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Instagram Reels Hashtags: Everything You Need to Know

We walk you through how to find and utilize the best hashtags for your Instagram Reels to get you higher engagement and better reach on your video content.

Posted 1 month ago

Written by

Mackenzie Taylor
Posted 1 month ago
Using hashtags for Reels on Instagram is a great way to get higher engagement and grow your following. As hashtag research and analytics experts here at Flick (hi, hello, that’s us! 👋), we’ve put together this guide to demystify Instagram’s hashtag algorithms and help your Reels rank.
First things first, Reels are one of the newest forms of content on Instagram. Unlike Stories, which disappear after 24 hours, these 60-second or shorter videos remain on your profile in the Reels section.
Because they’re a newer feature, Instagram’s algorithms reward users for posting them. It also means there’s less competition for posts and Stories as not everyone is using them yet. When you combine that with effective hashtag use, you can leverage reels for a massive engagement boost! And that’s what you’re here for!
Should you put hashtags on Instagram Reels? Why are hashtags so important for Reels? How many hashtags can you put on your Reels? Do Reels show up in Hashtag pages?
In this complete guide, we’ll answer those questions and more as we introduce you to the exciting world of Instagram Reels hashtags. Let’s go!

Why Use Hashtags For Reels On Instagram?

Many Instagrammers are apprehensive to use hashtags in their content. We get it. Choosing hashtags, finding the right categories, and writing them in your captions can be really time-consuming.
That leaves many posters asking “Should I put Hashtags on Reels?” Here’s why we think you should.
Like with other types of content on Instagram, using hashtags for Reels allows you to increase your reach to people who are interested in your specific content, product, or services. When you use a hashtag, your content appears on the page for that term, and your profile becomes more discoverable by other accounts with similar interests.
What’s more, because featured Reels take a lot of space on hashtag pages, your video will catch people’s attention first. Plus, if you manage to reach the top post, your video will stay on top of the hashtag page for a few days after you’ve posted it, which will help you generate more reach.
If you’re a really big influencer, you might not need to use hashtags to get great engagement on your Reels. However, if you have a small to a medium account with less than 300,000 followers, you should definitely be using hashtags for Reels to boost your impressions and reach.
The best thing to do if you’re wondering whether or not to use hashtags is to test and see what works for you. Try using Flick’s hashtag generator for free to see the results of an effective hashtag strategy on your Reels.
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Our tool makes it easier than ever to find the right hashtags to reach your audience and remove the tedious ‘guessing game’ of finding the right tags for your content.
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Instagram is bullish about Reels

Reels attempts to imitate the success of TikTok – another social media platform that has found unrivaled success through short-form video content based on 15-30 second music clips.
In a few recent updates, Instagram has begun to put their Reels content front-and-center on users’ homepages. Now, Reels videos regularly appear in timelines, just like normal posts.
In fact, Instagram has already rolled out full-screen home feeds to some users. This is clearly an attempt to capture the same experience that TikTok offers – and this vertical format demonstrates how important Reels is to the future of Instagram.
Yes, that does mean that soon, all Instagram videos will be Reels! It’s time to buckle up because change is coming!
That’s why it’s more important than ever to use the right hashtags and optimize your Reels. They have become just as – or perhaps even more – important for getting your brand in front of an Instagram audience.

How Do Hashtags Work On Instagram Reels?

Hashtags work on Reels by helping Instagram’s algorithms to categorize your content so it can appear in the explore feeds of people who might be interested in your account. In this way, they work like search keywords in Google’s algorithms.
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The three main things to understand about hashtag algorithms on Instagram are:
  • Topical relevance: the algorithms aim to recommend your account to people who want to see your content, so they’ll take into account:
    • Whether you’re following “topical authorities” in your niche, i.e. those accounts considered experts over the topic, not just one hashtag.
    • The “topical coherence” of your hashtags: how much each tag relates to the other tags you’ve used, in the eyes of Instagram.
    • How often do you post in and interact with relevant niches?
    • Whether your content looks relevant to your topic.
So, if you follow and interact with relevant, high-engagement accounts (and they follow you too), post regular, quality content, and use coherent sets of hashtags (!!), your Reels (and other content) are more likely to rank.
  • Hashtag competition: the search volume and popularity of the hashtags you’re using, i.e. how many people are searching for a hashtag, and how many posts have the same hashtag. As we’ll discuss more below, it’s essential to use a balance of high- and low-competition hashtags.
instagram reels hashtags
When you do hashtag research with Flick, we automatically generate an optimized list of hashtags with different levels of competition and indicate their competition score and daily average post count.
It’s also worth checking out what hashtags are trending on other social media, like TikTok, to predict and incorporate high-performing terms into your Reels.
  • Post engagement: Instagram’s algorithm will push your posts in the feeds of people who regularly interact with your content. Sticking to the formula of posting successful Reels is essential to getting great engagement. Analyze what’s working based on the posts that are ranking for your hashtags and integrate this into your content strategy.
That includes any viral trends: whenever you spot a trend in content, you should be capitalizing by creating your own version and using the relevant hashtags!
Flick computes all of this data to generate relevant hashtags that will drive results. We include a topical coherence score for your hashtag collections so you can assess how well your posts will perform. Our research shows that posts that have a high topical coherence score are 10 times more likely to rank on hashtags.
Unlike TikTok, there are no “trending hashtags” that allow you to see all the Reels in one place. Currently, only one Reel appears per hashtag search page, and one for every screen full of posts on the Explore page.
However, the competition to rank on these pages for Reels is lower than for posts. You want yours to be in the top spot, so use low enough competition hashtags to increase your chances of ranking. While all of Instagram’s algorithms and ranking strategies are subject to change in the future, this is a good bet for hashtag strategies in general.

