Hashtags are the key to discovery on Instagram. We’ve said this before, and we’ll keep saying it. Using the right Instagram hashtags can increase engagement with your posts and lead to more followers. So how do you find out which hashtags will work for your posts? Which hashtags will put your posts in front of the right audiences? Not all Instagram hashtags are created equal, and not all hashtags will work for you and your content.
Here are some of our favorite tips to find the best Instagram hashtags for your posts.
1. Combine general and specific hashtags
Use a set of popular, general hashtags to contribute your posts to the larger conversation. Depending on the vertical or community you’re targeting, that could be anything from #travel to #sunset to #architecture or #love.
And then to avoid getting lost in the noise of large and fast-moving hashtags, be sure to also use some unique and more targeted hashtags to reach a smaller, but more relevant audience. Those could be location-specific, like your town or neighborhood, related to a specific campaign, highlighting a particular food, anything. You might be surprised at the engagement you can get from niche hashtags.
2. Do your research
Take a look at existing Instagram posts that use the hashtags you’re interested in. What other hashtags do they use in those posts? What kinds of photos and videos use that hashtag? See what else is out there to see if your content will be a good fit. And see if you can find other hashtags you can use from your account. There are so many options, and probably a lot you’ve never thought of.
3. Mix it up with a little variety
Try using different Instagram hashtags across your posts to see what works best for your particular content. Some hashtags will work better with different kinds of posts, so try the same hashtag more than once to see if anything changes.
And don’t use too many hashtags in one post – don’t overwhelm your followers with a mess of hashtags. Limit it to just a few hashtags per post. You can also add hashtags to a comment in your own posts if you want to keep your caption clean.
4. Keep track of what works, and do more of it
Pay attention to the hashtags you use and which ones get the biggest response. Can you find any patterns that seem to lead to more likes, comments or views? Keep using those hashtags. Not sure what’s working? Try our free Instagram analytics to find the best hashtags for you.
And if you’ve tried a particular hashtag a few times, with different posts and on different days, but you’re not getting much engagement from it, stop using it. Keep doing what works, and stop what doesn’t. But don’t stop experimenting, as you never know when something will change.