Using Hashtags to Gain More Followers on Instagram

Are you struggling to gain followers on Instagram? A lot of marketers do not realize that using hashtags can actually increase their follower count. I am going to show you how you can utilize the power of hashtags to grow your Instagram following.

Types of Hashtags

There are really two different types of hashtags you need to use for two different reasons. There are the hashtags that we use to find our target audience, and the hashtags that we use to help our target audience find us. It is extremely important that we understand the differences between these hashtags. Let’s go ahead and start breaking down how we can use the two different types of hashtags to grow our account.

Finding Our Target Audience & Making it Grow

We can grow our followers by finding different people we want to have follow us. The people that we want to find are people that have similar interests to our niche. The way we find our audience using hashtags is a pretty simple process. First we must determine what our base hashtags are. For example, if we were in the weight loss niche we would use hashtags like these:


A great strategy to use when trying to determine what hashtags to use is ask yourself what hashtags you would post on your pictures if you were trying to lose weight. Same goes for every niche.

Building Our List

Now we need to find similar hashtags to our base hashtags. We do this by using Instagram’s search feature. Type in the search bar your base hashtags and choose the “tags” tab. This will give us a list of hashtags similar to the ones we searched for.

We will take the top results and start building a list of relevant hashtags. Do this for every single one of your base hashtags. I recommend you build a list of about 15 hashtags. This would be an expanded list of weight loss hashtags.


Finding Our Audience

After we have our list of hashtags, we will start searching for potential followers. We do this by entering our each hashtag in the search bar and selecting the “people” tab. This will bring up a list of highly related accounts that use this hashtag in their posts. In order to get these accounts to follow us, we must first start engaging with their content. Engagement is simply liking, following, and commenting. Follow them, like their pictures, and comment on their posts. The more you engage with an accounts, the higher chance their is of them following you.

Continue to engage with accounts that you find using your hashtags and you will start to see a growth in your follower count. It is important to continue this process if you want to really grow your presence on Instagram.

Having Our Target Audience Find Us

Now let’s move on to having our target audience find us. How do we do this? We start off by brainstorming hashtags that describe our business or product and create a list. We also create our list by finding which hashtags our competitors are using for their posts. You can also use the same strategy I outlined above. Type a hashtag into Instagram’s search bar and write down the results that closely relate to your hashtag. Now it’s time to start using these hashtags when we create posts.

How Does It Work?

When we post images with hashtags, our photos will start to appear in the top of the search page for people that have shown interest in the hashtags we have chosen. The more photos we have at the top of the search results, the more followers we will start to gain.

Best Practices For Posting With Hashtags

It is important to note that Instagram limits the amount of hashtags you can use to 30. There is no specific science to the number of hashtags you must use in order to gain the most followers. This is all that we know. Use to little and you will be limiting your potential to be found when people search for your hashtag. Use too many and you may come across as spammy to your followers and potential followers viewing your post.

Hiding Hashtags

The best way to use the most amount of hashtags and not come across as being spammy is by hiding them in your comments. Instead of putting all of your hashtags in the description of your photo, you should put them in a comment immediately after you post the photo. Post the photo and caption like your normally would, but leave out your hastags. Next, add a comment to your own post just using your list of hashtags. Lastly, have close friends or family comment on the photo as well so your first comment is hidden.

Continue to post images using this strategy and more people will start to discover your account.

Getting Featured as a Top Post

What is a featured post? A featured post is the first 9 images that appear at the top of the results when you search for a particular hastag, person, or place. It is important to appear in this section since it will make your content visible to a lot of people.

Getting featured is not the easiest task, but I will explain how you can achieve it.

Featured Posts are determined by Rate of Growth. Rate of growth is actually a formula. It is the number of likes and comments a photo receive in a certain amount of time. So, when a photo receives a lot of engagement in a short amount of time it has a high rate of growth. High Rate of Growth means higher chance of being featured.

Having your photos get featured will become a lot easier the bigger your account gets.

Start Implementing

So now you have the perfect strategy for growing your account using hashtags. Make sure to build a strong list of hashtags and start implementing today! If you want to learn how to drive traffic to your website using Instagram you can download my Instagram Traffic Tyrant E-book here.

Originally published at on May 16, 2017.