Instagram Hashtags Cheat Sheet 2020 (3,000+ Hashtags): your secret weapon to going viral
UPDATED WITH COVID HASHTAGS.
In this ten part article, we will cover the following topics
Do Instagram hashtags work?
1. How to pick the best Instagram hashtags
2. Global vs local Instagram hashtags
3. How to test hashtags with Instagram stories
4. How to hide hashtags
5. Hashtags in post or first comment?
6. Tag for feature hashtags
7. Banned hashtags
8. Instagram Hashtag Generators
9. Instagram Hashtags Cheat Sheet with 140+ niches and over 3,000+ hashtags
10 BONUS: INSTAGRAM HASHTAG HACK: Use text replacement / keyboard shortcut to save and quickly insert your hashtag groups! 😉😉
Everyone talks about using Instagram hashtags to get discovered but does it really work?
Based on my experience growing my 80K account @inspirational_b, hashtags DO work.
Why? Because there are certain hashtags that people follow (you do know you can follow a hashtag don't you?)
In the past, Instagram used to tell you exactly which hashtags were getting you discovered.
They've stopped giving individual hashtag analytics now, but if you have a Business profile, you can still see for each post, how much discovery are you getting from hashtags.
Here's an example from a more recent post.
See how I have over 90% of accounts reached that weren't following me? Over half of those were from hashtags.
Here's another example.
See how many new Follows per post I'm getting? 299, 491 and then 805 from these three examples
What does this mean for you?
You should be testing and using hashtags too.
Luckily I've done loads of research in this area and have built a great Google Sheet tool for researching hashtags (scroll to bottom of article #9 and #10).
All you have to do is to enter your hashtag in column B, and the sheet will automatically extract from Instagram the number of posts in column D.
This google sheet is super helpful for hashtag research because it helps you prioritise which hashtags to use.
If you are a smaller account, you need to be using the smaller hashtags to get featured in the hashtag page. If you have a larger account, go for the larger hashtags.
My personal rule of thumb:
>1K followers - try hashtags with less than 100,000 posts
1K-10K followers - try hashtags with 100K to 1M posts
>10K - go for any hashtags you want!
You can also mix them up! The important thing is to TEST. TEST. TEST!
BONUS TIP: If you're a small account but want to go viral on a big hashtag, try Fuelgram Power Likes or Fuelgram Likes to give your post that extra boost 🚀🚀🚀
You should also try a mix of global hashtags (e.g. #fitness) as well as local hashtags (.e.g. #fitnessUK or #UKfitness).
Especially if you're smaller and want country specific discovery or followers, make sure you use the localized version of your hashtag.
You can use my Google Sheet to research if #fitnessUK or #UKfitness or #fitness_UK or #UK_fitness is the better fit for your account.
3. How to Test Hashtags (hint... use Instagram Stories)
Did you know that you can test hashtags with Instagram stories?
Yes you can! When people follow a hashtag, they will also follow the hashtag story, which makes it a GREAT place to test for hashtags.
In the story below, I tested 3 Instagram hashtags #keto, #ketogenicdiet and #lowcarb and guess which one generated more views??
Now using my Google Sheet, you can see that #ketogenicdiet has the lowest number of posts. Maybe more people follow that hashtag. Maybe it's easier to show up in the story for.
To be honest, no one really knows how Instagram's algorithm works to show your hashtags which is why you have to TEST. TEST. TEST
Once you've established which hashtags have more followers, keep using that in your posts!!
If you're testing multiple hashtags on your stories, here's a cool trick. You can hide the hashtags so they don't look so spammy.
There are two ways to do this.
1. Some people suggest you can pinch the hashtag until it is really small, then hide it with a gif or sticker. Personally, this approach does not work for me. I find that if the hashtag is too small, I don't get any views for the hashtag at all.
2. You can make the background of your story a certain color - e.g. black, then put the hashtag in the background and make it the exact same color as the background. That way you can have a huge ass hashtag and no one will see it. 👈 This is my preferred approach! 👍
5. Hashtag in post or first comment
You may also have seen people asking if you should put the hashtag in the post or first comment. There has also been debate about how many hashtags to use.
My research and testing has shown that IT DOESN'T MATTER EITHER WAY.
I've tested out Instagram hashtags in the post and in the first comment and my post have ranked for the hashtag at all times.
I'll tell you a little secret - you can even add hashtags to your post a month after posting, and start to rank on that hashtag.
A few weeks ago, I posted this on Instagram, celebrating the success of this blog!
I had a mixture of hashtags in my post and first comment. You can see the comments in post and in the first comment, I used a bunch of hashtags for bloggers:
#bloggerbabe#bloggergirl #bloggerlife#bloggerlifestyle #bloggerlove #bloggersdiaries #bloggersgetsocial #bloggersofinstagram #bloggerstribe #bloggerswanted #bloggervibes #bloggingcommunity #blogginggals #bloglovin #blogsociety #savvyblogging
I started ranking #1 for many of the hashtags and top 6 for most of them. But I only added the first comment 2 days AFTER I posted the post!
