Are your Instagram Hashtags Not Working? Know How to Fix it!

Instagram hashtags not working?

Are your Instagram hashtags not working as expected? You’ve gone the extra mile to curate that perfect #OOTD, nailed your hair and #MUA, collaborated with your favorite photographer, and even timed the elusive #GoldenHour just right—all for the ‘gram! And let’s not forget those efforts to tuck away hashtags, keeping your captions clean and uncluttered. We’re impressed 👏👏!

You did so much to keep up with social media standards! 🙌🙌

But it looks like when you shared your picture and used those hashtags on the post, it did not reach your Instagram followers and did not do so well. It means that your Instagram hashtags are not working, and that’s worrisome.

Your hashtags are not working because you are inconsistent in posting and use the same hashtags regularly. You are mismatching content and hashtags, not using enough hashtags, and using too competitive hashtags.

Sadly, you can’t just throw attractive-sounding hashtags around on Instagram; there are a lot more checkboxes than that. Your first instinct when you see Instagram hashtags not working error may be to assume you are using banned hashtags. However, this may not necessarily be the case.

There are plenty of other reasons behind Instagram hashtags not working.

“Why are my hashtags not working on Instagram?!?!

– Every influencer, at some point 🤓

It can be frustrating when your Instagram hashtags are not working in the Recent feed. Well, fret not – now that you are here, keep scrolling to find out – what could be wrong and how to make the best of all your hard work and hashtags on Instagram. Yes, hashtags are undoubtedly one of the most vital tools that add to the success of your account growth. They make you ‘discoverable’ on a platform of over one billion monthly active users.

So this is us discussing what could be causing your Instagram hashtags to not work and telling you how you could use the coveted ‘#’ symbol more optimally!

Firstly, What Are Instagram Hashtags?

While Instagram has changed a lot since its launch, one thing has stayed consistently and largely unchanged—you know where we’re going with this.

Hashtags. The good old # symbol.

A hashtag is essentially a combination of letters, phrases, and numbers (with no spaces) that is preceded by the # symbol. Using hashtags is a nifty way of categorizing your content. For example, #fitnessfreak would indicate that the post you are using it with has something to do with working out, eating healthy or generally keeping fit.

On Instagram, users can make searches based on hashtags. There are over 2 billion monthly active users on Instagram. This vast user base highlights the potential reach that effective hashtag usage can offer.

instagram hashtag page

This is the hashtag page for photography. It goes without saying that this is a VERY broad hashtag, and you’ll be very fortunate to have your post show up for this particular hashtag. This is especially true for newer accounts. Posts from accounts like these just won’t make it to a hashtag page with over 700 million posts. It is almost impossible to get any impression on such hard hashtags. You should use more specific hashtags instead. More on this later!

If you have a public account and are using the right hashtags, your post is now exposed to a LOT more people apart from your current follower base.

You can add up to 30 hashtags to one post; however, it’s good practice to stick to the right number. In general, limit the hashtag count between 5 and 10 to prevent spamming. Avoid overstuffing!

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So, Do Instagram Hashtags Still Work?!

Even in 2024, using targeted, relevant hashtags on Instagram is one of the best ways to get traction and be seen by a new set of audiences absolutely ORGANICALLY. 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.

There are also some other aspects to consider when using hashtags. You should not string too many words (like forming a whole sentence) together simply because that string will then be too hard to read without spaces.

You should also use your hashtags in a way that looks appealing and is not desperate for reach. Over the years, people have found several ways around this. For example, some Instagrammers put a couple of hashtags in the caption and more in the comments.

How do Instagram Hashtags Work?

When you explore Instagram hashtags, you unlock a world of conte­nt discovery and engageme­nt. By simply clicking on or searching for a hashtag, you are instantly prese­nted with a plethora of public posts connecte­d to that specific hashtag. It’s like pee­ring into a digital window showcasing shared interests and topics.

In simple terms, hashtags allow you to grow your account while keeping the content organized. Users interested in a certain topic can use hashtags to find accounts displaying similar content. 

One of the main reasons for using hashtags is to increase exposure and make content discoverable. Hashtags increase your post’s visibility by ranking it in the search results. They are the key medium that fuels the Instagram algorithm.

Instagram skews towards younger demographics, with over 60% of users falling between 18 and 34 years old. This can help you tailor your hashtag strategy to resonate with this specific audience.

