Do you know what the trending hashtags today are?

Are you keeping track of the tags that generate the most attention from your target audience?

If the answer to those questions is “no,” then you’re missing out on endless opportunities to upgrade your Instagram marketing strategy.

Posts with more than 11 tags get the most comments and likes on Instagram according to some studies. What’s more, it’s worth noting that Instagram content with trending hashtags is more likely to appear at the top of the Explore feed when you’re trying to attract new audiences.

Hashtags aren’t just a fun addition to the Instagram experience, they’re a crucial part of the platform’s search function, and one of the most important ways to get found online.

So, how do you go about finding trending hashtags and using them in your campaigns?

What You Need to Know about Popular Instagram Hashtags

Hashtags are a common feature on almost every social media channel, including Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. However, Instagram relies on these tags more than most.

Hashtags are at the core of Instagram’s content sorting process. With millions of photos to work through each day, the Instagram algorithm needs to make sure it’s delivering the right content to the right people. Hashtags ensure that your content ends up in the “Top Posts” section for the right searches.

Hashtags aren’t just an excellent way to improve your visibility online. They also inspire your audience to connect with you on a deeper level. A post with even a single hashtag on Instagram will average up to 12.6% more engagement than material with no tags.

There are many different kinds of hashtag available on Instagram, from branded tags to location tags, and even “trending” hashtags.

Here’s what you need to know about using popular Instagram hashtags in 2019:

  • People can now follow Instagram hashtags. This is great if you need regular inspiration for your brand, or you want to encourage people to follow branded tags.
  • Instagram classes the use of “irrelevant” tags as spammy. If you want to avoid a shadowban, you’ll need to find trending hashtags that are also connected to your brand or industry.
  • You can measure how effective your hashtags are by switching to an Instagram business profile and viewing your Instagram Insights.
  • Users can add up to 10 popular Instagram hashtags to their Stories (try not to clutter your content though, we recommend hiding tags behind stickers or Gifs).
  • It’s possible to add hashtag links to your bio. When a user clicks on your tag, they’ll be directed to the hashtag page. Try using this method with branded tags.

Finding Trending Hashtags for Your Brand

As mentioned above, making the most of popular Instagram hashtags isn’t just about finding a list of the most used tags and posting them with every photo.

Trending hashtags today need to be relevant to your brand. What’s more, you need to make sure that you’re switching up your campaigns. Otherwise, Instagram may view your content as repetitive and spammy. Currently, some of the top trending hashtags include:

  • #Love
  • #InstaGood
  • #TBT or #ThrowbackThursday
  • #PhotoOfTheDay
  • #InstaMood
  • #Food
  • #Motivation
  • #Life

But, how do you find out which of these tags are going to appeal most to your target audience?

1.      Find Out what your Competitors/Influencers are Doing

One of the best ways to find trending hashtags today is to follow your competitors and track what they’re doing. The chances are that they’re targeting the same audience as you, so it’s safe to say that their choices should be relevant.

Viewing your competitor’s content will give you inspiration for the kind of words you should be adding to your repertoire. You can also search beyond your direct competitors and pay attention to the influencers and popular brands in your space.

Over 60% of Instagram’s users log in every day to engage with influencers. If you’re a marketing expert or entrepreneur, a thought leader like Neil Patel will give you a great insight into useful tags:

2.      Use the Instagram Search and Related Tags

Another method of finding trending hashtags is using the Instagram search bar. If you start typing a word into the bar, Instagram will automatically suggest trending tags associated with that term. You’ll also be able to see the number of posts related to your chosen hashtags.

For instance, typing “Social” brings up tags like Socialist, Socialite, and more:

If there’s a ton of content already connected to a tag, then you know it has some interest from your followers. However, trending hashtags with millions of existing posts can be complicated to rank for.

To find more niche tagging options, consider looking at the “Related hashtags” page.

At the top of any hashtag page, above the Recent and Top tabs, you’ll find a list of connected tags that you can swipe left through. This an excellent way to find new inspiration based on the tags you’ve used in the past. Find out which hashtags have drawn the most attention for your posts with Instagram Insights, then look for new words related to those terms.

3.      Consider Using Hashtag Tools

If you’ve tried the two options above and you’re still running out of fresh and popular Instagram hashtags to use, there’s another option.

Tools like Hashtagify offer keyword suggestions based on competitor analytics, automated reporting, and more. They’re a useful way to track down related hashtags that are sure to attract the right attention for a company in your industry.

Depending on how much you want to invest in your Instagram trending hashtag strategy, there are both paid and free tools available.

Another useful option is the Hashtag Expert app. Available in a free trial and paid basis, this iOS app helps you to find additional tags based on a base hashtag. You can sort your results by group and save them to folders so that you don’t forget to use them later.

How to Use Trending Hashtags Today

Finding trending hashtags for your Instagram campaigns is just one part of the process.

