How to choose the right Instagram hashtags for likes and engagement!

Everything you need to know about using the right Instagram hashtags on your posts! 😉

We will have to agree – Instagram Hashtags are the unsung heroes of social media brand strategies. They do not get their due share! Don’t you agree? The truth is – even today in the year 2021, hashtags play a pivotal role in attracting a large sum of eyeballs [engagement] on your post, and on your overall Instagram marketing strategy. Hashtags are used in every aspect of Instagram – Reels, Stories, Posts, or IGTV. Their usage helps in showing the content to a large set of audience. It is true and proven that a post with at least one or more Instagram hashtags averages more engagement compared to posts without a hashtag. Yes! That is indeed true. Don’t believe us? Try it out yourself.

All in all – it really is worth creating a detailed hashtag strategy for your brand/clients on Instagram (and other social media platforms). It will only help you or them in long-term growth of your Instagram account.

This ultimate guide to Instagram hashtags will help you understand everything you need to know about using a hashtag. After reading this blog, you will have the following:

  1. More followers, read up more about how to grow followers here: How to Get More Instagram Followers?
  2. Improved engagement rate 
  3. And, of course, a like-minded community that resonated with your business.

Let’s get started.

Instagram hashtags
Get Ready!

It is simple but let’s begin by answering a very important question: 

Why are Instagram hashtags important? 🤔

Well, there is one thing that we will have to agree on; Instagram has changed a lot since its inception, from the logo to layouts to new ways of creating content, etc. But all through this, one thing has stayed absolutely consistent – the importance of using hashtags as we mentioned earlier. Even in the year 2021, using targeted, relevant hashtags on Instagram are some of the best ways to get traction and be seen by a new set of audiences absolutely ORGANICALLY. And from here, it is a domino effect that is sure to translate into more engagement, more followers, and more customers for your business! It is basically a win-win situation. 

But it is very important that you have a public account to leverage these Instagram hashtags for likes and engagement. Private accounts will not help you as much purely because of their ‘privacy’. For example – public accounts will help the content float on hashtag repository pages, check the picture below.

Instagram hashtags
#love – Instagram Repository Page

These pages help reach a larger set of [new] audiences. Consumers on Instagram follow these hashtags repository religiously for new content pieces.

Further, It is important and simple to understand that hashtags on the platform are used with an idea to discover and be discovered – the usage of the right hashtags can put you in front of your [potential] target audience, even if they have not been connected with you ever before!

Another example to understand the same is – A food blogger posts a picture like shown below – Citrus Detox Water Recipe, and then uses hashtags such as #FridayMornings #DetoxYourBody #DetoxWater #CitrusDetox. Instagram users can now discover this post on the repository pages of the above hashtags.

Instagram hashtags
Instagram post cataloged under #DetoxWater

Now, that we have a fair idea of using Instagram hashtags for likes and organic growth, it is important to take note of the following: 

Take notes, y’all
  1. As discussed earlier, accounts with private profiles using hashtags on their posts will not benefit because they won’t appear publicly on hashtag pages. So, head up! If you have a private profile and are looking to grow your account – consider making your profile on the Instagram public. This you can simply achieve by tapping on the settings section followed by privacy settings. 
  2. Numbers are allowed when using hashtags. Spaces and special characters such as @#$%, will not work and won’t fetch you any traction.
  3. It is important for you to know that you can only use up to 30 hashtags on a post on feed and 10 on Instagram stories. More than that, Instagram will not accept, and it will not post your content. So if something like this happens to you don’t fret!

Top 50 Instagram Hashtags of All Time! 😍

Instagram hashtags
Thank us later!

Now, that you have come so far in this blog – we are sharing [a goldmine of hashtags] THE TOP 50 Instagram Hashtags of all time! PS: Save it for the future.

