Hashtags define your niche

The best hashtags are those used in searches by your customers.   Typically your customers search Instagram by keywords that describe a product, or by the names of well-known products.     Influencers and your competitors in your niche may is already be using these hashtags.

So your best hashtags are those used by

  • Product brands
  • Competitors
  • Influencers in your markets

Build your own list

Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags for your post.

Your hashtags should reflect or describe the image.  You should develop a master list of hashtags for your niche, and mix and match these for specific theme or topics of your image.

You will also need to ‘change up’ or refresh your hashtags based on the engagements you are getting from your posts.

A big part of deciding which hashtag to use is determined by the volume or density of a hashtag.

Density of hashtags

The density of a hashtag is shown as the “Most Recent” count on Instagram.  It tells you how popular that hashtag is being used on Instagram.

High density hashtags are very popular, and will have many images every hour. Low density hashtags have fewer images, and are used for specific niches.  As Instagram search results are shown chronologically, posts with a lower density hashtag stand a better chance to be seen, as it stays in the early pages for a longer period of time.     Posts with lower density hashtags stay on the top few pages for longer.  These hashtags attract a smaller but more targeted group of audience, and therefore more relevant and gives you better engagement.

Hashtag strategy

The mix of hashtags will determine the reach, longevity and engagement of your post.    Having a clear hashtag strategy and consistently applying this is very important.  A discussion on hashtag strategy can be found in this blog Hashtag Strategy.

Use smaudience to find hashtags

smaudience hashtag research tool is a simple way to find, analyse and build your own list of hashtags.

Simply enter a brand or an influencer, it will do the rest.


  2. Select an account from the list of your followers OR enter the name of a competitor or a blogger
  3. Click the [TagSearch] tab
  4. Review and select hashtags that is relevant to you
  5. Density of a hashtag measures its popularity on Instagram
  6. Tick to select a hashtag
  7. Click the green hashtag button at the top right corner of the page to copy/paste into your hashtag list


You know your competitors, well known brands and influential bloggers.   You may even be following some of these accounts on Instagram.  You can start your search with a list of your followings with this drop down list.


Instagram allows you to have 30 hashtags for an image. In fact there is a hack that will give you up to 60 hashtags.  It can be used to give you a boost in reach, by spreading your search coverage, even though it appears a little bit ‘spammy’.  Use with caution.


How to build your winning hashtag strategy.