How can Instagram Hashtags Help You Get More Views?

13 min read

#JustDoIt has been mentioned almost 50K times on Instagram over the last 30 days. This hashtag became a magnet for views, a boost in engagement, and a community builder, creating a 79M reach. But what does this mean for a brand or content creator? Read on to learn about Instagram hashtags!

A well-thought-out Instagram hashtag strategy involves understanding the algorithm, diversifying your hashtags, and continually adapting based on performance analytics. Using hashtags well can significantly enhance your content’s reach and engagement on Instagram.

Table of contents:

Do hashtags work on Instagram?


And have more marketing potential than ever.

Instagram hashtags connect different content together and create a roadmap for users. Thanks to them, users can access content that resonates most with their interests in just a few clicks.

But that’s not just it.

When you use hashtags on Instagram, your post becomes part of a larger conversation happening around that specific topic. That’s how the Instagram algorithm knows where to push your posts, reels, and stories.

This increases the chances of your content being discovered by users beyond your existing followers and going viral on the platform.

examples of hashtags on Instagram
Hashtags on Instagram.

A unique feature of Instagram is the ability to follow hashtags. This function makes it possible to stay connected with topics or trends you are interested in.

It’s also a great opportunity for marketers. Using a hashtag makes it easier for your content to reach your target audience that will be genuinely interested in your posts.

This is where you can follow Instagram hashtags
Following hashtags feature.

Monitor and analyze Instagram hashtags!

How to add hashtags to Instagram posts?

Adding hashtags to your Instagram posts and stories is very simple.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to adding hashtags on Instagram:

  • Step 1: Take a new photo or video or add one from your library.
  • Step 2: If you want, add a filter to the photo or shorten the video, then click Next.
  • Step 3: Click Add description… and enter the hashtag symbol and text or emoji (e.g. #JustDoIt).

The Instagram app will display a list of hashtag suggestions after typing the “#” + letter. You can use it as an inspiration.

But don’t always go for the ones that appear at the top of the list. It doesn’t necessarily mean these are the best Instagram hashtags for you.

  • Step 4: Click Share.

Pro tip: Use a mix of popular hashtags, niche hashtags, and branded hashtags relevant to your content. Consider using an Instagram hashtag generator for creative ideas.

However, defining your target audience and crafting unique branded hashtags is a different thing and needs more knowledge and research. Consider using external tools to make it based on the actual data.

Find the best hashtags for you!

Is it better to place hashtags in Instagram captions or comments?

Placing hashtags in both of the places can increase your visibility. Either the caption or the comments section of your post is equally effective. So, the choice is yours.

However, timing is key. You should post your Instagram hashtags immediately after the content goes live.

That is why the main advantage of adding hashtags directly in the caption is the possibility of planning it simultaneously. You don’t have to worry about remembering to add a separate comment.

At the same time, opting to place hashtags in the comment section can help maintain a neat and uncluttered caption. You get a clean look while keeping the visibility benefits that Instagram hashtags offer.

Example of Instagram hashtags in the comments
Instagram hashtags in the comments.

How many hashtags should I use on Instagram?

The debate over how many hashtags to use in a single Instagram post is ongoing and ever-changing.

While Instagram permits up to 30 hashtags per post, the ideal number for maximum engagement is typically between 9 to 11.

I suggest adding a bunch of different hashtags. From the top Instagram hashtags to more unique hashtags.

This way, you can optimize your post for discovery without overwhelming your audience.

The key is balancing hashtag volume with relevancy and engagement potential.

But how to do it?

The best idea would be to align your hashtags with the type of Instagram content you’re posting. Whether it’s an Instagram story, a regular post, or user-generated content. It is crucial to use well-targeted hashtags.

But I get that… it’s not an easy task.

Finding relevant hashtags through tools like hashtag generators or, even better – advanced media monitoring tools is way easier.

Take a look below. This is what a list of related hashtags by Brand24 looks like:

List of related hashtags by Brand24
List of related hashtags by Brand24.

It is based on keywords and data collected all across the internet.

Do you still feel lost? Let’s talk a bit about the possible hashtags to use.

What are the best Instagram hashtags?

There are thousands, if not millions, of hashtags on Instagram. So, defining which ones you want to include in your strategy is a big step.

I created a list of Instagram hashtag categories to make the creative process easier:

  • Trending Instagram hashtags

These hashtags are not so easy to use. The context and understanding of the trend behind the hashtag play a crucial role. Just adding a trending hashtag to a completely irrelevant post won’t work.

That’s why it’s so important to keep up with what’s happening online and know when and how to use trends in your hashtag strategy.

We recently had Oscars, and memes around them flooded the internet. It was a great opportunity for marketers as the content was quite universal and easy to apply to many industries.

