social media how toDo you want more people to see your Instagram content?

Are you using Instagram hashtags?

Using the right hashtags makes it easier for people to find your Instagram posts and grows your reach.

In this article you’ll discover how to use Instagram hashtags to connect with new people on Instagram.

Why Hashtags Matter on Instagram

Instagram is a powerful social channel. With over 400 million users, an average of 80 million photos posted each day and 3.5 billion likes on any given day, it’s a valuable platform to include in your social media marketing mix.

But how can you get some of those 3.5 billion likes for your business? That’s simple: Use hashtags.

grow instagram reach with hashtags

Discover how to grow your Instagram reach with hashtags.

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Instagram is a social channel where hashtags are particularly valuable. According to Buffer, accounts with fewer than 1,000 followers that use 11 hashtags with their photos get an average of 77.66 interactions per post.

With hashtags, you can reach a wider audience and increase your followers. You can also do market research on your competitors and connect with people who have specific interests.

Now that it’s clear hashtags are an important part of any Instagram strategy, here are some ways to use them for your business.

#1: Leverage Established Trends

Popular (or trending) hashtags are a great way to develop an Instagram presence and build brand awareness. There are many popular hashtags you can use, including:

  • #photooftheday: Choose a behind-the-scenes photo of your company and share it as your photo of the day.
natgeo #photooftheday instagram

Instagram users with great photos like those from NatGeo can use #photooftheday to highlight their own stunning images.

  • #selfie: Take a selfie while you’re working (or have your employees do it) and share the selfie on your Instagram account.
  • #instalike: Don’t just use this hashtag, also go through other posts that use it and interact with those users.

#2: Tap Into a Popular Theme

Themes can be a lot of fun, and Instagram has some popular themed hashtags that you can use with your Instagram posts. Here are a few to consider for your business:

  • #TBT or #throwbackthursday: Throwback Thursday is a great way to reminisce about your company. On Thursdays, share your first dollar made or photos from a special event. You can even include cute or hilarious high school photos.
  • #motivationalmonday: Add some positivity to your feed by participating in Motivational Monday. Share quotes or life lessons from your professional life.
erincondren #motiviationmonday instagram

ErinCondren uses #motivationmonday to inspire and connect with her followers and other users.

  • #followfriday: Showcase photos from other users and encourage your followers to follow them with this hashtag. You might even get a reciprocal #followfriday tag from those users. This is also a great way to say thank you to your client base.

#3: Share an Inspirational Quote

Quotes are a great way to get traction and interaction for visual content, and they work as well on Instagram as on your other social channels. Use image tools like Canva to create high-quality image quotes to share. Here are some hashtags to use with them:

  • #instaquote: Use this hashtag with your quote posts. Also look through other tagged posts to boost your client engagement and share something interesting with other users.
  • #quoteoftheday: Whether you use #quoteoftheday or #qotd, you can get some traction from other Instagram users. Consider creating an editorial calendar and plan quotes to share throughout the week using this hashtag.

Share quotes from authors and industry leaders, as well as from your blog posts. Quotes that reflect your brand and goal are typically good choices.

#4: Tell People What You’re Doing Now

Telling people what you’re doing now is a great way to make your Instagram account fresh and inspiring to users. Plus, balancing business with fun is a great way to create a following on Instagram. Try these hashtags:

  • #amreading: Are you reading an interesting book about your industry? Or the latest Stephen King bestseller? Share it with your audience to spark conversation and make new connections.
  • #amwriting: Whether you’re an author or simply writing a blog post, #amwriting is a great tag to use. Plus, it helps drum up interest for your next post.
dashnerjames #amwriting instagram

Dashnerjames uses #amwriting to tell his readers what he’s up to and where he’s writing.

  • #WIDN (What I’m Doing Now): Showing your audience the real you adds personality to your brand. Use this hashtag to share what you’re doing right now, such as taking a yoga break, drinking chai tea at your desk or strolling through the local park.

#5: Drive Traffic to Your Blog

Use the following hashtags to promote a new blog post or show your Instagram audience that you’re working on one:

  • #blogging: While you’re writing a new blog post, snap a photo of your computer and keyboard, add an Instagram filter and share the image with your followers using this hashtag.
veryerrylottie #blogging instagram

The blogger at Veryberrylottie uses the hashtag #blogging to let her followers know about her latest recipes. She uses a call to action to prompt them to click though to her blog.

  • #newblogpost: Once you’ve published a new blog post, share your featured image on Instagram and add this hashtag. Direct people to the link in your bio, and you’ll start driving traffic to your blog from Instagram.
  • #instablogger: This is another tag to add to your blogging hashtag repertoire.

Over to You

Check out the Instagram hashtag suggestions above. Consider adding one or several of them to your future Instagram posts to see how they improve your visibility with new users.