Here are some examples.
I've been ranking for those hashtags for a number of weeks now! Don't believe me? Go check it out and look for my post!
The moral of the story is this: it doesn't matter if you put your hashtags in your post or your first comment, if you put it immediately or if you wait a few days (or even months).
Pick the right hashtags and if your post is relevant to the hashtag, you will rank in the top posts for that hashtag, which will garner you loads of views, comments, and followers.
Search for repost accounts that will feature your post if you use their hashtag.
Here are some examples of photography hashtags that will repost your photo if they like it!
#agameoftones #artofvisuals #createcommune #fatal.frames #fstoppers #folkgood #gallery_legit #globalcapture #igpodium #igshotz #illgrammers #justgoshoot #livefolk #moodygrams #mobilemag #portrait_perfection #posepatch #thecreatorclass #theimaged #thevisualcollective #weekly_feature #visualambassadors
To find more of such accounts in your niche, go to google and type this in the search bar:
"site:instagram.com tag for feature your-niche" (e.g. site:instagram.com tag for feature fitness babes"
Using this method, you can get your account featured by a much larger one.
Be careful with banned hashtags though.
Did you know that there are hashtags that are shadowbanned? For example, #instababe is a shadowbanned hashtag, so if you use #instababe in your mix of 30 hashtags, your post will not be seen for any hashtag that you use.
Other banned hashtags:
To check for banned hashtags, you can use this free tool built by RiteTag.
See a full list of banned hashtags here (dated 2018 so may be out of date).
8. Instagram Hashtags Generator
Influencer Marketing Hub has a nice free hashtag generator where you can upload your photo and it uses image recognition to generate hashtags for you. BigBanGram also has a hashtag generator.
The problem with most mainstream hashtag generators is that the hashtags they suggest are far too generic. I don't want to use hashtags like #woman #outdoors #fashion #summer.
They're too big (so you won't rank for them) and too generic.
The best solution - check out the research that I've done for you below!
9. Instagram Hashtags Cheat Sheet
I've also paid my virtual assistant to do a ton of Instagram hashtag research and I have over 3,000 hashtags in 140+ niches in this cheat sheet and hashtag finder - all pre-selected for you.
These hashtags have a mix of large (>1M, to niche <100K)
Remember my rule of thumb:
>1K followers - use hashtags with less than 100,000 posts
1K-10K followers - use hashtags with 100K to 1M posts
Give them the extra boost with PowerLikes from Fuelgram!
Here are all 140+ niches. Each hashtag group has multiple hashtags selected for you to get discovered!
Can I get your Instagram Hashtags Cheat Sheet?
Yes you can!
I had to pay my Google Sheet guy and my virtual assistant a few hundred bucks to build this and do the research for me.
But I'll let you have it for a special price of $19.99 (usual price $29.99).
This gives you LIFETIME ACCESS to the spreadsheet with over 3,000 hashtags in 140+ niches, plus your own custom tracker. I'll also keep it updated and keep adding more hashtags in.
100% satisfaction guaranteed or your money back within 30 days
If you purchase this and are not happy with it, drop me an email within 30 days of purchase, and you can have your money back - guaranteed.
Testimonials from happy customers
"I love the hashtag researcher - it makes it so easy for me to pick which hashtags to use and then I use the keyboard replacement trick to quickly add them to my post" - Ashley L.
"WOW the cheatsheet is a time saver! And Steph keeps it updated, so I can request for hashtag categories! SUCH A GOOD INVESTMENT." - Tim G.
"My sheet for some reason wasn't working and Steph immediately sent a new one which fixed the problems. A+ for customer service and the sheet works wonders." - Annie W.
Buy it here for $19.99 only
Click here to buy it!
BONUS INSTAGRAM HASHTAG HACK: Use text replacement to store your hashtag groups
Say you've already researched which 30 hashtags you want to use.
Here's a SUPER HACK to quickly add them to your post (for IOS users)
1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard
2. Look for Text Replacement
3. Click on the + sign on the top right
4. Under Phrase, paste in your hashtags (e.g. #tasteintravel #exploremore....)
5. Under Shortcut, type something like ##t
Now when you're in Instagram and after you've finished writing your caption, just type ##t and all your hashtags will automagically be inserted!!
PRO TIP: Make your shortcut something that you won't normally type. So definitely not #t as you don't want to trigger the text replacement if you're trying to type in a normal hashtag starting with t (like #tasty).
Double # works very well for me. I have:
Good luck and remember to let me know what you think of this and how you get along with your hashtag research!
Hi I'm Steph, I blog about Instagram Tips
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