Instagram and hashtags go together like cheese and crackers.
Sure, Instagram can (kind of) work without hashtags, but it’s much more powerful with the right hashtag strategy. And creating a hashtag strategy is so much easier with intuitive hashtag research tools that can help bring that strategy to life.
That said, not just any hashtags will get you the results you’re looking for. Only through strategic Instagram hashtag research and optimization can you find the best, most relevant hashtags for your brand.
But how can you conduct your hashtag research efficiently, without it taking a lifetime? The answer: hashtag research tools! Read on to discover how to research hashtags and get our favorite hashtag research tools to will help you find (and track) the top Instagram hashtags for your brand.
How Can Hashtag Research Tools Help You?
It’s pointless using hashtags that are irrelevant or overused – so much so that in some cases, you’re better off not using them at all! Using well-researched, relevant hashtags instead of spammy ones can make all the difference to your Instagram post performance.
If you’re already producing great content, the right hashtag research can mean that more relevant Instagram users will see your content. That means that, as a result, you’ll see:
- Increased post reach,
- Increased engagement,
- Growth of your Instagram following,
- Increased leads, and
- Increased conversions, if you have a seamless path to purchase.
Hashtag research tools can help you find the right hashtags, to begin with. Then, once you’ve created a hashtag strategy, hashtag tools can also help you track your posts to see which hashtags are working best – and which aren’t!
Over time, you’ll be able to refine your Instagram hashtag strategy and even your content strategy, allowing you to deliver better, more relevant content to the right audiences. Keep reading to discover how to do hashtag research and which tools can help you conduct that research as efficiently as possible.
11 Useful Tools to Boost Your Hashtag Research
Now you know why you should be using hashtags on Instagram. But how do you find the best Instagram hashtags for your brand? Which tool you decide to use will depend on a few factors:
- Your expertise. If you’re just starting out with hashtag research, or even with social media marketing for that matter, you might want to start with a tool that’s easy to use, at least in the beginning.
- Your needs. Have you identified that social media marketing could present a really strong, cost-effective opportunity for your brand to reach new customers? If so, you might want to find a powerful tool that allows you to research and track hashtags, as well as perform a range of other functions.
- Your role. Are you a social media manager keen to optimize your brand’s social strategy? Or are you a time-poor business owner who wants a tool that’s super easy to use? Think about your role and how you need to use social media tools. Do you need data and reporting insights? Or do you just need a tool to help with processes, like a scheduler?
- The size of your business. If you’re just starting out with your business, you may be able to get away with using a free or low-cost tool, at least to begin with. Then, as your team grows, or as the role of social media grows for you, you can start to invest more in various social media tools.
These are all important considerations when considering the best tool for you and your team. It goes without saying that any new tool needs to also fit in with (or replace) the tools you already have. Some people find a combination of tools works best, while others prefer to have just one.
Read on to discover the best tools out there that can streamline the hashtag research and social media management process. Start experimenting today and you’ll be that much closer to discovering your favorite!
Now there’s a small chance I might be biased, but IMO Sked Social is one of the best tools out there when it comes to hashtag research. It’s an all-in-one Instagram platform, offering direct publishing and scheduling tools (even for Instagram videos and Stories!), in-app image creation with Canva, multiple account management, a built-in photo editor, and hashtag tools – and that’s just to start off with!
But, I’m here to talk about hashtags – so how does Sked Social help improve your hashtag research game?
For one, Sked Social 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). This makes the scheduling process super seamless. Instead of “setting and forgetting” your hashtag research, you can conduct your initial hashtag research and then continue optimizing your posts from there.
Display Purposes is essentially a hashtag generator. It’s all about helping you find the right Instagram hashtags for your brand.
While it’s pretty basic with limited features, it’s still quite a useful tool, especially if you don’t have a significant budget to invest in social media marketing just yet.
To use Display Purposes, all you have to do is type a hashtag or two into the search box. This way, the app knows what kind of suggestions to display.
It will then use your suggestions to come up with related hashtags, like in the example below.
First, Display Purpose will spit out all of the suggestions associated with the hashtag/s you’ve added, so that you can simply copy and paste them to add them to your next post.
Next, it lists out each of the hashtags found. If you hover over them, you’ll be able to see deeper insights, such as what their relevance is to your query. The tool also gives each hashtag a popularity score as a percentage.
Just be aware that the tool can spit out hashtags that aren’t super relevant. Keep in mind that the more hashtags you add, however, the more targeted hashtags it will spit out, so aim to add as many relevant tags as you can.
Functions: Hashtag research and discoverability only.
Best for: Freelancers or business owners who are just starting out.
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 analyze hashtags in detail.
The platform contains data on everything from the hashtag’s popularity to its top influencers, who uses them, and which countries use them the most. Hashtagify analyzes it all.
Plus, Hashtagify also provides examples of related hashtags in a word cloud – then you can simply click on any of the hashtags that catch your eye to see further analysis on those hashtags.
Cost: Free if you want to analyze hashtags on Twitter, but for Instagram hashtag research and deeper analytics functions it starts from $29/month.
Functions: Hashtag research and in-depth hashtag analytics and tracking.
Best for: Social media managers or agencies who primarily use Twitter can use the free version of Hashtagify.
Then, anyone who wants an in-depth hashtag tracker and who already has other tools for scheduling and reporting can use the paid version. For instance, perhaps you’re trying to monitor the growth of specific hashtags, like brand terms, across specific channels. In that case, Hashtagify could suit your needs.
Tagsfinder is similar to Display Purposes, but the functionality using this hashtag research tool is a little better. Why is that? Well, this tool allows you to select a language and a country location, enabling you to find localized hashtags.
