Instagram hashtags: everything you need to know in 2022

Last Updated August 31, 2022

Instagram Hashtags Everything You Need To Know in 2022

Instagram hashtags: everything you need to know in 2022

Last Updated August 31, 2022

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Instagram Hashtags: Everything You Need to Know in 2022

Even though hashtags were born on Twitter in 2007, if you want to get more reach for your content, you need Instagram hashtags! They are undoubtedly one of the most powerful ways to get more viewers and engagement on your IG posts.

That said, how do you find the best Instagram hashtags, and which ones will bring you the strongest results? What are the most popular hashtags on Instagram right now? How many hashtags should I use on Instagram? Where do I put them?

These are some of the burning questions that our top Instagram hashtags guide will answer for you!

How Do Hashtags Work on Instagram?

Let’s start with a quick overview. Hashtags on Instagram, as well as any other social network, are designed to help categorize content so that users can find it quickly and easily. Without them, it would be tough to discover new content that you’re looking for.

On Instagram, when you click the Search button, you’ll see a feed of recommended posts for you. These recommendations are based on your Instagram user behavior, and how is the feed populated? Hashtags.

Each Instagram post includes the hashtag that you searched for.

how do hashtags work on instagram

This is why Instagram hashtags are so important— they can help you to get your content on the explore page of your target audience, exponentially increasing your visibility and boosting your reputation.

The Instagram algorithm is what takes these hashtags and categories and puts them altogether in the feed so that users will spend more time on the platform and have quick access to the content that is most relevant to them.

Content with a particular hashtag also appears in a hashtag feed, a dedicated space for that tag along with all content that has been uploaded including it. It is divided into three sections now: Top, Recent, and Reels.

hashtag feed

Even if your content doesn’t appear on the explore page, when a user searches for a hashtag, you may still be able to drive reach by appearing in the hashtag feed, especially if you make it to the Top section.

So… Do Hashtags Still Work on Instagram in 2022?

The short answer? Yes. Instagram hashtags still work in 2022.

There is still much debate about this, however, especially with the developing technology and the ever-changing Instagram algorithm as it becomes more sophisticated.

The Instagram app is slowly moving towards keyword search that doesn’t rely simply on hashtags; this is called semantic keyword search. It works more like SEO in the sense that the words in captions and even the topics in your videos will also be searchable, greatly expanding the possibilities of discovery on the platform.

While that’s all well and good, it doesn’t negate the usefulness of Instagram hashtags and their effectiveness. When you combine a solid hashtag strategy with a killer content strategy, the results can be magic.

Let’s take a look at the most popular Instagram hashtags as of the time this article was written, as well as debunk some of the most popular myths about how to use hashtags on Instagram.

The Top 50 Most Popular Hashtags in 2022

We’ve scoured the internet to help you find the most up-to-date information about trending hashtags on Instagram.

It’s important to note that the top Instagram hashtags are likely to be changing and shifting over time, so you’ll want to monitor these to decide which you want to use on your Instagram account.

That said, based on findings from HubSpot in Instagram feed posts, these are the most popular hashtags at the moment:

