We’re halfway through 2018, and hashtags are still as popular as they were when they first came out. I’d say more so now because people are starting to understand their insane power in reaching maximum people on social media.
Instagram’s oversaturated with everything hashtag; hashtag campaigns, UGC campaigns with hashtags, branded hashtags, giveaways with hashtags, and adding multiple hashtags to every post. Every Instagram influencer advises you to make good use of hashtags if you’re serious about Instagram marketing, and every blog post on social media marketing has a special part dedicated solely to strategically using hashtags.
Research suggests 11 or more hashtags in an Instagram post can generate a crazy 442% more engagement than using none. And marketers, entrepreneurs, and app developers have caught on to this.
Developers are coming out with one tool after another to streamline the hashtag process for marketers and entrepreneurs. Savvy marketers are making great use of these tools and that’s one of the reasons why their Instagram success rate is sky high.
But with a plethora of hashtag tools coming out every year, which ones should you invest your time and money in?
Here are 21 best of the very best tools (free & paid) for everyone looking to amp up their IG hashtag game, broken down into 4 sections: Search Engines, Photo Recognition Tools, Apps, and Trackers.
Hashtag Search Engines
Not sure which hashtags would get you the maximum amount of reach?
Need to compile a list of hashtags, but you don’t know where to start from?
Should you copy hashtags that others are using or spend hours researching them on your own?
If you’re on a time crunch and need a list of hashtags to use on your posts stat, make hashtag generators your best friend. They’re super-simple to use, give you relevant results, and are mostly free. With a little weeding out, researching a tiny bit more, and using multiple generators to get the best possible results, you can create a list of optimal hashtags to use.
All-hashtag has it all (no pun intended); it’s a free hashtag generator, a hashtag creator, and also a hashtag analytics tracker.
The hashtag generator works as a search engine. It tracks top 30 hashtags and can also be used as a random hashtag generator, and track 30 random ones related to your keyword.
Pro – It’s a good starting point for hashtag newbies who’re looking to compile a list of hashtags for their Instagram posts, and everyone who’s on a lookout for new hashtags and willing to research further.
Con – The hashtags generated aren’t always relevant to your search term (for eg. snowflakes and tapestry weaving? Whaat?), so you can’t depend on this software alone.
2. Seek Metrics
Seek Metrics has a clean, simple interface and is an effective hashtag search engine for everyone who’s willing to put some time and effort in.
When you search for a term, eg. tapestry weaving, it’ll bring up hashtags where that exact term was used. While this ensures that most of these hashtags are relevant, some of them are completely useless, for eg. #tapestryweavingwithcats. I can easily use another variation of tapestry weaving to replace this hashtag and get more exposure.
With this tool you can search multiple hashtags, to make a list of optimum hashtags.
Hands down the best hashtag tool available online. While it’s primarily a hashtag tracker tool and helps you measure the success (or failure) of your niche hashtags, you can also use it as a hashtag maker.
When you search for a hashtag, you’ll see a small box that mentions ‘hashtags’ and that’s where all the relevant and top-performing hashtags similar to yours are mentioned.
If you’re willing to splurge and are thinking of conducting Instagram hashtag campaigns, Keyhole is a must-have tool in your arsenal.
I sometimes wonder what I’d do if Display Purposes stopped working. It is my holy grail Instagram tool. I cannot live without it.
There are 2 very simple reasons why I’ve been using display purposes since forever for my Instagram account.
- It blocks out all junk, banned, spammy, and extremely generic hashtags (hint – #photooftheday or #instagood). So, I can use the hashtags without filtering them or waste any more time on them. The generated hashtags are (usually) spot on. And, if I add multiple keywords, the results generated will be relevant to all those keywords.
- It’s super, super simple to use. You also get a copy option, which saves a ton of time. Add your keyword in the dialogue box, get a list of highly relevant hashtags, click the copy option, and paste it on your Insta post. Done.
Webstagram is yet another free hashtag generator, and a favorite tool of mine.
