Digital Marketing

Instagram Hashtag Search: 5 Hacks To Unlock The Benefits Of Great Hashtags

Instagram Hashtag

It sometimes feels like every Instagram post you see is using hashtags, and honestly, most of them are. Before you start adding hashtags randomly, though, it’s a good idea to do an Instagram hashtag search so you can use this effective tool strategically. When there’s no plan behind your hashtags, they likely won’t bring you the results you’re hoping to see.

The Importance of Searching For The Best Instagram Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to get your posts in front of people who are actively searching for specific terms on Instagram. However, just because you think #HamburgerBar would be a great hashtag to use for your restaurant, that might not actually be the case. It might be a hashtag no one is using or it could be one that too many people are using. That’s why searching for the best hashtags using an Instagram hashtag search is so important. Here are a few other reasons why searching should be the start of your hashtag strategy.

1) Find what your ideal audience is using.

Just because you think one particular hashtag is a great idea doesn’t mean your audience will. Instead, by searching for popular hashtags, you can see what people are actually using. Then you can use these hashtags to help get your posts in front of the right people for marketing and promotional purposes.

2) See what your competitors are using.

Whether you want to follow their lead, avoid what they’re doing, or just want to be informed, searching for hashtags your competition is using is an important part of business on Instagram. This will help you make better decisions when you’re choosing your own hashtags, because you can think about what types of hashtags other brands in your industry are using.

3) Discover good, local hashtags.

One of the best ways to use hashtags is by adding local, geographic-based hashtags. This helps people in your local area, especially as there’s a general push to support local businesses. Even if your brand isn’t dependent upon your local area, and you might be able to ship your product anywhere, people still like to find businesses in their hometowns. By searching for the best hashtags, you can discover new local hashtags you might never have thought of on your own.

5 Hacks For Instagram Hashtag Search

So now that you know why it’s important to search for the best possible hashtags, let’s take a look at how you can actually do that. It might feel like an obvious process, but it can often take a while to actually search through all of the possible hashtags you might want to use. Instead, these hacks can help you save time and improve the quality of your search results.

1) Use A Hashtag Generator

Did you know there’s an online tool that actually helps you discover hashtags you might not have known existed? Using a hashtag generator is a great way to stumble upon new hashtags that might be important for your brand to use.

Using a hashtag generator

Why You Should Do This

Like with many things, you don’t know what you don’t know when it comes to hashtags. Popular hashtags change somewhat frequently, and sometimes the best hashtags seem the strangest from an outside perspective. Using a hashtag generator lets you see all sorts of hashtags that are related to any that you might already use or think would be helpful. It’s a great way to easily discover new hashtags.

How to Do This

Hashtag generators are incredibly easy to use. Begin by making a list of as many hashtags you can think of that relate to your brand. Make this a varied list, including a mix of local or geographic hashtags, brand-related hashtags, industry hashtags, and more. Then, go to your favorite hashtag generator and begin typing them into the tool. You might be able to choose the kind of result you want (best match, top, etc.) and then you’ll receive a list of popular hashtags associated with the one you entered.

2) Use Third Party Analytic Tools To Track Hashtag Performance

Analytics are the heart of success on Instagram, just as they are for any marketing strategy. Without measurement, you can’t know what’s working well and what isn’t. Data and reports can show you where you should be allocating more of your resources to generate the best ROI for your brand.

Why You Should Do This

Using external analytics tools to monitor the success of your hashtags can ensure that you’re using your hashtag slots wisely. After all, each post can have a maximum of 30 hashtags. If you find that some of those aren’t performing well, you could be missing out on the opportunity to get in front of the right people.

How To Do This 

There are many different analytics tools that exist for this kind of work. For instance, Iconosquare offers hashtag analytics that share the number of posts on that hashtag, the frequency of posts, and more. You can use this to track general hashtags you want to use or even your own branded hashtags to see how many people are talking about you.

track general hashtags

3) Use As Many Hashtags As You Need

You can use up to 30 hashtags on each post, but you might not feel like you need that many. That’s okay. Or maybe you do think you need all 30 hashtags. That’s perfectly okay, too! Use however many you need to cover your bases and get your posts in front of your ideal followers.

