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Top Hashtags on Instagram: Your Essential Guide for 2023

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Looking for the top hashtags on Instagram?

Almost every post on this popular image-sharing social media platform tends to have one or more hashtags. And for good reasons.

Instagram hashtags are the most effortless way to gain more views and potentially more engagement with your content.

You need to be smart in finding popular hashtags for a particular post and insert them strategically to rip its benefits.

So, in today’s post, let’s find out the top hashtags on Instagram, how they work, and where you can find them. I also discuss the best practices for using an Instagram hashtag.

What Are Instagram Hashtags?

Instagram hashtags are keywords preceded by a # (hash sign) character.

Consider hashtags, the search keywords on social media that provide context to your post and content. You can use letters, numbers, and emojis as clickable hashtags on Instagram.

Nevertheless, this social media platform doesn’t support using symbols (i.e., $%).

Depending on whom you ask, there are up to 9 types of top Instagram hashtags on Instagram. Some of these popular Instagram hashtag categories include:

  • Industry-specific Hashtags (#tipsandguides).
  • Interest-based Hashtags (#blogging).
  • Niche Hashtags (#bloggingtips).
  • Branded Hashtags (#bloggingtipsdotcom).
  • Instagram community hashtags (#bloggersofinstagram).
  • Special Event Hashtags (#bloggerday).

Acronyms, locations, and days of the week are also some popular influencer marketing and small business hashtags categories popular among brands and personal users.

Like Instagram influencers, creating unique hashtags for your brand is also possible.  

How Do Instagram Hashtags Work?

Hashtags are fundamentally a way to group and categorize content on Instagram. You can attach them to your posts to describe their type and purpose to your audience.

It also works as a mechanism for the Instagram algorithm to label your content before serving them to potentially interested users’ feeds.

You can use up to 30 Instagram hashtags in your post’s captions and comments. Using hashtags on your Instagram bio and story posts is also possible.

Used correctly, these hashtags would be clickable and make your public content visible on the platform’s hashtag page. You can also tag your private post, although it won’t make the content visible on the Instagram hashtag page.

You can search for a particular content using a specific Instagram hashtag. As you type your keyword preceded by a #, it offers a hashtag suggestion with related tags.

Once entered, the explore page will find the content using the hashtag and display them for you. This is how new users can also discover your content if they are tagged with a relevant hashtag.

Clicking on a hashtag does the same by taking a user to the corresponding Instagram hashtag page. Instagram also allows users to follow specific top hashtags related to their interests to view trendy posts with the tag on their feed.

While you can be tempted to use multiple trendy hashtags in your social media post, use only the related hashtags. Irrelevant hashtags reach uninterested audiences, irritating your potential followers and the Instagram algorithm.

Check out the following YouTube video to learn more about Instagram hashtags:

Why Should I Use Instagram Hashtags?

Instagram hashtags offer numerous benefits for content creators and their audiences alike. It is still one of the best ways to get discovered and grow your Instagram followers.

Similarly, Instagram users can find the content they like by searching with a relevant hashtag. They can also follow a specific hashtag to get regular feed updates.

Different Instagram users use hashtags on their posts and reels for one or more reasons beneficial for their purpose. Some of the primary reasons why you should use Instagram hashtags are the following:

  • Reaching Your Target Audience: Using hashtags strategically, you can connect with the right people at the right time. This increases the possibility of your post receiving more views, likes, shares, and saves.
  • Getting Picked by Instagram Algorithm: Instagram algorithm scans your hashtags and uses them to label your product before displaying the content to relevant audiences. Consequently, interesting trending hashtags can help your content go viral.
  • Sorting and Grouping Your Content: Like the Instagram algorithm, you can use related hashtags to categorize similar content. Similarly, brands can create niche and branded hashtags to make product and service-related content easily discoverable.
  • Sourcing User-Generated Content: With hashtag research, tracking, and social listening, you can track what your customers say about your products and services on social media like Instagram. This greatly benefits Instagram marketing, generating content ideas and improving customer relations.