When you run a Webstagram search, it not only brings up a list of relevant hashtags but also shows you the number of posts the hashtag has been used in. And when you click on any of these hashtags, it generates recent posts that used this hashtag. This can help tremendously if you plan to use Gary V’s $1.8 Instagram boosting strategy.
And that’s not it. When you further scroll down, Webstagram also presents you with a list of Instagram accounts that have used your keyword in their profile name.
Starts from $500/month
A bit like Pinterest, Tagboard lets you see every post that’s been posted on Instagram (and other platforms) using a specific hashtag at one glance. Filter these posts by keyword or on the basis of the media used. You can also save tagboards that take your fancy.
Note: You’ll need to sign in to see latest posts from Instagram.
You can then make a list of hashtags they’ve used and then use them in your own post. Again, a great tool to increase engagement and boost your IG account. Follow Gary V’s $1.8 Instagram rule and like, comment and share posts in your niche through your tagboard and increase your reach.
Photo Recognition Tools
You’ve taken a stunning picture, but for the life of you, you can’t think of any keywords or hashtags to go with the picture.
What do you do?
Download a photo recognition tool, upload your picture, and let the tool work its algorithmic magic and come up with hashtags and keywords for you.
Below mentioned are few of the best photo recognition tools in the online world.
Autohash is one of the best photo recognition apps (iOS and Android, both) out there, and a favorite of everyone who’s anyone on Instagram.
All you need to do is upload your picture on Autohash, and it will generate a list of hashtags relevant to the picture using computer vision algorithm. The best part is that most of the hashtags it generates are extremely relevant and usually non-generic.
If you’re a local brand and want to target locals (as posts with location get 79% more engagement), Autohash also provides you with location-based relevant hashtags. You can literally just copy and paste it to your Instagram post, and you’re done.
It does add #autohash to the generated hashtag list, but you can easily remove it.
Their customer service is excellent. If you’re facing any kind of issues with the app, just leave a comment on PlayStore or iTunes, and the developer will respond back instantly.
Free to $49/year
Before I stumbled across Ritetag on ProductHunt, I would waste hours researching hashtags that’d help my post get maximum exposure on Instagram.
Ritetag is the coolest hashtag generator + tracker tool. Why?
- It’s a hashtag finder that helps you locate the best possible hashtags for your Instagram image posts and captions, by pulling in data from RiteTag stats.
- It integrates with your social scheduling tools like HootSuite or Buffer and you can add selected hashtags right there and then.
- It gives email alerts when new popular hashtags are being used in your niche.
- It allows you to measure and compare metrics of different hashtag groups you’ve created.
It even has an Android app for people who like to use Instagram on the go.
One of their best features is their hashtag color option. Hashtag suggestions are color coded so you can choose the right hashtag according to your marketing goal.
9. Ask Lisa
Ask Lisa is mostly an AI photo recognition iOS app. If you’re torn between a couple of pictures and can’t decide which one to upload on Instagram, Ask Lisa will help you select the best one. But that’s not all it does.
Using it’s same brilliant algorithm, it recommends the best relevant hashtags for your posts. So with just a couple of clicks, you have the next post up and garnering views.
Another nifty tool that suggests hashtags based on the picture you upload. Photerloo goes a little further than others as it also suggests relevant keywords using AI, which can be helpful while conducting further hashtag research. One of it’s best features is popularity level bar. It lets you select the hashtag popularity level you want, before suggesting appropriate hashtags.
While the hashtags suggested are mostly relevant, you still need to look them over once and weed out a couple of generic and irrelevant ones.
There are several great hashtags on this list that I’d never have thought to include, which is super-helpful.
Instagram Hashtag Apps
Are you an on-the-go Instagrammer and only use Instagram on your smartphone?
Not to worry. Download any of these awesome Instagram hashtag apps and make your life a lot easier.
11. Jetpack App
$1.99 iOS app
JetPack promises just one thing – improved workflow efficiency.
