Instagram is an incredible free platform to build a brand or to accelerate the growth of your business. But gaining success on the platform highly relies on getting discovered by other users.
In this article, we will walk you through the importance of Instagram hashtags, how to use them, the best ways to find them, and provide you with a list of the top 100 most popular Instagram hashtags you can use today.
What is an Instagram Hashtag?
An Instagram hashtag is a way for users to discover new content. Always starting with # (i.e. #cars, #fitness), hashtags are often used to describe photos with words. Users then use these hashtags to find new and relevant content to like, comment and engage with.
For example, a user searching for #supercars is looking specifically for posts relating to Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren. It’s critical that you use keywords that are related to your post. If you post cute cats with hashtags #supercars, expect little to no engagement with your posts.
Hashtags are also an excellent way for your brand to engage back with your community. One key example of this was the #shareacoke campaign by Coca-Cola. The campaign focused on the simple message of sharing a bottle of coke with a friend or family.
With the share a coke campaign, Cola-cola encouraged its community to find creative ways to share a coke. We’ve seen people posting pictures of bottles with “Mom” and “Dad” to announce a new baby on the way, others sharing coke cans designed for military spouses to show support, and people posting with specially created coke cans with their Chinese name. The result is millions of increased sales and a priceless community that’s loyal to the brand.
Instagram Hashtag Limit
You have to do your research to use the right hashtags since Instagram limits you to only 30 hashtags per post. Use more than that, and all you will see is a blank caption.
There are two ways to add hashtags to your Instagram posts. The first way is to add the hashtags to your captions. This is the most simple and straightforward way since it requires no additional work when working with automated scheduling tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer.
Simply add the list of hashtags below your captions, and paste to your post when you’re ready to share. But watch out for the 2,200 character limit when using this option.
Though its simple to just copy everything and paste into your captions when sharing, we find that having 30 hashtags and all the words in your caption become overwhelming for the reader.
The second way that we recommend is to put your hashtags in the comment section of your post. This way you keep your captions clean, avoid the character limit for long posts and still have your post shared on all the hashtags. The only hassle is the extra step of adding your hashtags to your comments.
How to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags
There are varieties of ways and tools to find popular and relevant hashtags. We narrowed it down to our favorite and recommended ways to find the best Instagram hashtags for you.
Using Tools and Software
This way relies on online software to find popular hashtags. It does so by having you enter a keyword you want to use. The software or tool then discovers related keywords by analyzing what your keyword is often used with and further narrowing down to keywords that are frequently used.
The hashtag generator generates related hashtags based on a keyword. You have three filter options to find the right hashtags you need.
You can filter by Top hashtags that are popular hashtags used by millions of users, Random hashtags that are random keywords that include the keyword you have chosen, and Live hashtags different hashtags used by other users of which contains the keyword in their posts.
We love this tool because it provides you insight into how popular the hashtags are. Beside each keyword, it shows the number of times the keyword was used. The higher the number, the more popular the keyword.
Mimicking an Influencer in your Niche
We find this the most effective way to build your hashtag strategy. Influencers are users that have a significant amount of followers and are proven experts in both using Instagram, and growing influence in a specific industry. The difficulty is finding the right influencers to follow and mimic their strategy.
You can do this manually by first searching for a keyword you would like to rank in, go through the first nine posts and review the user’s accounts. You want to find users with at least 20k+ followers, and a healthy engagement rate. As a point of reference, a healthy and real account will have the following engagement metrics:
10k-100k: 2.37% Likes, 0.17% Comments
100k-1M: 1.78% Likes, 0.09% Comments
1M-10M: 1.66% Likes, 0.06 Comments
10M+: 1.66% Likes, 0.05% Comments
Read more on fake accounts here: 5 Reasons Why Buying Fake Followers Will Kill Your Account
Additionally, you also want to audit your list of influencers by entering their username on Social Blade. With this tool, you can review their follower growth history to see if the account has been growing organically, or have been buying fake followers.
After you narrowed down a few influencers, review their posts to see what hashtags they’ve used that drove the most engagement. From there, build a few sets of keywords and test them out to see which drive the most amount of likes, comments, and followers for your account.
Top Popular 50 Hashtags in 2018
Here is a list of the 100 most popular hashtags today in 2018. We do not recommend just choosing 30 from this list, but only choose a few that are related to your content strategy.
1 – #love 1.221B
2 – #instagood 704.0M
3 – #photooftheday 478.6M
4 – #fashion 456.5M
5 – #beautiful 445.0M
6 – #happy 413.8M
7 – #cute 404.3M
8 – #tbt 401.4M
9 – #like4like 393.9M
10 – #followme 374.3M
11 – #picoftheday 363.1M
12 – #follow 357.3M
13 – #me 341.6M
14 – #selfie 329.4M
15 – #summer 320.6M
16 – #art 319.4M
17 – #instadaily 311.6M
18 – #friends 299.3M
19 – #repost 295.8M
20 – #nature 286.4M
21 – #girl 282.4M
22 – #fun 277.6M
23 – #style 268.7M
24 – #smile 258.7M
25 – #food 252.4M
26 – #instalike 252.3M
27 – #family 246.9M
28 – #travel 245.3M
29 – #likeforlike 244.3M
30 – #fitness 238.0M
31 – #follow4follow 220.3M
32 – #igers 220.2M
33 – #tagsforlikes 216.6M
34 – #nofilter 213.6M
35 – #life 211.7M
36 – #beauty 211.2M
37 – #amazing 204.8M
38 – #instagram 197.2M
39 – #photography 191.8M
40 – #photo 179.0M
41 – #vscocam 179.0M
42 – #sun 176.1M
43 – #music 174.6M
44 – #followforfollow 169.7M
45 – #beach 169.7M
46 – #ootd 162.3M
47 – #bestoftheday 159.6M
48 – #sunset 159.5M
49 – #dog 159.0M
50 – #sky 158.9M
How to Measure your Success
To ensure your chosen keywords are driving successful results, these are the key metrics you should be continuously tracking.
– Number of likes, comments, and saves
– Impressions: The number of views on a tagged post
– Your Reach: The number of unique visitors on a post
– Change in the number of followers
All of these metrics are available for free on your Instagram app, but only for business accounts. Switching from a personal account to a business account is free. We explain all the benefits and disadvantages in this article here: Instagram Business Account: Should You Switch
If you have more questions about Instagram hashtags, be sure to ask us in the comments below.