To use Tagsfinder, in the search function, you can add up to ten hashtags. Simply add your language and location and then hit “Search”.
The tool will then provide a list of related hashtags that you can easily copy and paste. If you see a hashtag in the list that isn’t relevant, simply click the “X”, and remove it. The tool will replace it with another.
Tagsfinder also has location-specific data, so it can be a handy tool if you’re doing some general research and want to see what is trending in your country or popular cities at a glance.
Functions: Hashtag research.
Best for: Social media managers or business owners who are looking for a hashtag research tool but don’t have a large budget. This tool works best for those who still have some knowledge of social media, and who also have other complimentary tools for scheduling and reporting. It’s great for brick-and-mortar businesses or service-based brands that need local hashtags.
All Hashtag is a hashtag research tool that works for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. It helps you generate and analyze the top 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, if the original hashtags don’t work for you.
If you’re looking for volume, this is the perfect hashtag research tool, as it can generate a large number of hashtags. The only downside is that it only lets you enter one hashtag to start off with, so they may not always be super relevant to you and you may have to sift through multiple hashtags to find the ones that are most relevant to you.
Another feature this tool boasts is Hashtag Analytics, which lets you study a particular hashtag in more depth. The analytics the tool provides, however, are very top-line, and compares your hashtags based on overall popularity rather than relevance, so be sure to take the results with a grain of salt!
Functions: Hashtag research.
Best for: Social media managers or business owners with a low budget yet still have some knowledge of social media. Again, this hashtag research tool works best as a complementary tool.
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 hashtag research tool available, but it’s not striving to be either.
Seekmetrics is a free hashtag generator where you can easily find and copy and paste hashtags to use in your Instagram posts. The brand also has other free tools to check out, too!
Functions: Hashtag research.
Best for: Social media managers or business owners who want a free hashtag generator that is simple to use, or those who are already using Seekmetrics for other purposes.
AutoHash is a hashtag smartphone app, which is perfect if you’re posting on the go. It’s available on the Android Play Store – and it has some really interesting features.
The app uses a unique approach. Here’s how it works: upload a photo into the app, and it will provide the most relevant hashtags that you should use, based on photo recognition technology.
Essentially, Autohash 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.
The app also provides some great location-specific hashtags, which can help if you’re trying to target locals in a specific suburb, region, or city.
Other features include “favorite 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.
Functions: Hashtag research.
Best for: Only available for Android users. Anyone with a low budget or limited time. Perfect for freelancers or those who are posting at events or on the fly.
Preview App started out purely as a feed planning tool for Instagram but has since expanded its functionality.
The free version allows you to perform basic functions like uploading, editing, and scheduling posts. If you already have lists of hashtags, it can even save these groups of your relevant hashtags or recent hashtags to be used in your posts.
For more advanced functions, you’ll need the paid version, which costs a small monthly fee. This gives you access to advanced hashtag research and hashtag analytics features.
This is a powerful app for Instagram and makes the scheduling process very seamless, but it works best from your mobile, not your desktop.
Cost: Free to access for primary functions, but is $6.67/month to access all functions including hashtag research tools.
Functions: Hashtag research, feed planning, and scheduling.
Best for: Social media managers, freelancers, and small business owners, especially those who are only using Instagram, and are posting via a mobile device.
Ritetag is a fairly simple hashtag research platform, but it’s also intuitive, easy to use, and is quite affordable, even for those who are just starting out with social media marketing.
The app offers statistics on each hashtag, related hashtags, basic analytics, and even a scheduling tool.
The great part about Ritetag is its ability to integrate with other platforms. If you already have a social media scheduling tool that you’re using, it can integrate with those platforms. You can also download a Ritetag Chrome Extension, which enables you to add hashtags whenever you need.
Cost: Free to access for primary functions, but is $49/year for hashtag research. Additional costs apply to access scheduling, analytics, and editing tools.
Functions: Hashtag research, hashtag analytics, post editing, and scheduling.
Best for: Social media managers, agencies, freelancers, and small business owners, particularly those who want a flexible tool that can fit around those they already use.
Photerloo is an AI-powered hashtag research tool that lets you search hashtags simply by uploading an image.
The platform is very intuitive and gives the user lots of control. For instance, it lets you remove irrelevant hashtags and replace them with new hashtags. It also has a popularity filter, so if you want to remove the uber-popular hashtags with millions of uses, you can.
It also has powerful uploading capabilities, allowing you to upload large amounts of content to different platforms and social media channels simultaneously.
Cost: Free to access hashtag research tools and upload 5 images per week, but for unlimited photo uploads on different platforms it costs $60/year.
Functions: Hashtag research, hashtag analytics, and bulk post scheduling.
Best for: Freelancers, photographers, and small business owners, particularly those who need to upload large amounts of images to different channels at the same time.
Inflact, previously known as Ingramer, is a simple hashtag research tool that uses AI to automatically generate hashtags. The beauty of this app is that you can search by keyword, photo, or even URL. You can add up to five keywords to get a more targeted result, as seen below.
This tool is handy, as it gives you grouped hashtags based on “frequent” hashtags, “average” hashtags, and “rare” hashtags. Then, you can easily click the hashtags you want, which will get transferred to a new section. From there, you can copy your list of finalized hashtags.
If you want to browse popular hashtag trends, the tool also has a section called “Hashtag Trends” which allows you to peruse hashtags by category.
Cost: Free to access hashtag research tools but analytics and other more advanced features start from $57/month. It also has some interesting paid features like an automated bulk direct messenger.
Functions: Hashtag research, hashtag analytics, and post scheduling.
Best for: Social media managers, freelancers, photographers, and small business owners who predominantly use Instagram.
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.