Trending posts

Instagram ‘promotes’ nine posts for each hashtag as the trending posts. These posts are displayed on the top of the search results. The post remains there well past its nature shelf life.  This can range from many hours to days.  When a post is trending, it reaches a far wider audience. It is the one of the best organic reach you can have on Instagram.

The factors driving this are at the heart of the Instagram platform.

These are explained in a free hashtag secrets ebookwhich can be downloaded from here.

Reach out to new market

Trending posts can also be specific for your niche. When your post is trending, it will be on the Top9 search results of your followers and people who have engaged with you.  Others not connected to you may not see your post when they search that hashtag.

To get a true picture of trending post, you need check the hashtag when you are logged-in using an unrelated account.

To see your post trending when you are logged in, is a very first step.  Getting your post into Top9 for non-followers should be your next goal.    This is particularly important, if your primary objective is to build followers or reach out to new market.

Getting your post into Top9

The best way to maximize your organic reach is to select hashtags that will put your post Top9.

To be in the Top9 you need to out-perform (be in the same range or better than) those posts currently Trending for that hashtag.

Specifically your posts would need

  • high comments
  • high likes
  • high engagement rate
  • rapid build-up of engagement in the initial hours of posting
  • be a video format where possible

In addition, your images need to be interesting and valuable to your followers and audience in your niche.

The smaudience hashtag-top9 tool, analyses the current trending Top9 for any hashtag.  It will provide you with the key performance metrics of these Top9 images.    Compare them with image performance of your own, to determine the chances of getting into Top9.





  1. www.smaudience.com/hashtag-top9
  2.  Enter a hashtag
  3. [Top posts] shows you the competition to get into Top9
  4. This lists engagement rate, Comments & Likes and the age of the post
  5. The type of post distinguishes between image or a video
  6. Size of page, number following and bio gives you a summary of your competitors
  7. Compare these metrics with the average engagements you are getting from your posts
  8. Check to make sure the trending images are in the same niche as your
  9. To find alternative hashtags, click [Related hashtag]

[Next step]

Check the hashtag performance of your latest post.  Detailed description can be found in the article Tracking Hashtag Search Performance.

Analysis each of your hashtags, compare your post’s performance with those currently trending on Top9.

Determine the chances of you getting into Top9, if you

  • increase your engagement effort,
  • refine your content,
  • expand your comment pods or
  • publishing in video.


The Top9 also shows the Instagram account behind these images.  These are in fact influencers in your niche.


If you don’t think you can get into Top9 with your current hashtag, look for related hashtags with lower density and therefore less competition. The [related hashtag] list shows you similar hashtags with lower density. Consider using these.  Conquer these before moving up to a higher density.