How do you find hashtags on Instagram

The basics of Instagram hashtags and which ones are particularly popular

With the right Instagram hashtags you can reach more people, arouse the interest of your target audience and increase your brand awareness. However, you need special strategies for this. This is a challenge for some companies because it can be difficult to spot trends and patterns at first glance. In addition, hashtag strategies are not generally applicable, which can cause confusion.

In this post, we'll show you how to create effective hashtag strategies on Instagram, research popular hashtags, implement strategies and develop them further. We also give you tips on which hashtags you should definitely use on Instagram.

Table of Contents:

  • 1. What is a hashtag and how do hashtags work on Instagram?
  • 2. Types of hashtags
  • 3. What kind of hashtags should I use?
  • 4. How many hashtags should I use?
  • 5. Instagram hashtag tools make your processes more effective
  • 6. How to research hashtags for Instagram
  • 7. Prohibited hashtags: Instagram's dark side
  • 8. Measure the impact of your hashtag strategy
  • 9. Popular hashtags by category

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    What is a hashtag and how do hashtags work on Instagram?

    You can add clickable hashtags to posts on Instagram as well as on Twitter, which direct the user to keywords and topics. Every word and every phrase can be turned into a working hashtag by putting a # in front of it. If users then click on the hashtag, they will be forwarded to a feed in which all of the related content is publicly displayed. Users click on hashtags that they are interested in to find content on Instagram.

    Hashtags are always placed when content is to be discovered. The right hashtags can lead your target group directly to your posts, even if you have not yet made contact with ours. Instagram has now even expanded the way hashtags work by realizing how important they are to the platform. Brands can now add clickable hashtags to their profile fact sheets.

    Instagram Stories has a hashtag sticker that you can use to add hashtags to your stories. When users click on these, they are forwarded to the hashtag feeds as if they had clicked on a hashtag in a post. This allows users to follow the hashtags that interest them, so that the associated content is regularly displayed in their personal feeds.

    Reading tip: You can find out here how to sell directly in Instagram Stories and thus generate more sales.

    Types of hashtags: Connect with your Instagram audience using hashtags

    Understanding which hashtags to use is critical to a solid hashtag strategy. This is the only way you can maximize your sphere of influence and increase interaction with customers. There are different types of hashtags, each with a purpose. Any compelling strategy uses a combination of these.

    Brand hashtags

    These should be listed in your profile and only apply to your shop. You can use it to build your brand awareness and encourage users to use it when sharing their user-generated content.

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    Examples of this are #staycold from Stay Cold Apparel, who mention the hashtag in their bio and call for it to be tagged:

    Generation YES has also created a hashtag from the brand name that users and customers can use to mark their posts:

    With #DareToBeFree, Freeletics has established a brand hashtag that does not directly contain the brand name and under which many postings from users can be found.

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    Location-based hashtags

    These aren't important to all ecommerce retailers, but if you're offering products that are location-based, be sure to use these hashtags. Do you have B. Mugs with the names of certain cities or countries on them? Then use #deutschlandtrinktkaffee or # hamburggrüßt, for example, to establish contact with the relevant target group.

    Entertainment hashtags

    These hashtags are not there to grow your audience, but to deepen the relationship with the audience you already have. These keywords rarely have anything to do with the brand itself, but rather with the situation in the particular post. Entertainment-oriented hashtags like in this example show situations and moods with which the user can identify, such as #party preparation and #ruhevordemsturm.

    Hashtags with mass incentives

    Bulky incentive hashtags are the ones you can basically add to almost any post. They are used frequently, which means that they are often searched for. With them you can occasionally push the sphere of influence of your posts upwards by showing them to existing users. Examples are #instagood and #lovelife.

    One example of this is the modelable distorted people, who tag their posts with the hashtags #streetstyle and #menswear, which thematically match their products and the post and at the same time appeal to a broad masses.

    Time related hashtags

    You may want to remind your followers that it's ok to have a # Monday morning face or enjoy the # summer rain. Contemporary hashtags can e.g. B. refer to certain holidays, seasons or even times of day. Users love contemporary hashtags and are primarily looking for holiday and season content. In this example from 3bears, the start of the day is celebrated in a very special way, using the hashtag #exactly.

    Trend hashtags

    Hashtags experience a hype and are out in the next moment, just like fashion or scene language. Sometimes trending hashtags are just popular hashtags that people are using at a specific time and that have gained popularity for a reason. Often they have to do with current events. Maybe Apple has announced a new version of the iPhone or there will be voting somewhere in the country. These hashtags aren't long-running, but if you use them correctly, you can expand your sphere of influence and generate interest.

    Niche hashtags

    Certain products have target groups with niche interests. People who z. B. buying their own virtual reality system are probably interested in the very latest technology. Customers who want to eat healthily are probably looking for keywords like #bio or # green food. Use niche-specific hashtags to reach important audiences. Just as Generation Yes wants to address customers who are vegan or who are interested in the type of diet with this post.