  1. #love (2.1B posts)
  2. #instagood (1.5B posts)
  3. #fashion (1B posts)
  4. #photooftheday (988M posts)
  5. #art (888.6M posts)
  6. #photography (864.7M posts)
  7. #instagram 828M posts)
  8. #beautiful (792.1M posts)
  9. #picoftheday (692.8M posts)
  10. #nature (696.4M posts)
  11. #happy (670.9M posts)
  12. #cute (659.7M posts)
  13. #travel (613M posts)
  14. #style (606.3M posts)
  15. #followme (592.5M posts)
  16. #tbt (588.3M posts)
  17. #instadaily (581.2M posts)
  18. #repost (557.3M posts)
  19. #like4like (538.2M posts)
  20. #summer (523.2M posts)
  21. #beauty (492.6M posts)
  22. #fitness (485.8M posts)
  23. #food (475.3M posts)
  24. #selfie (464.3M posts)
  25. #me (463.9M posts)
  26. #instalike (462.1M posts)
  27. #girl (444.7M posts)
  28. #friends (432.7M posts)
  29. #fun (430.9M posts)
  30. #photo (438.4M posts)
  31. #smile (427.4M posts)
  32. #family (411.9M posts)
  33. #life (409.1M posts)
  34. #music (398.6M posts)
  35. #ootd (396.2M posts)
  36. #makeup (368.7M posts)
  37. #likeforlike (360.1M posts)
  38. #likeforlikes (349.9M posts)
  39. #model (336.2M posts)
  40. #dog (333.1M posts)
  41. #design (310.4M posts)
  42. #follow4follow (300M posts)
  43. #amazing (300.5M posts)
  44. #lifestyle (305.3M posts)
  45. #motivation (305.5M posts)
  46. #sunset (299.5M posts)
  47. #igers (294.9M posts)
  48. #explore (318.1M posts)
  49. #handmade (299.8M posts)
  50. #nofilter (286.8M posts)

As you can see, the data was compiled using the total amount of Instagram posts that have been uploaded using the hashtag.

Some trending hashtags that didn’t make the list of the 50 top Instagram hashtags by usage include:

  1. #health
  2. #wellness
  3. #shopsmall
  4. #home
  5. #instafood
  6. #architecture
  7. #business
  8. #linkinbio
  9. #luxury
  10. #interior
  11. #realestate
  12. #smallbusiness
  13. #selfcare
  14. #handmade
  15. #vegas

Just because an Instagram hashtag is used a bunch doesn’t always mean these are the best hashtags to use— after all, there are hundreds of millions of others using the same tag, and it doesn’t give you any niche specialization.

We’ll talk more about how that can impact you later. Let’s find out how many hashtags on Instagram make for a successful strategy.

How Many Hashtags Should You Use on Instagram?

This topic is perhaps one of the most widely debated of any, as many experts and users alike have varying opinions on how many Instagram hashtags you should use. The consensus used to be that 4-11 hashtags were the optimal number, but things may have changed.

Instagram recently announced that creators on the platform should look to use between 3-5 hashtags when posting, even though the max allowed by IG is 30.

It makes sense that Instagram is weaning people off of relevant hashtags, especially if they are going towards a keyword-based approach to search. Instagram wants people to find content organically, through suggestions, which is why hashtags may fall by the wayside in the future.

As things stand, however, hashtags are still an effective way to get discovered.

Based on research done by Later, more hashtags delivered better results in terms of reach. In a study of over 18m Instagram posts, using at least one hashtag made content more reachable, increasing from a reach rate of 24% to 35%. 

What does all this mean?

Currently, using trending hashtags on Instagram is the best way to get your content out to more people, getting you onto the explore page and in hashtag feeds so that people can discover you. As Instagram continues to optimize their search, this could change, and we will keep an eye out for any new updates as they roll out.

What Are the Different Types of Instagram Hashtag?

You may think that all Instagram hashtags are created equal, but in fact, they are not!

There are different types of hashtags that can be included, and for the most effective strategy, you should be mindful of these specifics.

There are five main types of hashtags you can consider for use: 

Types of Hashtags on instagram

– Location-based hashtags: things like #LosAngeles, #CentralPark, or any other place. The hashtag page will show you all of the posts that were taken using that tag. Oftentimes, location tags have a lot of irrelevant posts that aren’t hashtags related– they are totally off topic.

You should do a hashtag search and then consider what kind of content appears on the hashtag page. That may give you an idea about what kind of Instagram accounts use the tag and whether or not you’d fit in among the top Instagram posts for that location.

– Branded hashtags: as the name suggests, a brand hashtag is something you create for your brand and use on every Instagram post you upload.

Also known as campaign hashtags, they can be great to use as event hashtags as well to generate interest for something that’s happening soon.

Some famous examples of successful branded campaign hashtags include #ShareaCoke (Coca-Cola) and #HMxMe (H&M). Always create catchy branded hashtags that will attract people’s attention yet still be relevant to your Instagram posts.