Do Reels show up in Hashtags Pages?

Yes, Reels do show up in Hashtags pages. Hashtag pages can be accessed by tapping on hashtags in the caption of any post. It’s interesting to see that they have their own tab on these pages.
A few recent changes to the app reveal how Instagram wants hashtags – especially for Reels – to be more valuable and useful for discovering new content
In April 2022, Instagram updated its hashtag pages, adding a new tab for “Recent” posts. This was in response to user feedback stating that too often posts in hashtag pages showed outdated, untimely content.
Now, when users click on hashtags to see other posts using the same tag, they can browse by recent posts.
Instagram has – for some time – supported the ability for users to follow hashtags and get a selection of the top posts in that category sent to their timelines every week. With the recent addition of Reels into main Instagram timelines, following a hashtag will land popular Reels using that same tag on your timeline.

Which Types Of Hashtags To Use For Your Reels

There are different types of hashtags that you should be using on Instagram. Like with SEO best practices, it’s important to use a mixture of high competition terms (like #catsofinstagram) and low competition terms (like #funnycatvideos) for your best chance of ranking.
As we mentioned above, the key is to ensure your hashtags are relevant to your content and to each other to prove your topical relevance to Instagram.
The best hashtags for Instagram Reels are related to:
  • What your account is about: topic or niche hashtags
  • What your Reel is about
  • What your target audience/customers are checking out on Instagram (audience-specific hashtags)
  • Your brand or online community (branded and community hashtags)
  • What your business or products (product-specific hashtags) are, if relevant
  • Viral trends
If you’re searching for hashtags by yourself, all of this can seem really overwhelming. That’s where Flick comes in. Our advanced hashtag research tool incorporates all of this algorithm data to help you create lists of hashtags that will drive results. It also shows you banned hashtags that can negatively affect your reach.

How To Find The Best Reels Hashtags For Higher Engagement With Flick

  1. Enter a hashtag idea or keyword into the search bar on Flick
  2. Flick will generate hundreds of hashtags in minutes, all relevant and tailored to your content and/or target audience based on your Instagram account
  3. You can open new tabs with additional hashtag searches to dive further into niche terms
  4. Filter out banned, flagged, and unsuitable hashtags that could cause your account to be blocked
  5. Refine your hashtag research by their level of competition, potential reach, daily average post count, and average likes
  6. See previews of featured posts to assess if your content is relevant
  7. Add hashtags to Collections to create a balance of high, medium, and low competition terms
  8. Check the topical coherence of your Collection and remove or add different hashtags if necessary
  9. Save Collections to reuse hashtags for similar content and save time in the future

How To Add Hashtags On Instagram Reels

Once you’ve compiled your list of hashtags for Reels, you add them just like you would for feed posts!

How Many Hashtags Do I Need For Reels?

Like regular posts on Instagram, the limit is 30 hashtags for Reels. Unfounded rumors and Instagram myths often circulate claiming it’s best to just use 3-5 hashtags rather than all 30, but if you’re not you could be missing out on opportunities to rank in top posts and on explore pages for different hashtags.

Should I Add Instagram Reels Hashtags In Caption Or Comments?

Just like for feed posts, hashtags work equally effectively in the caption and comments of Reels. Sometimes people prefer to include them in a comment for the aesthetics of the caption. We recommend putting them in the caption to ensure they are picked up by Instagram Analytics so you can track their performance.
Plus, most people will view your Instagram Reels on the Explore or hashtag pages and will only see the first few words of your caption (not the hashtags). Aesthetics isn’t an issue, so placing them in the caption will save you time.