As valuable as popular Instagram hashtags can be, not every famous tag will be useful for your business. If you get into the habit of using hashtags just because they get a lot of attention online, then you could risk the credibility of your brand.

What’s more, as Instagram continues to crack down on companies sharing spammy content, your hashtag strategy will be under more scrutiny than ever.

To make sure that you’re using trending hashtags correctly, you’ll need to ensure that you’re:

  • Targeting the right audience: Make sure that any of the trending tags you decide to use are connected to your industry and the interests of your followers.
  • Looking beyond the most-known tags: Using the most popular hashtags all the time will make it harder for your business to stand out. After all, you’re competing with millions of other posts. Other, more niche tags will make it easier to reach your audience.
  • Using different kinds of tags: As well as popular Instagram hashtags, make sure that you’re using plenty of branded cards and niche terms too. This will boost your chances of getting the right attention.

Here’s what you need to know about using Instagram’s trending hashtags correctly.

1.     Use the Right Number of Trending Hashtags

Being successful on Instagram is often about finding the right balance between quantity and quality.

Engagement with brands on Instagram is ten times higher than it is on Facebook, but you’ll need to produce plenty of consistent and fresh content if you want to take advantage of this fact.

The IG channel allows users to place up to 30 trending hashtags in any post. You can also position your hashtags in stories (up to 10), or on your Instagram bio. Importantly, just because you can use thirty hashtags in your post, doesn’t mean you should.

The only way to determine how many tags you should be using is to track your results with Instagram Insights. Viewing which of your posts get the most engagement and deliver the newest followers will help you to how many hashtags your customers respond best to.

If your audience doesn’t like seeing any tags at all, then you can try hiding them. Post your tags in the comments, spread them through your caption like Lush does below, or use dots and spaces to hide your tags under the “read more” line.

2.     Don’t Forget about Location Hashtags

Sometimes, companies get so focused on finding trending hashtags, that they forget the benefits of going local. Sticking with geographically relevant tags is one of the best ways to build your community – particularly if you’re a small business.

People love supporting local businesses.

Posts with a location tag can earn up to 79% more engagement than those without. Keeping that in mind, make sure that you’re making the most of your tags. For instance, if you’re from Atlanta, you could try #AtlantaLocal, or #LoveAtlanta the next time you publish a photo.

There’s also the option to collaborate with other local businesses too if you want to expand your opportunities.

3.     Be Specific with your Hashtags

As we mentioned above, while the most popular Instagram hashtags are great, they’re also highly over-used. The more posts there already are for a particular tag, the harder it will be for you to make sure that your content stands out. With that in mind, try combining your collection of trending hashtags with specific and niche words too.

For instance, instead of just using the tag #Van on your post about your new vehicles, consider #VWVan instead. The related hashtags section on Instagram and the tools that we covered above will help you to track down some tags that are a little more relevant to your specific audience.

Remember, if you are using lesser-known tags, it’s also a good idea to make sure that you know what the words you’re posting stand for. There are some hashtags on Instagram that can get you into trouble with the social channel – even if they seem innocent at first.

Protect yourself by doing your homework.

4.     Get Your Own Hashtags Trending

Now that Instagram has made it possible for customers to follow trending hashtags on the channel, you should be looking for ways to make your brand as “taggable” as possible. One of the easiest ways to do this is to create your own popular Instagram hashtags.

Check out the strategies that your competitors and other influencers in your space are using to this end. For instance, most companies use their name as a branded hashtag and include it in their profile bio. There’s also the option to create tags based on competitions that you’re running, such as Starbucks’ popular #RedCupContest

Branded hashtags are a great way to diversify your tagging strategy and generate immersive conversations with your target audience. Use your tags correctly, and you can even end up with plenty of fantastic user-generated content that will help to promote your brand.

Just make sure that you let your audience know what you want them to do with your branded hashtags by including a #CallToAction when you announce your new term on your profile.

5.     Revamp your Trending Hashtags Strategy Regularly

Finally, remember that the trends on Instagram change quickly.

Just because you know all the popular Instagram hashtags today, doesn’t mean that they’ll be the same 6 months from now. Sometimes tags can take on dangerous connotations over time, particularly when they get into the hands of specific communities.

With that in mind, it’s essential to go through your list of trending hashtags today and update your strategy based on what people are using and rejecting in your industry.

Make sure that you’re devoting plenty of time to finding trending hashtags that can update your campaigns and weed out anything that might have developed a negative reputation. This will stop you from getting into unnecessary trouble with Instagram. It should also mean that you keep your brand reputation in check with your followers too!

Finding Trending Hashtags for your Campaigns

No matter which industry you’re involved with, choosing the right trending hashtags can make a world of difference to your strategies for engagement and growth on Instagram.

Just remember, it’s not enough to pick the most popular Instagram hashtags you find and use them with every post. You need to be willing to do your research and track down the tags that will speak to your target audience.

Do your homework, test different strategies, and track your results to see which trending hashtags work best for you. Eventually, you’ll have a campaign that pays off!