Guide to Hashtags for Instagram: How to Use Them Effectively

by Hareem
8 minutes
guide to instagram hashtags

Want to know the secret to Instagram’s success? It’s all in the hashtags ##!  Alright, that’s too much exaggeration, but there’s no denying these little symbols’ role in expanding your Instagram reach.

Instagram hashtags are more than just catchy phrases or trending topics; they’re a powerful tool that can help you attract more followers, increase engagement, and even land yourself a spot on the Explore page. 

But let’s face it; hashtags can be confusing, overwhelming, and sometimes frustrating. That’s why we’ve got the ultimate guide to the best hashtags for Instagram that will have you #winning in no time.

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What are Instagram hashtags?

Instagram hashtags

Instagram hashtags are keywords or phrases that are preceded by the ‘#’ symbol and are used to categorize and organize content on the platform. 

They are a powerful discovery and engagement tool, allowing users to search for and explore content related to a specific topic or theme. 

For example, suppose you’re a food blogger sharing a photo of a delicious burger. In that case, you might include hashtags like #foodie, #burgerlove, and #foodblog to help your post reach a wider audience of foodies interested in that type of content. 

Similarly, suppose you’re a travel influencer sharing a reel of a beautiful sunset in Bali. In that case, you might use hashtags for Instagram reels like #travelgram, #wanderlust, and #exploremore to attract other travelers interested in exploring new destinations. 

Hashtags can be used for almost any topic or theme, making them a versatile tool for anyone looking to grow their presence on Instagram.

How do Instagram hashtags work?

Instagram hashtags allow users to discover and explore content relevant to their interests by categorizing and organizing content.

When you enter a hashtag into your post, it becomes searchable by other users interested in that particular topic or theme. 

Using a hashtag in your post or story is like adding your content to a digital library of other positions and stories that use that hashtag. You can even use hashtags for Instagram reels.

For example, if you add the hashtag #fitness to your workout post, anyone searching for it can find it and engage by liking or commenting. 

There are hashtags for Instagram likes that allow you to reach a wider audience beyond your current followers, as users who don’t follow you but are interested in the same topics as you can discover your content through hashtags. 

Additionally, Instagram’s algorithm considers the use of hashtags in posts when determining what content to show on the Explore page, which can lead to increased visibility and engagement for your posts. 

But it’s not just about adding any old or random hashtag to your post. To use hashtags effectively, you must choose relevant, specific, and popular hashtags to help your content reach the right audience. 

For example, if you’re a yoga instructor sharing a photo of your latest pose, using the hashtag #yoga will likely result in your post getting lost in the sea of other yoga-related content. However, if you use a more specific hashtag like #yogapose, you can target users who are specifically interested in that type of content.

Related Read: How to Use Hashtags for Your Social Media Posts in 2022

Ten types of popular Instagram hashtags

Here are ten popular Instagram hashtags that can benefit you reach a wider audience.

1) Location-based hashtags

These hashtags refer to a specific location or region, such as #nyc, #beachlife, or #europe. Using location-based hashtags can help you connect with people in your local area. For example, a restaurant could use the hashtag #NYCfoodie to reach people looking for good food in New York City.

location based hashtags

2) Industry-specific hashtags

These hashtags relate to a particular industry or niche, such as #fashionblogger, #travelphotography, or #fitnessmotivation. Using industry-specific hashtags is a great way to reach a targeted audience. 

industry based hashtags

3) Hashtags for Instagram communities

Many industries have their communities on Instagram, and using relevant hashtags can help you connect with users in those communities. For example, if you’re a food blogger, you could use hashtags like #foodie or #foodblogger to communicate with other food bloggers and enthusiasts.

Hashtags for Instagram communities in your industry

4) Product or brand-specific hashtags

These hashtags relate to a specific product or brand, such as #nike, #starbucks, or #apple. Using hashtags specific to your brand or product can help increase brand awareness and make it easier for people to find your content.

Product or brand-specific hashtags

5) Daily hashtags

There are many daily hashtags on Instagram that you can use to increase your visibility and engagement. Daily hashtags are popular because they are relevant every day of the year. For example, #MotivationMonday, #ThrowbackThursday, and #FlashbackFriday 

Daily hashtags

6) Seasonal or holiday hashtags

These are hashtags that relate to a specific season or holiday posts. Using seasonal or holiday-specific hashtags is a great way to get into the festive spirit and connect with your audience. Examples include #springtime, #halloween, or #christmas. 

Seasonal or holiday hashtags

7) Hashtags with phrases relevant to your activity

Using hashtags with phrases relevant to what you do can help you attract users interested in your content. For example, if you’re a fitness coach, you could use hashtags like #fitspo, #healthyhabits, or #workoutmotivation to attract users interested in fitness and wellness.

8) Hashtags with acronyms

Hashtags with acronyms can be a great way to save space and make your Instagram posts more concise. For example, #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) and #TBT (Throwback Thursday) are popular hashtags that use acronyms.