Experiment with other hashtags to see which ones are the best fit for your business and target audience. As you keep an eye out for new hashtag trends to try using with your content, remember they should always be relevant to your industry to get the right type of traction and interaction from your customers and prospects.

What do you think? Do you use hashtags on Instagram? Have you tried any of these hashtags with your posts? Which hashtags work well for your business? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

how to grow instagram reach with hashtags

Tips for growing your Instagram reach with hashtags.

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  • Thanks for the tips and hashtag ideas. I’ve had an Instagram account for a while now, but I’ve barely used it — this might give me the inspiration I need to start utilizing it more.

  • MargaretMuir12

    Love these ideas! It’s crazy how important hashtags are on Instagram. I’m just starting to explore them more with my company’s posts. I’m going to add #motivationalmonday and #quoteoftheday to the posts I have scheduled. Thanks!

  • I’m sorry, but there’s nothing new here. These tips could just as easily apply to Twitter as well.

    Mainly I’m feeling let down. I’m feeling let down by this site and it’s “top-notch” content team.

    Is this the best you can do…rehashing what’s been said before?

    I know you can do better. Please start.

  • Greg, I’d suggest you re-read my post. For example, I’ve tested #newblogpost myself on Instagram with every picture I post that refers back to the new blog, which is linked in our profile daily. This particular hashtag, which is only related to bloggers that post on Instagram, gets our post relevant blog traffic. The right audience likes those photos which tells me it works.

    These are NOT hashtags for Twitter. In fact, ALL the hashtags I’ve shared are NOT relevant to any other platform but, in fact, Instagram. I would argue that anywhere because I have tested them myself. Have you tried them? Do you use Instagram?

    Lastly, what would you add as a “new” tip?

  • Thanks, Margaret!

  • I am thrilled with how fast Instagram traction is happening (my account is @expwriters)… and I wrote it off all these years and didn’t actually start my biz Instagram till this August. Glad you are inspired! Instagram works! 🙂

  • For Instagram I think that Neil Patel’s September 21
    Quicksprout post is more relevant than this.

    For beginner advice, Reginald Chan
    had you beat on September 28 with his post on Hot in Social Media.

    something like Chan’s July 20 post on Instagram tools has better ideas than
    this one.

  • I’ve read all posts and agree those are excellent authors and pieces of content. No doubt there!

    Going back to your statement “these tips could easily apply to Twitter”… shows me you haven’t fully read or understand what I’m even talking about in my post here, because that statement is wrong. Have you tried using these hashtags on relevant posts in Instagram yourself? They really work if you use them how I’ve stated. What would you improve, if you have used them?

  • Shawn Hill

    Great stuff Julia! Also respect your professinal responses to Greg. Keep up the good work!

  • Great post! Thanks for the tips, I had NO idea.

  • Unfortunately this is only pertinent to businesses/bloggers/organizations that serve a national/word wide market. The local corner bakery wouldn’t benefit from these hashtags because they don’t need to be found by people other than those in the geographic location in which they are located. In that instance, I would suggest geographic specific hashtags and any local related event hashtags that would be relevant without hashtag hi-jacking for the sake of promotion.

  • Brenda Marie Hamilton

    Julia, you show a great teaching and sharing quality in your information and I appreciate your professional classy responses to the bullies. Thank you for sharing. xB

  • Chris Jordan

    Hi, Julia! I have to admit that, at first, my reaction was similar to the comments of others who suggested that perhaps they’d like to get a little more from your post here. I do think there’s value here, but I feel like this post is better suited for someone who’s just dipping their toes in Instagram. These tags feel a little generic to me. I might suggest using these but incorporating a healthy mix of more niche tags that apply to the business or its geographic location in order to get more traffic.

    I just took a look at your Instagram account, and what’s impressing me is the amount of engagement you’re getting. You’ve written here that you only just started IG marketing in August, and I noticed that you’re almost at 300 followers now. Considering that you have relatively few followers, you get a good number of likes on each post. What I’d love to see next is a case study that details how you’ve been building your audience, your process for determining the type of IG content that engages your audience & the number of qualified business leads you’ve generated as a result of your posting strategy.

  • Karman Meyer, RD LDN

    Thanks for sharing some new hashtags I hadn’t come across yet! I’ve definitely seen the power of using a variety of hashtags in my Instagram posts as a food blogger, but I’m thinking branching out a bit would do some good so I’ll start with some of these!

  • IG is the best place to use hashtags – especially on #FF or #TBT

  • I don’t use Instagram, nor would I use many of these hashtags. Just yesterday I shared a 2012 post of Twitter hashtags for authors on Google+.

    These same things – ThrowbackThursday, blogger, newblogpost, and other such things – appear in that post and many others we’ve seen since.

    Amreading and Amwriting? That’s old news.

    If you’d like to get perturbed when someone points out that there’s nothing really new here, and that the hashtags apply just as equally across all social networks, that’s fine.

