Why You Should Stop Using ‘Popular Hashtags’?


This query hit me quite a few times recently when I was asked whether or not one should go for popular hashtags for their Instagram posts.

Additionally, there are a number of newbies who still commit this mistake that is JUST not (wait…ABSOLUTELY NOT) acceptable if you are under the radar of my Instagram growth checklist.

Now I know there would be many people out there who might argue this notion of mine.

However, my friend…

In case if you want to take Instagram as a long term business, add my today’s tip to your to-do bucket list, and you will see your account skyrocket pretty soon.

Sounds interesting?

Time to dig it deeper!

First and foremost, it is important to understand the difference between ‘POPULAR HASHTAGS’ vs ‘VIRAL HASHTAGS’.

Popular hashtags on one hand are the hashtags which are used the most number of times ever since the platform came into existence. To name a few, they are- #tbt, #happy, #instagrampic, #likeforlike, and so on.

On the flip side, a viral hashtag is the one that came into the trend within a short span of time and became viral because of its popularity. Examples of viral hashtags could be the hashtags that are used during a certain phase such as any sports events like FIFA, NBA, ICC WORLD CUP, or any sort of revolutionary movement.

Although these hashtags could be used throughout the year by a few of the crazy fans who post content related to it, the sudden spike is seen only when the event starts to take place.


Since we now know the difference between these two hashtags…

It’s about time to uncover the effect they have on your posts, and why I don’t recommend anyone using them on your Instagram posts?

First thing first…

Popular hashtags are the most used ones!


So let’s understand it like this-

Imagine a room which has the capacity of 10 people to rest in it. And there are 120 people in total who are there present at the moment to reserve a space. There is a quota system that reserves 3 places for people with high status. So there came the hotel manager who concluded that each person will rest for about 15 minutes in the room, and after every 15 minutes, a new group of people would enter the restroom. However, the reserved people would stay there for as long as another high-status person comes to replace them.

While on the flip side, there is another restroom of the same size, but the queue of people there is just 20. People there got to rest for 3 to 4 hours in the room and had some good time relaxing.

In the same way, consider the hashtags as a room where you rent a space to put your post on. When the hashtag is crowded, your posts go down the drain within a split of seconds as there are hundreds and thousands of people using the same hashtags.

And consider celebrities as high-status people who get to stay for longer (because celebrities have a high engagement rate, so even if the post isn’t that good, Instagram would rank it in the popular section of a particular hashtag term for some time, or sometimes even days).

So you see…

It’s just not worth it!

Moreover, you would be wasting a space that could have been used for some good hashtag that is relevant to your niche and has less competition.

I hope it makes sense to you now why I just do away with the popular hashtags.

Now coming to the viral hashtags, I believe it’s up to you how much you can make it relatable to your post.

If you post an image of a burger and post it with a viral hashtag, it might show up to a number of people; however, when a content isn’t related to something user searched for, they wouldn’t engage with it no matter how good your cheeseburger was.

So instead of just using the hashtags with any random posts, try to make your content that is relatable to the hashtag and then use the hashtag to get some attention from the new users.

That’s it!

Let me know your views in the comments down below:)

And please do share this post if you liked it!

Till then?

See you next time!



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I write, play, and drink cups of coffee. In the free time, I do a little bit of SEO, Basic Hacking and Coding. Kind of NOT so big deal:)


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