Guide to The Most Popular Instagram Hashtags


In this post we will cover how to optimize your Instagram hashtag strategy to focus on growth and engagement! Hashtags can be a very effective tool for broadening the potential reach of your Instagram post, and much like your content, it’s important to have a very clear strategy so that you can get the most out of hashtags.

A fun fact, a post with at least two hashtags averages 12.6% better engagement** than those that don’t have hashtags. To get this level of engagement it’s important to make sure you have a very clear strategy to ensure you are getting the most from hashtags!

To start, why is it important to focus on hashtags?

Well to begin, using highly relevant, targeted hashtags on your Instagram posts and stories is one of the best ways to reach new eyeballs on Instagram. If they like your content, greater reach means more potential followers, and with that, better engagement.

We’ve worked with thousands of influencers and content creators, and through that have determined the key things you need to know to optimize your hashtag strategy.

First, should I be using all 30 hashtags?

Some people say that using all 30 hashtags will come across as “spammy” and Instagram won’t serve your content to as many people. We’ve tested this theory many times, and have come to the conclusion that why would Instagram give you the option to use all 30 hashtags if they didn’t want you to use all 30 hashtags? Use what Instagram is giving you to reach as many people as possible!

The only real thing that impacts your hashtags optimization is the actual hashtags you use, not how many you use. Why wouldn’t you want to be seen in 30 different hashtag searches, rather than seven?

Next, do NOT use hashtags that have been used by millions of people, use hashtags that have less than 100k posts, and over 10k posts.

Hashtags that have millions of posts in them, are used by millions of people, which means your post will not be seen by the right people. Using hashtag #fashion is OK, but you won’t see the impact that you want to see, as millions of people each day are flooding that hashtag, meaning it will be much harder for your content to be found!

When it comes to using the “right” hashtags, the more niched and paired down they are, the better. We always recommend when you are developing your list of signature hashtags, to look for hashtags that have been used more than 10k times, but less than 100k. That means people are using those hashtags, but they aren’t being used by SO many people that your content won’t be found.

Overview of the #sisterhoodovercompetition hashtag on Instagram

In this example of #sisterhoodovercompetition you’ll see that there are just over 50k posts in that hashtag search, meaning that there is a community being built around this #hashtag but it’s not SO oversaturated your content won’t be found.

How do I even find the “right” hashtags for me?

First off, you want to think about what your niche is, and who your content resonates with.

For example, if you are using hashtag #fitness, but your post has nothing to do with #fitness, Instagram won’t serve your post as high up in that search result because they want to make sure that the content in the hashtag thread #fitness, is about fitness, to ensure people on Instagram have the best experience.

There are great hashtags generators that will give you the best hashtags based on your niche, that are not SO big. We like using tools like: Later, HashMe and Buffer.

Find the right hashtags for your post type.

There are three types of posts: photos of you, photos of things that are not you, and some sort of designed image.

When looking into the right hashtags for one of these three post types, it’s important to click into the hashtags you normally use to understand which post type is in the “top 9” posts. These images are the posts that Instagram has deemed to be “viral” under that hashtag, so you want to make sure that you are using the right hashtags for that post type.

Thumbnail images of content with the #imperfectboss hashtag on Instagram

In this example you will see that the hashtag #imperfectboss has mainly designed images in the top 9 posts, which means when you use that hashtag, you’ll want it to use it when you post a designed image or quote that you made.

Last, the never ending question, should you post hashtags in your caption or in the first comment?

Truthfully, it doesn’t matter which way you post hashtags, it can be in your caption or in your comments, but the most important thing to know is, if you post your hashtags in the comments vs your caption, the hashtags MUST be posted within the first 60 seconds. If they aren’t, Instagram will think it’s just another Instagram comment, and the hashtag strategy that you worked so hard to build won’t work.

That’s why we always recommend pasting your hashtags into a note tab on your phone, so you can just copy and paste them into the first comment, immediately after your post goes live.

And there you have it, a #hashtag strategy that will greatly optimize your Instagram strategy!

Ready to get moving with your Instagram marketing strategy? Blogist makes it easy for you to plan and manage your Instagram strategies, while giving you the tools and resources (like our Classroom feature) to keep pushing your business forward!

The information from this post comes from social media specialist Becky Feign, a Coach and Social Media Expert.

**Source is from Sprout Social

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