Once you tag a post using a hashtag, click on the hashtag to view a page displaying all the images and video clips other people have uploaded using the same hashtag. You will be able to view top posts as well as the latest posts that use the same hashtag.

With Instagram hashtags, you can invite users to create UGC (user-generated content) for your account to share on your feeds. Hashtags are a way to reach and engage with your audience. 

Let me guide­ you through the two fascinating hashtag sections: ‘Top’ and ‘Rece­nt.’ In the ‘Top’ section, prepare­ to be mesmerize­d by the most popular posts that steal the lime­light and captivate millions of users. These­ remarkable posts have sparke­d immense engage­ment, truly captivating the intere­st of the vibrant Instagram community.

In the ‘Recent’ se­ction, you can find the most recent posts. This allows you to stay update­d with real-time content from the­ creators you follow or discover new voice­s. The emphasis here­ is on being timely and rele­vant.

Ever wonder what dete­rmines the order in which posts appe­ar? Well, it’s none other than Instagram’s cle­ver algorithm. This digital brain takes into account various factors such as likes, comme­nts, shares, and overall engage­ment of a post. Additionally, relevance­ to hashtags and the timing of posting also play vital roles in dete­rmining the ranking.

While posting on Instagram, let’s discuss how some simple tips and tricks can help you avoid wasting your hashtags.

What NOT to Do with Instagram Hashtags?

Learning to use Instagram hashtags can be a tricky business if you’re new to the social media ecosystem. Here’s a quick list to ensure how not to go wrong in this hashtag game:

1. Don’t Forget Hashtag Spacing

For the system to recognize your hashtags and tag, you need to put spaces between consecutive hashtags. For example, a series of hashtags #happy#sunny#beachlife won’t work unless it’s properly spaced.

On the other hand, hashtags that are supposed to work without spaces, like #PetsofParadise are the ones containing more than one word without spaces. You must consider proper punctuation and spacing while drafting hashtags for hashtag optimization.

2. Don’t Waste Your Hashtags

Your hashtags should be more specific to your posts. Don’t just use any hashtag that’s popular. Make sure the hashtags you use are relevant to your content and your target audience.

By using tools from, you can optimize your hashtags and use more relevant tags that are contextual to your brand or post. Contextual hashtags also help you reach the desired audiences required to boost your posts.

3. Don’t Mess up the Timing

Depending on your target audience, choose a time that holds maximum engagement opportunities for your posts.

For example, if it is an event, use your hashtags before/after or during the event when people are searching about it online. Your hashtags will be more effective when your targeted audience is online. 

4. Don’t Use the Same Hashtags on All Posts

Instagram prefers creators who thoughtfully personalize hashtags for every new post. If you repeat the same hashtags for each image, Instagram’s algorithm will not push your posts to its users.

Try not to use the same generic tags for every post, and plan out the hashtags creatively for every image. Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post, but it’s generally best to use around 10-15. Using too many hashtags can make your post look spammy.

5. Don’t Use Complicated Punctuation in Hashtags

Keep your hashtags to the most basic characters, numbers, and letters. Just like improper spacings, complicated punctuations in a hashtag can go unrecognized or hard to repurpose. For example, prefer #peaceandquiet over #peace&quiet or #peace_quiet

Using only the most popular hashtags might attract the wrong crowd to your posts and not reach the targeted audience at all. Your post might do well and get you more likes, but it doesn’t ensure audience engagement with your brand.

Use hashtags that are more targeted and industry and consumer-specific for maximum optimization. It’s a good idea to vary your hashtags from post to post. This will help you reach a wider audience.

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7. Don’t Use Hashtags Just for the Sake of It

It is important to use simple yet effective hashtags to promote your posts. Using complicated, long, and repetitive hashtags might push your posts back and risk your visibility online. Long-tail hashtags are more specific than general hashtags, and they can be a great way to target a niche audience.

8. Don’t Overload Your Caption with Hashtags

While hashtags are essential for increasing discoverability, cramming too many into your caption can make it look cluttered and unappealing. Instead, consider placing your hashtags strategically at the end of your caption or in a comment below your post to maintain a clean aesthetic while still optimizing for search.

