Do Hashtags Really Work On Instagram In 2020? Find Out Now! | W3 Lab

Do Hashtags Really Work On Instagram In 2020?

instagram - hand - pink iphone
Instagram login – source

You are here because you are wondering if Instagram hashtags are still working in 2020.

The answer is YES. But you have to use them correctly.

Related: Did IGTV fail?

Only if used correctly Instagram hashtags in 2020 will get more engagement on your posts, grow your reach, attract more followers, and finally grow your account.

In this blog you will learn:

  1. Why hashtags aren’t as effective as before
  2. How to find the best Instagram hashtags for your account
  3. When to use Instagram hashtags
  4. How to use hashtags the right way

Why Instagram hashtags aren’t as effective as before?

The effectiveness of the Instagram hashtags has decreased since the Instagram surfacing technology (the Instagram algorithm) was updated in late 2018 and early 2019.

very important update
Very Important Update – Source

This update has created a home feed and explorer pages more effective at showing the content of your interest. Before the update, you could find the content you were interested in simply by searching the hashtag.

This is the reason why a higher percentage of Instagram users used hashtags in their searches. There were a lot fewer hashtags per content too.

But this all changed with the update.

The improved Instagram algorithm made the content on home and explorer pages more relevant. This means that fewer people use hashtags to search for content.

As a result, hashtag feeds are less visible, the engagement decreased, and with it the traffic and follower conversion.

But this doesn’t mean that hashtags on Instagram in 2020 are completely useless. Keep reading and find out how you can make the most out of them.

How to find the best Instagram hashtags for your account?

instagram hashtag - hashtag
Hashtag – photo by Jan Baborák on Unsplash

If you use Instagram hashtags correctly, they will help you in increasing your profile, getting more engagement, and growing your reach. Used correctly Instagram hashtags will help you reach your social media marketing goals.

This is not as easy as it used to be and you need to be strategic about which hashtags you use, when, and how you use them.

First, let’s talk about how to find the best Instagram hashtags for your account.

If a hashtag is very popular and has been used a lot, it doesn’t mean that it will bring you a ton of likes and comments simply by adding it to your post.

Such hashtags are #love#dog#happy#art. Don’t be tempted to use them.

You want to find and use less popular but more specific hashtags that are more related to your niche. Also, they have to have an audience that is engaged and relevant to your industry.


Find the best Instagram hashtags for you by:

  1. Researching your audience
  2. Checking out your competition
  3. Researching industry leaders
  4. Finding related hashtags
  5. Going through the TOP POSTS for your hashtag
  6. Searching for the hashtag that has the largest number of posts in your niche

It is very important that you research your audience.  

Random hashtags at the end of your Instagram post will do you no good. The audience on your profile won’t grow by doing that.

audience - smartphone - person holding a smartphone
Audience is very important – Photo by Yura Fresh on Unsplash

You should find out which hashtags YOUR AUDIENCE is using and then decide which fit into the content you want to publish.

Always check out your competitors. This research will result in very useful information. It will help you figure out which hashtags on Instagram provide the most engagement.

You may not want to compete for those specific hashtags, (you could, by the way) but you will get the insight about what your potential customers respond to the most and which hashtags they are using.

This can be very fruitful research that ends in new hashtags to add to your repertoire.

Every industry has its leaders, the best of the best. It is smart to follow and learn from them. 

This is one of the greatest ways to find relevant hashtags that are popular in your niche.

Find the top Instagram influencers in your field. Their target audience will be the same or similar to yours. Check out the hashtags they are using. This is how you will learn which hashtags are bringing the most engagement on Instagram.

Finding related hashtags is fairly easy, but can help you figure out the trends that are relevant to your hashtag.

Do this by typing the hashtag into the search bar on Instagram. You will then be able to see all top hashtags closely related to the one you plan to use.

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Related Instagram hashtags search

Not only that. This search will reveal other ways to reach out to and engage with your community.

Comb out the TOP POSTS on Instagram.

 Researching top posts on Instagram will help you identify the most valuable hashtags on Instagram you could add to your hashtag list.

top posts for hashtag instagram - hashtag instagram - digitalagency
Top posts for hashtag on Instagram

These posts have been selected by the Instagram algorithm to be top posts. Hashtags used with them have helped, among other things, for the posts to be on the top.

Search for the hashtag that has the largest number of posts in your niche. 

There is always one in every niche. This hashtag broadly describes a general topic.

You don’t want to use it because it is not describing your content the best. But it is the perfect place to start searching for hashtags high in traffic that more accurately describe your content.

When to use Instagram hashtags?

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Choose the best time to use Instagram hashtags – Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

The answer is WHENEVER YOU CAN. If you want to be seen by as many people possible you should use hashtags every time you post on Instagram, this includes Instagram stories too.

That being said, you still have to be smart about it. On some occasions, you may want to post without any hashtags.

Very often this is the case with Instagram stories. They tend to be more casual in nature and display a personal anecdote or story.

YOU SHOULD CONSIDER THE TONE OR TOPIC OF YOUR POST coupled with your intent and then decide if you want to use a hashtag or not.

How to use Instagram hashtags the right way?

These are several ways we find to be the best in which you can use Instagram hashtags in 2020 and grow your Instagram page.

  • Know how the TOP POSTS are selected on the Instagram
  • Randomize the order in which you use hashtags
  • Don’t use too many hashtags per post

How does Instagram select TOP POSTS? 

The idea behind the TOP POSTS on Instagram is to showcase the most engaging and accurate posts for a hashtag.

Therefore, the more accurately you describe the content on your post with Instagram hashtags, the more likely your post will be selected as a top post.

But it is not that easy for a post to be selected as a top post.

Randomize the order of your hashtags every time you post. 

Randomizing the order of your hashtags every time you post on Instagram is a very important step that will increase the chances of your post being selected to be in top posts.

NEVER COPY-PASTE YOUR HASHTAGS ON INSTAGRAM. Consecutive posts shouldn’t be described by hashtags placed in the same order.

The reason for this is again the Instagram algorithm. Users who post like this are very likely spammers and Instagram wants to avoid placing spam posts as top posts.

This is why you should steer clear from copy-pasting hashtags on Instagram and choose only the ones that accurately represent the content on the post.

Don’t use too many hashtags.

 You should not use too many hashtags. The reason behind it is again the intent of Instagram to reduce inaccurately tagged content.

This type of content creates ineffective hashtags feeds that are deterring users from being a part of the Instagram family.


The Instagram algorithm also follows the number of hashtags on a post to weed out spammers. The higher the number of hashtags, the more likely that the post is not accurately described.

If you copy-paste hashtags and use too many irrelevant ones your content can be shadowbanned. Trust us, YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SHADOWBANNED.

What is Shadowbanning?

If your account is shadowbanned, this means that when you use Instagram hashtags on your post, they will not be public.

Only people who already follow you will be able to see them and they won’t be selected to be top posts.

To conclude 

Instagram hashtags still work in 2020 but you must be smart about using them.

The Instagram algorithm has evolved and is being more effective in bringing the right content to its users and weeding out the spammers. You don’t want to be categorized as one.

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