Using the right Instagram hashtags can help you extend your reach, engage your audience, and even boost your brand. In order to get each of these distinct benefits, however, you need to have specific strategies in place. Using Instagram hashtags is how your photos show up in the “Discover” tab. It is how other people can find pictures, and it leads to more likes. But you probably need some help using the right Instagram hashtags.
To an Instagram newbie, the culture of cryptic hashtags is difficult to understand. What’s a #tbt or a #f4f? What does someone mean by #LikeForLike or #Instagood? Knowing what hashtags mean, and which hashtags are used regularly for certain topics like pets or food, can help hone your hashtag strategy.
How Hashtags Work on Instagram?
Hashtags on Instagram can be attached to posts and become clickable phrases and topics. Any word or phrase can be turned into a working hashtag, as long as it has the # placed in front of it.
When users click on a hashtag, they are taken to its discover feed, which shows all the public content attached to it. People will click on or search for hashtags they are interested in as a way of finding content on Instagram.
Since hashtags are used with an intent to discover content, the right hashtags can put you in front of your target audience, even if they haven’t connected with you before. Recognizing the importance of hashtags on the platform, Instagram has expanded the functionality of hashtags. Brands can now add clickable hashtags to their profile bios.
Instagram Stories has a hashtag sticker, which lets you place working hashtags on your Stories. When users click, they will be taken to the hashtag’s feed, just like they would if they’d clicked on a hashtag on your post.
Users can also follow hashtags they are interested in, ensuring that content from those hashtags appears in their feed regularly.
Why to Use Instagram Hashtags?
Instagram hashtags have multiple different purposes. Here are a few:
- Gain More Likes: Instagram users who are interested in a particular field are likely to search for hashtags which are related to it. When you use Instagram hashtags with your content you will be giving yourself a chance for said users to access your content, and in turn find out more about your brand. This is why it is a good idea to find out the best Instagram hashtags for likes.
- Gain More Followers: Instagram users who are interested in a specific niche are always looking for more content that is related to it. Using the right Instagram hashtags is one of the best ways to gain a higher following on Instagram. It extends your reach, enabling your content to be discovered by more people. If they stumble across your account through Instagram hashtags and they find that you’re posting content that is relevant to them, they are likely to follow your account. This is a great situation for any ecommerce entrepreneur, as you will be able to promote your products and your brand to users who are already engaged. So basically, using the right Instagram hashtags is a great way to improve your visibility on the platform.
- Make More Sales: Instagram hashtags aren’t just about growing your ecommerce business’ social media following. Whilst this is a valuable outcome from using Instagram hashtags, you can also make more sales by using them for your ecommerce business’ account. If you use niche specific hashtags when promoting one of your products then you’re likely to draw the attention of users who are likely to purchase something related to this content. This means that you’ll be able to boost your store’s sales with well thought out Instagram hashtags used in combination with compelling content.
- Track Your Instagram Hashtag Success: If you have an Instagram business profile, you can use the post insights to measure your Instagram hashtag success. Not too long ago Instagram added the option for you to analyze how effective the hashtags you are using are. You can do this by looking at the number of views or impressions on your posts.
- Follow Hashtags on Instagram: Instagram now allows you to follow hashtags! That means that you can follow any topic or community that you’re interested in. Following a hashtag works in the same way as following an Instagram user. All you have to do is search the hashtag that you’re interested in and follow it, and you’ll see updates from that hashtag on your Instagram feed.
- Hashtags in Your Instagram Bio: Another big update with Instagram hashtags in 2018, includes the option for you to add clickable hashtags (and usernames) to your Instagram bio. This means that you can build an effective Instagram bio and promote your preferred hashtag right at the top.
- Hashtags in Your Instagram Stories: One more way that you can add hashtags to your Instagram profile is through Instagram stories. When you add an Instagram hashtag to the story, it becomes searchable from the Search & Explore page. So, if someone is looking up the hashtag, they might see your story in the Stories queue at the top of the page.