  1. #love
  2. #instagood
  3. #photooftheday
  4. #fashion
  5. #beautiful
  6. #like4like
  7. #picoftheday
  8. #art
  9. #happy
  10. #photography
  11. #instagram
  12. #followme
  13. #style
  14. #follow
  15. #instadaily
  16. #travel
  17. #life
  1. #cute
  2. #fitness
  3. #nature
  4. #beauty
  5. #girl
  6. #fun
  7. #photo
  8. #amazing
  9. #likeforlike
  10. #instalike
  11. #selfie
  12. #smile
  13. #me
  14. #lifestyle
  15. #model
  16. #follow4follow
  17. #music
  1. #friends
  2. #motivation
  3. #like
  4. #food
  5. #inspiration
  6. #repost
  7. #summer
  8. #design
  9. #makeup
  10. #TBT
  11. #followforfollow
  12. #ootd
  13. #family
  14. #l4l
  15. #cool
  16. #igers

Also, don’t forget to read up on this blog we recently posted on the topic: Are your Instagram Hashtags not working?

Now that you are sorted with a huge list of ‘evergreen’ hashtags on Instagram, let’s look at different types of Instagram hashtags.

Different types of Instagram hashtags

As a social media marketer, it is important to understand different types of hashtags, as they correspond to varying audiences. This helps in using the most relevant hashtags and developing an effective Instagram hashtag strategy.

Community Hashtags:

Build your community using community hashtags

These hashtags are the type of hashtags that resonate and connect a set of like-minded users around a specific subject. These hashtags do wonders in connecting people who think alike and enjoy similar things. Also, it helps in building your own little community on Instagram while increasing your searchability in this huge universe of Instagram hashtags.
To understand it further, let’s look at types of different community hashtags that you can use:

  1. Hashtags that talk about your product/service such as #Bakery, #CoffeShop, etc.
  2. Hashtags that showcase your niche in your industry such as #CakeDecorater, #TravelPhotographer (niche hashtags are very common amongst freelancers)
  3. Use hashtags for special events or seasons such as #IndependenceDay2021, #SummerSeason
  4. Use location-based hashtags such as – #OldDelhiFood, #AndheriEast, etc.
  5. Daily hashtags such as #TuesdayTip, #MidWeekMotivation, #FridayRoundUp, etc.
  6. Hashtags with phrases relevant to what you do such as #KickBoxingIsLove, #BakeryLove, #BeCreative, etc.
  7. Hashtags with acronyms are a must! #QOTD, #OOTD
  8. And, lastly hashtags with emojis! The cutest way to reach out.

While the above tips and tricks should be up your sleeves at all times and are great ways to get maximum traction, we also recommend that it is always better to use a variety of hashtags on your posts and stories. This will help your content reach different communities at one time and increase the chances of engagement on your posts. Read more about how to generate engagement on your posts here. For example, if you run a bakery account, you could use #GuiltFreeBaking to reach users looking out for healthy options. For users looking out for indulgence, #NoCheatDays, along with location-specific hashtags such as #DineInNewDelhi. This way you will reach out to varying people. Try it out!

Branded Hashtags:

A branded hashtag is a hashtag that is unique to your company/page when using Instagram for business. It can be something as simple as your company name #PredisAI or your tagline, or the name of one of your popular products, or any suggestively a lifelong campaign. You can also opt for an alternative route where this hashtag has nothing to do with your brand name but everything to do with your brand identity! That will work wonders too.

Instagram Hashtags
Branded hashtags are unique to your brand


While community hashtags are meant to increase the reach of your message, branded hashtags are designed to connect themes for you and your target audience. These hashtags can be used to promote a campaign or simply collate User Generated Content. For example: AllBirds, an extremely popular all-natural sneaker company used the hashtag #WeAreAllBirds to drive awareness around their brand and generate brand loyalty by urging their customers to share relevant content.

Getting your followers to use your branded hashtag in their posts and stories is key to getting discovered and reached on Instagram by a new set of audiences. The branded hashtags will allow followers to see and tap on them to know more. It is like a digital way of word of mouth. Once you create your hashtag, remind your customers they can use the same while they share stories/posts. This way, your set of followers can tap the hashtag and see other posts about your business. It’s also a good idea to follow your branded hashtag to keep track of new content that’s being shared. You never know what ‘viral’ thing comes out of it. Each and every hashtag holds value.

Campaign Hashtags

While community and branded hashtags are meant to last, campaign hashtags are however lived for a shorter duration. They run only for a few days, a season, or maybe even a year. The reason campaign hashtags are shorter-term is that they are usually tied to a specific campaign such as a new product launch, special events, topical days like Diwali, or exclusive partnerships. So they are great for building a lot of engagement in a shorter span of time.  