    Hashtags for special events

    Hashtags can sometimes be like beacons and draw users' attention to special events in your shop. Are you organizing a competition soon? Hashtags like #winningtime and #instagiveaway can help reach the audience you want. This is exactly how hashtags like #blitzverkauf and #zweizumpreis from a bargain hunter appeal and signal to followers that you have special offers online.

    What kind of hashtags should I use?

    Not all ecommerce stores benefit from every type of hashtag. So z. For example, a retailer with a national or even international reach does not have location-based hashtags. And professional B2B companies are unlikely to want to use entertainment hashtags. And that's ok. Use the ones that are best for your brand and audience.

    How many hashtags should I use?

    You can use up to 30 hashtags in a single Instagram post. Now you know how many you are using can, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you'll use that many in every case should. Much research has already been carried out on this topic and different results have been found. However, what most research agrees on is that you should definitely use multiple hashtags (more than one). According to a study by Agorapulse, Instagram posts with hashtags get 70% more likes.

    How many hashtags are best, opinions differ. There are marketers who swear by it that two hashtags are enough. Others, however, are of the opinion that all 30 should be exploited. In truth, the proverbial rule here: trying is better than studying.

    Instagram hashtag tools make your processes more effective

    It takes a lot of time to enter all of the characters - whether you use six or 30 hashtags. Fortunately, there are tools you can use to make your processes more effective. We recommend the following:

    • PreviewApp - The tool enables groups of hashtags to be saved in the app and used in the content. You can then export the posts including hashtags to Instagram. The app also tests your hashtags and tells you which are the most successful.
    • Later - With the “Saved Captions” function you can add captions and hashtags to new posts. Of course you will want to change the hashtags, but if you use a few of them over and over again, this tool will save you a lot of time.
    • Tag for Likes Pro - This tool makes it easier to find, copy and paste Instagram hashtags on mobile devices. You can also create custom lists with multiple hashtags and insert them directly into Instagram.

    If you don't want to spend money on a tool, a general social media tool is probably the cheaper option. You can create a document with different hashtags and then use social media planning software such as Agorapulse, Hootsuite or Sprout Social. Depending on your needs, hashtags or groups of hashtags can then be added to the captions in the posts. Since you can now post directly to Instagram with all of these tools, you may save yourself a few steps and thus work.

    How to research hashtags for Instagram

    Researching hashtags plays a crucial role in sales on Instagram, because this is the only way to identify the most powerful and popular hashtags, get new suggestions for hashtags and find trend hashtags.

    There are several strategies you can use when researching hashtags, depending on whether you want to grow your list or find new trending topics. Let's take a look at the individual strategies:


    If you're looking for trending hashtags or trending topics that are currently relevant, Twitter can give you a head start. There's a trending section there where you can see what people are interested in and what they are sharing.

    Note, however, that hashtags are used differently on Instagram and Twitter, and that Twitter is mostly about news. So only use Twitter for research and don't carelessly copy hashtags and post them on Instagram.

    The competition

    It never hurts to take a closer look at your competitors' strategy. Look for trends and see what hashtags they are using. You may find suggestions for keywords that you can use for your business as well.

    Reading tip: What is the competition doing? You can find out what conclusions you can draw from an online competition analysis here.


    Influencers - including micro-influencers - already have an audience and people seek advice from them, take inspiration from them, and benefit from their expertise. You have mastered the hashtag game perfectly and always find the best and most relevant keywords. Take a closer look at the influencer profiles and get inspiration.

    Tools for researching hashtags

    The above research methods are manual. However, there are also tools for researching hashtags that make it easier to identify trending hashtags and other long-running hits that your company can benefit from.

    Reliable tools for researching hashtags are crucial because you get detailed feedback about certain hashtags that no other tool can provide.

    The following tools are good for this:

    • Keyhole: Since Keyhole expanded its hashtag research to Instagram, it has become one of the most complete hashtag analysis tools out there. You get detailed information on each individual hashtag, including how many users have added it to their posts, the reach of the hashtag and the views it receives. You can also see in how many individual posts the hashtag appears in order to evaluate its popularity.
    • Hashtagify: The tool sees the general and recent popularity of hashtags. It's great for discovering hashtags, as you'll see similar keywords and hashtags that other users use in their posts. Hashtagify can track hashtags over a longer period of time and thus keep an eye on their popularity in order to decide when to change individual hashtags.
    • Ritetag: If you are looking for a tool that will help you generate relevant hashtags as quickly as possible, Ritetag is just the thing for you. The tool will automatically suggest hashtags based on your text and images. Ritetag can also be linked to certain social media management tools to receive suggestions while creating posts there.

