Using popular hashtags on Instagram can often be pointless because your posts get lost in an ocean of millions of photos. However, there is a time when it’s right to use the most popular hashtags.

How high up your post appears on the hashtag search page depends on a few factors.

How often the hashtag is used, how much engagement your post has in terms of likes and comments, when you shared it and how engaged your audience is.

The higher up your post appears, the most likely users who don’t follow you will see it, creating opportunities to get new followers.

Fake Followers

You are most likely to be seen on hashtag searches when you are using less popular hashtags relevant to your target audience, as opposed to trying to reach the whole of Instagram.

Some of the most popular hashtags on Instagram should generally be avoided, such as #followme #tagsforlikes #like4like #follow4follow.

If you are purely trying to build up your numbers, they might work for you because they tend to attract bots and spammers who follow anyone using these hashtags.

You will probably find that your follower figures increase when using them but keep in mind that these will be followers who have no intention of engaging with you or your content.

The only time it’s right to use these hashtags is primarily for increasing your follower number, and then using this to attract real Instagram followers.

Throwback Thursday #TBT

This is one of the most popular hashtags used on Instagram, tagged in over 428 million posts, and it’s one you should definitely be using in your marketing strategy.

It’s popular and constantly trendy, Influencers, brands, and businesses use it to show off a nostalgic vibe featuring their personal or brand history.

It’s an especially great way to feature some people in your photos, as faces generally get more engagement on Instagram.

There is also Flashback Friday #FBF which is the same idea, but not quite as popular.

Photo Of The Day #photooftheday

This is worth using when you have a photo that you are especially proud of.

While it may get lost in all of the posts using this hashtag, it’s worth using because the associated account (@photooftheday) selects a winning photo each day and shares it with their 269,000 and counting followers.

#picoftheday is the same concept.

User-Generated Content

When trying to increase your user-generated content marketing strategy, use the popular hashtag #regram when featuring someone else’s posts.

‘Regramming’ on your feed gives you as a brand fresh material to share with your audience, and it can also encourage followers to post more content with your branded hashtags, geotag or Instagram handle to bring it to your attention, with the hopes of a #regram.

The key to using popular hashtags is strategizing what you can get out of it aside from being featured in the hashtag search.

The hashtag search isn’t going to help you out much when you’re competing with millions of other posts, so think about whether they can bring anything else to your marketing strategy like more engagement from your existing audience or giving you user-generated content.