Specific product hashtags may also count as branded, depending on how connected they are.

– Industry hashtags: these describe your niche, including things like #WeddingPhotographer or #InteriorDesign

– Community hashtags: these tags will allow you to connect with particular communities, such as #BodyPositivity or #VanLifeLiving. These community hashtags get great engagement because they are hashtags related to interests and lifestyles. These can also be considered niche hashtags because they relate to a certain group of people and their specific interests.

– Descriptive hashtags: the final type of Instagram hashtags describe the content of the post itself. For instance, if you are a fitness company or influencer and just launched your own exercise bands, you may use a hashtag like #fitnessproducts, #bootybands, or #exercisebands

There aren’t any particular findings that identify one type of hashtag as being better than other, so a healthy mix of these categories can get your content more reach and land you in front of the right audience.

You’ll also find that acronym hashtags can be interesting to some, such as #YOLO (you only live once) or #IYKYK (if you know you know). These acronym hashtags are typically used across all topics, so it might be tough to reach a specific target audience with these.

Daily hashtags are also commonly used by brand and businesses, such as #mondaymotivation, #transformationtuesday, and so on. These can be great for getting your content out there every day of the week, but again, you may not be able to target your viewers as much with these general tags.

How to Find the Best Hashtags for Your Content Strategy

As we mentioned above, you may not want to include the most popular Instagram hashtags and call it a day. After all, these tags aren’t always going to be related to your niche and might not get you seen by the right people.

Let’s imagine you use the number one hashtag on Instagram by usage, which is #love. There are over 2 billion posts that include this tag, and more are going up by the minute. It’s likely that with so much activity, your post gets pushed down the feed, making it less discoverable.

The popular hashtags can look good on your post and you may end up getting a little reach for them, but using a mix of the five categories above as well as focusing on more niche-specific Instagram hashtags will lead to better results over time.

Even if you feel that your Instagram account is still relatively small, you should still create a branded hashtag.

Having branded hashtags on Instagram can contribute greatly to your overall presence on the platform, especially because you can encourage people to tag it. When you do start to grow, you’ll already have that hashtag feed rolling.

Here are three more tips that can help you to nail your hashtag strategy on Instagram and get discovered by as many users as possible, organically.

Tactic #1: Use a Hashtag Suggestion Tool

Third-party Instagram hashtag tools are effective in doing the dirty work for you. Based on your post content and your niche, you can find relevant hashtags without just guessing what might work.

Typically, these tools will help you to generate hashtag lists and give you information about the tag, such as how many times it’s been used and other valuable information. They’ll provide you with the top Instagram hashtags for your niche.

You can then get suggestions for related hashtags based on one search term, which will allow you to develop a strategy that is connected and relevant to the users you’re trying to attract.

Some popular Instagram hashtag tools include AllHashtag, RiteTag, Photerloo Instagram Hashtag and Keyword Generator, and Display Purposes, among others.

hashtag suggestion tool example

When using some Instagram hashtag generators, you will also be able to see data on hashtag popularity to help you identify the best trending hashtag for your niche.

A niche hashtag is great because it can hone in on your audience. For example, if you are using #restaurantssimivalley as opposed to #restaurants, you’re bound to get a lot more targeted views, helping your overall Instagram strategy.

You can use these hashtag generators to brainstorm strategies and find the best niche related hashtags that you may not have come up with on your own.

You can then typically add hashtags you want to use later to your own list, making it easy to copy and paste these tags into your posts.

Tactic #2: Conduct Research on the Instagram Explore Page

What better place to find inspiration for Instagram hashtags than to take to the platform and do some research? You can do that via the Instagram Explore page.

There are two ways you can do this:

1. Visit the explore page and click on photos that are suggested for you. See how these posts use Instagram hashtags, review their Instagram profile and check out other posts, and look through the accounts they’re following.

Keep in mind that these posts were curated for you on your explore page, so choose ones that are more likely to be ones your target audience would enjoy as well. You can use the same hashtags as these suggested posts if you feel they work for your audience.

finding content through hashtag explore pages

2. Do an Instagram hashtag search. Look for tags that are relevant to your niche, and then view the hashtag feed. Review some of the top posts and see what tags they’re using.

