Instagram hashtag research

To successfully grow your Instagram account, it is essential to understand the effective use of hashtags. These keywords serve as a means for users to locate and engage with content that piques their interest while simultaneously expanding your reach and enhancing your engagement rate. However, identifying the most suitable hashtags for your niche and objectives may present a challenge.

This comprehensive blog post will guide you through Instagram hashtag research by employing simple tools and strategies. You will learn to uncover pertinent hashtags, evaluate their performance, and fine-tune your hashtag approach to achieve optimal results. By harnessing the power of hashtags, you can propel your Instagram account to new heights of success and visibility.

What is an Instagram hashtag?

An Instagram hashtag is a word or phrase that starts with a # symbol and is used to group and organize posts by topic. For example, #travel is a popular hashtag that connects posts related to travel and tourism.

Primarily, Instagram hashtags facilitate the platform’s algorithm in presenting content to the appropriate audience, making it more accessible and discoverable. Moreover, they enable users to find and follow topics of interest and uncover new content and accounts. Additionally, hashtags are valuable tools for fostering community engagement, procuring user-generated content, implementing campaigns, and more.

To effectively leverage hashtags on Instagram, one may include up to 30 hashtags in a post caption or comment section. Furthermore, users can follow hashtags to view posts from others employing them. Hashtags may also be incorporated into Instagram Stories and profile bios to accentuate content and elevate visibility.

How to research Instagram hashtags

Instagram hashtags are a powerful tool for increasing your reach and engagement on the platform. They help you connect with your target audience, discover new content, and grow your brand awareness.

But how do you research Instagram hashtags effectively?

I list below some steps that you can follow:

  1. Identify your niche and goals. What kind of content do you create, and who do you want to reach? What are your objectives for using Instagram hashtags? Do you want to increase your followers, likes, comments, or sales? Knowing your niche and goals will help you narrow your hashtag options and choose the relevant and effective ones for your brand.
  2. Use Instagram’s search and explore features. One of the easiest ways to research Instagram hashtags is to use the built-in search and explore functions on the app. You can type a keyword related to your niche and see what hashtags pop up. You can also browse the Explore page and see what hashtags are trending or popular in your industry or location.
  3. Analyze your competitors and influencers. Another way to research Instagram hashtags is to look at what your competitors and influencers in your niche are using. You can learn from their strategies and see what hashtags work well for them. You can also find new hashtags you might not have considered before.

Use hashtag tools and websites. Many tools and websites can help you research Instagram hashtags more efficiently and effectively.

Some of them are:

  • Hashtagify: This website lets you search for any hashtag and see its popularity, trends, related hashtags, and influencers.
  • Display Purposes: This website generates relevant hashtags for your photo based on its content and location.
  • Later: This app lets you plan and schedule your Instagram posts and stories. It also has a hashtag suggestion feature that helps you find the best hashtags for your posts.
  • Flick: This app helps you find, manage, and analyze your Instagram hashtags. It also shows you the performance of each hashtag and how it affects your reach and engagement.

Test and track your results.

The final step in researching Instagram hashtags is to test them and track their results. You can experiment with different combinations of hashtags, different numbers of hashtags, and different types of hashtags (such as brand, niche, community, or location-based).

You can also use Instagram’s insights feature or third-party tools to measure how your hashtags affect your impressions, reach, engagement, and growth.

How many hashtags should you use on Instagram?

One of the most common questions that Instagram users have is how many hashtags they should use on their posts. Hashtags are a powerful tool to increase the visibility and reach of your content, but using too many or too few can have negative effects.

The optimal number of hashtags to use on Instagram depends on several factors, such as your niche, audience, goals, and post type. However, a general rule of thumb is to use between 5 and 15 hashtags per post.

According to a study by TrackMaven, posts with 9 hashtags receive the most engagement on average. However, this does not mean you should always use 9 hashtags on every post. You should experiment with different numbers and combinations of hashtags to see what works best for your account.

Using more or less hashtags on Instagram has some benefits and drawbacks. Using more hashtags can help you reach a larger and more diverse audience, as your posts will appear in more hashtag feeds.

Using too many hashtags can also make your posts look spammy and cluttered and reduce the quality and relevance of your hashtags. Using fewer hashtags can help you create a more focused and targeted hashtag strategy, as you can choose the most relevant and effective hashtags for your content. But, using too few hashtags can limit your exposure and potential engagement, as you will miss out on hashtag opportunities.