We can find many brands and creators using this meme hashtag for their content by searching the #oscars:

An example of trending hashtags on Instagram
Trending hashtags on Instagram.
  • Universal, popular Instagram hashtags

These are the easiest hashtags on Instagram. You should use those if you can’t find relevant hashtags. But in general – these are the ones that drive the least engagement.

A great example of such a hashtag is #MorningRoutine. It’s a very popular phrase but, at the same time – super general. It’s hard to get noticed in the vast content around this hashtag.

Popular hashtags on Instagram.
Popular hashtags on Instagram.
  • Branded hashtags & product hashtags

The main purpose of those hashtags is to gather UGC and increase brand awareness. Brands usually include their name or the name of their products to gather conversations around it.

A fantastic example of a branded hashtag is #NikeRunning. Nike uses this hashtag in posts related to running collections, collaborations with runners etc.

After some time, people started using this hashtag to show their running achievements and stories and to become a part of the #NikeRunning community.

  • Community hashtags

Users usually use them to highlight being a part of the community. For brands, it creates two great opportunities – gathering feedback and conversations and finding UGC content (and it is all in one place!)

Just like with the #NikeRunning – Nike could simply click on this tag and find many insightful comments or pictures to reuse like the one below.

Branded & community hashtags on Instagram.
Branded & community hashtags on Instagram.
  • Niche hashtags

Niche hashtags like #PlantMoms cater to specific communities. That’s why they’re so powerful for targeted engagement.

They connect users with shared interests and create a community around a common passion.

For instance, #PlantMoms is an ideal hashtag for indoor gardening or plant care content. It’s a perfect space for brands and influencers in the gardening niche to engage with an audience that’s genuinely interested in their content.

Creating these niche communities allows you to establish your leadership position within a specialized area.

Niche hashtags on Instagram
Niche hashtags on Instagram.
  • Event hashtags 

Event-related hashtags are a great tool to showcase your brand in a context everyone discusses.

Let’s take the #SuperBowl. Whether it’s crafting content that cleverly ties into the game or just joining the buzz with creative commentary – using it can significantly boost your brand’s visibility.

It’s about connecting with the shared excitement. At the same time, you offer something relevant or entertaining that resonates with the wide audience tuning in for the game.

Event hashtags are a great opportunity to engage with a captive audience ready to share, like, and comment.

Event Instagram hashtags
Event Instagram hashtags.
  • Location-based hashtags

Location-based hashtags are essential for reaching a geographically targeted audience.

They are particularly useful for local businesses, travel bloggers, and event organizers who want to attract an audience interested in a specific location.

For example, sharing content with the hashtag #NYCtips could include insider tips about New York City, hidden gems, or must-visit spots, appealing to both locals and travelers.

Location-based hashtags on Instagram
Location-based hashtags on Instagram.
  • Industry hashtags

These hashtags help categorize your content. It makes it easy to discover for those seeking industry-related information.

For example, using #TechTips can attract an audience interested in the latest technology hacks, news, or reviews.
It’s an effective way to establish authority and share expertise within your industry.

Industry hashtags on Instagram
Industry hashtags on Instagram.

As you probably noticed, sometimes one hashtag could fit into several categories. And it’s usually a good thing! The more categories, the more potential social media reach for you.

Crafting a good hashtag strategy is not a cup of tea, but it is an essential step in your Instagram marketing. 

It ensures your post is targeted to the right audience yet broad enough to reach new people. And it all without appearing spammy.

How to use Instagram hashtags to get more views?

Marketers use hashtags for a number of reasons. It’s a fantastic way to build awareness, find new audiences, and… increase the number of views.

Follow these 7 tips when looking for the best Instagram hashtags for you:

01 Understand the algorithm

Instagram’s algorithm tends to work similarly to SERP engines. The hashtags you use to categorize your content and act as keywords.

They enable those interested in those specific topics to discover your posts by simply typing the hashtag in a search bar.

02 Include a mix of hashtags

Blend trending hashtags with niche and brand-specific ones to create a balanced and effective hashtag strategy. This mix helps your content reach a wide audience while staying relevant to your specific topic or brand identity.

03 Add Instagram hashtags in all the posts

You should avoid repetitively using the same general hashtags (as long as these are not perfectly relevant hashtags).

Try to tailor your hashtags to each post’s content to maintain freshness and relevance. This approach keeps your content dynamic and increases the chances of reaching different segments of your audience.

04 Create and promote a branded hashtag

Establishing a unique branded hashtag, like Nike’s #JustDoIt, is a great way to improve brand identity. This unique tag can become a part of your brand, encouraging community engagement and content sharing.

Using a branded hashtag also simplifies the tracking of user-generated content. Reposting and using this kind of photo or video is invaluable for community building and establishing relationships with your audience.