    Should my hashtags be visible?

    Nobody wants to read a bunch of hashtags to get to the content. Long paragraphs with hard-to-read text are also not visually attractive.

    Because of this, many brands hide most of their hashtags by placing them below the “Show more” tag. Some even add extra space around the “Show More” section to separate large chunks of hashtag from the rest of the description and make the post look more aesthetically pleasing. Other brands include the hashtags in a separate comment in the post, which can make the hashtags less effective.

    For the most part, it's best when simple at least one blank line between the hashtag and the caption and the hashtags are hidden under the “Show more” tag. This puts the caption in the foreground, making it more likely to be read. In addition, the post looks so clear and appealing.

    Reading tip: You can read here how you can sell directly on Instagram with shoppable posts.

    However, if you're using a hashtag or two for branding or entertainment purposes, they should be instantly recognizable. In this case, make sure that the hashtags are displayed above the fold and come first or at the same level as the caption. This makes it more likely that users will read them.

    There is no need to separate hashtags with more than one blank line, even if you see it quite often. If a user has to scroll for ages before he gets to the comments, there is a high probability that he will jump off and not leave a comment.

    Prohibited hashtags: Instagram's dark side

    Did you know that there are banned hashtags on Instagram? And it's not just about swear words and blunt profanity, although of course that is part of it.

    Instagram regularly prohibits hashtagsoften used for illegal content. With some of them this is no wonder, e.g. B. #shit, but others like #like and #teens could be used for completely innocent purposes. Instagram does not post any new content on feeds with banned hashtags. Often the feed is even deleted completely.

    Hashtags can be banned permanently or temporarily, and if you use them, your post could be shadow-banned. This means that it may not be visible in their followers' feed and also not be displayed when users search for other hashtags in the post. Using a single banned hashtag can ruin all of the work that has been put into the post.

    So before you start looking for new hashtags, first take a look at the list of all hashtags that were banned on Instagram in 2018.

    Measure the impact of your hashtag strategy

    It's important to measure all marketing activities, including your hashtag strategies. But it is often difficult to find out which hashtags work. Especially if several are used in one post. Fortunately, there are several ways to measure the impact of your strategy.

    First of all, see that Overall growth of your channel at.You can do that with Instagram's analytics, but there are also plenty of external social management platforms that go into more detail.

    Check whether page views, sphere of influence and likes for your profiles and posts have increased. How many accounts did you reach through the channel? Has a lot changed since you started using the new strategy? If you don't see any monthly increases, it's time to change your strategy.

    You should also use hashtag research tools to monitor the hashtags on a regular basis. Make sure your popularity is increasing, not decreasing. You can also use tools like Keyhole to keep track of your branded hashtag to keep an eye on the sphere of influence and pageviews and see how often they are used by other profiles. This allows you to better evaluate whether your branded hashtag is promoting your business and whether it is organically gaining momentum.

    Third-party tools can also provide information about the usage of your hashtags and their results. Sprout Social provides excellent hashtag information and shows you, among other things, which hashtags produce the best customer interaction and which you have used the most.

    Popular hashtags by category

    There are a few things to consider when using hashtags on Instagram. The hashtags listed below and sorted by industry / event offer a solid starting point. Use these to get your hashtag strategy rolling.


    • #styleinspo
    • #ootd
    • #outfitoftheday
    • #whatiwore
    • #shoppingaddict
    • #beautydoesnthavetobepain
    • #currentlywearing
    • #instastyle
    • #lookgoodfeelgood

    to eat and drink

    • #instafood
    • #omnomnom
    • #foodporn
    • #food
    • #foodie
    • #organic
    • #healthyeats
    • #goodeats
    • #vegetarian
    • #vegan
    • #glutenfree
    • #hungry
    • #homemade
    • #madefromscratch

    to travel

    • #travel
    • #staycation
    • #vacation
    • #sunsout
    • #resortwear
    • #tourist
    • #travelbug
    • #solotravel
    • #honeymoon
    • #traveltuesday
    • #wanderlust
    • #wanderlustwednesday
    • #travelgram
    • #sun

    Pet grooming

    • #puppylove
    • #mansbestfriend
    • #womansbestfriend
    • #catsofinstagram
    • #dogsofinstagram
    • #dogstagram
    • #doglife
    • #catlife
    • #instapet

    Technology and gadgets

    • #techie
    • #latesttech
    • #ilovemygadgets
    • #gadgetsgalore
    • #apple
    • #android
    • #applevsandroid
    • #wearabletech
    • #VR
    • #mobile
    • #makinglifeeasier
    • #innovation


    • #I do
    • #tyingtheknot
    • #shesaidyes
    • #heasked
    • #fallwedding
    • #rusticwedding
    • #summerwedding
    • #weddingfavors
    • #centerpieces