You can also look at what hashtags your competitors and influencers are using and see what kind of engagement they receive. You should also track the performance of your hashtags over time and see which ones generate the most impressions, clicks, likes, comments, and saves.

Some tips to optimize your hashtag usage on Instagram are:

  • Use a mix of broad and specific hashtags. Broad hashtags have a large audience and reach but also a lot of competition and noise. Specific hashtags have a smaller, more engaged, relevant audience and can help you connect with your niche. For example, if you are a travel blogger, you can use broad hashtags like #travel or #wanderlust, as well as specific hashtags like #travelblogger or #wanderlustwednesday.
  • Use branded and campaign hashtags. Branded hashtags are unique to your brand or business and can help you create a community and identity around your content. Campaign hashtags are related to a specific promotion or event that you are running or participating in and can help you generate buzz and awareness. For example, if you are a clothing brand, you can use branded hashtags like #yourbrandname or #yourbrandstyle and campaign hashtags like #yourbrandgiveaway or #yourbrandcollab.
  • Use location and niche hashtags. Location hashtags are related to where you are posting from or where your content is about and can help you reach local audiences and attract potential customers. Niche hashtags are related to your content’s specific topic or category and can help you showcase your expertise and authority. For example, if you are a fitness coach in New York City, you can use location hashtags like #nyc or #newyorkcity and niche hashtags like #fitness or #fitnesscoach.
  • Use relevant and trending hashtags. Relevant hashtags are related to the content and context of your post and can help you attract interested and engaged users. Trending hashtags are related to current events or popular topics and can help you join the conversation and gain exposure. For example, if you are posting about a new product launch, you can use relevant hashtags like #newproduct or #productlaunch and trending hashtags like #fridayvibes or #weekendgoals.
  • Use different hashtags for different types of posts. Different types of posts have different purposes and audiences and therefore require different hashtag strategies. For example, if you are posting a carousel post with multiple images or videos, you can use more general and broad hashtags that cover the whole theme of your post. If you are posting a single image or video with a specific focus or message, you can use more specific and narrow hashtags that highlight the main point of your post.

What are the different types of Instagram hashtags?

Different types of hashtags serve different purposes and have different levels of popularity.

Some of the common types of hashtags are:

  • Branded hashtags are specific to a brand, product, or campaign. They can help to increase brand awareness, engagement, and loyalty. For example, #Nike or #JustDoIt.
  • Community hashtags: These are hashtags that connect users with a shared interest, passion, or identity. They can help build a sense of belonging and foster user relationships. For example, #TravelGram or #BookLovers.
  • Niche hashtags: These are hashtags that target a specific segment of users within a larger category. They can help to reach a more relevant and engaged audience and stand out from the crowd. For example, #VeganFood or #YogaForBeginners.
  • Trending hashtags: These are currently popular or viral on Instagram. They can help to attract attention and join the conversation on a timely topic. For example, #BlackLivesMatter or #Oscars.
  • Location hashtags: These are hashtags that indicate the geographical location of the post. They can help to increase local exposure and attract potential customers or visitors. For example, #London or #EiffelTower.

Should you use hashtags in the Instagram caption or comment section?

Hashtags are a powerful tool to increase your reach and engagement on Instagram. They help your posts appear on the Explore page and in relevant searches. But where should you put your hashtags: in the caption or the comment section?

This question has no definitive answer, as different strategies may work better for different accounts and goals. However, according to Instagram’s official guidance, putting hashtags in the caption may give you an edge over putting them in the comments.

This is because hashtags in the caption help your posts rank higher in Search results, which is a key way to attract new followers and customers. Hashtags in the comments may not have the same effect, as Instagram’s algorithm does not consider them for Search ranking.

However, this does not mean avoiding hashtags in the comments altogether. Some users prefer to put hashtags in the comments to keep their captions clean and concise or to add more hashtags after posting. You can also use a combination of hashtags in both the caption and the comments, as long as you do not exceed the limit of 30 hashtags per post.

The best way to use hashtags on Instagram is to experiment and find what works best for your content and audience. You can use tools like Later or SocialPilot to research relevant hashtags, analyze their performance, and optimize your hashtag strategy.


Hashtags are a powerful tool to increase likes on Instagram. They help you reach the right audience, categorize your content, and make it more discoverable.

Following the tips above, you can optimize your hashtag strategy and get more likes on your Instagram posts.

Now let me know in the comment your best hashtag strategy.

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