For instance, if you are a news publisher, your social media team can categorize today’s news with date or day-specific hashtags.

It is also excellent to make important information quickly discoverable with an Instagram hashtag like #breakingnews. Sorting a series of info on the same topic is also possible with niche-related hashtags.

At the same time, you can check what other news outlets are posting as their #breakingnews. Then, diving deep into the top-performing posts, you can learn what matters to your audience and curate your content accordingly.

Can Hashtags Actually Help To Get More Likes?

Hashtags on Instagram or other social media platforms actually work to drive more traffic to your post. More visibility and discoverability can also enhance your chance of getting more likes and other engagements.

According to the study by Simply Measured of Brand 24, using a single hashtag can generate 12.6% more engagement than a social media post with no hashtag.

It also applies to Instagram. However, hashtags alone won’t get you far in receiving your likes target. After all, your content must be attractive enough for your audience to like it.

You should also focus on reaching the right audience with a particular post and insert an Instagram hashtag accordingly. This is crucial, as irrelevant or banned hashtags can harm your content distribution.

What Are the Top Instagram Hashtags?

Hashtags that are most frequently used by different users in a short period get trending on Instagram. It results in more users tagging their posts with the same Instagram hashtag, increasing its popularity further and taking it near the top spots.

Therefore, the list of top Instagram hashtags keeps changing weekly or daily. Nevertheless, some of the most popular Instagram hashtags remain the same because they get a headstart over a few years.

Currently, the top 10 Instagram hashtags and their corresponding post numbers are:

Top 10 Instagram HashtagsNumber of Posts
#love2.14 Billion
#instagood1.63 Billion
#fashion1.09 Billion
#photooftheday1.02 Billion
#art991.48 Million
#beautiful811.84 Million
#happy690.78 Million
#travel678.98 Million
#style629.88 Million

As you can see, some top hashtags are so ahead that it is nearly impossible for another Instagram hashtag to surpass them. However, the top hashtags at the lower end of the list may change their position sooner rather than later.

There are better ideas than using these hyper-popular, generic hashtags with billions and millions of posts to enjoy the benefits of an Instagram hashtag.

You can find high-performing keywords related to your brands and explore which variations are trending when you post the content.

Like keywords on search engines, consider the post numbers as your competition. The more popular a hashtag is, the bigger the risk of your post getting lost amidst a wave of content using the same hashtag.

The best Instagram hashtag for your brand or a particular post is the one that is relevant to your content.

Your hashtags should explain the context of your content, reach your target audience, and create brand awareness. It should also be aligned with the latest trends for maximum engagement.

How To Find the Best Instagram Hashtags?

Some social media platforms like Twitter publish their top trending hashtags. Unfortunately, Instagram isn’t one of them.

You can find popular hashtags everywhere, including in the above section of my post. However, finding top-performing hashtags relevant to your brand, interest, and purpose requires strategic hashtag research and advanced tools.

1. Conduct a Search on Instagram

As mentioned above, you can type in any words or keywords attached to a # character on the Instagram search, and it will suggest the top hashtags related to your query.

In addition, the hashtag suggestion feature also displays the number of posts using that specific tag on Instagram.

For example, if you type in a popular fitness hashtag like #fitness, the search bar will display #fitnessmotivation, #fitnessmodel, #fitnessaddict, #fitnessgirl, and so on as your hashtag suggestion.

Scroll down the suggested hashtags to find the most relevant popular hashtags for your brand and content.

2. Explore Your Competitor’s Posts

Brands or businesses should know their most significant competition for various marketing purposes. Even if you are a personal Instagram user, you can find a few Instagram influencers who post similar content for a similar following.

Once ready, visit your rival’s Instagram account and check out a few of their posts.

What hashtags are they using in their top-performing posts? Which hashtags aren’t performing as well?

Of course, you shouldn’t copy their hashtag strategy, but this will help you make informed decisions to grow your brand.