9. Don’t Ignore Hashtag Insights

Instagram provides valuable insights into the performance of your hashtags, including how many impressions and engagements each hashtag generates. Pay attention to these metrics to determine which hashtags are most effective for your content and adjust your strategy accordingly. Experiment with different combinations of hashtags to see what resonates best with your audience.

10. Don’t Forget to Mix Up Hashtag Types

In addition to general hashtags related to your content, consider incorporating niche-specific, branded, and community hashtags into your posts. This variety can help you connect with different segments of your audience and increase the chances of your content being discovered by new users. Don’t rely solely on broad hashtags; explore more specific ones to target your ideal audience effectively.

11. Don’t Neglect Local Hashtags

If your business or content is relevant to a specific location, don’t overlook the power of local hashtags. Including hashtags related to your city, neighborhood, or region can help you attract local followers, increase foot traffic to your business, and foster a sense of community among your audience. Plus, competition for local hashtags is often lower, giving you a better chance of standing out.

Before we proceed, let’s clarify what we mean by ‘Instagram hashtags not working’:

  • One possibility is that your posts are not showing up in hashtag search results at all
  • Second, your hashtags are simply failing to expand the reach and engagement of your posts, which is restricting the overall growth of your account. 

Here, we have listed some of the things you might be doing wrong, leading to a situation where your Instagram hashtags are not working, along with quick fixes for you to ace your #GramGame.  

Disclaimer: There is a lot of evidence that already suggests that these fixes do help, but you shouldn’t expect anything out of the ordinary too soon. Stick to these hashtag best practices, and keep posting diligently. Growth will come, we promise!

Reason #1: You are inconsistent in posting😓

Have you chosen a digital detox? Or perhaps you are just having an erratic posting schedule, which means you are sharing two posts today and then five posts in a row two weeks later!

That’s not a good way of managing social media, and it needs some rethinking. Find your jam because inconsistency is typically the number one reason why your Instagram hashtags are not working.

When you are not regular with your posts, you are breaking a pattern, and the Instagram algorithm will not show your randomly posted content to a wider audience. 

Posting consistently on Instagram is discussed a lot, but for a new social media manager, it can be hard to comprehend just how important it is. Studies show that this is one of the main factors considered by the ever-evolving Instagram algorithm when it decides where posts should show up.

While training our AI, we analyzed some random handles, and the graph below shows the impact of posting regularly.  

instagram results graph
Post Engagements Drop With Increased Gaps Between Posts

As you can see, on average, posts generate more engagement when they are posted daily. In case the duration between the posts is more than 3/6 days, the average engagement drops.

Quick fix:

Commit to a posting schedule that can be three times a week or five, and stay at it. This will help your followers know when to expect to see your new content, and the chances are they are going to engage.

It also signals to Instagram’s algorithm that you are dedicated, willing to grow your account and provide value. Or else, hire a social media marketer to ace the job for you. If you are running out of steam with your content ideas or don’t know what to post regularly, check out this overview of a tool that can tell you what works best for your handle!

Just making this one change can lead to a HUGE increase in your organic reach, and that’s a genuine promise.

Finish that Posting Schedule

Reason #2: You are mismatching content & hashtags, and hence, Instagram hashtags are not working

Instagram has a separate explore section where you can browse through each hashtag. Here, you can find posts that are branching out from a similar topic, have some common visual elements, and, most importantly, state the popularity of the hashtag.

For example, search for #QuoteOfTheDay. It has more than 52,000,000 posts, making it an extremely popular hashtag among Instagram followers. The posts have a common visual element of a solid background and an easy-to-read font. 

So if you plan to post using the hashtag – #QuoteOfTheDay with a heavy background image and a complicated font the post is most likely to not perform well. However, if you post with a beautiful pastel shade background with an easy-to-read font, the post is likely to perform very well. Consider this when you’re worried about your Instagram hashtags not working and showing up on the Recents page.

Before you proceed to create content for your Instagram followers, take a minute or two to explore this section of Instagram. This will help you understand the type of content that is resonating with the hashtag’s followers. This easy step will help you reach out to a greater audience set with increased engagement and avoid the problem of Instagram hashtags not working.

Reason #3: You are using the same hashtags🤨

Now that you have read the above two points, you are most likely posting consistently and posting what your Instagram followers want to see on that particular hashtag.

