Instagram is a bustling social media platform with more than 800 million monthly active users worldwide. Savvy businesses are taking advantage of this huge audience by developing image-based content marketing strategies. But even the best images in the world are no good if nobody sees them, which is where hashtags come in. This list of top Instagram hashtags for 2018 is a great place to start planning how to make the most out of every image on Instagram.

Understanding Instagram Hashtags

With users uploading millions of photographs every day, Instagram needs a way to ensure the right people are seeing the right content. It does this through the use of hashtags, which act as the site’s indexing system. By adding relevant hashtags, you increase the chances of more people discovering your content. Of course, the best hashtags to use are the ones that are trending, and those which users are most likely to search for. So using the top Instagram hashtags for 2018 helps you to keep your content relevant.

50 Top Instagram Hashtags

#love top instagram hashtags

#love

Spread a little love with the most popular hashtag on Instagram.

#photooftheday top instagram hashtags

#photooftheday

The @photooftheday account has a massive following. Tag a photo every day for a chance to win a space in this prestigious gallery.

#picoftheday top instagram hashtags

#picoftheday

Another tag for the images that make you proud.

#bestoftheday top instagram hashtags

#bestoftheday

Why use one tag to show off your best work when you can use three?

#instagood top instagram hashtags

#instagood

Tag your very best photos to see if the @instagood account shares your work.

#instamood top instagram hashtags

#instamood

Tag the photos that express how you feel.

#instastyle top instagram hashtags

#instastyle

Make a style statement.

#instadaily top instagram hashtags

#instadaily

Regularity is important when building a brand. This tag lets your audience know you’re a keen content creator.

#igers top instagram hashtags

#igers

The abbreviation for “Instagramers” is always trending, as it’s the calling card for regular users.

#instagramers top instagram hashtags

#instagramers

Another tag used to indicate professional users and regulars.

#followback top instagram hashtags

#followback

Building an audience is tricky. This hashtag indicates you’ll follow any account that follows you.

#followforfollow top instagram hashtags

#followforfollow

A variation of #followback.

#followme top instagram hashtags

#followme

Another tag for building an audience.

#likeback top instagram hashtags

#likeback

Exchanging likes is another way of boosting visibility, and the #likeback tag indicates you’re happy to get involved.

#likeforlike top instagram hashtags

#likeforlike

As with tags for generating followers, there are many versions of #likeback.

#like4like top instagram hashtags

#like4like

For any hashtag with “for” in it, there’s probably a similar tag substituting the number for the word.

#l4l top instagram hashtags

#l4l

Watch out for abbreviations of common tags, such as this tag for like exchanging.

#20likes top instagram hashtags

#20likes

Honestly, it’s amazing how many tags are requests for likes and follows.

#100likes top instagram hashtags

#100likes

We could do this all day.

#me top instagram hashtags

#me

Instagram is a great way to express yourself, hence the popularity of tags that emphasize personality and emotions.

#selfie top instagram hashtags

#selfie

The selfie is an indelible part of modern social media, and pictures with faces get 38 percent more likes on Instagram.

#smile top instagram hashtags

#smile

Faces launch brands, and everybody likes to see happy, smiling faces.

#style top instagram hashtags

#style

On a visual social media platform, it’s not surprising that tags relating to style and looks are always trending.

#looks top instagram hashtags

#looks

Another tag for fashion-forward Instagramers.

#cat top instagram hashtags

#cat

Social media has the potential to make pets into personalities, and many users post cat photographs.

#dog top instagram hashtags

#dog

And dog photographs.

#cute top instagram hashtags

#cute

The #cute tag is another good one for all those cat pictures everybody loves.

#tbt top instagram hashtags

#tbt

The throwback Thursday tag is for use with older photographs (shared on a Thursday, obviously). It’s one of the most used tags of all time.

#fbf top instagram hashtags

#fbf

Flashback Friday is a variation of the throwback Thursday concept. For when one day of nostalgia each week just isn’t enough.

#JJ top instagram hashtags

#jj

Josh Johnson is the brains behind one of Instagram’s first communities.

#nofilter top instagram hashtags

#nofilter

Instagram has a range of filters to give any photo a more professional look. If you’re trying to get recognition for your photography skills, uploading unedited content with the #nofilter tag helps you stand out.

#friends top instagram hashtags

#friends

Social media is all about building a community and making friends, and pictures promoting camaraderie have a real feel-good vibe.

#family top instagram hashtags

#family

Of course, if people are photographing their friends, they’re probably photographing their family too.

#travel top instagram hashtags

#travel

A visual platform is tailor-made for luxury travel influencers who share their adventures with fans.

#beach top instagram influencers

#beach

Beautiful beaches are a regular feature on many travel and extreme sports accounts.

#fun top instagram hashtags

#fun

Let’s face it — Instagram is about having fun. This tag is a perennial favorite.

#colorful top instagram hashtags

#colorful

Not surprisingly, a bit of color goes a long way on Instagram. Bright and colorful images draw the eye and promote engagement.

#fashion top instagram hashtags

#fashion

Photography and fashion go hand in hand. Plenty of fashion influencers use Instagram.

#model top instagram hashtags

#model

Of course, Instagram is a natural home for models.

#beauty top instagram hashtags

#beauty

The platform is a perfect way for beauty influencers to make their mark.

#makeup top instagram hashtags

#makeup

A tag for sharing a new look.

#hair top instagram hashtags

#hair

One last tag for those in the beauty profession, or anyone who is having a great hair day.

#food top instagram hashtags

#food

The demand for food-related content has made food content marketing big business, as evidenced by “how to cook that” being a top-10 search phrase on YouTube in 2017.

#foodporn top instagram influencers

#foodporn

The popularity of food content means it isn’t surprising to find lots of food-flavored tags in the list of top Instagram hashtags for 2018.

#yummy top instagram hashtags

#yummy

This one is self-explanatory.

#repost top instagram hashtags

#repost

Sharing content is part of what makes social media work. The #repost tag identifies content you’re sharing from another user.

#fitness top instagram hashtags

#fitness

Lots of fitness influencers use Instagram as a motivational and educational platform.

#gym top instagram hashtags

#gym

This tag works well in tandem with other fitness-related tags.

#motivation top instagram hashtags

#motivation

Instagram is home for thousands of motivational images, from shots of people exercising to the humorous posters that adorn office cubicles all around the world. The #motivation tag is a great way to let someone know they should “hang in there.”

#sunset top instagram hashtags

#sunset

Give someone a camera and a sunset and magic can happen. A glowing horizon is a common sight on Instagram, but it never gets old.

Final Thought: There’s Always a Crowd

Using the top Instagram hashtags for 2018 increases the likelihood of someone seeing your work, but you still need great content in the first place. These hashtags are the most popular, and therefore millions of people are using them every day, so your images are going to be vying for attention with millions of other images. There’s no substitute for creating amazing images that leap off the page, so focus on content first, and then carefully choose the right hashtags to maximize exposure.

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