Instagram Hashtags: All the World’s Wisdom about Them

1 Instagram hashtag can increase post engagement by up to 12.6%

 (according to AdEspresso by Hootsuite.)

Instagram Hashtags

How Do Instagram Hashtags Work?

tags categorize content

An Instagram hashtag is a small driver of the content search on Instagram. For the time being, more than 12 million tags categorize content on Instagram to make it possible for you to find something that you need — memes, inspirational or business content, pets and something you can drool over.

If you enter #dogsofinstagram in the search line, you will find 203 million relevant posts. They will be divided into Top and Recent ones. 

Obviously, Top posts are the most popular ones. It is not necessarily they should get a higher number of likes. Here everything is taken into account — likes, comments, shares, replies in DM. These are the posts with the highest engagement rate among competitors.

Recent posts are the latest ones. Your posts will be in this tab in any way, but for how long it will be visible for people depends on a hashtag itself. That is why your hashtag strategy matters a lot.

Below, we disclose everything we know about hashtags and how to use them for increasing engagement and enlarging the follower base.

How Do You Use Instagram Hashtag in the Right Way?

Your hashtag strategy should take into account the specifics of the performance of hashtags of different frequency of use.

To stay longer in Recent, use the combination of different by popularity hashtags:

popularity hashtags
working popular hashtags

Here is why this is the most working scheme:

  • Popular hashtags draw a wider audience but for an extremely short time.

People search more and use more Popular hashtags (that’s why they are popular) but that’s the problem — you won’t stay in Recent for long being replaced by more recent posts just in a couple of seconds and minutes. Thus, your post will go down in Feed, and fewer people will reach it.

  • Hashtags of average popularity and frequency of use draw less, but wide enough audiences for up to 1-3 hours.
  • Hashtags of low popularity and frequency of use attract not so many people but the post stays visible much longer.
  • Rare or branded tags work for attracting a very narrow target audience, they are used more for lifting engagement and brand awareness.

That is why there is no such notion as “ the best hashtags on Instagram or Facebook, or Twitter.” Only using all types of hashtags let your post be visible in Recent longer. The longer you stay in Recent, the more users interact with your content, the more likely you will get to the Top.

What Are the Most Popular Hashtags on Instagram?

[Selection by categories]

This is the top trending hashtags drawn by our specialists:

General hashtags list


#photooftheday #Instagood #picoftheday #tbt #love #popular #beautiful #fashion #art #food #happy #travel #photography #girl #girls #instadaily #summer #life #amazing #cool #inspiration #bestoftheday  #flowers #sunset  #family

Fashion and beauty hashtags


#styles #outfit #photographer #fashion #photography #handmade #design #instafashion #model #art #beauty #moda #artist #makeup #style

Best hashtags to get followers and comments + hashtags to get likes on Instagram


#followme #followforfollow #followback #followhim #Followall #instafollow #followtrain #ifollowback #pleasefollowme #follow_me #comments4comments  #s4s #shoutoutforshoutout #commentalways #pleasecomment #commentall  #Like4like #instalike  #likeforlikes #like4likes #likeback #likeme #likeall #follow4like #tagforlikes #likeit

Pets hashtags


#dogstagram #dogoftheday #dogsofinstagram #ilovemydog #puppy #cats #catsofinstagram #cat #catholic #cats_of_day #cats_of_instworld #cats_of_instagram #catstagram #catlife #catlovers

Lifestyle hashtags


#cleaneating #eatclean #furtherfasterstronger #seenonmyrun #Runhappy #chilling #kickit #fitness #weekend #happiness #swag #workout #healthy #igers #lifestyle #fit #gym #drawing #tattoo #black #blackandwhite #inspiration #work #wedding #lol

Food hashtags


#hungry #foodgasm #eating #foodpic #foodpics #foodie #yummy #food #foodporn #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodstagram #foodaholic #foodlovers #foodstyle

What Number of Hashtags Is the Best for Post Visibility?

You can add 0-30 Instagram hashtags to every post. But some experts claim that the best number of hashtags is 11 — then, the engagement is the highest.

There is a chart which shows the dependence of post engagement on the number of hashtags added:

Of course, these numbers are fair only for rather promoted accounts. If you have only started your blog, your task is to reach the maximum number of users. You can do that by using more hashtags; even 30 hashtags are ok when you start up.

Off the topic: The best IG hashtags are long hashtags (around 24 characters) — they are better for a post's engagement than short ones.

a chart which shows the dependence of post engagement

Instagram Hashtag Generator: A Useful or Useless Tool for Promotion?

Searching for suitable hashtags is a challenge, especially if you have to do it every day. Those ones, who want to come up with relevant tags faster without time and energy waste, use hashtag generators

Hashtag generator is an artificial intelligence tool, which algorithms generate the selections of best hashtags based on keywords, images, or URLs you provide.

In brief, a Instagram hashtag generator is a useful tool for promotion because:

  • It generates only relevant hashtags — you will attract only the target audience, and the engagement on your profile will gradually grow.

We conducted our own research and found out how Instagram hashtags generated with such tools can increase the post reach and account popularity:

hashtag generators
the most beneficial hashtag strategy
  • It saves time — it takes around 1-2 minutes to come up with the set of tags instead of 20 minutes. You can focus on your content more.
  • It’s convenient and beneficial — Instagram hashtags are already grouped by frequency of use, so you can easily stick to the most beneficial hashtag strategy.