The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags You'll Ever Have

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags You'll Ever Have

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If you told me ten years ago that I would be writing a manual on hashtags, I would likely have laughed at you. (Sorry!). The thought of how far the hashtagging world has evolved in the past couple of years is awe-inspiring... It's amazing to me. can remember exactly when I first came across the concept associated with "hashtags." That must have been around 2010, and at the time, I believed hashtags were just a cheeky little gimmick. My friends and I started making fun of the hashtag world. #Sports #Dominoes #MoreWinePlease

Okay perhaps #MoreWinePlease could be a fair game.

In the past few years, the hashtag playing field has drastically changed. I am now keenly aware of how important and vital hashtags are for the social media strategies of every type of marketer.

If you're still laughing at Instagrammers with hashtags full of hashtags in their comments or aren't clear on how these little tags work then you're in the right place. I'll go over everything you'll ever need to know about using hashtags on Instagram. In this comprehensive guide on how to use Instagram hashtags, you'll find out:

  • What is a hashtag?
  • Why you should use hashtags on Instagram
  • How can you make the most out of your #hashtagging
  • Best Instagram hashtagging practices
  • Which 20 Instagram hashtags are most popular

Let's get started!

What is a hashtag what is it,

The hashtag, or pound symbol (#) was being used in many ways across the web before August of 2007. At that point, Chris Messina, a product designer from Silicon Valley, brought the hashtag to Twitter and was credited as the founder of the social media hashtag.

"He came up with the idea of using a hashtag from Internet chat rooms that had the symbol of a pound at the top," says Erin Black from CNBC. "He decided to pitch an idea Twitter and the company told him it was 'nerdy and that it wouldn't be popular."

Jokes on them, right?

Luckily, Messina was persistent, and the hashtag did catch on in a mighty powerful way. Messina was able to persuade his contacts to use hashtags within their tweets and then in 2009, Twitter added a feature that allowed users to search for hashtags. #PrettyCool!

It is essential to use hashtags in each Instagram post: Here's the reason why.

So why are hashtags so crucial to use in Instagram marketing campaigns? Instagram advertising campaigns? Well, Instagram posts that use hashtags can achieve a 12.6% more engagement than ones that don't.

"Not only can hashtags help social media users organize and categorize content, they're also the driving forces behind today's most successful campaign marketing," claims Maddy Osman on Sprout Social.

Hashtagging works because it can help categorize similar content and makes it easier to find This is probably why hashtagged content receives more engagement than those without.

"When used strategically, hashtags can bring you an array of benefits," says Olivia Ryan. "They can be used to help get your content to an even larger audience, increase awareness of your brand, reach a certain group of people improve your SEO, as well as use trending subjects that are trending to benefit you."

And finally, hashtags give you visibility in search results, an great Instagram SEO strategy.

What are you sitting for? If you'd like your audience to be able to view your Instagram content, it's time to up your Instagram hashtag game!

8 ways to become an Instagram hashtag pro

Perhaps you're already using hashtags on your Instagram captions or comments or you may be avoiding hashtags for now. In case you're looking for ways to increase your visibility or begin, these tips will help you use hashtags like a professional! Here are eight suggestions to master how to master your Instagram hashtags.

1. Make sure you do your homework on hashtags

The first and most important thing is that it is important to be aware that the art of hashtagging goes much more than simply adding the hash sign in front of words you can think of. To use hashtags in your Instagram content in a meaningful and effective way you need to do the necessary research. So where to start? Here are a few ideas...

  • Use online tools: There are a myriad of Instagram hashtag generators on the market, including All Hashtag, Ingramer, and Sistrix--that will generate relevant hashtags and provide some information on which hashtags are popular.


  • Begin searching: Type hashtag ideas into the Instagram search bar and look at what autofills.
  • Look at your competitors: Learn what your competitors are doing in terms of brands and account that your ideal audience is likely following. Getting inspiration from other accounts can be super helpful to understand the most popular hashtags (more about this in tip number 3! ).

The key to picking the best hashtags is making sure they're relevant to the interests of your audience, and also popular, but not too popular--you don't want to get lost in the crowd. Do you remember the kid in school who wasn't "popular," but was popular and well-known among many groups? You'd like to see that fall into the same category when it comes to using hashtags.

"We've noticed that the more specific the subject matter, the more discussions users have around it, which is why it pays off to really concentrate on a particular topic or theme," states Benjamin Chacon from Later.

2. Don't use hashtags that are too long

While it's appealing to use hashtags and tweet your heart to the world on each of your posts, it isn't good to be too zealous with hashtags. In terms of having greater impact from your hashtag strategy It can pay off to be selective. Research has revealed that the best amount of hashtags for a post is 11.

