Learning how to find the best hashtags can be
the key to success for your Instagram account. With the right hashtags on your
photos, you can get your content seen by a much larger audience. You also
increase the chance of your photos gaining traction on the ‘top’ section of
each individual hashtag you include.
There are certain tips and tricks you can use
to find suitable hashtags for your content, and we will be going over these in
this guide. We’ll offer two solid strategies for finding hashtags and some
general guidance on making sure the tags you find are effective.
Tips on Instagram Hashtags – Rules to Stick By
Before we begin, there are three rules you must stick by when using Instagram hashtags. One, you cannot use more than 30 hashtags. Two, you need to find hashtags relevant to your content. It’s quite easy.
For example, if you make gaming content, any hashtags related to video games would work. Different categories within that niche won’t work though. If you play a certain game, like Tetris, #tetris would work, but #pacman wouldn’t.
Finally, you need to try to find hashtags that
are reasonably popular. When you tap on a hashtag, you’ll see how many posts
have been made about that hashtag. That will tell you a lot about how big it
is. #gaming has 29 million posts, for example. #instagamer has #3 million. I
would suggest finding hashtags in three different categories –
- 100,000 or less
- 500,000 or less
- 5 million or less
You should find 8 hashtags in each category.
That leaves space for a bit of variety each time you post. More on that later.
This way, you have more of a chance to be seen
on smaller hashtags, but from a smaller audience, creating a safety net. The
larger hashtags have less of a chance for your photo or video to be seen, but
if you do get some traction, the result can be much better due to a larger
audience being available.
You should also consider making videos,
because generally videos get better engagement on Instagram, and your content
will have a better chance of getting in the ‘top’ section if they get more
Finding Hashtags through Association
With the above information explained, it’s
time to find our first set of hashtags. We’ll use a method that starts by
finding a popular hashtag, then branching into less popular tags via the
It’s quite easy to find a popular hashtag. For
a fashion account use #fashion, for a basketball fan account, use #basketball.
For a Pokemon fan page, use #pokemon. You get the idea. For this guide, we’ll
use #gaming. Open up a spreadsheet to collect your own set of hashtags as I
As you can see, gaming is too popular for us
to gain traction on for now, but there are plenty of ‘related’ tags. We can tap
on each of these to see the popularity. You can scroll through the related
section to find less popular ones.
For example, we scrolled down and found
#instagaming, which has 100k posts. So, we can add that to our spreadsheet. Now
that we are on a lesser known hashtag, we can once again scroll through the
related section to find more related tags.
In just a few minutes, you will start to bring
in more and more related hashtags that fit into one of the three popularity
categories. It won’t be long before you have filled out your entire list. If
you have a hashtag that isn’t relevant to you, it’s best to skip, there are
plenty more tags to find instead.
Eventually, you’ll have a full list of 24
hashtags, you can copy and paste them into a message to a friend on social
media to make it easier to use on your phone.
Copy Hashtags from Popular Accounts
Another method would be to copy hashtags from
popular accounts. This can work, but I found it to have less effective results.
Sometimes these accounts are already very popular, so the hashtags they use
don’t matter as much. It’s best to browse a more popular tag, like #gaming, and
find posts that hit the top section there.
Try to find a page that is getting more
attention than you’d expect for their follower size. For example, the page
shown above. You can tap on any of their posts and find which hashtags they
have used. You can copy them directly and remove any that aren’t relevant to
How to Avoid Your Content Not Showing in Hashtag Results
You should now have close to 30 hashtags, but it’s time to mix it up a little. Sometimes, if you use the same hashtags too much, your photos won’t appear at all. So, use the remaining spots for any hashtags that may be super relevant to the photo you are posting.
For example, if you have a cooking account, you could use #doublechocolatemuffin. Then, you could also save a spot or two for very large tags. The chance of getting in the top section of a tag like #gaming or #cooking is very small, but if it does somehow happen, it will pay off incredibly.
Sometimes, it may be worth mixing things up.
If you notice you’re not getting much traction, going back and finding a new
set of hashtags may be worth it. You should also consider posting at different
times, or trying to post more regularly, to see continued growth in terms of
new followers, likes, and comments on your posts.
Finally, make sure to bulk out your post with
some actual text. A small description of what the photo includes, or a story
behind it, will make sure Instagram doesn’t mistake it for spam. It may also
help to boost engagement.
In summary, you can use one of the two hashtag
methods we have listed above to find suitable tags. Make sure you don’t post
more than 30 tags, and double check all of the tags you use are relevant, and
you should be good to go.
If you have any questions about finding
hashtags on Instagram, make sure to leave a comment and I will answer back as
soon as I can.