Hashtags with acronyms

9) Hashtags with emoji

Using emojis in your hashtags can help you make your posts more engaging and eye-catching. For example, if you’re a travel vlogger, you could use hashtags with emojis like this:

Hashtags with emoji

10) Social causes hashtags

These hashtags relate to social causes or issues, such as #blacklivesmatter, #climatechange, or #mentalhealthawareness. Using social causes, hashtags can help your brand align with essential issues, raise awareness and connect with like-minded individuals.

Social causes hashtags

Hacks to use Instagram hashtags 

With so many hashtag options available, selecting which works best for you can become overwhelming. To make the most of your hashtag strategy, you need to be aware of some hacks that can help you optimize your approach. 

Here are 9 pro tips to keep in mind.

  • Research popular industry hashtags and include them in your content. Keep an eye on trending hashtags and incorporate them into your content where relevant. For example, a fitness influencer might use hashtags like #fitspo and #healthylifestyle.


  • Use Instagram’s search function to discover relevant hashtags in your niche. Type in a keyword related to your content and see what hashtags come up. Instagram’s algorithm will suggest related hashtags based on your search, so you can quickly identify popular ones. For instance, a food blogger might search for hashtags like #foodie and #foodphotography.


  • Analyze your competitors’ hashtags and incorporate them into your Instagram marketing strategy. Keep an eye on your competitors’ hashtags and see which ones are performing well. If a particular hashtag generates a lot of engagement for them, it may be worth including in your content. For example, if you’re a travel blogger, look at hashtags other travel bloggers use in your niche, such as #travelgram and #wanderlust.

analyze competitors

  • Use Instagram Insights to see which hashtags your audience engages with the most. You can see how many impressions, reach, and engagement your hashtags generate. A beauty brand might discover that their followers engage most with hashtags like #makeupaddict and #beautycommunity.

use instagram insights

  • Use Google Trends to research popular keywords and phrases in your industry. A tech company might use Google Trends to find trending keywords like #AI and #machinelearning.

google trends & analytics

  • Monitor social media conversations to discover new hashtags relevant to your brand. For example, a pet store might find new hashtags like #dogsofinstagram and #petlover through social media listening.

monitor social media conversions

  • Use a mix of hashtags to reach a wider audience. A music artist might use general hashtags like #music and #artist and niche hashtags like #indieartist and #livemusic.

use a mix of hashtags

  • Incorporate branded hashtags unique to your brand or campaign. This will help increase brand awareness and encourage others to use the same hashtag. For instance, a beauty brand might use a branded hashtag like #beautyby[brand name] to promote its products.

incorporate branded hashtags

  • Keep track of your hashtag performance using a social media management tool like ContentStudio. This will help you measure the success of your hashtag strategy and make adjustments as needed.

Instagram hashtags analytics by contentstudio

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Also Read: Top Instagram Statistics for Marketers in 2023

Finding the perfect hashtags is made easy with ContentStudio. 

Hashtags are a powerful tool for growing your online business on Instagram and reaching a wider audience. 

Following all the practices outlined in this guide, you can use hashtags effectively to boost engagement, increase followers, and ultimately achieve your social media goals.

And when finding the right hashtags for your posts, there’s no better tool than ContentStudio. With its intelligent hashtag recommendations, the device pulls out trending and high-volume hashtags so you can instantly add them to your posts.

Start using ContentStudio today and put your hashtags strategy on autopilot.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you use hashtags on Instagram successfully?

To use hashtags on Instagram successfully, you should identify the most relevant hashtags for your content, use a mix of popular and niche hashtags, and limit the number of hashtags you use per post. You should also track the performance of your hashtags to determine which ones are working best for your content.

  • What are the three best practices for hashtags?

The three best practices for hashtags on Instagram are:

  • Use a mix of famous and niche-specific hashtags to reach a broad audience and increase the chances of being discovered.
  • Limit the number of hashtags to around 5-10 per post to avoid looking spammy and overwhelming your followers.
  • Research and analyze the performance of your hashtags to determine which ones are driving the most engagement and adjust your hashtag strategy accordingly.
  • Which Instagram hashtags get the most likes?

The most popular hashtags on Instagram are constantly changing, but some consistently popular hashtags include #love, #instagood, #photooftheday, #fashion, #beautiful, and #happy. However, remember that using only popular hashtags for Instagram may not necessarily result in more engagement, as your content may get lost in the sea of posts using the same hashtags.

  • How to find the best hashtags for Instagram?

To find the best hashtags for Instagram, you can also make use of the search bar within the app to look up relevant keywords and see what hashtags are being used by others in those posts. Additionally, various hashtag generator tools are available online to help you find popular and relevant hashtags for your content.\

Also explore our hashtags guides for LinkedIn, TikTok and Youtube.

Read More: Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Threads App


Hareem is a freelance writer for B2B and B2C SaaS platforms. She has a knack for turning technical jargon into engaging stories and has helped many companies convey their brand message with clarity and impact.

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