5 Top Instagram Hashtag Tools for Finding Popular and Trending Tags

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Instagram marketers have a secret weapon at our disposal every single time we post. What is this magical awareness, traffic, and sales-boosting weapon? Hashtags! And not just any old hashtags, but top trending Instagram hashtags!

Screenshot of Instagram Recent posts for hashtag
Use hashtags to appear in “Recent” or “Top” posts – and help people find you!

Every time we use hashtags effectively, we help more people who are interested in our content find us – giving them the chance to discover our products, services, and personalities.

Hashtagged posts can appear in the “latest posts” sections for anyone searching the hashtag, and if your post is particularly engaging, it may even appear in the “top posts” section where you’ll get even more exposure, especially if it’s for a popular Instagram hashtag. Hooray!

Want to 2.5x your Instagram likes & comments? Perfect your hashtag strategy with this free guide. Get it now!

The Challenge of Instagram and Hashtag Research

Many of us have a hard time coming up with enough great content to share on Instagram. Creating great images for Instagram and writing inspiring captions day after day is quite a task! But given the fact that those who post at least once a day experience the most success, we owe it to ourselves to find a way to make it possible to be consistent on the platform.

One way to remove some of the overwhelm of posting in general is to batch it out. Set aside time each week or so and schedule your Instagram posts at the best times for engagement. Now that we have auto post, you don’t even have to watch for notifications on your phone to remind you to post!

Still, when it comes to using hashtags, many of us just wing it when it comes time to schedule or publish. It’s hard to recall what has worked before or figure out which hashtags are popular but not SO popular that no one will ever see our post in the feed. Fact is though, hashtags are just too important to be nothing more than an afterthought.

Fortunately, smart software developers understand your frustration – and there are many great tools out there to take some of the pain out of hashtag research. We’ll take a look at just a few of them and you can choose the one that works best for you.

Jeff Sieh and I recently talked about this on a Facebook Live. Check it out:

Top Instagram Hashtag Tool #1 – For Display Purposes Only

Enter a hashtag and For Display Purposes Only will recommend additional tags based on relevance and popularity. Tell the tool how many hashtags you want, and then select the ones you want to copy and paste.  The graph view allows you to see a web of related hashtags.

Hot tip for local businesses: Check out the map to see trending hashtags by location.

For web only. Free.

Screenshot - For Display Only

Top Instagram Hashtag Tool #2 – Hashtagify

An extremely robust tool, Hashtagify is for the true hashtag aficionado. We’re talking keyword suggestions for Instagram based on caption (paid), competitor hashtag analysis, and automated reporting. But, there are also great (free) features that we can all enjoy.

Sure, you get related hashtags (view based on correlation or to help you find popular Instagram hashtags), but I particularly appreciated that you can see if the hashtag is trending up or down. Really useful if you are going to schedule your posts in advance! Plus, you can find top influencers for your hashtags.

For web only. Free features. Free trial. Paid plans available.

Hashtagify screen shot

Top Instagram Hashtag Tool #3 – Hashtag Expert

Enter in a base hashtag, then the Hashtag Expert app will find similar ones that you can copy to use in a post. Explore groups of trending Instagram hashtags sorted by category and copy them in a single tap. You can save hashtag groups to reuse. Hashtag report card shows you how well your groups are expected to perform.

For iOS Only. Free trial. Paid. [iOS Only] 

Top Instagram Hashtag Tool #4 – Tailwind’s New Hashtag Strategy Guide

If you’re the type who likes to dive in head first and get your hands dirty, check out our brand new hashtag strategy guide. It will walk you through:

  • Setting a rhythm and direction for your Instagram account
  • Researching your competitors and influencers in your space
  • Finding “sweet-spot” hashtags (popular Instagram hashtags that are not TOO popular)
  • Creating hashtag list, and more!

Get yours now:

Want to 2.5x your Instagram likes & comments? Perfect your hashtag strategy with this free guide. Get it now!

Guide: Plan an Effective Instagram Hashtag Strategy

Top Instagram Hashtag Tool #5 – Tailwind Hashtag Finder 2.0 (Plus Lists!)

Gif of Tailwind for Instagram hashtag finder

New and improved, Tailwind’s Hashtag finder suggest hashtags for your Instagram posts as you write your caption, so now you don’t even have to come up with a starter hashtag! Suggestions are fresher and more intuitive, and if you don’t like one of the suggested hashtags, just x it out for new suggestions – or get ALL new suggestions when you hit the refresh button.

You can also hover over a hashtag and see how many times it has appeared on Instagram to help you decide which to use. And as always, our “niche,” “good,” “best,” and “competitive” indicators help you select a mix of hashtags which will help you cover all your bases and increase your reach.

After all, while you do want to use some popular and trending Instagram hashtags (indicated by “competitive” in our app), you also want some “niche” hashtags (meaning there isn’t a lot of competition for those tags) and “good” or “best” hashtags which is a good balance of popularity and opportunity to rank.

Try it now for free! You’ll get a free 31-day trial, and you can keep using hashtag finder for free as long as you like.

Tailwind for Instagram – Hashtag Lists

A power-user favorite, hashtag lists are super simple and can save you so much time! You can use them in (at least) two very different ways:

  • Create lists of hashtags which are appropriate for many of your posts. Reuse or mix and match to save time.Tailwind for Instagram Hashtag Lists
  • Create a formatting template to make your posts look the way you like in a flash! If you like to insert line breaks, maybe with an emoji or symbol on each line so that your hashtags are a bit hidden, you can create a “hashtag list” that contains just that formatting.
    Screenshot of Tailwind Instagram hashtag lists used as a way to store formatting.
    You can use Tailwind’s hashtag lists to store custom caption formatting, too!

Tailwind’s Instagram hashtag lists are great for saving anything you want to reuse on your posts. How will you use them?

For iOS and desktop. Included with free trial and paid plans. Hashtag finder can be used for free even after the trial.

In Conclusion:

Hashtags are the key to reaching a new, engaged audience on Instagram. Innovative hashtag tools take  the pain out of analyzing, choosing, and being consistent with great hashtags. Which one(s) will you try?

📌 Pin me:

Alisa Meredith is Pinterest Product Specialist at Tailwind – a Pinterest and Instagram scheduler and analytics platform. She is a sought-after speaker and teacher on Pinterest and Promoted Pins in particular, having spoken at Social Media Marketing World, Agents of Change and appearing on The Art of Paid Traffic and Social Pros podcasts. Alisa has invested heavily in becoming an expert in her craft – realizing (and loving) the fact that the learning never ends!  She lives in coastal North Carolina with her pampered pets Pepe the couch potato Cavapoo, and more cats than she’d like to admit to.

2 thoughts on “5 Top Instagram Hashtag Tools for Finding Popular and Trending Tags

  1. Hey Alisa!
    Thank you for sharing these awesome tools!
    For sure I’d give a try to them and would love to share with you my experiences with them Soon!

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