An Instagram hashtag search will not only help you to find many hashtags related to your keywords, but it will also show you the volume of each tag as well, which is important if you want to be seen.

Once you find a hashtags you’re interested in via search, you should look at their pages. Hashtag pages will show you all of the content that has been posted using that tag.

You can see what the content looks like and also get some ideas on how to produce content that will get you to the “top” page of the hashtag feed, which is excellent for Instagram marketing without using paid ads.

searching hashtags that are relevant to you

Tactic #3: Check Hashtag Volume Using Instagram’s Tag Search Tool

A variety of times we’ve talked about how frequently a hashtag is used, and this is what we call Instagram hashtags post volume. This metric is one of, if not the most important when considering which tags to use.

When you use hashtags on Instagram with millions of posts, you’re offered less chance of being seen. How?

Instagram accounts will use these generic hashtags very freuenty, which means that all the posts using the tag will be consistently pushed down in the feed. You’re unlikely to appear in a hashtag search.

When using hashtags with only a few hundred posts (less than 1000 posts), you’re probably not going to be seen here either. No one is likely hashtag searching these small tags, which means you’ll need to figure out some new hashtags that are more likely to get people viewing your Instagram feed.

You can easily check a hashtag’s post volume by simply searching the tag on Instagram. You can see which ones could be more valuable for you by looking at the post volume.

checking hashtag volume

Checking this out will also inspire you to use multiple hashtags that are along the same lines as the original one you searched but perhaps with better reach.

You can find this information without having to view the hashtag pages, although that can still be a great thing to do. You can see whether or not the content on these hashtag pages aligns with what you are posting, which will give you an idea about whether or not Instagram users will find your content relevant when searching this tag.

Should You Use Hashtags in the Instagram Caption or Comment Section?

Instagram allows you to use hashtags in both the comment section as well as within your Instagram caption. Because they’re effective in both spots, it’s up to you where you decide to put them.

Instagram hides captions after a certain number of words on the feed, so if the user wants to read more they’ll likely click on the “more” option, at which point all of your specific hashtags will be revealed.

One thing to keep in mind is how your post will appear— if you decide to use a bunch of different tags, it may end up looking a bit spammy. If you’re looking for how to hide hashtags on Instagram, the comment section is your best bet.

You can use the comment section to post your tags so that you have fewer hashtags in your caption, perhaps making a bigger impact.

What’s more, you should keep in mind the timeliness of posting Instagram hashtags to comments. Hashtags that go in the comment section should be put there immediately after the post goes live for best results.

Do Hashtags Help Instagram Marketing Strategy?

Absolutely. There are tons of ways that hashtags for Instagram can boost your marketing efforts and help your account stand out.

For example, using a branded hashtag (or a campaign hashtag) will create a new hashtag page for your profile, which can help to build your reputation when a lot of people post using your hashtag.

What’s more, using the right hashtags related to your Instagram post can boost your performance against the IG algorithm and help get more eyes on your content.

Paid ads are certainly good, but you have to consider how much more reach you can get when you use hashtags on Instagram. All content that uses a hashtag will be put on that hashtag page, which means it’s available for thousands (perhaps even millions) of people to see.

Users on Instagram search multiple hashtags when looking for content, and they’re likely to check out many hashtag pages. If you can do some market and competitive research to better understand your audience, you can certainly find the best hashtags related to your niche.

Instagram unlike Twitter doesn’t impose such strict character limits for captioning, so you’ll also be able to include more top Instagram hashtags that can get you noticed.

These include Instagram community hashtags, a branded hashtag (campaign hashtag), niche hashtags, relevant phrase hashtags, service hashtags, and perhaps even emoji hashtags.

You can be creative when implementing hashtags for Instagram into your marketing strategy; do some A/B testing with the same content and different hashtags to see which one moves better.

You can then determine which are the top Instagram hashtags for you.

