Instagram Hashtags: Read This First

This guide will teach you how to find the best hashtags for Instagram. And how to use the Instagram hashtag search or generator to spot the top-ranked and trending Instagram hashtags. So you could grow your followers, engagement, and Influence.

What You Did Not Know About Instagram Hashtags

Instagram hashtags are the way for IG to categorize its content. You can include up to 30 hashtags in your post.

Think of a hashtag as a store department. Every hashtag represents one department.

There are fitness–related departments, departments for cats and dogs, etc.

Each department has visitors looking for something valuable and entertaining for them.

When you share a post about a book with a book hashtag, you show your post to the book department visitors.

The store (Instagram) ranks all its products (content) based on the content demand (engagement) and displays the best products in the most visible places.

If the store thinks your product is high quality and shows demand, your product gets placed in the top locations. So more visitors could discover it.

Instagram Hashtags And Instagram Algorithm

Hashtags can skyrocket your engagement during the Microtest. They open access to your post for other people who do not follow you.

Therefore your post will reach more than 10% of your followers during the first two hours of the Microtest.

Which will lead to more engagement and a much higher chance that Instagram will think it is high-quality content and promote it further.

As a result, you accelerate your Instagram growth and boost your followers and engagement.

How To Measure Instagram Hashtags Popularity

Before we go further, let us learn how to measure and sort Instagram hashtags by popularity. And see which hashtags will work best for you.

It will help you make the most of the plan you are about to discover.

Instagram Hashtag popularity is measured by how many Instagram posts are shared using this hashtag.

The more popular a hashtag, the more difficult it is to rank for it.

For example, there are 2 million posts on Instagram with the airplane hashtag. It means three things:

  1. The airplane hashtag has 2 million posts.
  2. The hashtag is popular.
  3. It is hard to rank for it.

Very Low Competition Instagram Hashtags

These hashtags have 100-10k posts. They are easy to rank. And they are perfect for small Instagram accounts with up to 5k followers.

Low Competition Instagram Hashtags

Such hashtags have 10k-20k posts. They are harder to rank for. And they work well if your account size is between 5k and 10k followers.

Average Instagram Hashtags

Average Instagram hashtags have 20k-100k posts. These hashtags are great for Instagram accounts that have 10k-50k followers.

Popular Instagram Hashtags

Popular hashtags have 100k-500k posts. These hashtags are hard to rank. And they work best for Instagram accounts that have 50k-100k followers.

Very Popular Instagram Hashtags

Very Popular hashtags have 500k-1m posts. Such hashtags are very hard to rank. And they are perfect for big Instagram accounts with 100k-500k following.

Hyper Popular Instagram Hashtags

These are top trending Instagram hashtags that have more than one million posts. They work mainly for Instagram accounts that start with one million followers.

How To Use Instagram Hashtags To Boost Your Account

Now, with all the knowledge you have about the hashtags, it is time to introduce you to your Instagram Hashtags Plan.

Use this plan to grow your followers, engagement, and influence.

The Instagram Hashtags Plan Overview.

  1. Find your perfect Instagram hashtags;
  2. Use hashtags for top ranking, discovery, and engagement;
  3. Proceed to higher competition hashtags;
  4. Rinse and repeat.

Step 1: Find Your Perfect Instagram Hashtags

The number one mistake people make is they start with the most popular Instagram hashtags. Examples of such hashtags are travel, entrepreneur, dog, etc.

The more competitive and crowded a hashtag, the more difficult it is to discover your post.

And vice versa, the less competitive and crowded a hashtag is, the more likely users will discover and engage with your post.

If you aim for the highly competitive hashtags, your post will get stacked in an obscured place, collecting the dust behind big competitors.

Do not make that mistake. Instead, use the lower-rank hashtags. Rank the highest for them. And slowly build up from there.

How to find your perfect Instagram hashtags?

  1. Open Instagram search, and tap on Tags.
  2. Search for the popular hashtags in your niche. Example an #entrepreneur with 88m posts.
  3. Look for long-tail versions of this hashtag. Example an #entrepreneurstories with 13k posts.
  4. Add this hashtag to your file.
  5. Look at competitors of the same size as you. Or slightly bigger. What hashtags do they use for their most popular posts? Add these hashtags to your file too.
  6. Repeat until you have 30-50 hashtags in your set.

Bonus Tip. Use Instagram hashtag Generator.

Instagram search for hashtags works well for our plan. But if you want to get more hashtag ideas, you can use any free Instagram hashtag generator. One example is an advanced Instagram hashtag generator from

Step 2: Use Hashtags For Top Ranking, Discovery, And Engagement

Post hashtags in the first comment

Boost your post by leaving the first comment using hashtags you found.

It will have the same effect on the Instagram algorithm as hashtags in your caption.

Placing your hashtags in the first comment rather than in the caption keeps your caption clean and oriented on the desired focus.

Revolve your hashtags

Split your 30-60 hashtags list into groups. With 12-20 hashtags in each group. And revolve these groups in your posts.

If you diversify your hashtags in this way, you will reach more people with different interests with each post.

Mix Your Hashtags

Do not use hashtags with the same number of posts in one group. Instead, mix bigger and smaller hashtags. In this way, your hashtag groups will work best for your post.

Analyze and refine your hashtags as you go

  1. See which hashtags groups perform the most.
  2. Find more relevant hashtags around these groups.
  3. Replace your least performing hashtags with the hashtags from step 2.
  4. Repeat these steps with intervals that work for you.

Automate your hashtags management

As your hashtag groups start to grow, it gets hard to track which groups you used in your previous posts.

It also gets hard to browse through hashtag groups to select the right one for your next post.

At this point, you may find yourself spending more time on your hashtag management than on the content quality.

If you don’t want to fall into this trap, use tools like Planoly or Hopper.

They will help you organize, manage and revolve your hashtag groups. And auto post the right hashtags in the first comment, right after your post is shared.

Step 3: Proceed To Higher Competition Hashtags

As your account grows, you may proceed to the more popular hashtags.

Do not rush. Include one or two new hashtags together with your old hashtags in every post. And see how it goes.

With time you can replace more of your old hashtags with new ones. And move on.

Step 4: Rinse And Repeat

Repeat steps one to four of the plan until you reach your growth goal. Keep an eye on how well your hashtags perform at every step of the plan.

Follow these simple steps to track the performance of your hashtags:

  1. Go to your post;
  2. Tap on View Insights;
  3. Scroll down to Impressions;
  4. See the total number of your post impressions generated by Hashtags.

Conclusions And Next Steps

If you found this guide helpful, you can download it in PDF. And use it as a manual to build your solid Instagram hashtags strategy, grow your followers, engagement, and influence.

Roman Gurbanov
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