5 Ways To Find New Hashtags For Your Instagram Content

Lora Shipman 5 Ways To Find New Hashtags For Your Instagram Content 1Hashtags are critical to connecting with your target market on Instagram.  Sometimes, we can fall into a hashtag rut using the same hashtags over and over again.  When that happens, our Instagram account goes stale – meaning our followers don’t grow, we don’t see anything new in our feeds, our DM’s are on life support, and the explore page, well…it’s not so interesting anymore.  If you are noticing any of these trends happening with your Instagram account, those are signs that it’s time to mix up your hashtags and try something new!  I’m excited to help you do that!  Today, you are going to learn 5 ways to find new hashtags for your Instagram content.  If you put these tips into practice, you will start seeing a change in your account and an increase in your social media networking efforts.


Let’s Dive In!

How To #1:  Search hashtags you are already using

This may sound counterintuitive at first, but hear me out.  When you open your Instagram app and search a hashtag you are already using, a couple of things happen:

  • Instagram will give you a list of similar hashtags or variations of the hashtag you are searching
  • You will also see how popular or how “niche” these hashtags are by the amount of people following the hashtag
  • When you tap on any of the hashtags that populate in the list, Instagram will give you a list of “related” hashtags you can check out

This is a hashtag gold mine and it’s super-simple to uncover.  Before you know it, you will be uncovering fresh and new hashtag ideas just by searching hashtags you are already using!  Make sure you add the hashtags you want to use in the future to a list so you can copy and paste them into future posts.

How To #2:  What hashtags are your competitors or your niche using?

You can get a lot of hashtag inspiration from professionals in your niche.  Here’s how to do your research:

  • Navigate to the account’s profile page
  • Scan their grid looking for posts that resonate with you
  • Tap on the post and look for the hashtags they are using
  • Once you find their hashtags, tap on a hashtag that pops out at you
  • This will lead you to the page dedicated to that hashtag (aka Hashtag hub)
  • Use the Hashtag Vetting Process to determine if you should add them to your hashtag strategy.  Below are some things to look for:
    • The type of posts that appear there – are they valuable, useful, do you feel comfortable being aligned with the type of content found there
    • The overall vibe the hashtag has – is it positive, professional, spammy, inappropriate?
    • They type of people who are interacting with the hashtag (are they your target market)
    • How popular the hashtag is or how niche it is (your hashtag strategy should use a mix of both popular and niche hashtags to increase your exposure on Instagram)

If everything with the hashtag checks out and you think it is a good representation of your brand, add it to your hashtag list and you may even consider following it.

How To #3:  Which hashtags are your followers following

More than likely, your followers are your target market or your ideal clients.  They are following you because they find value in what you are providing. Wouldn’t it be great to find and meet more people like them?  Good news! Hashtags can help you do that especially when you think of them as little breadcrumbs that lead you to more of your target market.


Here’s how:

  • Select one of your most loyal followers
  • Tap on their profile
  • Then tap the “Following” button to the right of their profile picture
  • The first thing that pops up is the Hashtag list they follow
  • Tap on that list to see what is important to them
  • Chances are, if it’s important to them, it’s also important to people who are just like them!
  • Use the vetting process in tip #2 to determine which hashtags you should add to your hashtag strategy

How To #4:  Which tags are the top posts using in a hashtag hub

In tips two and three, I showed you how to navigate to hashtag hubs.  Let’s take it one step further with the hashtag hubs: 

  • When you first arrive at the hashtag hub, you will notice it is broken down into two sections:  “Top” and “Recent”. 
  • Look at the “Top” posts 
  • Select a post that resonates with you
  • Tap on it and scan until you see the hashtags they used and consider adding them to your hashtag list
  • Use the vetting process in tip #2 to determine which hashtags you should add to your hashtag strategy

How To #5:  Related tags

Using related tags is a great way to meet new Instagram users you wouldn’t have met.  As I mentioned previously, “related” hashtags show up when you do a tag search and tap on a tag that resonates with you.  For example, if I were to do a hashtag search for “#SocialMedia” and I navigate to it’s hub, running across the top of the page is the word “related” with a list of tags following it.  This is gold! It gives me related terms I may want to consider using to attract different types of Instagram users.

Hashtag Organization

You can really go down a rabbit hole when researching hashtags.  To keep them organized, I recommend using a Google sheet and dividing them into categories.  Here are the categories I like to use to keep everything organized:

  • Branded (tags specifically related to my brand like #LoraShipman)
  • Target Market (Hashtags my target market follows, uses and that describes them)
  • Industry Related
  • Related (those that Instagram suggests to me – see tip #5)
  • Popular hashtags
  • Niche hashtags
  • Local (so I can be the go-to expert in my local area)

Lora Shipman 5 Ways To Find New Hashtags For Your Instagram Content 1Final Thoughts

What tip will you be using to increase your hashtag database?  Do you have a strategy that you use that I didn’t mention here?  Share it in the comment section!

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