    It doesn’t make up for the fact that this post is rather generic in the advice department.

    A note to the site as well: You’ll do better if your supporting articles don’t all point back to Social Media Examiner.

    I will admit you give one to Buffer and another to an Instagram press release, but maybe you could do with more, and to other sites that are direct competitors to you. Is it really such a bad thing to provide me with as much information as you possibly can?

  • You’re right Antionette – great addition!

  • Good stuff. Come back and share your findings!

  • Thanks, Chris! I think adding business + geo tags is good as well, but must be tweaked to each user and their specific audience. My tips are definitely more general. I do plan on doing an IG case study before the end of the year 😉 Thx for the kudos!

  • Greg, again, you stating that the hashtags apply equally across all networks is incorrect and tells me you haven’t read my post. Would “instablogger” ever work on Twitter as well as it does on Instagram?… I think not.

  • Some useful tips that can easily be implemented but I agree with @akstout18 below I’d like to see an article that focuses on how to increase your reach more locally say by country not the world.

  • Kushal Swain

    A spot on article. I have used some of these hashtags like #photooftheday and #instalike and they did increase traction in my account. In my short experience in instagram, you can also use hashtags which are specific to the theme or business you follow or belong to. As most of my posts are related to nature, tags like #nature #instanature and others, have brought in an increased visit for me. So you could research and find hashtags that are trending in your business and use them as well along with the generic tags.

  • jigaku

    thank you for giving us the good advise for using hashtag in Instagram. what about local brand? if they use local language (Bahasa Indonesia) and most of the follower can’t understand our local language? should we create a local hashtag?

  • Heidi Stenning

    Great advice Julia thank you. My only issue with this is how do I post something that is not a photo onto Instagram? I’ve tried to do a Canva image for a quote for example, but can’t get it onto Instagram itself. Any tips? Thanks.

  • Solid tips, I agree with all of them!

  • Kushal Swain

    If you are targeting the population of a specific location you could research and find the hashtags that are used by the population there. Of course you will need to match them with your business and use the relevant ones but this will surely bring in more visitors and followers. You could create a local hashtag, but then you will have to make additional effort to increase the awareness of the hashtags in both online and offline space. Unless people know of the new hashtag they wont find it. It might be a bit of an extra work but if done in a planned way it would also lead to increased traction.

  • These are great tips! It’s overwhelming trying to pick the right hasgtags and what works for some people doesn’t always work for other.s

  • jigaku

    So the conclusion is to research the trend for a campaign and using tools that can finding a popular hashtag right?

  • Kushal Swain

    Yes, you could use tools or even research and analyse yourself. The latter of course will require time and effort. And as I said, you can create your hashtag. But make sure your target population is aware of it.

  • Hi Heidi! Whatever you want to post on Instagram, you’ll have to download and send to your phone or ipad as a .jpeg or image file. I email it to myself, then get my phone and open the email, save the image, and proceed to open the Instagram app and post with my hashtag keywords (which I have saved in notes for copying/pasting). I too love Canva! 🙂

  • I am new in marketing instagram but I have been reading up about the best practices. Am not an instagram user but I got inspired from companies who tell their brand stories on cue with hashtags.

  • Heidi Stenning

    Hi Julia, great, thanks for that! I was wondering how people did it!

  • Ioana Georgiana Danila

    I really liked the article. I am going to use these hashtags and see what happens. Thanks for sharing!

  • Rozanne Du Preez

    Greg, some of us found this meaningful. You’re assuming that just because you already know something, that everyone does. There are plenty of great ideas here that I can use once I start gramming.
    Also…#instaquote? I don’t would really apply to Twitter. How about you start using Instagram and try to apply some of these suggestions? But until then, you’re really just being narrow-minded and overly judgemental.
    Thank you, Julia. I actually really enjoyed the post!

  • Corinne DeGolier

    Thank’s for all the great hashtag ideas!

  • I really hate it when people use about 20 hashtags though. While Instagram is a visual medium, surely restricting the amount of hashtags is just a ‘classier’ way to engage, for lack of a better word. Of course I’m pro hashtag, but lists and lists of the stuff really do my head in as it feels insincere & phishy!

  • I totally agree with you. Using more than 10-15 per post just makes me feel a bit “spammy”, so I always restrict myself to about that many.

  • Great tips, Julia. Going to implement these for my personal IG account 🙂

  • Would like to see a similar article for small local businesses. I’m not interested in a national audience and most of them shouldn’t be interested in what I’m doing on IG. I’m using hashtags to get local followers and it works great. But what strategies haven’t I thought about. Just one thing I’m not doing could make a big diff

  • Thanks for the post. I’ve been using Instagram for personal & business use, and some of these are fresh for me. Thanks!

  • Usha Choudhary

    Great Post…!!