Why You Should Do This

Sometimes it can feel like adding too many hashtags is spammy or annoying for your readers, so some brands use very few hashtags. This isn’t the case. Most people will skim right over the hashtags you use without really reading them. So don’t try to put important information in your hashtags! 

On the flip side, some brands may feel pressured to use all 30 hashtags when they don’t know what to use or don’t want to use all 30. That’s okay, too. There’s no rule that says you have to use all of the available hashtags. However, as you discover more hashtags that work for your brand, it can be a good idea to add them to your list.

discover more hashtags

How To Do This 

Before you start using any hashtags, make sure you have a good mix. Your hashtags should include some related to your industry, some for your product or service, some for whatever’s relevant to the photo you posted, some that are relevant to your caption, and some that are geographically-based. As long as you’re using a variety of kinds of hashtags, it doesn’t really matter how many you include in your post.

4) Use Both Popular And Niche Hashtags

Speaking of using a variety of hashtags, you also want to vary the popularity of your hashtags. You don’t want to use 30 super popular hashtags that all have millions of posts. If you do, your posts are likely to get lost and most people won’t see them. On the other hand, you also don’t want to use 30 super niche hashtags that only have three or four posts associated with them. People probably aren’t searching for these hashtags, so you likely won’t get good results.

Why You Should Do This

By mixing up the size of your hashtags, you’ll create a good blend. This will allow your post to land on some of the popular hashtags, some of the niche hashtags and of course all of those in between. As part of your Instagram hashtag search process, you want to make sure you don’t use banned hashtags. Not only will people not see your post when they look for your hashtag, Instagram will also hide your post across the whole platform. Banned hashtags are tricky, because some of them aren’t obvious. Always check your hashtags to make sure they aren’t banned before you use them.

How To Do This 

Before you post your hashtags for the first time, take a moment to search for them within Instagram. This will show you how many posts show up for each hashtag. 

posts show up for each hashtag

Make sure you have a variety of sizes before you start using them. Then, while you’re searching for them, see if you see a message that says “recent posts for this hashtag are currently hidden.” If you see this message, you’ve found a banned hashtag, and you’ll want to stay away.

5) Don’t Be Afraid To Create And Employ Branded Hashtags

Branded hashtags can sometimes take a while to become popular, but they can be a great way to monitor your brand presence on Instagram. You can use branded hashtags for contests or just encourage your followers to use your hashtag if they’re talking about your brand. You never know what kind of content they’ll create.

branded hashtags

Why You Should Do This

Creating a branded hashtag gives you a way to expand your presence on Instagram. Sure, people could tag your account, but some people don’t like to do that. They’d rather stick with hashtags. Or, you can use a branded hashtag to help categorize your content. If you post about a new campaign, you could use a certain hashtag. Or, if you’re creating a post promoting a product, you could use a hashtag related to that product. Then, Instagram users who are interested in that particular product can click on that hashtag to see all of your posts about it.

How To Do This 

Creating a hashtag is easy. First, search for the hashtag you want to create to see if it’s already in use. If it is, see how recent the posts are. If someone’s used it before, but they haven’t posted anything about it for three years, you’re probably good to use the hashtag anyway. Once you’ve found an open hashtag, start using it on your posts. From there you can encourage your followers to start using it, too, so it can grow in popularity. You can do this simply by talking about it, or you can create a contest where they must use the hashtag to be entered to win.


Hashtags can be an incredibly powerful tool in your Instagram marketing strategy. Before you start using them, doing an Instagram hashtag search can ensure you find the best options for your brand. Follow these hacks and you’re sure to create a quality strategy that’ll help you grow your brand awareness on Instagram.

To Top

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This