Hashtag Research Made Easy: 8 Tools to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags for your Brand
Instagram and hashtags go together like salt and pepper; sure Instagram can (kind of) work without hashtags, but it’s so much more powerful with the right hashtag strategy.
Hashtags help brands and marketers reach a wider audience, generate more engagement on their posts and get more followers for their accounts.
They are essentially the not-so-secret sauce to effective Instagram growth.
That said, not just any hashtag will get you the results you’re looking for – that’s why it’s important to know exactly how to find the best Instagram hashtags for your brand.
In order to get the most out of hashtags, you need to constantly experiment, try new hashtags and use different combinations of hashtags.
Read on to discover 8 top tools to help you find the best Instagram hashtags for your brand.
What You’ll Find in This Article
- 6 Best Practices for Using Hashtags on Instagram
- 8 Useful Tools to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags for your Brand
- Key Takeaways
6 Best Practices for Using Hashtags on Instagram
#1 Always research your hashtags before using them
Using hashtags on your posts will boost your results. But that doesn’t mean that just any slightly-relevant hashtag will do. When choosing your hashtags, make sure they are relevant to your post and your audience.
Top Tip: Using super popular but irrelevant hashtags will only serve to look spammy and get you the wrong type of attention. Beyond ensuring that your hashtags are relevant, you should also research them using a tool like Sked Social.
Use Sked Social’s Hashtag Recommendation tool to:
- Double check that your selected hashtags are a good fit
- Discover new hashtags so you’re using the best Instagram hashtags for your brand
#2 Keep your captions clean of hashtags
Since you’re allowed to add up to 30 hashtags, it can certainly be tempting to use them all. After all, more hashtags mean a higher reach, right?
However, using too many hashtags in your captions can look messy and even a bit spammy. But there is an easy fix: just post your hashtags in the first comment rather than the caption.
That, however, can be a bit of a pain as you have to wait for your post to be published and then comment.
Or, it can be very easy: Sked Social is the only tool in the market that lets you actually schedule first comment hashtags and publish them automatically.
#3 Leverage more niche hashtags
Using popular hashtags that have high volume is certainly tempting; after all, the more popular they are, the bigger the chances you’ll reach a much larger audience. Right?
Super popular hashtags with millions of posts might get you some extra attention, but is it the right attention?
Most likely, the people who will interact with your updates because of the popular hashtags you used (such as #love #instagood or #photooftheday) will not be a part of your target audience. They won’t be people who will stick around for longer to check out more of your updates, and ultimately, start interacting with the business or brand you’re promoting.
This isn’t to say that you should never use popular hashtags – but rather that you should try to leverage niche hashtags in your posts, as they will help you reach a much more targeted audience.
For example, here’s how Brit and Co use niche foodie hashtags to cut through the noise – as there are so many super popular food hashtags that attract millions of posts, using less popular ones can actually help the post reach more targeted people:
#4 Use a mix of different types of hashtags
Will high volume hashtags be the best Instagram hashtags for your brand? Sure, there might be a lot of brands using popular hashtags but the competition is also fierce.
This means that the more popular the hashtag is, the less chance your post is likely to be seen for it.
Instead, try using a mix of different types of hashtags, from super niche-hashtags (for example, from 100-1000 posts) to some middle-of-the-road hashtags (that have hundreds of thousands of posts) to a few highly popular hashtags (with millions of posts).
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#5 Don’t use the same hashtags over and over again
It can be tempting to use the same hashtags numerous times, but the best advice about that is…don’t. Instagram frowns upon it. Plus, it won’t allow you to learn which hashtags work best for your brand. You’ll more than likely be stuck reaching the same audience over and over again.
#6 Measure your results, learn and optimize
Following up from the previous point, it’s important to monitor your Instagram insights to see what works and what doesn’t, as well as find ways to improve your hashtag strategy time and time again.
Keep a close eye on your analytics to see which of your posts get the best results. Then ask yourself, ‘what hashtags did I use in those posts?’
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Of course, there are more factors that make up a post’s success, but the more you use hashtags and monitor your metrics, the easier it will be to understand which hashtags actually boost your results.
8 Useful Tools to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags for Your Brand
Now you know what kinds of hashtags to use on Instagram. But how do you find the best Instagram hashtags for your brand? Read on to discover 8 useful tools – and discover your favourite:
1. Sked Social
Sked Social is an all-in-one Instagram platform, offering direct publishing and scheduling tools (including for Instagram videos and Stories!), in-app image creation with Canva, multiple account management, a built-in photo editor and hashtag tools – and these are just some of its features.
But, I’m here to talk about hashtags –how does Sked Social help me improve my Instagram hashtag game?
For one, it has a powerful hashtag recommendation feature that appears whenever you add at least one hashtag to your caption or first comment box (which I’ll tell you all about in a second):
As you can see above, the tool will list out several recommended hashtags based on the hashtag/s you’ve already used.
What’s really cool here is that it also tells you how popular they are. And gives an indication of whether they are ‘OK,’ ‘good’ or ‘great’ to use. The more hashtags you type or add, the more targeted the suggestions become.