While Instagram allows you to utilize as many as 30 hashtags per post, your time is better spent researching and using a small number of super effective hashtags rather than collecting a plethora of tags for every post.

Hashtags and burgers are better when they are consumed in moderation.

"Tossing 30 hashtags into the same post won't do very little, particularly for businesses" Says Alex York from Sprout Social. "It quickly becomes #overkill quickly. If your brand isn't asking the right goals or questions it's a bit worthless to invest your valuable marketing time."

3. Learn from other Instagrammers working in your field

There's absolutely nothing wrong with watching your competition from time to time. In fact with regards to hashtagging , it can be an extremely beneficial investigative task. Joining in with popular industry hashtags and locating specific industry-specific hashtags that your target audience is following can be insanely beneficial to improve your hashtag game.

This food blog, Restoring Radance for example. Below, you can see that she uploaded a picture of her yogurt. Also, instead of using simple hashtags like #breakfast or #yogurt she made use of a multitude of hashtags that reference other brands that her potential customers are likely following , such as #f52grams and #foodgawker.

Why not take a page from her book and incorporate some of the top industry hashtags in your following Instagram post?

4. Design your own campaign hashtags

The most appealing aspect of hashtagging is that you're not only restricted to using hashtags that are already employed. You are able to be creative and design a campaign to promote your brand's unique hashtag. This can take your brand to an entirely new level if done in a creative and engaging manner.

Enjoy the unforgettable #IceBucketChallenge. The marketing team for the ALS Association was able to increase awareness through this hashtag campaign, but they also raised an impressive amount of money ($115 million to be exact!). Consider ways to create a similar effect by getting your followers to WANT to use your hashtag, which will help promote your brand's business and other Instagrammers.

5. Be sure to keep your hashtags consistent but not too consistently

In the same vein It is crucial to research your hashtags for each post and ensure you aren't using hashtags that are excessively popular. If you use them, your posts are likely to be lost among the thousands of posts that are hashtagged. However, should you use each post with a different set of five to ten hashtags for every single post you compose?

The answer is no. There is absolutely no reason not to re-use the same researched, highly targeted hashtags if those are the ones that appeal to your target audience. In fact, you should keep a notebook handy so that you can easily copy and paste your commonly used hashtags into new posts. But, adding a twist by adding a few new hashtags is encouraged. For instance, you can employ the same five or six hashtags that are on your brand, but throw in a few new ones that are even more relevant to the photograph or video you're sharing. Relevance is crucial when it comes to using hashtags: If someone is exploring a hashtag and your super irrelevant content pops up in the search results, it could make your entire brand look un-reputable.

6. Build a giveaway around a branded hashtag

Everyone loves free stuff. It's human nature. I frequently participate in Instagram giveaways each day to win cookbooks by bakers and chefs I admire. The majority of these giveaways are quite simple to enter. The brand will post about providing a complimentary copy of the cookbook you want to win and ask you to tag a person in the comments for a chance to win. This is an simple and feasible way to give something away Why not take it one step further by using the use of a hashtag that is branded?

Take the example below from Talalla Retreat, a beach-front resort that emphasizes yoga. Rather than just having users like and tag someone in their posts, their contest required folks to share their photos using that hashtag: #WINTalalla. What I like about this type of giveaway is that it is still straightforward to enter, however, it will get many more people to see your company's name since participants must post their photos to their entire list of followers with the hashtag that is branded.

7. Use hashtagging to connect

Another advantage of hashtags is that they are a great way to connect with others and build a network. Being aware of trending hashtags can allow you to find new partners and connect with those who are in your target market. The creation of an Instagram marketing campaign with a hashtag could be a fantastic way to partner up with a brand that is similar to yours. This can help you get additional exposure since the associated brand will be sharing information about your business to their entire viewers.

Here's an excellent example of Lululemon UK and Stava, who teamed up to organize an engaging challenge to encourage participants to complete a 40 to 80K run and tag their Instagram posts with #4080challenge.

This type of hashtag campaign get participants from both the audience and followers however, it also boosts the awareness of the brand of the company, bringing it to a wider public. Take a look at how many people took part in this hashtag challenge.

8. Create a memorable brand hashtag that will get your customers involved

Hashtags do not have to be a short-lived contest or campaigns. In fact one of the best and most successful branded hashtags are the ones which can be applied to any type of post. Consider the hashtag that was created by the sneaker company, allbirds. Instead of using generic hashtags for every post, they employ a extremely creative and memorable hashtag #weareallbirds.