3. Check Your Audience Preferences

Any Instagram user can tag their posts with trendy hashtags, but which ones are your followers using? Finding it out would allow you to cater to their interest better and make your content more relevant.

To further your hashtag research, navigate to a specific hashtag page by clicking on any suggested hashtags. Once there, you will find which of your followers already follow the tag.

You can also track some hashtags related to your brand to see which ones are more popular among your customers. Which hashtag do they use to tag your brand or product?

Instagram Insights are excellent for finding your answer, but you can also use a third-party hashtag tracking tool. Then, you can include those hashtags in your content strategy.

4. Create Unique Hashtags for Your Brand

Creating unique tags related to your brand, products, and campaigns is the best way to avoid using generic hashtags and the wave of competing posts.

Then, you can insert these branded hashtags in your Instagram bio and posts, promoting your brands and campaigns.

In addition, creating hashtags for promoting an Instagram takeover event or such can help your audience find related information more quickly.

Once created, make sure to follow your branded hashtags. This will enable you to track the tag’s performance.

You can also check how your customers use your branded hashtag to include related variants and improve your strategy.

5. Use an Instagram Hashtag Generator

Suppose you use a social media management tool like Hootsuite. In that case, you will benefit from its ai-driven hashtag generator that automatically suggests tags famous for your content type and post caption.

However, it requires a subscription fee after the trial period.

You can also use a standalone Instagram hashtag generator like Inflact or Toolzu. Learn how you can find the best hashtags for your brand and go viral with a free hashtag generator in the following YouTube video:


How To Use Hashtags on Instagram?

Finding popular Instagram hashtags is nice and good, but you won’t experience their benefits without correctly tagging your post.

Fortunately, the official Instagram Creators account has provided some tips for including hashtags and maximizing their effects.

While tagging your posts and reels, do the following:

  • Use only 3 to 5 relevant hashtags for each of your posts. Using too many would negatively affect your post’s discoverability.
  • Create a mix between some of your industry’s most popular and niche hashtags.
  • Create unique branded hashtags to sort different post types with additional content. Also, promote them on stories, bio descriptions, and other Instagram marketing activities.

Although some generic hashtags like #explorepage or #viralcontent are trendy among Instagram users, the social media platform recommends against using them.

You should also refrain from using banned Instagram hashtags, which makes your posts undiscoverable.

Frequently Asked Questions

vector graphic showing an illustration of signs of hashtags used on instagram

What Are the Banned Hashtags on Instagram?

Instagram bans some hashtags based on their community guidelines and Instagram user reports. These bans can be temporary or permanent.

The usual suspects are keywords related to profanity, self-harm, or social inequality. However, something as neutral as #beautyblogger or #hardworkpaysoff can also get banned due to post-spamming.

What Hashtags Help Instagram Reels Go Viral?

While you should use hashtags relevant to your Instagram Reels content, you can increase its visibility with the following popular hashtags including #reels, #reelvideo, #reelsinstagram, #reelitfeelit, #trendingreels, #traveling, #mealsandreels and #fitenssreels.

These hashtags can also work as sticker tags for sharing a YouTube video on Instagram Stories.

What Hashtags Are Excellent for Getting More Followers?

Getting more Instagram followers depends primarily on how well you can reach your target audience.

Yet, following hashtags tend to perform better in increasing your followers count including #instafollowers, #followersinstagram, #instagood, #happy, #family, #photooftheday, #petlovers, and #humansofinstagram.

While #explore or #followforfollowback is also popular, these generic hashtags are not that effective.

Wrapping Up

While using some of the top Instagram hashtags doesn’t guarantee more engagement, it can help with your content visibility and discoverability. Eventually, the more views you get, the better your chance of getting more likes, shares, and comments.

You can follow the tips and advice discussed in my guide to find relevant hashtags for your brand and post and use them in the best possible way. First, however, focus on creating quality content that will be appreciated by your followers and potential Instagram audience.

Got any questions or suggestions? Please let me know in the comments. I would also appreciate it if you shared my blog with your fellow Instagram users.

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