05 Don’t be scared of Instagram hashtag generators

I know that the hashtags these tools offer may seem spammy at first. But they offer a great starting point for your creative process. Plus, these usually offer some nice statistics about the popularity of hashtags, which are always welcomed. Data-driven marketing is the best marketing!

06 Monitor and improve your Instagram hashtags strategy

Regularly assess the performance of your hashtags. Monitor which ones drive the most engagement and adjust your strategy accordingly.

This ongoing analysis is key to understanding what resonates with your Instagram audience and maximizing your content’s reach. Perhaps using relevant hashtags performs better than trending hashtags? You won’t know without the data.

07 Use Instagram hashtags in different content types

Don’t limit your hashtags to just regular posts. They also perform great in Stories, Reels, and other content types on Instagram.

This practice ensures broader engagement and takes advantage of Instagram’s algorithm, which tends to favor diverse content types.

Monitor your Instagram hashtags!

How to measure Instagram hashtags reach?

Unfortunately, Meta doesn’t offer much when it comes to hashtags on Instagram. We have some basic hashtag analytics and stats about the trending hashtags, and they offer hashtag suggestions when typing the “#” symbol. But this is it.

That’s why tracking the performance of your hashtags is very difficult (if not impossible) without the use of external social media monitoring tools.

Plus, media monitoring tools offer other useful insights. For example, Brand24 can measure metrics like:

This data is invaluable to make your Instagram hashtag strategy better. Don’t you want to be sure you’re using the most effective hashtags?

That’s what I thought.

Let’s take a look at some of the crucial hashtag performance metrics based on a #Dune.

Instagram reach

The hashtag #Dune was mentioned over 60.000 times on Instagram in just the previous 30 days. This massive number indicated an estimated reach of 120M. Crazy huh?

But it perfectly shows what power Instagram hashtags hold.

Instagram hashtag reach & mentions by Brand24.
#Dune reach & mentions by Brand24.

Social media reach

The cool part of using external tools is also getting insights from other platforms. 

For example, Brand24 also monitors social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Reddit, Telegram, and Twitch.

Regarding #Dune, during the last 30 days, it was mentioned 82 277 times on social media platforms, and it indicated a reach of 1 342 716 110.

This number looks more like a phone number than an estimated reach I’m used to!

Instagram hashtag social media reach by Brand24.
Instagram hashtag’ social media reach by Brand24.

Non-social reach

But remember that even if your hashtag was designed to be used on Instagram or other social media, it may go beyond that.

I’ve seen hashtags on platforms like blogs, forums, review sites, or newsletters. All of those places are worth tracking and can bring a more detailed perspective about the hashtags.

#Dune was mentioned 353 times in such places, and this number created a 3M reach.

Instagram hashtag non-social reach by Brand24.
Instagram hashtag’ non-social reach by Brand24.

Monitor your Instagram hashtag usage!

Ok, so we’ve got the basics covered.

Now, here’s a cool part!

Social listening tools can track your hashtag’s performance over time and provide you with sleek reports.

Take a look below. This is what a Compare Periods feature in Brand24 looks like:

AI-based compare periods by Brand24.
Compare periods by Brand24.

But you can also check more detailed analysis and take a look at charts with each of the metrics.

Hashtag mentions comparison over time by Brand24.
Hashtag mentions comparison over time by Brand24.
Sentiment analysis over time by Brand24.
Sentiment analysis over time by Brand24.

Plus, if you’re not really into data or don’t want to spend much time on that – you can get AI-based insights for your hashtag performance.

This is what it looks like for #Dune:

Brand24 AI-based insights for an Instagram hashtag.
Brand24 AI-based insights for an Instagram hashtag.

Brand24 can also analyze your hashtag’s reach and define the most effective reach source.

The most effective reach source for Instagram hashtags by Brand24.
The most effective reach source for Instagram hashtags by Brand24.

Or even detect and name actual emotions associated with your hashtag and discussions around it.

AI-based emotion detection by Brand24.
AI-based emotion detection by Brand24.

Monitor and analyze Instagram hashtags!


Instagram hashtags are invaluable for any marketer looking to enhance their presence on the platform. A well-crafted hashtag strategy can increase reach, engagement, and build a stronger connection with your Instagram audience.

Internal analysis may not be enough to craft a hashtag strategy that will rule the Instagram world. It’s worth going for more advanced tools and gaining more in-depth insights like hashtag mentions, hashtag reach (also non-social), sentiment, and others.

Key Takeaways:

  • Balance the use of various hashtags to maximize reach and engagement.
  • Continuously monitor your hashtag performance to understand its impact on your audience.
  • Use tools like Brand24 for in-depth hashtag analysis and insights.

So, ready to up your Instagram hashtags game? Gain Instagram hashtag insights with Brand24 trial!

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