How to Research Instagram Hashtags For More Reach

Here’s a quick and easy way to find the most relevant and popular hashtags on Instagram – so your images have the best chances of getting exposure!

Log into Instagram on your desktop. You can do this on your mobile device, but I don’t recommend it since it’s harder to work with smaller screen space.

Once you’re logged in, in your feed, click on the first hashtag you see.

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Then, put your cursor in your address bar.

Replace the word after “/tags/” with the word you’re looking to get found by. For example, if I’m posting a photo about a new lamp I’m selling on my online store, I would type in “lamp” to start. Your URL should now read: Click enter and Instagram will now load all the images tagged with the #lamp hashtag.

Towards the top of the search result, there is a section called Top Posts. This section usually showcases the most popular images overtime with the hashtag searched. Click on the top image that comes up. It will pop up in the browser window.

The goal is to use hashtags that top images are using because obviously the results worked for them. This also helps you generate ideas that you may not have thought of for other hashtags you can use. When the image opens, you want to view what the original Instagramer used as their hashtags. Sometimes, the original comment with the hashtag is buried because of all the more recent comments. If that’s the case, click on “Load More Comments”.


Usually if you have less than 70 comments or so it should only take you a few clicks of “load more” before you find the original hashtags.

The first image that showed up for me and I clicked on used the hashtags #light, #lighting. I’m going to right-click on each one and open it in a new tab. I want to see if the hashtag is popular enough before I add it to my list. In some cases, the hashtags you want to use may have less than 1,000,000 posts, but I usually tend to look for hashtags that have at least 1,000,000 or more.

If the hashtag seems popular/frequently used I add it to my list. Then I go back to the top images, and start again. I’ll usually do the first few top images for each hashtag I want to use.

I hope this tutorial was helpful on how to find Instagram hashtags to use for your next set of images. I’d love to hear your feedback and comments, and if you know of an easier/shorter way, please fill me in!

BONUS TIP #1: Once you have your list, save it to a text file that can sync with your phone or tablet so you can quickly copy and paste it when you’re adding in a new image.

BONUS TIP #2: If you have a bunch of hashtags but don’t want to clutter your image message, leave a comment as yourself right after you post your image with the bulk of your hashtags included. This will still rank the image for the commented hashtags, and it doesn’t look like your message is just a bunch of tags!