You are probably aware that in order to grow your following & drive engagement on Instagram you need to strategically choose your hashtags. Or, at the very least, that hashtags are used a lot on Instagram. But do you struggle with know what hashtags to use? How to use them and where to put them? And just generally how to make sure that you are being strategic about the whole # thing?


This post is here to boost your strategy with as little as 30-45 minutes worth of work on your part.


Before we jump into the steps you can take to improve your hashtag strategy, or develop one in the first place if you didn’t already have one, let’s touch on a few key details. Hashtags are a key component to your overall Instagram strategy. That’s because their use is what makes a post seen or discovered. Think of each # as a list of people who might see or find your post.

You can use up to 30 hashtags per post. In the strategy that I am proposing that you use, I recommend that you use 2-3  #’s in the caption itself and the remaining 27 in the first comment. This allows you to optimize your strategy while not cluttering up your caption or making it look spammy.

The ultimate goal you want to be working towards on Instagram is to land in the top posts. By doing that, you will be seen by more people. Top posts can be found by clicking on any hashtag within Instagram. When you click on the #, you will be brought to a section of Instagram that will show you the top 9 – 12 posts for that given hashtag. Just below those 9 – 12 posts, you’ll see the most recent posts containing that #.

Let’s get to the strategy shall we?


  • Make a list of hashtags that you can rotate through on each post.  Your list should be comprised of:
    • 20+ #’s that have been used 5k – 100K times (when you search for a given hashtag, Instagram will show you the number of times that hashtag has been used to date)
    • 10+ #’s that have been used 100k – 400k times
    • 10= #’s that have been used 400k+ times
  • Note that you want to be using a higher ratio of hashtags that have been used less often in each post. That is because the more times that a hashtag has been used, the less likely it is that you’ll be seen by people. Imagine this analogy:
    • Hashtags used 5k – 100K times = a TOWN where it’s easier for you to be seen/get known as you walk down the streets
    • Those used 100K – 400K times = a CITY where it starts to get harder to be seen/known as you walk down the street
    • #’s used 400k+ times = a METROPOLIS where it is virtually impossible to be seen/known as you walk down the street

Now here are some ways that you can find which hashtags you’d like/should add to your master list:


  • Find keywords in the search field of Instagram that are related to your business/niche/desired followers
  • Try to find hashtags that you feel your target audience is likely to search for
  • Once you start typing a given hashtag, Instagram will auto-populate a list of other similar hashtags using the same keyword. These auto-populated hashtags have the potential to be good candidates for your master list.
  • Look at hashtags that are being used by your competitors/influencers in your field
  • You want to watch for hashtags that
    • a) are being used by them frequently and
    • b) that are used in posts that got great engagement
  • Look at other hashtags used by people who’s posts have landed in the Top Posts


Here’s the social media challenge that I shared related to this post on my Facebook page. I’d love to have you join me weekly for these challenges!


If you found this helpful & would like to get to know me and my mission better, hop on over to learn more about me here.

Lastly, are you a women entrepreneur, who offers other women & families nurturing services or products? If so, I’d love for you to join my online community where I offer help, guidance & strategy support when it comes to using social media in their business. Join the Nurturepreneur Social Tribe today!