Top Instagram Hashtags for Gaining New Followers

Table of Contents


Hashtags are one of the best ways to get new followers on Instagram. Using the right hashtags can extend the reach of your images, meaning more people can discover and engage with your content.

But which hashtags should you use? There are three main strategies you can use.

The first is using hyper-popular hashtags that get searched for most often. The good part about using popular hashtags is that you know tons of people are searching for them. And the bad part? Tons of people are searching for them. In other words, because so many people are using them, it can be more difficult for your photos to get noticed.

The second strategy is to find and use hashtags that are commonly used for getting more likes and follows (e.g., #like4like and #follow4follow). These will result in more general followers, which can be great for connecting with a much wider audience.

The third and final strategy is to identify extremely relevant and specific hashtags that will be more likely to get you targeted followers. These hashtags are the ones most commonly used in your niche, and will be the ones your target market is most likely to search for.

In my opinion, all of these strategies can work well. In fact, using them together is the best way to get both optimal reach AND targeted followers.

Strategy 1: Use the most popular general Instagram hashtags

I’ve put together a list of 20 of the most popular general hashtags being used on Instagram right now.  If you’re looking for general hashtags that are guaranteed to be popular, look no further.

Just keep in mind that there are always trending hashtags as well; consult Hashtagify’s Top 30 Hashtags list regularly to find the top monthly and weekly trending hashtags!

#love: 1 billion+ posts

#instagood: 537 million+ posts

#photooftheday: 385 million+ posts

#beautiful: 359 million+ posts

#tbt (throwback Thursday): 355 million+ posts

#happy: 346 million+ posts

#cute: 346 million+ posts

#fashion: 339 million+ posts

#me: 311 million+ posts

#picoftheday: 289 million+ posts

#selfie: 288 million+ posts

#summer: 260 million+ posts

#friends: 254 million+ posts

#instadaily: 252 million+ posts

#girl: 240 million+ posts

#fun: 234 million+ posts

#repost: 225 million+ posts

#art: 224 million+ posts

#smile: 221 million+ posts

#food: 205 million+ posts


Strategy #2: Use the most popular hashtags for increasing followers and engagement


If you’re looking for hashtags that are specifically geared toward getting likes and follows, here are the ones that are used most frequently.

#follow: 306 million+ posts

#like4like: 296 million+ posts

#tagsforlikes: 209 million+ posts

#instalike: 207+ million posts

#likeforlike: 193 million+ posts

#follow4follow: 178 million+ posts

#followforfollow: 133 million+ posts

#l4l: 123 million+ posts

#f4f: 121 million+ posts

#followback: 76 million+ posts

#instafollow: 75 million+ posts

#likeforfollow: 42 million+ posts

#likeforlikes: 41 million+ posts

#20likes: 41 million+ posts

#likeback: 37 million+ posts

#likes4likes: 29 million+ posts

#followher:  29 million+ posts

#followhim: 24 million+ posts

#lfl: 23 million+ posts

#pleasefollow: 23 million+ posts

#like4follow: 23 million+ posts

#teamfollowback: 22 million+ posts


Strategy #3: Use tools to find highly-relevant hashtags your target market is using

If it’s quality of followers you’re focused on rather than quantity, there are three tools I recommend for finding industry-specific hashtags you can use.

  1. Use Hashtagify to find the top influencers in your niche. Go to the Top Influencers tab, and search for industry-related keywords. The free version of Hashtagify will reveal the top 6 influencers for those keywords. Now you can investigate to see which hashtags those influencers are using.
  2. Once you’ve identified some popular hashtags in your niche, use Keyhole to identify related topics. How to do this: Go to Keyhole’s home page and enter in a hashtag. Be sure to check off the Instagram icon (not Twitter), and then click the Search Scroll down to find related hashtags and keywords you can use.
  3. A relative newcomer to the scene, For Display Purposes Only is a tool that has one purpose: to help you find popular hashtags related to your primary hashtag. To find the most targeted hashtag results, type in several hashtags at a time.

For more tips for finding Instagram hashtags, see my post How To Find Great Hashtags To Market Your Business.

What are some other top Instagram hashtags you use for gaining new followers? Please share them with us in the comments below!

About Author

Comment Via Facebook
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kim Garst
Kim Garst
9 years ago

That’s a personal decision on your part, Jennifer.

Santosh Mahendrakar
Santosh Mahendrakar
8 years ago

Hi Kim, Your blog helped me very much. Thanks and keep doing this.

Louise Myers
Louise Myers
8 years ago

I completely agree, Alex! I never use a tag like “love” or “beautiful.” No one searches for those, not to mention there’s some pretty unsavory stuff under those tags. Probably the most generic tags I use are “inspiration” and “creativity” but I suspect that more targeted terms like “creativity tips” are even better.

Fred Russell
Fred Russell
7 years ago

Kim you always have great deeds TU Fred

Kim Garst
7 years ago


Johnathan Weberg
Johnathan Weberg
7 years ago

Awesome content right here! I’ve started my Instagram campaign for my team today, and so far this works magnificently!

Jenny Roberts
Jenny Roberts
6 years ago

Great! it is really clear and well explained. Thank you it is really helpful.

6 years ago

Thanks for this. Much apprciated.

Jackie Garvi
Jackie Garvi
6 years ago

Thank you for this information I find it painstakingly difficult to grow my IG following. I will implement this strategy.

James Williams
James Williams
5 years ago

Amazing Articles! I tried Your tips and Let’s see if we can get interaction from users.

3 years ago

Thank you very much. Very. Useful information.

Amy Jackson
Amy Jackson
3 years ago

This was an extremely wonderful post. It was definitely informative.
People use Instagram hashtag for gaining new followers and audience engagement and you shared very handsome amount of Instagram hashtag list for people’s.
Thanks for sharing!

Slavica Filipovic
Slavica Filipovic
3 years ago

Thanks for such a good post. I’ve been struggling with Instagram lately and I hope your tips will help me. I’ve tried so many things but honestly, I haven’t thought about how much impact hashtags have. Now I realize how much of a mistake I made by putting the wrong tags.

Get FREE Access to 51 Mini Digital Product Ideas that people will line up to buy!