Imagine yourself as a small fish in the ever-growing, giant pond that we refer to as Instagram, and you will understand how top Instagram hashtags act like a lot more than just the fodder for the posts. For any budding influencer and photographer, who is looking to share his work and increase the number of followers, it is important to understand which hashtags to use. One thing is for sure when you use the hashtags correctly you will see a rise in both the follower number and the rate of engagement.
Being mainly an image and video sharing platform, Instagram has made it super easy for budding photographers to create a portfolio. However, given the millions of pictures, those are uploaded on the app every day, standing out from the crowd is not an easy feat to achieve. Therefore, Instagram hashtags are one of the surest ways of boosting your presence in the world of Instagram.
#1 What are the Instagram hashtags
Before I get into the details of types of Instagram hashtags and how to use them, let me first clarify what exactly the hashtags are, and why Instagrammers are so particular about them.
Hashtags are nothing more than community adopted and user-invented keywords searches that excel in their simplicity and accessibility. It was started on Twitter when one of the users suggested the use of a pound sign before a subject to make it distinguishable. Twitter finally introduced the hashtag in the year 2009, and the rest is history.
In fact, the top Instagram hashtags are so powerful that even using one ensures more than 12.6% engagement, compared to a post that has zero hashtags whatsoever. The rate of engagement stems from the fact that the hashtags help a post reach its target audience, and therefore, bring in more followers to a niche. For a business, it is one of the crucial factors in ensuring that a recognizable and positive brand image is established.
#2 How to write a hashtag
For all the popularity and hype that the hashtags get on Instagram, you would naturally feel that everyone on Insta knows how to use it. Wrong. As far as I have seen, the number of people who actually know how to use Instagram hashtags is surprisingly small.
Using it on a post is as easy as putting the # sign before a single word, or a phrase without any punctuations or spaces. Even numbers are allowed to be put on the hashtags. It is not about typing the hashtag in which people make the mistakes; it is about getting it right with the subtle nuances that are associated with it. Don’t worry, as I have compiled a few rules to help you use the best Instagram hashtags appropriately.
2.1 Rules of using hashtags
Let’s go over these top five rules regarding the right usage of hashtags.
- If you are using the hashtags for discovery and categorization of your profile and posts, do not put too many together using one hashtag.
- Anyone who does a search for a hashtag can only find your post if you have a public account. The posts from accounts that are set to private do not come up in the hashtag searches.
- Do not spam with hashtags. That’s not how it works. Avoid over tagging a post by adding hashtags to every word. Regardless of how many trending Instagram hashtags you use, you might lose engagement after ten.
- Use hashtags only on posts that are relevant to the topic. There’s no point in #bliss beneath the picture of a shoe! It will not help you in any way, and the viewers will just feel annoyed.
- You can also use hashtags in the comment you post on other’s posts, but they will not show up on the hashtag feed.
You can also use hashtags to join in on conversations, like, #WorldCup or #GameofThrones, and the likes. While it is easy to join in on conversations using popular Instagram hashtags, make sure you tread carefully in situations, such as a natural disaster. Using your brand account to respond to such crisis situations makes it look like you are undermining the gravity of the situation by using it as a blatant promotional opportunity.
2.2 How many hashtags are there on Instagram?
While there are thousands and thousands of hashtags present on Instagram, the number of what you can use on your posts is limited by the app. You are allowed to use up to 30 hashtags on one Instagram post. But, I would suggest you not to use so many hashtags in one post as it ends up looking like spam.
Most marketers say that six to seven hashtags are good enough. Having said that fact, I have a good rate of engagement even with the use of ten hashtags.
You do not need to put hashtags in the captions only. The most popular Instagram hashtags are also useful when you put them in the comments or in several comments after posting the picture or videos. Since it does not affect its functionality, the decision to place the hashtags in the captions or comments is totally up to you.
