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How to choose hashtags for Instagram


Hashtags are a powerful tool whose main purpose is to categorise content on social media. They can serve many different purposes for businesses. Hashtags can massively expand the potential reach of your profile by making it easier for people to discover your posts.

Why do we use hashtags on Instagram?

Hashtags can also be used to foster a sense of community by attracting followers who are interested in the particular niche you cover. A person searching for a topic relevant to them will discover many hashtags; these can be followed, allowing them to see relevant posts using that hashtag on their homepage, leading to natural growth in your audience.

Research shows that using hashtags, especially on Instagram, increases post engagement. The popularity of a brand can be influenced by its presence on social media, and hashtags are one of the key facets of the way they are viewed by both their followers and the general public.

How do I choose hashtags for Instagram?

Finding the right hashtags to use can be a challenging task. Thankfully, there are many different strategies and tools you can use to discover the most relevant tags for your profile. Focusing on the specific strategies, you can search for words or phrases relevant to your business and pick the few hashtags that are the most commonly used by your target audience and your competitors. Search tools will also let you see their popularity by displaying the number of posts a particular hashtag is used on. If there are any current seasonal events, hashtags for them are likely very popular and could be used if relevant to your current posts. 

Popular accounts and influencers are a good place to look for trending hashtags however paying closer attention to the ones used by rival businesses and similar profiles will provide more relevant hashtags for your profile overall. It is also important to remember that what hashtags are best used will vary depending on the content of each specific post, so using the same few every time unnecessarily limits the reach of your profile. 

How do I use hashtags on Instagram?

Despite being a very powerful tool, hashtags shouldn’t be used without proper thought into how you want to use them. A regular post on Instagram can have up to 30 hashtags while a story can only have a maximum of 10. According to several case studies, the ideal number to use is 11; however, that number is likely to vary massively depending on your particular business. If you want to use a very large amount of hashtags, it could be off-putting to viewers of your posts; however, there are a few ways to hide them from curious eyes, for example, you could contain some within a comment or simply keep them low down on the caption so followers have to tap “…more” to see them. Thye will still be found even if they are lower down your post. You could also create a custom hashtag to promote your brand or a marketing campaign. If you do use a custom hashtag, make sure to include it in your bio and use it regularly on posts and stories, you could even run a contest including your branded hashtag to help popularise it.

Useful hashtag tools 

Many tools can be used to help with finding the most relevant hashtags for you. provides indispensable data on related hashtags and their popularity shown in easily readable charts, and even information on languages used and spelling variants, all shown through visually pleasing website design.

RiteTag provides useful information on the trendiness of related hashtags and how much exposure they get overall. However, the full analytics for the past 30 days requires you to pay for the information. 

Tagboard allows you to see how your hashtags are used across multiple networks, including Instagram, but while the other tools can be used from their website, Tagboard requires you to download it or pay to gain access to any useful features.

For local businesses, Trendsmap might prove to be very useful because it shows what relevant hashtags are being used in your general area over the past several days, but very few general analytics are shown on the website, limiting its overall usefulness. 

All of these tools have caveats that require paying or signing up to gain access to many useful features, which is important to keep in mind, however, the information that is gained is invaluable to a prospective business on social media.

More Instagram tips

Can you manage my Instagram for me?

Yes, of course, if you have other things to do with your time, we are a great choice to curate and take care of your Instagram account. We can publish engaging content alongside beautiful pictures and of course, carefully chosen hashtags on your behalf. 

instagram hashtags

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