If you want to increase your Instagram post engagement, then you really need to use the right hashtags and understand hashtag groups. It's important to do hashtag research, but if you’re not aware of what you want to achieve from using the hashtags, it’ll be of little use.

Hashtags are one of the most important engagement modifiers for Instagram posts. Why is that? According to research, an Instagram post with hashtags receives 12.6 % more engagement than a post with no hashtags.

Here you’ll find trending Instagram hashtags that range from the most popular hashtag groups to most niche, and also the general make up the Instagram hashtag funnel :

The Instagram Hashtag Funnel: Industry > Niche > Brand > Community > Location > Event > Celebration

1. Industry Hashtags


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Aztec sweater and jazzy velvet high waist trousers for sunny days 🌟 You can instantly shop my looks or similar items by following me on the LIKEtoKNOW.it app http://liketk.it/2zo2j #liketkit #LTKeurope #andotherstories

A post shared by Onyi ➰ Craig | Couple 📸 (@mossonyi) on Jan 17, 2019 at 9:54am PST

Industry hashtags fall under the category of high competition hashtags since many people use them regularly, and they generally have been tagged on millions of posts historically. 

Industry hashtags increase the visibility of your post, a but are also a highly competitive space, so it's good to include a few in your posts to give Instagram an idea of the general topic of your posts, but also mix in some more niche hashtags for specificity. 

Some examples:

  • #blogger

  • #photographer

2. Niche Hashtags


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📷 @dianamiaus . . Dames travel to Georgia 💙. . . . . . . . . . . . . . #travelblogger #instatravel #travelphotography #travelblog #travelaroundtheworld #passionpassport #travelgirl #womentravel #wanderlust #travelwithaninsider #traveladdict #exploremore #lifewelltravelled #worldtraveller #worldpics #chicasviajeras #globelletravels #girlslovetravel #traveldiaries #traveltheworld #travelingram #letsgoeverywhere #tripadvisor #globetrotter #mochileras #outdoorwomen #travelwomen #explorewithme #girlswhotravel #womenwhotravel

A post shared by Girls Who Travel (@damestravel) on Jan 17, 2019 at 10:10am PST

If you want to add some more specificity to the industry/business you’re in, then niche hashtags are for you. They are more specific and less popular than general industry hashtags, and they can increase Instagram post engagement to people who have more specific search terms.

In the example below you'll notice that an additional keyword has been added to #blogger and #photographer, making the hashtags more specific and targeted. 

Some examples:

  • #weddingphotographer

  • #travelblogger

3. Brand Hashtags


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what a weekend🔥 @aclfestival #heinekenexperience •⠀Mis tenis adidas son de @stax_shop 🤩 #adidasoriginals #ORIGINALis

A post shared by M I C H E L L E (@michleonl) on Oct 10, 2018 at 12:01pm PDT

These hashtags are used to attract new followers and for promoting a product you like in hopes of attaining a brand partnership. How does that work? Most businesses have their own campaign hashtags that they regularly use to find potential brand ambassadors and affiliates.

Make new connections by following some branded hashtags, and you may even get a brand featured or become part of a fantastic new community.

Some examples:

  • #ORIGINALis: Adidas

  • #whatsinyourbag: Rad Race

4. Community Hashtags


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A post shared by CETIN🔻P H O T O G R A P H E R (@bycetin) on Dec 3, 2018 at 3:57am PST

Instagram is all about community, and joining a particular Instagram tribe is as easy as including some community-based hashtags on your relevant posts. Community hashtags are more specific than niche and brand hashtags and are less competitive then the previous hashtag groups further up the funnel. Consider using 3-5 community hashtags in addition to others in your Instagram posts.

Don’t know which community hashtags to use. Worry not! Research what your followers or competitors are using on their photos as hashtags and follow suit. Also, don’t forget to check which hashtags other influencers are using. Make sure to actively engage with posts that include the community hashtag you're targeting by liking and commenting, really participating with the community.

Some examples:

  • #streetetiquette

  • #mytravelgram

5. Location Hashtags


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Snow day mood ❄️✨ Shop my red shearling coat and wet weather hiking boots! #liketkit http://liketk.it/2zo4T @liketoknow.it

A post shared by 𝒯𝒶𝓎𝓁𝑜𝓇 𝒜𝓊𝒷𝑒 (@tayloraube) on Jan 17, 2019 at 10:24am PST

If you want people in your locality to find your posts quickly then use these low competition, high specificity, location hashtags on your posts.

For business' promoting on Instagram that want to reach a wider target audience, consider combining location hashtags, niche hashtags, and industry hashtags on every post.

Some examples:

  • #NycHairStylist

  • #PDXphotographer

6. Event Hashtags


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Bom diaaaa 😻 Confira os stories ✌🏼 #looksfestivaiseraves #vintageculture #coachella #ravegirls #ultramusicfestival #sotrackboa #alok #universoparalello #psytrance #fritos #sunsetfestival #tomorrowland #vibepositiva #rave #brazilianbass #kaballah #xxxperience #musicaeletronica #positividade #gratidao #lollapalooza #edmfamily #ravebabes #edmgirls #festivalfashion #bohostyle #bohochic #gabrielboni #berg #euphoria

A post shared by Inspirações Festivais/Raves 💥 (@looksfestivaiseraves) on Jan 17, 2019 at 6:31am PST

Great for finding others attending the same event, and becoming part of a larger movement, event hashtags, despite being more timing specific, are perfect for creating viral engagement with your content.

Some examples:

  • #coachella

  • #SuperBowl

7. Celebration Hashtags

Celebration hashtags are exactly what they say they are, hashtags commemorating specific celebrations. Have fun with these hashtags and engage with others on Instagram sharing under the same celebration tags to build a larger community of followers and friends. 

Some examples:

  • #NationalDogDay

  • #SummerVacation2018

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