However, there are some situations where I would suggest you put the hashtags in the comments only. For instance, if you are ending the caption on an open-ended question or a call to action, then the long list of hashtags can shift the focus of the user and lead you to miss out on the completion of your desired action.
So, write as much of a catchy caption that you can for your brand, and shift those ten hashtags to the comment section. The hashtags will anyway get buried after a couple of comments but they will still not lose their utility, and at the same time, would not distract the viewer.
#3. Hashtag types
All this while you might be just inserting whatever hashtag you thought was resembling your post without putting much thought into it, but that is not the right way of using hashtags. How to get likes on Instagram hashtags? There are a number of types of hashtag, each serving a different purpose. When you use them effectively, it enhances your chance of being visible to people. You might have noticed that Instagram has undergone several changes in the past few years and they have added new features, tools and also included an entirely new video channel. But throughout these years, one thing has remained the same which is the relevance of hashtags. When you use relevant and targeted hashtags on your posts, it helps you get discovered by new viewers and results in more engagement. If you want to know the different types of hashtags people around you are using, then keep on reading.
3.1 Industry Hashtags
Industry hashtags are hashtags that might not be directly related to what you have posted but these have specific relevance in the industry, and to the audience, you are catering to. These hashtags primarily focus on the sector and industry you are working in. Every industry has a list of notable key influencers, find out about these people and see what they are posting. Take their post as an inspiration as they cater to a well-established audience and try using keywords they are using. You can also look for inspirations from your competitors and other people working in the same industry.
3.2 Niche Hashtags
Niche hashtags are more specific in nature and serves directly to your target audience. In its recent update, Instagram had announced that it would start with testing a new and unique algorithm which would enable the users to see what they like to see first. So using niche hashtags will help you in increasing your visibility. For example, if you are a photographer who has uploaded an image of coffee on Instagram with the caption #coffee, it will boost your post, but when you use a more specific hashtag like #coffeeshots, it will help in reaching a more engaged community who will interact with the post. Got my point?
3.3 Brand Hashtags
As the name suggests, branded hashtags focus entirely on your brand or brand products and services. They help in directing traffic to your posts and in creating eagerness among the audience about your new products. The best way to use them is consciously, piling up your viewer’s feed with hashtags is only going to irritate them, and there are high chances that your branded hashtag might get lost in the process. But also keep in mind that you use them regularly so that your audience identifies it.
3.4 Community Hashtags
Every individual on Instagram is there to build a community where his posts will be appreciated. Community hashtags are almost like branded hashtags that try and bring together like-minded people around a specific subject. These hashtags are not explicit in nature and can be broader and generic. A few examples of community hashtags are #ootd, #dogsofinstagram, etc. so if your post falls under one of these categories, then there is no harm in using them. It helps in increasing your visibility.
3.5 Location Hashtags
If you are not aware of it, let me tell you that even locations have their own hashtags and these can include states, cities, restaurants, country, etc. Location hashtags are helpful for brands that are small-scaled or run in a small part of the city, and it increases your exposure. Using multiple location hashtags can also build local awareness and is a great way to connect to your community. For example, if you are business in Atlanta, then you can use hashtags like #Atlanta, #ILoveAtlanta, #atlantalocal, etc., this can put you in the radar if you were not before.
3.6 Event Hashtags
If your brand is coming up with an event, then as a marketing manager you must pay attention to building hashtags for that particular event. This will increase awareness and reach of your event. When you mention an event hashtag in your post, you are making it easy for the people to categorize your posts and find photos of a particular event. Not only are you building awareness but also pulling a conversation with your viewers.
3.7 Celebration Hashtags
Celebration hashtags are primarily used when you are celebrating an event, holiday, party, weekend, festival, etc. You will see that even less important events and issues like sports events or TV shows use these hashtags to bring close the fans and online community for celebrating the event and pulling up a discussion. For example, #fridayfun, #instacelebration, etc. are hashtags that people use when they are celebrating the start of the weekend. Using these hashtags, people can share events, trips, food spots, weekend plans, etc.
