What hashtags should you use on Instagram?

Choosing the Right Hashtags on Instagram

If you’re a business owner, the rule for using hashtags is straightforward. Use hashtags that will reach your target audience and that are relevant to your brand.

Discovering the proper hashtags can be tricky, however. Avoid using ambiguous or over-used hashtags like #fun or #beautiful if you want to reach your specific, target customers and clients. Otherwise, your post will get lost in a sea of hundreds, even thousands, of other images.

So how do you pick the perfect set of hashtags? Here’s our advice:

See what other, similar posts or Instagrammers are using.

Use hashtags that are popular with other brands in your industry, and ones that your target audience uses. When using the same hashtags as your competition, you can challenge yourself to come up with even better, more eye-popping images than they use. This will surely set you apart!

Search for hashtags that are location specific.

Some businesses forget the importance of using location-specific hashtags. For example, if you’re a small business out of Charlotte, North Carolina, you’ll want to be included in Instagram’s photo stream of your neighborhood, town, city, state or region depending on where your target market is located. Along with the obligatory #Charlotte hashtag, you’ll use hashtags like #QueenCity #704, #MyCharlotte, #UptownCharlotte and #CLT so you can be found by potential clients or customers.

Use the Instagram search function.

If you type in any keyword in Instagram’s search box, you’ll discover dozens of popular and niche hashtags. It’s worth repeating, however, that using the most popular Instagram hashtags might mean your post will get buried.

Use hashtag apps!

Hashtag apps are useful for helping you come up with a solid set of hashtags that are location, brand, industry, and audience-specific. Be careful though! Some apps are full of ads and seem poorly designed. We at DCA Virtual Business Support tend to stick to the following:


Tagfire – Tagfire is pretty much a library of hashtags. It offers 30 hashtags, the current Instagram limit, for dozens of different subjects.

Focalmark – Similar to Tagfire, Focalmark will generate a list of 30 hashtags based on your location and your subject matter.

Tailwind – Tailwind is an Instagram scheduling app, but the hashtag recommendation function is superb. It divides its hashtags recommendations into different colors, based on how well those hashtags tend to perform.


We hope you found this article helpful! While this takes the guesswork out of hashtags, coming up with relevant social media content can still be time-consuming for a small business owner. Reach out to us at DCA Virtual Business Support if you need help! We offer scalable social media packages for individuals and small businesses just like you.