Now, please don’t keep using the same set of hashtags. Show some variety to your audience so that they don’t get bored. Although Instagram hashtag research takes time, using new hashtags helps you reach new audiences and prevents Instagram from penalizing you for spamming with your same tried-and-tested set of hashtags.

So, don’t forget to personalize your hashtags each time you post something enticing. Check out this article to find out what software Ajnabi Lahiri, a Netherlands-based content creator, used to revive her dying hashtag reach!

Finding new hashtags for every new post is time-consuming.

Not anymore! Get quality hashtags in just a few clicks with our free Instagram hashtag generator tool. Go check it out right now!

The same hashtags will limit your reach, as you are not casting your net wide enough. This might also cause the Instagram algorithm to penalize your posts, and you will end up with the problem of Instagram hashtags not working. And we obviously do not want that.



Quick fix:

Reach a wider set audience and manage social media at its best by choosing for variety and broadening out your hashtag use. Mix, match, and whip up the hashtags every time you post new content on your feed. 


Look for trending hashtags for that particular day and mix them up with your content. [Tried and tested]

Reason #4: Instagram hashtags not working because you are not using enough hashtags

There is no particular number of hashtags to be used in one post if that’s what you think. However, each post on Instagram is allowed up to thirty hashtags. This means if you are using only five spots out of thirty, you are most likely missing out on opportunities to explore with your Instagram followers. On the flip side, if you stuff your post with too many hashtags, it may be counterproductive. 

So, the deal is to find the right balance, and that comes with managing social media accounts with varied genres.  There’s no magic number, but research suggests a sweet spot. Posts with 11 hashtags or more tend to get the highest engagement. You need to implement different strategies and play with numbers to figure out what works best for you. We analyzed some random handles, and the graph below shows the impact of using Hashtags in Posts. 

use hashtags for better engagement
Post Engagements Typically Increase with More Hashtags

As you can see, there is a positive impact on post engagement due to the number of hashtags in the posts. 


To manage your social media account, it is good to start at best practice number 30 and test out what works best from there. It might take weeks, months, or even a few years before you find an ideal number of hashtags to use on your posts. But give yourself time and flexibility for trial and error for the best results. 

An easy solution is to try out It will generate new hashtag sets based on your post, eliminating the stress of finding the perfect hashtags.

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Reason #5: You are unable to produce fresh content.

This could indirectly be a reason why your Instagram hashtags are not working. Competition on Instagram these days is beyond insane, and you have to innovate on your content regularly. If you fail to do so, your audience will slowly lose interest. And remember, the unfollow button is always just a couple of taps away.

It is easy to say that your hashtags are not working, but oftentimes, this just isn’t the case. Your hashtags may be working just fine and maybe reaching the exact people that you intended to reach. However, without fresh content, they will always be unlikely to take actions on your posts and Stories.


Keep introducing new content, new color themes, engaging Instagram Stories, contests, giveaways, and whatever else you can think of! It’s Instagram after all, anything related to your audience goes.

Posting consistently is as important as producing fresh content. Use catchy headlines to attract and entice your audience. Also, always keep your audience in mind when creating content.

Innovating your content also means that you will be using different hashtags and hashtag combinations, and this will actively indicate to Instagram’s algorithm that you are trying new things, hence increasing your visibility. Hence, doing this will land you in a blissful multiplier effect on an upward-spiraling reach. Basically, any social media manager’s dream.

Reason #6: You have been shadow banned by Instagram.

Shadow bans have remained a myth for some time, but there is enough proof now that they are real and are affecting thousands of bewildered Instagrammers. Instagram has strict guidelines in place for using hashtags in the right manner. These guidelines are designed to limit spamming attempts and deliver a better user experience.

A shadow ban is when a user’s content on social media sites is blocked from gaining reach/attention. It is done in a way such that the user does not know it is happening, but the user’s content is not showcased on explore pages, which is a huge blow to organic reach. However, it does pop up on the feed of those who are following the shadow-banned user.

When an account or post is shadowbanned, its content is visible only to users who are following it. Since the account is restricted to users already following it, the latest posts will not reach new audiences. 