Another very cool feature – and one mentioned earlier– is that you can actually schedule your hashtags for the first comment on your update, to keep your caption clean.
No other tools do that.
So if you’re looking for a tool that can:
- Handle Instagram posting and scheduling
- Manage, organise and discover hashtags
- Post hashtags in the first comment
- Help you create and edit your content in-app
- Report on post performances
Look no further: try Sked Social’s free trial.
2. Display Purposes
Display Purposes is all about Instagram hashtags – and helping you find the right Instagram hashtags for your brand.
It’s a pretty basic, but quite a useful tool. All you have to do is type a hashtag or 2 in your search box. This way the app knows what kind of suggestions to display:
First, it lists out all of the suggestions, so that you can just copy and paste them to add them to your update.
Next, it lists out each of the hashtags found; hover over them and you’ll be able to see what their relevance is to your query, as well as what their popularity is like, in percentages.
If you’re looking for a hashtag research tool that’s a bit more in-depth in the research department, Hashtagify could help.
It’s a hashtag tool that helps you find, monitor and analyse hashtags in detail:
Everything from the hashtag’s popularity, to its top influencers, who uses them and which countries use them most. Hashtagify analyses it all.
Plus, Hashtagify also provides examples of related hashtags in a world cloud – click on any of the hashtags that catch your eye to analyse them as well.
4. Hashtag Expert for IG
If you’re looking for a hashtag app that you can use on the go, Hashtag Expert for IG is one of the most popular options available in the iOS App Store.
However, it’s not necessarily so much of a research tool as it is a tool to help you quickly find and copy over numerous hashtags.
Once you search for a hashtag, the app will generate 30 related hashtags; click on “copy 30 hashtags” to copy them over to one of your updates (or for safekeeping and later research), or click on “view advanced results” to see how popular each hashtag in the list is:
As you might notice above, sometimes the tool adds very popular hashtags to the group of suggestions. So, proceed with caution: some hashtags might not be related to your content (like #art or #lifestyle in the example above).
If you choose to use this tool, we recommend taking the time to go through the list before you click on the “copy” button.
5. All Hashtag
All Hashtag is a hashtag tool that works for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and helps you generate and analyse the best Instagram hashtags for your brand.
To get started, simply pop your keyword in the search box, then select what types of hashtags you want to see. For example, select ‘Top’ for the most popular related hashtags and ‘Random’ to generate hashtags related to your keyword:
The tool generates a list of 30 related hashtags that it considers the best Instagram hashtags for your brand. But if you scroll down your results page, you’ll see even more recommendations of similar hashtags.
Another feature this tool boasts is Hashtag Analytics, which lets you study a particular hashtag in more depth.
Seekmetrics is, first of all, a social media analytics tool; and, separate from that, they also offer a hashtag generator which you can try out for free:
As you can see above, it’s not the most complex of hashtag tools, but it’s not striving to be either.
Seekmetrics is a basic hashtag generator where you can easily find and copy/paste hashtags to use in your Instagram posts.
AutoHash is another hashtag smartphone app, but this one is also available from the Android Play Store and it has some really interesting features.
The way it works is, you show the app your photo, then it tells you the best hashtags that you should use based on its so-called “super smart computer vision algorithms”. Essentially, it recognizes the different elements in your photos and then generates related hashtags; for example, if it were featuring food, the tool might pull up hashtags like #foodie and #yum.
Other features include “favourite hashtags”, for saving your most used hashtags – and a “hashtags counter”, which tells you how many hashtags you’ve used on a post and how much more space you have left.
And last but not least, Webstagram is another hashtag search tool. It’s a simple case of entering your keywords, hashtags or username and the tool will generate suggestions (while also telling you how many posts each hashtag has):
All the hashtags generated are hyperlinked. So when you click on one of them, it takes you to a list of all top posts using those hashtags – which is pretty useful for getting some inspiration.
Did you find the hashtag tool you were after? When making your final decision. It’s important to ask yourself a few questions.
- What do you want from your hashtag tool? Are you simply after random hashtag generation or would you prefer more targeted hashtag options?
- Is it just hashtags you’re after? Or would you prefer that this tool is teamed with scheduling, post editing and publishing?
- How will you measure your hashtag success? Will you be manually monitoring your hashtag’s success, using a tool or cutting to the chase with an analytics feature?
Over to You
Using the right hashtags can make a huge impact on your Instagram efforts. Take your time going through these tools to find the ideal solution for your needs, but remember that it’s not just about saving time and finding hashtags quickly – it’s about understanding which are the best Instagram hashtags for your brand. Then using tools to experiment, research and continue optimizing your strategy.
Which hashtag tool will you use?
Curious about what Sked Social’s Hashtag Recommendation tool has to offer for you? Try Sked Social’s 7-day free trial and experience the ease that comes with auto-posting Instagram, Facebook and Twitter content. Plus, you’ll discover our in-app photo editor, smart caption duplicating and planner view for a perfect feed. Join our Sked crew, see what all the fuss is about and save 5+ hours per week in the process.