Instead of wasting time copying hashtags from your notes app or from your previous Instagram posts (am I the only one who does that?), simply add them to your clipboard with one tap via JetPack app. You can either copy one set or mix multiple sets together depending on your post. Its interface is incredibly simple as well; with just one glance you can see all your hashtag sets. Choose the right one, copy it to Clipboard, and you’re done. Doesn’t take more than a few seconds, at most.
Users have been loving this time-saving app.
12. Focal Mark
Free (with in-app upgrades)
If you’ve only got space to download one app in your phone, then Focal Mark should be it. One of the best in the market, it’s an app that gives “human-curated” hashtag suggestions.
It’s also borderline simple to use. Select the category, style, and location of your image and watch Focal mark work its magic. It provides a more targeted and relevant list of hashtags then several other apps since it uses both – human research and a ranking algorithm.
13. Preview App
Similar to Jetpack, preview app’s hashtag maker allows you to add hashtags to your post with one tap. It’s a great post editor as well, so if you’re looking for an all-in-one Instagram app, download Preview app without another thought.
You can search and choose relevant hashtags from over 90+ categories and 2000 hashtags, or just create your own group of hashtags, add it to the directory, and click on it once you’re done writing the caption.
Instagram Hashtag Trackers / Stats
You know what’s a recipe for disaster? Starting a hashtag campaign, spending hours and hours fine-tuning it, but not enough time monitoring it. Monitoring and keeping a close eye on your hashtag analytics is the only way to optimize your campaigns and get better results with each hashtag you add to the list or each campaign you start.
Here’s a list of the very best hashtag trackers that you need to invest in ASAP.
$19/month to $249/month
If you’d like an in-depth analysis of a keyword along with custom suggestions of relevant hashtags to build your list, Hashtagify is the tool for you. Its visual interface gives you all the important data (along with main KPIs of your chosen hashtag) at one glance;
- top influencers using that keyword,
- top posts mentioning the keyword or hashtag,
- how popular that hashtag is,
- top countries using this hashtags (this feature is a lifesaver for local brands)
- Spelling variants of that keyword, ad which spelling is used most
And so much more.
When I say in-depth, I mean in-depth. You don’t need any other tool to keep track of your hashtag activity or keep on top of trending hashtags in your niche if you’re using Hashtagify. You can conduct in-depth analysis for all your hashtags to make a list of the best (of the very best) hashtags.
It’s paid version is worth every single cent.
Starts from $8400 yearly
If you’re just starting out and not too keen on spending money just yet, try Talkwalker’s free demo to see if it’s a good investment for your brand.
It offers in-depth analysis of your hashtag so you can monitor and optimize your hashtag campaigns. You can search everything; from top influencers using this hashtag to all the important KPIs. If you’re confused between multiple hashtags and can’t decide which one to use, ask Talkwalker. It allows you to compare one hashtag against another so that you choose the one with maximum potential.
The best part is that it’s super-simple to use.
Starts from $9.90
According to their website, ‘Our Instagram Hashtag Analytics tool analyzes any hashtag and returns over 10 key metrics presented in easy-to-read graphs.’
And it’s true. If you’re a newbie in the world of Instagram hashtags and afraid of the learning curve, Postchup will work best for you. It’s simple to use and provides all the important data.
If you run UGC campaigns with branded hashtags, Postchup allows you to download all relevant posts’ associated with a specific hashtag to CSV.
All in all, a great tool for everyone who’s thinking of using hashtags for their Insta account.
Starts from $50
Hashtracking is another great Instagram hashtag tracking tool that gives a pretty comprehensive view of how that hashtag is faring in the chaotic world of Instagram.
The free plan allows you to track one hashtag, which is a great way to see if Hashtracking rocks your world. It’s great if you’re running hashtag brand campaigns and would like to analyze your results. The only downside is that it can get expensive really fast. With every hashtag, you add to track, its cost goes up. So keep that in mind.
More hashtag tracking tools
Below listed are 4 more options for you to explore. In this social media examiner post, Krista Liebmann goes in-depth describing each and explaining why they work so great.
19. Simply Measured