Instagram Hashtagshashtags

It wouldn’t be Instagram without hashtags! It’s safe to say they aren’t going anywhere — after all, this is the platform that brought you #ThrowbackThursday and #InstaGood. But how can we use them to boost performance and reach our goals?

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  • —Most popular instagram hashtags

    #love and #photography are the most popular hashtags.

  • —Instagram hashtags & engagement

    Globally, the more hashtags the better! Using hashtags actually increases the engagement rate of posts.

Most popular hashtags on Instagram

Unsurprisingly, super-general Instagram hashtags like #love (678,611 occurrences) and #photography (635,149 occurrences) are still the most widely-used. That sounds exciting — but with millions of posts a day going out under these tags, it really just puts you at risk of getting lost in the noise. So choose carefully, and only use these top Instagram hashtags if you’ve got a really good reason.
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Number of posts vs. Hashtag

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How many Instagram hashtags should I use?

Using as many as possible doesn’t seem to harm post performance, so feel free to go wild — as long as you keep the Instagram hashtags relevant to your audience and niche! For example, slapping #photooftheday on your new skincare product probably won’t do you any favors.

Average engagement rate vs. Number of hashtags

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The most engaging hashtags on Instagram

Hashtags that garnered the most engagement on Instagram tended to be the polar opposite of the super-general, popular picks. Instead, the most engaging Instagram hashtags were highly niche, targeting specific interests and communities. A few popular categories? Geographic locations, TV Shows, and Indian and Korean celebrities. The top 3 most engaging hashtags on Instagram are #Bar, #team07, #GoPro.
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Average engagement vs. Hashtag

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How many Instagram hashtags should I use in North America?

Interestingly, posts with zero hashtags performed best, although not by a huge margin. However, this figure doesn’t tell the whole story. With so many of the most-followed accounts hailing from North America, it’s highly likely that a small number of mega-accounts are skewing this metric. Think about it — when Ariana Grande posts, she doesn’t need to use hashtags to get millions of comments and likes.

Average engagement rate vs. Number of hashtags in North America

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How many Instagram hashtags should I use in the UK?

The United Kingdom echoes the global trend of ‘the more, the merrier.’ Here, including over 11 Instagram hashtags is still your best bet.

Average engagement rate vs. Number of hashtags in the UK

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Most popular hashtags on Instagram in North America

In North America, many accounts used hashtags to share content related to fitness and travel (noticing a pattern here?). Instagram was also a popular channel for users to promote their small businesses, using hashtags like #ShopLocal, #SmallBusiness, and #ShopSmall.
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Number of posts vs. Hashtag in North America

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Most popular hashtags on Instagram in the UK

London was — fittingly — the UK and Ireland’s most popular hashtag. In the UK and Ireland, we also saw small business-related hashtags dominate, along with arts and crafts related content. Instagram continues to be one of the most accessible channels for people to share about — and monetize — their passions and hobbies.
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Number of posts vs. Hashtag in the UK

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The most engaging hashtags on Instagram in North America

Basketball, nature, and home decor dominated the most engaging hashtags in North America. Tags including #NBAPlayoffs, #livelovecanada, and #vintagedecortour were among the top-ranking. Specifically, some niche interests like bird photography and tiny homes boasted very high engagement.
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Top 20 hashtags by engagement in North America

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The most engaging hashtags on Instagram in the UK

As in North America, sports hashtags offered strong Instagram engagement — though here, it’s football tags like #Euro2020 and #PremierLeague that captured national interest. Interestingly, #ad comes in as the second most-used hashtag. This year, new regulations were introduced requiring influencers (or any users, really) to disclose to their followers when they made a sponsored post. With nearly 2000 average engagements, it looks like UK Instagram users aren’t scared away by sponsored content. Nail art and manicure-related tags also performed well, and scenic images of Britain, both urban and rural, were another presence.
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Top 20 hashtags by engagement in the UK

  • Average engagement