How to find the best Instagram Hashtags for More Likes and Followers?
Starting With the Hottest Instagram Hashtags
Before you figure out a strategy, you first need to understand which hashtags are the most popular on Instagram. Top Hashtags provides a list of the top 100 Instagram hashtags ever used. You can see how many millions of photos are tagged similarly. Even remembering a selection of these might give you a headstart.
One of our favorite lesser-known Instagram tricks is to use the autocomplete feature to get better hashtags. When you start typing a hashtag, Instagram will give you suggestions to complete it, along with the number of times that tag has been used. Obviously, the more popular a tag is, the better your chances are of getting noticed. Remember that the 100th most popular tag has about 60 million posts, so if you find a number close to that, you are golden.
Finding the Best Hashtags by Topic
The hashtags you use for a photo of your dog playing fetch can’t be the same tags used for a plate of delicious dessert. So how do you find hashtags related to a certain topic? Well, you need to always see the tags others are using, of course. But no one said you can’t use a cheat sheet to help you out.
Head to Display Purposes, and type a word or two about the photo you are uploading. For example, you might type “dog” and “pets”, and then hit search. The web app will immediately make a list of 30 popular hashtags, which you can tap to copy. It also smartly mixes hashtags so that you don’t get repetitive ones, and are more likely to find hashtags that are growing in popularity.
Display Purposes doesn’t have a mobile app, but you don’t need one anyway. For something like this, it will need to run a web search every time so that you get the latest and greatest hashtags. You are better off using the website as an app.
Finding Hashtags by Uploading Photos
If you don’t know what to search for, how do you come up with the best hashtag? Try uploading your image to AutoHash, and it will generate keywords based on the picture.
AutoHash uses some smart visual recognition software to analyze your photo and figure out what it is. Then it dives into its database of trending hashtags to match you with the best possible list. It works surprisingly well, especially for common Instagram pictures like food, pets, or travel.
The only issue with AutoHash is that it only recognizes your current GPS location. So if you’ve moved away from where you took the picture, the location hashtag for the photo will be wrong. Make sure you change that.
Each Day Has Its Own Best Hashtags
One of the worst-kept secrets of Instagram’s hashtags is that each day of the week has its own popular hashtag. Or sometimes multiple ones for each day. Now you’ve probably heard of #ThrowbackThursday, where you post photos from years ago. Using the correct hashtag for other days of the week can give you a similar boost.
Popular Instagram Hashtags for Monday
Use #monday, #mondays, and #manicmonday as regular tags for the day.
You can use #mondaymotivation for an inspirational pic to kickstart the week.
Use #mondayblues or #mondaymorning to complain about getting back to the grind.
You use #mondayfunday for photos that show you can have a good time after the weekend.
Use #musicmonday to share your favorite tunes on Instagram or plug a local band playing this week.
Popular Instagram Hashtags for Tuesday
Use #tuesday and #tuesdays as regular tags for the day.
You use #tongueouttuesday to capture a photo of your pooch with their tongue hanging out.
Use #traveltuesday to share a photo of your current or recent trip.
Use #transformationtuesday to showcase your struggle towards your personal goal. This is a great time to make before and after collages with Instagram’s Layout app.
Popular Instagram Hashtags for Wednesday
Use #wednesday, #wednesdays, and #humpday as regular tags for the day.
Use #wellnesswednesday to talk about health and fitness.
You can use #winewednesday if you need a glass to get over the hump day and last the week.
Use #wednesdaywisdom to share an inspirational quote or story.
Popular Instagram Hashtags for Thursday
Use #thursday and #thursdays as regular tags for the day.
Use #throwbackthursday and #tbt to share an old photo, reliving a fond memory.
You can use #thursdate for a middle-of-the-week date night.
Use #thirstythursday if you’re grabbing a drink.