It can be very hard to determine what caused a shadow ban, but essentially, if you’ve been doing fishy, unethical things with your Instagram account (like buying likes and followers), don’t be surprised if you’ve been shadow banned. Here are some other reasons why a shadow ban could be in effect:

  • Using software that violates Instagram’s terms of service
  • Taking too many actions per hour
  • Using an abused or broken hashtag
  • Getting reported a lot

If you want to know all about the mysterious (but real) Instagram shadow ban, hop onto this detailed blog, where we’ve discussed precautions and causes in minute detail.


To avoid being shadow banned, simply be ethical while operating your Instagram account. Refrain from posting content that is violent or offensive in any way, don’t use illegal software, don’t take too many actions per hour (it’s best to distribute them throughout the day), and carry out active hashtag research so you know the hashtags you’re using aren’t broken. Also, refrain from using the ever-growing and extensive list of about 60,000 banned hashtags.

Reason #7: The hashtags you’re using are simply too competitive.

Most Instagram users sort the hashtag section by ‘Top Posts’ rather than ‘Recent.’ Essentially, this means that the posts that are generating the most traction and engagement are shown first. These are usually high-quality posts from accounts that have a vast fan following.

If you are managing a new Instagram account, using a popular hashtag on your posts may not get your post much attention at all. Since millions of users are using the same hashtag, your post has a few seconds to appear in the recent feed. In this case, it’s not a matter of your hashtags not working. You just need to revisit your hashtag strategies.


For new accounts, try more specific hashtags. Sure, there are way less posts here, so the followers would intuitively be less as well. However, a lower number of posts means that your post will be more visible to the few people that do follow the hashtag.

It’s a matter of little exposure vs. no exposure. Take baby steps to increase your organic reach, and it will eventually create a multiplier effect; before you know it, your 720 impressions will become 7200!

Reason #8: You’re using too few or too many, leading to your Instagram hashtags not working

Okay, so there is some dispute on how many hashtags you should ideally use per post.

Should you use 30 hashtags per post and reach the limit, or keep it short and restrict the number to 2-3? That’s a question for the ages.

A lot of prior research has suggested that one should, in fact, use all 30 hashtags when pushing an Instagram post. Using just ONE hashtag can generate 12.6% more engagement as compared to using no hashtag. Another study suggested that using 11 or more hashtags would generate over 400% more engagement when compared to a post without hashtags.

These studies don’t exactly line up, but they definitely point in the same direction. The more hashtags you use, the more engagement you generate for the post. The question now is, how do you use hashtags so that they don’t look like spam?


Creators have figured out a few different ways of inserting hashtags into captions while making them look non-spammy.

One way of doing this is writing your caption first and inserting hashtags a few lines subsequently, rather than directly next to your caption. This way, the hashtags will still be there, only now they’re neatly tucked away under the Read More button (which the user may or may not click). Here’s an example that I found on the #photography page that I follow; it was at the Top, and not in the recent section:

how to neatly add hashtags in instagram captions

Another clever way of doing this is to leave your caption as it is (or with a couple of attractive hashtags) and put the rest in the comments section. Instagram is unclear on whether this affects reach, but recent studies have shown that hashtags added this way have the same effect.

Still, if your Instagram hashtags are not working, then you must look for some of the best Instagram hashtags that will increase your likes and engagement. As mentioned earlier in this post, you need to implement different practices to determine what number of hashtags boost engagement and give you the best outcome. So, be experimental and creative in your approach.

Reason #9: Frequent updates to the Instagram algorithm

Do you have trouble with your Instagram hashtags? Are you not getting the e­ngagement you used to? We­ll, don’t worry—you’re not alone!

One possible reason for this is the constantly changing Instagram algorithm. The algorithm unde­rgoes regular updates to enhance user experience and combat spam, which can have an impact on how hashtags function.

recent report challenges the traditional view of hashtags and suggests they may not directly increase engagement on their own. This emphasizes the importance of using relevant hashtags to reach the right audience, not just popular ones.

If you have noticed a sudden de­crease in engage­ment, the algorithm has likely been adjusted. This adjustment affects how posts are shown in hashtag feeds. As a result, even if you are using the correct hashtags, you may not be effectively reaching your intended audience as you did before.


To stay ahead, it is crucial to stay informe­d. Regularly keep track of official announce­ments or updates from Instagram regarding any algorithm change­s. By adapting swiftly, you can gain an advantage in navigating these shifts. Additionally, active­ly engage with your audience­ and seek their fe­edback. Developing a strong re­lationship with your followers not only enhances visibility but also incre­ases the likelihood of your conte­nt appearing in their fee­ds despite algorithmic adjustments.

