your posts will show up when someone searches for that hashtag.
However, it's important to use hashtags wisely. Don't just stuff your posts full of random hashtags in the hopes of getting more views. This will actually end up having the opposite effect and people will be less likely to take you seriously.
Instead, use a few relevant hashtags that are specific to the content of your post.
Do some research to find out which hashtags are being used most frequently for the topic you're blogging about. This will help you get an idea of which ones are worth using. And make sure to mix things up from time to time – using the same hashtags over and over again will make you look like a spammer.
So, to answer your question – yes, hashtags are still a valuable tool for Instagram users. Just make sure you're using them wisely!
2. Which hashtag is trending now?
If you're looking for some popular hashtags to use, here are some of the most trending ones right now:
3. Is there an Instagram hashtag limit?
Yes, there is an Instagram hashtag limit. You can use up to 30 hashtags on a single Instagram post. However, using too many hashtags can make your post seem spammy, so it's important to use them wisely.
I recommend using 5-10 highly-relevant hashtags per post.
Ready to Use Instagram Hashtags to Grow Your Business?
Instagram hashtags play a significant role in helping businesses reach new audiences and grow their brands. But, determining which hashtags to use on Instagram can feel like a guessing game.
However, with a little research and experimentation, you can find the perfect mix of hashtags to help grow your business.
What has been your experience with using hashtags on Instagram? Do you want to learn more about using Instagram hashtags effectively? Let me know in the comments below.