Tips for optimizing your Instagram hashtags 🎯

Optimize your hashtags to their best potential

Lastly, let’s look at how you can optimize your hashtags to their best potential. A great Instagram hashtag strategy does not just reach more people – it also reaches the right people for overall business growth. Here are some tips to optimize your hashtags:

Check your Instagram hashtag analytics

In order to do this, navigate to any post you wish to gain insights on, and tap on View Insights (note that this only works for business profiles on Instagram). After you do this, you’ll see something similar to the following screen:

This will provide an overall idea of how your hashtags in the previous posts performed and what you can learn from it.

If you use different sets of hashtags for different posts, you will get an idea of how well each hashtag set is performing. This is why using a combination of Instagram hashtags is highly recommended!

Utilize Predis.ai

To understand what complementary hashtags will work on your posts for maximum traction, read more about it here.

Essentially, when you input a creative and caption on Predis.ai, along with post improvement suggestions and caption recommendations, it also gives you recommended hashtags. These are predicted using AI, and are generally the most optimal for the particular post and for your handle.

Use your branded hashtags everywhere!

The branded hashtag that you have finalized, should first be added to your bio. This makes your bio interactive and one can tap to move onto the hashtag to see brand credibility/loyalty.

You can also integrate them with your contests and giveaways. When you ask your followers to make content around your products, ask them to use your hashtags as well! This may attract more hashtag followers and also increases your brand authority.

Basically, make an effort to entice your followers to follow your branded hashtag along with using it on their profiles. Holding contests and awarding them for the same are great ways of doing this. This will simply help increase the searchability of your branded hashtag.

Take an extra effort to make your caption look clean

After you have posted your picture and caption, utilize the first comment of the post for discoverable hashtags. This will make your caption look neat and not spammy. A lot of profiles have started doing this of late, and Instagram claims that it doesn’t affect the reach of your hashtags at all.

Alternatively, you can consider leaving a few lines between your captions and hashtags, so your caption is uninterrupted, and still looks clean. Viewers of your posts also won’t see your hashtags unless they click on ‘Read More’, yet your hashtags reach will not be affected.

Add hashtags to your Instagram Stories

Instagram pushes any new update on the platform to garner eyeballs. The same thing is true for Instagram stories too. It has a larger organic reach when compared to posts, so make the most of it. Add up to 10 hashtags to your stories.

Use hashtags and expand your reach!

Don’t put off your hashtag research

While you are posting hashtags in your posts, comments, stories, reels, etc. ensure you take five minutes out of the job and spend some time researching the hashtag via the search tab on Instagram. It will help you understand which hashtag has a larger following, increasing your chances of higher traction.

Also, keep in mind that the best hashtag for you is not the one with the most followers or posts. If you’re managing a relatively new account, chances are that showing up in the Top posts for a popular hashtag will be nearly impossible. Consider using more focussed hashtags instead, without fretting too much of the low follower or post count.

If you haven’t seen it yet, Instagram has a ‘Related Hashtags Feature?’ You can utilize this feature while searching for a particular hashtag and it will show you related hashtags which you can use in your content to increase traction.

Avoid hashtags that are banned or are spammy in nature.

Instagram will not appreciate this behaviour and will penalize your content on an immediate basis. This can be catastrophic for your overall Instagram marketing strategy, and in an attempt to grow your account, you’d be taking a step backwards. The only way to ensure that the hashtag you are planning to add to your repository is banned or spammy in nature is to simply search for it on Instagram and the search results will let you know. It is that easy! Take it a step further and ensure your account is free from all unethical practices like buying followers/likes, using automation software. Taking too many actions in too short of a time frame is also a major red flag.

Lastly, do not use hashtags for the sake of using hashtags. Use hashtags that are relevant and resonate with the content you are pushing. Otherwise, it will seem like you are being lethargic and repeating hashtags, minimizing your traction. 


Have any other tips to share? Tell us in the comments section below, so we can keep updating this blog. If you want to simplify you hashtag research process, visit us at Predis.ai. The AI will help you choose the right hashtags for your post and handle! ✌️

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New to social media management or Instagram? These blogs listed below will get you started, and provide helpful insights on best practices to follow (and those to avoid) on social media: