Why You Should Avoid Using Popular Hashtags

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If you are a yogi and you post on Instagram using the hashtag #Yoga, do you know how many millions of posts you are competing against to get yours seen?

59,676,703 at the time of writing this post.

Not only are you competing with that many other posts, you are also being very broad with your marketing and not honing in on your target audience and niche, which is the secret to success in the online world.

Let’s face it, if you conduct yoga classes in central London, you are probably not looking for people in Australia to follow you unless they are moving to London and want to find a yoga class to attend.

In this short video exercise, I explain how you can do the research to use less popular hashtags on Instagram to be able to reach a much more targeted audience.

For those of you who don’t want to listen or watch my video and would prefer to read, her'e’s a brief summary of my video:

There’s no harm at all when using popular hashtags that have been used millions and millions of times. However, we want to try and get you to use hashtags that are less well known so that it helps your engagement.

How to find hashtags that are less well known

The best way to find new hashtags for you to use is via the Instagram search function. So let’s say you are a pilates instructor, then type in #Pilates into the search bar, but do not press search. Lots of hashtags will then drop down that have the word pilates in it, and Instagram will tell you how many times they have been used.

You want to find hashtags that are:

  • relevant to you - so #PilatesAustralia isn’t a relevant hashtag for you if you are in the US

  • have smaller usage than a million preferably, but it’s ok to pick some that are less than 10,000 and some that are less than 100,000 too. The smaller the hashtag, that more likely that you will rank in the top posts for that hashtag, which means you will get more engagement.

Using these new hashtags

Once you have found a selection of good hashtags to use for your nice, copy and paste them into a notebook on your phone, or somewhere convenient so that you can access them at a later date for your posts. It’s not good to always copy and paste the same hashtags every time you post, but using a selection of them is always helpful for the algorithm to know you are not a spammy user.


If you want to learn more about how to do the research for your hashtags on Instagram, take the Hashtag Quiz. It will help you understand what kind of hashtags you need to use on your account to be able to grow organically and increase your engagement.