The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags in 2017

When it comes to using Instagram hashtags, there are a lot of misconceptions in the social media scene.

Hashtags have the potential to grow your account’s reach and get you more followers, but it will only work if you know how to use them efficiently


Content is what will help you retain and gain followers.

Hashtags are what will allow people to find you at scale.

Both are extremely important.

Hashtags are the most effective way to get your content out there and allow people to find you organically.

What does using a hashtag accomplish & how does it work?

When you use a hashtag on your photo, you are labeling (or categorizing) your photo in that category. That category also has every other post with that hashtag in it, and you are competing with them for attention.


Biggest Hashtag Misconception

Most people believe that using the most popular hashtags is the best way to gain exposure - “Just use the most popular hashtags and more people will see it.”
This is wrong.


Unless you are a very large page, using the most popular hashtags a lot of times has little to no effect on the engagement of your post. Why? Because you are competing with millions of other posts just like that. Keep that in mind. I am not saying don’t ever use super popular hashtags. But when that is all you use, you will be disappointed with the results.


How do I determine which hashtags to use?

First and foremost, Research.

Keep in mind, you are officially allowed 30 hashtags per post.

We strongly suggest you utilize all 30. It will give you maximum
exposure and visibility.

When researching hashtags, you want to look for 3 things:

  1. The number of posts a hashtag stream has - You want to make sure that you are researching hashtags with all levels of users. 10k all the way up to 100m.

  2. The engagement on the posts using that hashtag.

  3. The quality/style of pictures using that hashtag.


Here is how you research:

  • Make a list of every hashtag that could possibly go with your content.

  • Type each one in individually, and look at the three things discussed above.

  • Determine which has the best engagement, cleanest content, and best ROI.

  • Figure out which are your best 30-60 hashtags.

  • Use those, customizing each post with hashtags that go along with it.


A good hashtag ecosystem example:

Top hashtag streams: (10m to 1m posts)

  • #weed - 9,456.376 posts

  • #cannabis - 8,871,056 posts

  • #ganja - 4,890,740 posts

  • #fueledbythc - 2,513,219 posts

  • #instaweed - 2,395,430 posts

High hashtag streams: (999k to 100k posts)

  • #420photography - 646,625 posts

  • #weedlife - 504,225 posts

  • #420girls - 490,781 posts

  • #justblazeig - 483,161 posts

  • #420friendly - 440,602 posts

  • #420blazeit - 263,686 posts

  • #letsgethigh - 236,150 posts

  • #cannabissociety - 166,143 posts

  • #weedwomen - 161,807 posts

  • #weedculture - 108,064 posts

  • #stonedsociety - 102,928 posts

Middle hashtag streams: (99k to 10k posts)

  • #420ladies - 86,493 posts

  • #cannabislife - 75,325 posts

  • #cannabisqueenz - 71,255 posts

  • #dankdivas - 55,477 posts

  • #420girl - 46,074 posts

  • #cannabislifestyle - 28,844 posts

  • #cannabislover - 24,145 posts

  • #straincentral - 22,444 posts

  • #weedlifestyle - 20,098 posts

  • #cannabispatient - 15,362 posts

  • #girlswhosmokepot - 12,920 posts


Low hashtag streams: (9k to 1k posts)

  • #ganjachick - 3,979 posts

  • #ganjawoman - 3,236 posts

  • #weedphotos - 2,711 posts

Structuring your hashtags according to stream post volume (as showcased above) will increase your chances to rank as a top post in the lower volume hashtag streams. As engagement builds up, your post will go from lower/middle streams to higher ones.

As a result, you'll get more eyes on your content, more engagement, and more followers.


TIP: Make sure that your hashtags are as related to your post as possible.


Happy Instagramming!