How to find the perfect hashtag to grow your business


Did you know that Instagram posts that contain at least one hashtag have approximately 12.6% more engagement? Here at Volume99, we will provide you with an Instagram Hashtag guide, which took us 5 years of learning and research in a 5-minute read at your convenience.

What is a Hashtag?

Hashtag is an expression used by members of social networks and the Internet. This is made up of one word or several words. They are preceded by a sign like this “#” And they are used to classify the contents that are published every day on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

Why are Hashtags important?

Think of Google search, if you’re looking for inspiration on an upcoming haircut you may search “popular haircuts 2020”, on Instagram this is displayed as #popularhaircuts2020. If you want to be the first search result on google, you need SEO. If you want to be the first search result on Instagram, you need engagement in the form of likes and comments. In marketing, we refer to this as hashtag ranking.

How do I get a Hashtag Ranking?

Just like Google, it’s easy to become the first search result for “Michael Jackson is still alive in Argentina”, since it’s so outrageous and no one uses it. The more common the search, the harder it becomes to become the first result. The same logic applies to Instagram, you need to consider how many likes and comments each post (within a hashtag) is attracting to obtain a ranking. For example, the hashtag #fitness is extremely popular, 450 million posts have this hashtag, and to rank, you need 7,000 likes.

If you have a large following, this hashtag is perfect, but if your pictures are only averaging 100 likes, this hashtag is a waste of time. Search for hashtags that are less popular such as #fitnessisfun, now you only need 150 likes to rank. Hashtags need to be proportional to your engagement.

It’s worth noting that ranked posts only sit in this ranking for a certain period of time, therefore it’s a never-ending process of uploading content that creates a ranking.

Hashtags must relate to your niche

If you walk into a Tesla store with the intention of purchasing a car, you would be incredibly confused if they also sold seafood. Equally so, if you’re looking for seafood recipes on Instagram, seeing a Tesla car in the search result would make zero sense, and it would be a waste of money for the marketing team. Put simply, hashtags should be relevant to your niche. While this seems incredibly simplistic, it’s the most common mistake, sometimes we even see marketing agencies doing this!

To find 25-30 quality hashtags, it requires research, look at what your direct competitors are using. If you have a small following which won’t “rank” on generic phrases, add your own twist. Adding a location to the hashtag can also be beneficial to attract the right customers. For example, a pet shop could include #kittensUK or #kittensUSA. Instagram has over 1 billion monthly users, don’t be afraid to narrow down your hashtag.

Hashtag Software and Tools

Finding 30 hashtags is tedious. Using the software is a great way to reduce time, find high-quality and hashtags, and track which hashtags are yielding the greatest results. Like all software, it’s not perfect, so it’s important to have an understanding on hashtags. If you have skipped ahead to this part please read the previous information above. Hundreds of hashtag tools exist, but we have narrowed it down to our favourite two:


The flick is a relatively new platform, but they’re one of the best paid-for tools available in 2021. When searching for a new hashtag, Flick instantly shows the amount of engagement required to become “ranked”, cutting down on the time required to do this manually. Furthermore, Flick provides in-depth data, so you’re able to alter and fine-tune the hashtags that aren’t working well while continuing to use the hashtags that are having a positive impact. The main features include:

Hashtag Research: Finding hashtags in a timely matter Smart Search Assistance: Filters out hashtags which are not related to your niche and identifies banned hashtags Hashtag Collections: Saves a collection of your favourite hashtags Hashtag Performance Tracking: Provides information on the hashtags, indicating which are yielding the best results and which hashtags are tanking Instagram Analytics: Provides content and account analytics. Advanced Search Filters: Assists in finding and suggesting hashtags through the average engagement relative to your account


Kicksta is a free tool that is perfect for those starting out. Kicksta does offer additional extras that are paid-for, but we recommend using Flick if you’re looking at choosing a paid service. The main features include:

Hashtag Research: Accurate and relevant hashtag suggestions Smart Search Assistance: Provides top, random, and best match filters for hashtag suggestions