Use #thankfulthursday to express your gratitude towards someone or something this week.
Popular Instagram Hashtags for Friday
Use #friday, #fridays, and #tgif as regular tags for the day.
Use #flashbackfriday or #fbf if you missed Throwback Thursday, or if you want to post another cherished memory.
You can use #fridaynight to show yourself having a good time, along with #fridaynights and #fridayvibes.
Use #fridaynightlights and #fridaynightfootball if you’re posting a picture from a high school football game.
Popular Instagram Hashtags for Saturday
Use #saturday and #saturdays as regular tags for the day.
You can use #saturdaymornings to show how you are spending the first lazy morning of the weekend.
Use #caturday to post your feline friend’s favorite photos.
Use #saturdaynight to tell the world how you’re chilling out.
Popular Instagram Hashtags for Sunday
Use #sunday, #sundays, and #sundayfunday as regular tags for the day.
You can use #selfiesunday and #sundayselfie to train the camera lens on to yourself and capture that perfect selfie.
Use #sundaybrunch if you are heading out for a relaxing meal at the start of the day.
Strategically Using Uncommon Hashtags
Here is how it works. When you add a hashtag to your photo, that image gets listed in the chronological order of all images with that tag. So if it is a popular tag, your image will quickly go down the list for people checking out that tag. But if it’s an uncommon tag, then it’ll stay relevant at the top for longer.
It’s difficult to find the balance to reach “uncommon but popular enough”, but after spending some time on Instagram, you should get the hang of it. Remember, unusual Instagram hashtags get noticed too. So have some fun with this.
Sticking with the 5 Most Relative Hashtags
Too much of anything can spoil things for everyone. And this is true with hashtags too. Instagram limits users to 30 hashtags per photo, but even that’s a bit too much most times. Research has found that five hashtags is the best number to aim for. You can go up or down a couple, but that’s the ideal. So watch how your photos are doing, and start using the tags that are most successful for you.
If you want to throw in more tags, use this trick: Don’t include the hashtags in your caption, since that clutters up the caption. Instead, make the hashtags your first comment on the photo. That way, your photo is clean while still appropriately labelled.
How many Hashtags Should I be Using?
You can use up to thirty hashtags on a single Instagram post. That answers how many you can use, but not how many you should use, which can be quite different.
There’s lots of research on this topic and various findings. A fairly consistent takeaway is that you should definitely be using a few hashtags (as in more than one) on every post. Instagram posts with hashtags receive 70% more likes, according to a study by Agorapulse.
As for precisely how many hashtags work best, the data is inconsistent. Some marketers swear by using just two hashtags, while others say use all thirty. In reality, the sweet spot for a single post may only be something you can uncover through testing.
Is There an Instagram Hashtag Limit?
Yes, there is a hashtag limit on Instagram. It’s not possible to post more than 30 hashtags per post on Instagram. When you’re sourcing the best Instagram hashtags for likes for your ecommerce business, it’s critical that you’re keeping the Instagram hashtag limit in mind. This limitation is in place to ensure that content on Instagram remains relevant, and to help their platform avoid spam.
The Instagram hashtag limit may guide your choices for the Instagram hashtags that you use when you’re posting content to your social media accounts. If you’re using an Instagram hashtag generator to source engaging hashtags, like the ones mentioned above, you’ll likely receive a generic set of 30 hashtags. However, you may find that there are much more relevant hashtags for your particular posts. Feel free to use Instagram hashtags which you think will be more valuable for drawing engaged traffic to your content — you know your store and it’s audience best.
The Last Words
Hashtags are an easy and quick way to get on the radar of other people on Instagram. But even if you use them wisely, you can do better. If you really want to get noticed on Instagram, you need to up your game.
There are other successful methods to try, like identifying your own niche, developing a photo style, and connecting with influencers. Read these tips to gain real followers on Instagram and start building an audience.
If you are interested in learning how to view private Instagram profiles you can read our article about it.