Reason #10: You have a private account

You might have a private account. Having a private account restricts the visibility of your posts to only your approved followers. This limitation can hinder the reach of your content and reduce engagement.

But fret not, and there’s a simple solution: Switch your private account to a public one. By making your account public, your content becomes accessible to a broader audience, potentially increasing engagement and reaching new followers.


Here’s a pro tip for dealing with this issue: Before switching to a public account, ensure you are comfortable with sharing your content with a larger audience. While public accounts can offer more visibility, they also expose your posts to a wider range of users, including strangers.

To switch from a private to a public account, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Instagram profile.
  2. Tap the menu and go to your settings.
  3. Navigate to Settings > Privacy.
  4. Locate the “Account Privacy” option and disable the toggle to make your account public.

By following these simple steps, you can unlock the full potential of your hashtags and connect with a broader community on Instagram.

Reason #11: Insufficient hashtag tool usage for ‘Instagram hashtags not working

Another reason why your Instagram hashtags may not be working is that you’re not using a hashtag tool.

Discover the Power of Hashtag Tools

With the fierce competition on the platform, it’s challenging to manually devise an effective hashtag strategy. But fear not; there are powerful third-party options available to assist you in finding the perfect hashtags for your niche and industry.

One of the best tools out there is the free Instagram hashtag generator. This tool helps you discover the most trending and relevant hashtags for your posts, saving you time and effort. By using such a tool, you can analyze whether your favorite hashtags are contributing to your growth or holding you back.


When using a hashtag tool, focus on a mix of popular and niche-specific hashtags. The popular ones can expose your content to a broader audience, while the niche-specific ones target a more engaged and relevant community. This balanced approach can amplify your reach and engagement.

Reason #12: Poor quality content

Hashtags can’t protect poor-quality content alone. Adding hashtags may not enhance engagement or visibility if what you are posting is not aesthetically appealing or provides value to your target audience.


Proper research on the topic before creating content can help you deliver in-depth information. Make sure you know your audience’s preferences so that you can offer what they want. Most importantly, be original and unique while creating content. 

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Reason #13: Low engagement

Adding hashtags may not be beneficial in raising visibility if your content has a low engagement rate. Hashtags perform best when combined with high-quality content that stimulates interaction and engagement from your fans.

Pro tip:

Creating content on trending topics can boost engagement. Add humor to your content to keep the audience hooked.  Post high-quality visuals, write compelling captions, and ask questions to encourage comments. Host contests or giveaways using relevant hashtags. Interact with your audience by responding to comments and messages.

Reason #14: Hashtag spamming

When you add a huge number of unrelated or repetitive hashtags to your post in an effort to enhance visibility, this is known as hashtag spamming. This is considered spammy behavior and can harm your reach as well as engagement. Instagram’s algorithm may interpret this as an attempt to trick the system and penalize your account as a result.


One of the simple ways to avoid hashtag spamming is to stay away from using banned hashtags. Use a maximum of 20 hashtags per post. Prioritize highly relevant hashtags that describe your content and target audience.

Reason #15: Hashtag stacking

When you utilize numerous unrelated hashtags in a single post in an attempt to boost visibility, this is known as hashtag stacking. While this may appear to be a clever plan, it might hurt your reach and engagement. Instagram’s algorithm may consider this spammy behavior.


Keep your hashtags relevant and cut off any unnecessary ones. Use tools like to discover relevant hashtags with varying popularity levels. Include a mix of popular hashtags (10k-500k posts) for reach, medium hashtags (1k-10k posts) for engagement, and niche hashtags (<1k posts) to target specific communities. 

How to Choose the Right Instagram Hashtags for Likes and Engagement?

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 2023, hashtags play a pivotal role in attracting a large number of eyeballs [engagement] on your post and your overall Instagram marketing strategy.

Hashtags are used in every aspect of Instagram—Reels, Stories, Posts, or IGTV. Their usage helps show content to a larger audience and communicate better. 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 or clients on Instagram (and other social media platforms). It will only help you or them grow your Instagram account long-term.

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
  2. Improved engagement rate 
  3. And, of course, a like-minded community that resonated with your business.

Let’s get started.