Can I Use Hashtags in Instagram Stories?

Yes, not only can you use hashtags in an Instagram post, but you can also use them within Instagram stories!

Instagram stories is one of the most popular features on the platform, so getting your stories into the feed of location hashtags is great. Location hashtags allow stories to be categorized by a particular location, putting all stories into the feed and viewable by Instagram users.

This is a great way to get user generated content and increase engagement in your stories– you can get featured this way and increase your reach as well.

Be sure to always use hashtags related to your content and try to add hashtags that aren’t overused. It’s better to use some of the same hashtags in your Instagram stories as you would in your regular IG content.

What are Banned Hashtags on Instagram?

Aside from the top Instagram hashtags, you’ll also find banned hashtags on the platform.

Some people are skeptical about whether or not a hashtag can really be “banned,” but in fact, there are some Instagram hashtags that appear with no search results.

These are typically Instagram hashtags related to violence, hate, sex, and other topics that go against the Instagram terms of service.

If you add hashtags that are banned to your post, technically nothing will happen; however, your post may not appear in the hashtag feed.

Instagram doesn’t technically hide hashtags, as you can still search for tags that are considered “banned,” but what they do is limit the amount of “recent” posts that display for that tag.

For example, here is what a normal hashtag feed looks like for #frenchbulldog:

Instagram hashtags french bulldog

You can see that there are three tabs at the top of the hashtag feed: Top, Recent, and Reels.

This is what a “banned” feed looks like for the hashtag #besties:

banned Instagram hashtag besties

Unlike the #frenchbulldog feed, there are no Top, Recent, and Reels options. You will only see a message letting you know that recent posts are hidden because “some posts may not follow Instagram’s community guidelines.”

How Instagram determines which daily hashtags aren’t going to follow the guidelines is unknown, but there are tons of different hashtags that seem unassuming that Instagram has limited.

#desk, for instance, will show you the same warning message.

It’s a good idea to try and keep your hashtags out of the “banned” section because you’ll have more of a chance to appear in different places on the hashtag page as opposed to only one feed that is highly monitored by Instagram.

How to Save Time With Your Instagram Hashtag Strategy

Instead of trying to come up with a bunch of Instagram hashtags on the spot every time you post, create a go-to list that you can use when you’re ready to upload. This will help you to save time and make your process more efficient.

You can create different lists for different style posts, have a list that are tags you are considering using in future posts, or even post your favorites all in one spot.

That way, when you’re posting, you can simply copy and paste right into your caption or comment section. You can use the same hashtags multiple times, but just make sure that the trends haven’t changed.

How to Build an Effective Instagram Hashtag Strategy With Analytics

So, how can you build a winning strategy with Instagram hashtags?

Start from a place of knowledge and awareness. It’s important that you do the digging to find out which hashtags are overused, which ones connect to your niche, and which ones could potentially help you get seen by the most people in your target audience.

One way to do this is to do A/B testing with hashtags. Over the course of one week, use a pre-planned set of hashtags, and rotate between them as you post. Then, once the week is done, you can take a look at which posts performed best.

You could also use a third-party tool that will do this work for you. If you opt to do it yourself, keep in mind a few things:

  • The content should be as similar as possible so that you don’t have to wonder whether or not it was the content that affected the engagement and reach.
  • Don’t use too many hashtags— if you use 25 hashtags on your posts, it will be nearly impossible to decide which ones are actually delivering results. Use 2-3 so that you can really see which ones are working for you.

Even though Instagram may be looking to move towards more keyword-based content curation, the hashtag is still the best way to expand your reach on the platform.

Instagram reels are so popular these days in terms of the Instagram algorithm, it’s a great content formet to get noticed; and you can still use hashtags to get them seen even more.

Use Instagram hashtags if you want to expand your audience! You can find hashtag ideas using a search tool, doing your own hashtags search, monitor competitors to quickly spot trending hashtags in your niche, and you can even use an Instagram marketing tool that will help you to find trending hashtags.

What are your favorite Instagram hashtags in 2022? Let us know in the comments!

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