Using a single branded hashtag that's catchy and clever is a great way to ensure that things remain consistent. It's also a great approach to develop a hashtag that happy customers will be excited to to share their new shoes!

Use These Instagram Hashtag Best Practices

As you increase the game of hashtags, it'll do you good to keep these ideas in mind.

1. Relevance to your work almost always trumps the popularity of tags. Be as specific that you are able to!

2. Don't use the most number of hashtags just because you can. Test your posts to find the best amount for you. In the same vein make sure to look to see if there is a correlation of your best-loved posts with the most hashtags that you employ. Don't keep using those that don't work effectively just because you can.

3. Make sure you follow your top hashtags (and especially your own, if you have a branded one). If you keep an eye on the hashtags you use, you can see what kinds of posts are most popular and what people are posting with those hashtags. It is then possible to reach out and interact with them directly, which can gain you some followers.

4. Be aware of your competition and industry influencers. If you're not certain what tags you should be using, just check out what other companies are successfully using in your industry, That will give you an excellent basis you can develop your own plan.

These are the 20 most Well-liked Instagram Hashtags

I am aware of this That's why I've been discouraging you from employing the most "popular" hashtags. Why? In a crowded space can make you unnoticeable. Instead of focusing on the popular tags, the best method to gain hashtag success is to locate niche hashtags that are only highly popular with your narrow people.

Why are we looking at the most popular Instagram hashtags right now? But just being told that I'm not encouraging you to using these exact hashtags below does not mean you shouldn't take inspiration from them. For example, consider #love. What if you created a hashtag for #love that incorporates your brand. The hashtag #WordstreamLove is pretty appealing to me!

Let's take #instagood for example. If you own a brand new restaurant, this hashtag may not make more sense--so why not try it with some localization to showcase your delicious local cuisine? Check out the hashtag #instagood vs. #instagoodboston. The #instagood hashtag has 979,097 POSTS.

The hashtag #instagoodboston has just 389 posts which are entirely related to food or restaurants. Evidently, those who are following the hashtag are enthusiastic about trying new restaurants in their city!

Without further ado this list of the top 20 most-popular Instagram hashtags:

  1. #love
  2. #instagood
  3. #me
  4. #tbt
  5. #cute
  6. #follow
  7. #followme
  8. #photooftheday
  9. #happy
  10. #tagforlikes
  11. #beautiful
  12. #self
  13. #girl
  14. #picoftheday
  15. #like4like
  16. #smile
  17. #friends
  18. #fun
  19. #like
  20. #fashion

Remember that the best way to use these hashtags is to get inspiration, not for hashtag stuffing.

Use tools to analyze your Hashtag's Performance

Once you've become an expert in hashtagging, it's time to see if your knowledge has resulted in the achievement of your goals. So, it's time to talk report.

There are plenty of tools available to help make this aspect of the hashtagging process super easy to help you improve your hashtagging skills in time. Let's take a look a few of our favorites!

1. Instagram Insights

This is among my top choices because it's something new. It's simply the information provided by Instagram, and therefore it's completely free! The Insights include the analytics that you need beneath the "Instagram Insights" tab around the content, activity, and your followers.

And if you're trying to find out the impact of your hashtags for individual posts, you can look deep into posts's impressions to see how many came from hashtags in contrast to profile, home, and others.

The best part: All of this free information is accessible right from the Instagram account you have created. Instagram account.

2. Sprout Social

If you are looking to gain more details on your individual hashtag's performance, it might be worthwhile to consider a different report tool that analyzes the details, like Sprout Social. This powerful social reporting tool allows you to create Instagram Hashtag Performance Reports to do a variety of things, including:

  • Check out your most popular Instagram hashtags with those which get the most attention.
  • Learn how the branded hashtags compare to the broader hashtags.
  • Utilize their hashtag feature to create campaign-specific hashtag reports.

3. Iconosquare

If you're looking for the most compact Instagram management system, Iconosquare may just be the ideal tool for you. Although the cost is slightly higher than the competition, there's a lot you can do with making social posts scheduleable, tracking as well as responding to feedback, and accessing very detailed analytics all from one place.

When it comes to the tracking of hashtags, this software can provide extremely sophisticated data analytically in regards to hashtag engagement and whether or not specific hashtags are contributing to brand and/or campaign growth.

There are tons of other tools for social media out there to assist in hashtag tracking, which is definitely a component of your Instagram hashtag strategy and shouldn't be left out.

Now, you're an Instagram #hashtagmaster!

Woo! That was a lot. You should now be fully equipped to go out into the world and conquer Instagram hashtagging to accomplish your business goals. We're eager to see you take your #hashtag game to the #nextlevel!