How to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags

You are making beautiful content, but you’re Instagram account isn’t growing? Why you may ask? It’s because you are not using the best hashtags for your niche and account size!

Today, we will talk about everything you need to know about hashtags.

How many hashtags can you post?

According to Instagram’s FAQ, you can post a maximum of 30 hashtags in either the caption or as a comment. My recommendation is to use all 30 hashtags, so you get the most amount of views on your post.

What is the goals of hashtags?

Hashtags are used to attract your target audience. You don’t want just anyone to find your posts, you want people who are actually interested in your work so they will like, comment and follow your account.

What makes a good hashtag for your account?

Before we start talking about how to find hashtags, you need to understand what makes a good hashtag for you.

Avoid Spammy Hashtags

When you use certain hashtags, you can potentially be a target for spam comments by bots or fake accounts. For example, hashtags like #happy #follow4follow and #love are the biggest culprits for attracting spammers. The best way to identify these spam hashtags are those with large number of posts attached to them. My guideline is any hashtag above 100 million hashtags is to be avoided at all costs. These hashtags have so many posts tagged to them every single minute that your post won’t even be seen and your content will get lost in the shuffle.

Use a Hashtag with Less than 1 Million Posts

Unless if you have over a million followers, you should use hashtags that with less than 1 million posts tagged. The larger the hashtag, the more spam you will be attracting to your account. You should also use hashtags with various sizes with less than 500k posts and 50k posts. This will help your post land on the Top Posts section at the beginning of a hashtag. There are nine posts that are featured and will provide the most visibility in the hashtag. Below the Top Posts, all other posts are shown in chronological order in Most Recent section as shown below.

Choose Specific Hashtags

Sometimes, it is hard to find hashtags with less than one millions posts tagged. Best way to find small hashtags is to be specific in your hashtag. For example, instead of #technology with 14m posts, you can try #mobiletechnology with 15k posts. If you tag #technology, your posts will be seen for a second compared to using #mobiletechnology where you may even make it to the Top 9 posts.

Use Hashtags used by Feature Accounts

A feature account is created by someone who curates and re-posts other people’s content on their Instagram page. This account has a specific hashtag that they use to find posts they will feature on their page. The hashtag is usually mentioned in the bio. When they re-post your content, they tag your account and their audience will find your Instagram page through the link. If the feature account has a lot of followers, you can gain a lot of followers fairly quickly.

How to find the number of posts for a hashtag?

When you search a hashtag, the number of posts attached are written underneath as shown in the screenshot below.

Instagram on Mobile
Instagram on Desktop

How to find hashtags for your niche?

Now that you know what makes a good and bad hashtag, let’s find some hashtags for your niche. If we follow our example from before for mobile technology, we can start by searching #mobiletechnology in the search bar. In the screenshot above, you can see the results and a list of related hashtags underneath the follow button. When you click on one of the hashtags, you can see another list of related hashtags. You create a tree of hashtags this way.

Another way is to take a look at hashtags used by your favorite accounts similar to yours. They will either have it in the caption or in one of the first comments. You can use that list as a starting point.

How to optimize your hashtags?

To track all of the hashtags you’ve been researching, create an excel spreadsheet and note down the hashtag, number of posts currently tagged and whether it is used by a feature account. Once you compile a list of all hashtags you’ve looked at, do the following:

  • Bucket them as small, medium, and large based on the number of posts
  • Assign a general category Ex. #mobiletechnology and #iphone might go under a category called Mobile Technology

To optimize the hashtags for your specific posts, filter by category so the results are all hashtags relevant to your post and then choose 10 hashtags from small, 10 from medium, 5 from large, and 5 feature hashtags. This will cover a wide range of audience.

You researched so many hashtags, what do you do with rest of them? Don’t throw them away! Now that you’ve learned how to create a list of hashtags for your posts, do the same exercise using a different set of hashtags. This way you can find out which exact hashtags work for you and your account.

I know it seems like it will be a lot of work, but it is worth it! I really hope you will try this out and let me know how it worked for you.

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