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 2024, relevant hashtags 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 repository page
#love – Instagram Repository Page

These pages help reach a larger set of [new] audiences. Consumers on Instagram follow these hashtag repositories 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 who posts a picture like the one 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 post cataloged
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: 

notes for instagram hashtag
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 user profile and are looking to grow your account, consider making your profile on 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 your feed and 10 on Instagram stories. Instagram will not accept more than that and will not post your content. So, if something like this happens to you, don’t fret!

Top 50 Instagram Hashtags of All Time! 😍

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 have a huge list of ‘evergreen’ Instagram hashtags sorted out let’s look at different types of Instagram hashtags.

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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 you use the most relevant hashtags and develop an effective Instagram hashtag strategy.

Community Hashtags:

hashtag community
Build your community using community hashtags

These hashtags resonate and connect a set of like-minded users around a specific subject. They do wonders in connecting people who think alike and enjoy similar things. Also, they help build your own little community on Instagram while increasing your searchability in this huge universe of 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 #IndependenceDay2023, #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 always be up your sleeves and are great ways to get maximum traction, we also recommend that you always use a variety of hashtags on your posts and stories. This will help your content reach different communities at once 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 unique to your company/page when using Instagram for business. It can be something as simple as your company name, #PredisAI, your tagline, the name of one of your popular products, or any suggestive 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.

branded 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 it while sharing stories/posts. This way, your 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 will come out of it. 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
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:

1. 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:

instagram hashtag analytics

This will provide an overall idea of how your hashtags in the previous posts performed and what you can learn from them. Use Instagram Insights or analytics tools to see which hashtags are performing best and adjust your strategy accordingly.

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!

2. Utilize

To understand what complementary hashtags will work on your posts for maximum traction, reach out to Predis.

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

3. 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. Monitor your reach and engagement to identify what resonates with your audience.

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

4. 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. Or use single word captions. 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.

5. 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. Don’t be afraid to test different sets of hashtags to see what resonates most with your audience.

expand reach using hashtag
Use hashtags and expand your reach!

6. 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 focused hashtags instead without fretting too much about 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 that you can use in your content to increase traction.

7. Avoid Hashtags That Are Banned or Are Spammy in Nature.

Instagram will not appreciate this behavior and will immediately penalize your content. This can be catastrophic for your overall Instagram marketing strategy, and in an attempt to grow your account, you’d be taking a step backward.

The only way to ensure that the hashtag you are planning to add to your repository is banned or spammy is to search for it on Instagram. 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 or 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. 

8. Engage with Hashtag Communities

Don’t just use hashtags to get your content seen; actively engage with the communities surrounding those hashtags. Like and comment on posts using the same hashtags, follow accounts that regularly use them, and participate in discussions.

This not only increases your visibility within those communities but also helps you build relationships with other users and potential followers.

9. Monitor and Adjust Your Hashtag Strategy Regularly

The effectiveness of hashtags can change over time due to shifts in trends, algorithm updates, or changes in your audience’s preferences. Make it a habit to review your hashtag performance and adjust your strategy accordingly regularly. 

Monitor metrics such as reach, engagement, and follower growth to identify which hashtags are driving the best results and which ones may need to be replaced or optimized. By staying proactive and adaptive, you can ensure that your hashtag strategy remains effective in maximizing your Instagram presence.

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The Bottom Line

All this and more will help you enhance the hashtag aspect of your #GramGame. We are sure of this: all you need is a bit of patience and perseverance.

Lastly, always use your hashtags correctly! Do not have space between # and the word, and try to use capitals before starting every new word – for example, #MyYogaRoutine instead of #myyogaroutine.

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 your hashtag research process, visit us at The AI will help you choose the right hashtags for your post and handle! ✌️

Now, all you have to do is follow the steps and get the party started! Meanwhile, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to our InstagramFacebook, and X for more ideas.

Use Hasgtag Generator to generate optimal hashtags for your content effortlessly, saving time and ensuring maximum visibility. 

– This post was originally published in 2021, has been updated for accuracy and relevance.

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Tanmay Ratnaparkhe

Co-founder, 2X Entrepreneur, tech enthusiast, and SaaS expert, specializing in Instagram marketing and AI. With a knack for leveraging technology for marketing success, they share valuable insights and strategies to boost your digital presence and productivity.