#4. What are the types of hashtags?
I have already explained hashtag types in this article, but there is another category of hashtags. This category does not focus on what you are using but what other people are using and following. Hashtag density talks about the popularity of a particular hashtag and the number of times people have used it. It also refers to the total number of posts that are linked to a particular hashtag. If you are wondering why to think about the density of a hashtag before using it, then let me tell you, density dictates the level of competition you are going to face. It can influence your engagement with the viewers and sometimes even open doors for being featured into somebody else’s account.
4.1 High-Density Hashtags
I wish there were a specific number for categorizing high-density hashtags, but you will come across different numbers on different websites. Any hashtag that has a following and number of posts more than one million will come under this category. These hashtags are hard to rank and have a lot of competition. Using them makes you a part of the bigger picture, and it will eventually help you flourish in the category you are targeting. Using high-density hashtags will also help in getting you likes and followers.
4.3 Low-Density Hashtags
A low-density hashtag does not have many posts, maybe less than fifty thousand which means that the rate of competition is also low here. Using these hashtags can quickly help you reach to the top rank because of the small and tight-knit community it serves. These are an excellent way to target a specific group of people or society. People who are more likely to use niche hashtags fall under this category. The likes that you get by using niche hashtags are going to be very valuable. You can use this opportunity to make new connections and friends online.
How can you find popular Instagram low-density hashtag?
Under my opinion, low-density hashtags are the best, and I strongly recommend you to use it. Using these top Instagram hashtags for likes, you can find people who are intrigued by the same things as you are and love the same things. It increases your visibility and also makes it easy for you to be seen by people because of less competition. When you use niche hashtags, you can easily get onto the top of Instagram’s best posts.
- Proper research – Focus on targeting the audience by using community hashtags, branded hashtags, and niche hashtags.
- Use Instagram hashtags generator in case you do not have the time to research for hashtags.
Although, I recommend you to not stick to one particular type of hashtag and mix and match a little from both the categories to increase your brand’s awareness.
#5. Why don’t your Instagram posts show up in hashtags?
Now, this is an interesting question. A lot of people face this problem when their Instagram post does not show up in the hashtags they have inserted in the post. The reason can be that you might have been shadow banned by Instagram. The question is “what is Instagram Shadowban?”
It is a ban that makes your hashtag undiscoverable by viewers and users. Only the people that follow you (your followers) can see your post on their feed and not the entire Instagram community. It is a temporary ban and happens when a rule has been broken. To get your content back to normal, you will have to fix these red flags. Instagram takes this action when your account has been flagged or when it encounters spammy activity. This ban can last from a few days to a few weeks, mainly the time that Instagram takes to review your account. In this period, your posts will not be visible to much of your audience, and it won’t show up on any hashtags you use.
How can a shadowban be triggered?
- Commenting the same content on too many pictures in a short span of time
- Engaging in the process of buying fake followers
- Using hashtags that are banned
- Liking too many images at once
- Constant use of the same hashtag in every post
- Following/unfollowing a lot of pages or people in a day
How can you prevent this from happening?
- Do not buy fake followers
- Do not automate your account
- Do not use repetitive or banned hashtags
- You can consider taking a two-three day break from Instagram where you avoid posting, liking or commenting to anything.
There are other reasons too why your Instagram posts are not showing up in hashtags:
- Check if your account is public or not. A private account will not make your posts visible to people who are not your followers.
- There can be a possibility that your post has gone very down in the list; this can be due to less engagement.
#6. What are the most popular hashtags for Instagram in 2019?
I am sure all of you now know the importance of hashtags. It helps in getting you more likes and followers and in exposing your brand to a broader audience. Instagram is known for their ever-increasing advanced features, and since the last update, it is now possible to follow hashtags along with pages and people. Below is a list of the best Instagram hashtags for followers used in 2019: