It’s no secret that Instagram still dominates as the top platform for Influencer marketing. Unfortunately, organic reach on Instagram has been declining since 2019. Hashtags are a promising way to help your Instagram account grow organically and beat back against the decline in organic reach. However, with countless “experts” out there, hundreds of different tools, and regular changes from Instagram themselves, where do you even start?
To save you time, we tested some of the most popular hashtag tools out there for ease of use, reach, and hashtag education. While hashtags can help your reach, it’s important to remember that content and copy will always reign supreme on Instagram. Be sure to assess your analytics to see what content is performing best for your audience to maximize the success of your hashtag strategy! We tested each service across account sizes ranging from just 1,800 followers to 28K followers.
Hashtastic is a simple hashtag search engine with the ability to store hashtag groups, track hashtag ranking, and filter hashtags based on average likes, post counts, and more. The service is relatively straightforward and easy to use.
Primary selling point: This platform allows you to bulk scan hashtags to see if they are banned or would be a good fit to use on your account based on total posts and average likes.
Our favorite part: Bulk scans and data on hashtags. Click for more information on an individual hashtag to see how it has been growing in the past few months. If posts are increasing, it may be a good tag to use, while those with decreasing uses may be best to skip.
The Results: Of the 5 accounts that tested this service, 2 reported above-average reach, engagement, and hashtag reach. While one reported above-average engagement and another reported above-average reach and hashtag reach. This service performed equally well with smaller and larger accounts within our sample.
Unlike the other tools being reviewed, Secret hashtags club is a custom hashtag research membership. You gain access to a database researched by the secret hashtags club team, with the ability to input monthly requests based on your membership tier.
Primary selling point: use 90 hashtags/post. This is a hack that is regularly updated and may change in the future!
Our favorite part: Successful hashtags in a simplified dashboard + custom hashtag groups!
The Results: This platform was used by 5 separate accounts with four reporting above-average engagement, two above-average hashtag reach, and three above-average reach. This platform appears to have performed better amongst smaller accounts, with both pages under 4K reporting above-average reach, engagement, and hashtag reach.
Flick.tech is a data-driven platform focused on using data to help you determine the most effective hashtag strategy. They are integrated with the official Instagram API and will even send you weekly reports on your Instagram performance. In addition to their website, they have an app for on-the-go hashtag research.
Primary selling point: Track what hashtags are working and which ones aren’t based on hashtag ranking!
Our favorite part: The ability to audit your hashtag selection! Flick will let you know if you’ve selected too large (or small) hashtags and help you adjust your selection of tags before using them.
The Results: This service was tested by four different accounts, with just one experiencing above-average reach, engagement, and hashtag reach. A second account had higher engagement and reach, while the other two were below their average for all three metrics.
Hashtags for Likes seeks to help you capitalize on trending hashtags that can help grow your reach and engagement. You are also able to create test groups and save hashtags within the group. Their search engine lets you know if a topic is trending, has a long life, is not popular, or is popular.
Primary selling point: Finding trending hashtags to grow your engagement organically
Our favorite part: Check unlimited accounts for their average likes, comments, and engagement!
The Results: This service was tested by 4 accounts, with just one reporting higher than average reach, engagement, and hashtag reach. It should be noted this was the largest account in our sample, suggesting that Hashtags for Likes may be better for accounts with more than 25K followers.
Do you use a tool for your hashtag research?