How To Test Your Instagram Reel Hashtags

As important as choosing the right hashtags for your Reels, to begin with, is monitoring their performance over time. If you’ve got a Business or Creator account on Instagram, you can test your hashtag strategy on Reels Insights.
Seeing as Reels are new, Instagram hasn’t yet provided API access to platforms like Flick – but we’re confident it’ll be on the way soon. Flick’s Analytics Suite currently allows you to track the top-performing hashtags over time for your posts, IGTV, and stories. Our powerful tool shows you:
You can then use these Instagram analytics metrics to inform your hashtag strategy for future content and get higher engagement based on your successes and areas to improve.

Top Hashtags for Instagram Reels

The exact hashtags you’ll need to use to improve your discoverability and propel your Reels will entirely depend on your circumstances – i.e. what you’re creating and who your intended audience is.
That’s exactly why we recommend using our platform for finding, managing and analyzing your Instagram Reels hashtags. Use the instructions found earlier on in this guide to find new hashtags.
However, to give you a flavor of what popular Reels hashtags look like and to offer some starting inspiration, here’s a list of the most popular Instagram Reels hashtags!
  • #reels/#reelsinstagram – 166M-289M posts: A popular, but redundant hashtag – given the volume and competition in the category. Low discoverability chances as users will not be using this hashtag to find new content.
    • #reels[location] – (e.g. #reelsindia 31.5M posts): A slightly more useful hashtag, allowing Instagram users to find local content.
    • #explore/#explorepage – 236M-370M posts Used by Instagram creators looking to be featured on Instagram’s Explore Page. Two problems with that… the Explore page doesn’t exist anymore, and the volume makes the discoverability value low.
    • #tiktok – 148M posts: IG Reels hashtag used for reposted content from TikTok. Many Reels are indeed videos pulled from TikTok and reuploaded. Hashtags like #tiktok are useful for users who can’t access TikTok – for instance where the platform is banned such as in India – but want to browse content from the platform.
  • #foryou/#fyp95.6M-101M posts: Imitates the ‘For You’ page on TikTok. Some users follow this hashtag to find content similar to TikTok. May be useful – despite the post volume – if you’re trying to attract a TikTok-like audience.
As you can see, the most popular Instagram Reels aren’t particularly useful for getting your content viral. That’s because so many posts use them, and the chance of Instagrammers finding your content through them is low.
The best hashtags for your Reels are very rarely the most popular ones used by creators. To find the right hashtags to propel your Reels to virality, you’ll need to take a more data-driven approach.
That’s why we recommend finding lower volume hashtags with less competition – and Flick is the best platform for discovering new hashtags.

Instagram Reels Insights: How to Grow Reels Using Hashtags

We’ve introduced you to how hashtags work for Instagram Reels and how to find the right tags for your content. Given that, how can you use hashtags to grow your Reels and gain an audience?
That’s where Instagram Reels Insights come in. Instagram has given Reels creators a great set of analytics tools to help you analyze and improve your Instagram content! Let’s explore what you can do with Reels Insights.
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What are Instagram Reels Insights?

Launched in May 2021, the Reels Insights tab is an analytics section that helps you track key performance metrics about your Instagram Reels videos.
We can use Reels Insights to judge the performance of certain hashtags – helping you optimize your hashtag strategy and find out which tags resonate with your audience.
To access the Insights tab, you’ll need to have a Creator or Business account. You’ll be glad to hear it’s free to switch to one of these professional account types. Find out here.
How do you find the Reels Insights tab? You can find this tab for individual Reels on the video page by tapping ‘View Insights’ when previewing from your feed.
With Insights, you can also view important performance data about all your Reels over the last 30 days. To do this, go to your account and click the Insights button below your bio. We find the ‘account reach’ feature particularly useful to see how your videos are reaching Instagram users – both those who follow you and those who don’t.
Remember, the Insights tab only gives you basic analytics information. To more accurately track your Reels performance and access all the performance metrics you’ll need to transform your Reels hashtag strategy, we recommend using Flick! We’ll discuss how you can use our tools later on.
Want to learn more about Instagram Reels Insights? Check out our full guide on Instagram Reels Insights here.
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How do I find out which Hashtags aren’t working?

Instagram’s Insights analytics tool is a great starting point for judging the effectiveness of your hashtag strategy – but to properly understand which hashtags are working and which aren’t, you’ll need to use a better analytics platform.
Flick gives content creators all the tools they need to judge their content and find out what changes they need to make to improve the performance of their Reels.
If you’re on our Analytics Pro plan, we constantly scan the performance of your newest Reels posts and will track the hashtags you’ve used. You can explore our findings on the “Hashtags” tab.
Here, you can see all of the hashtags used and judge their effectiveness based on a number of performance metrics. These include:
  • Times ranked: The number of times your posts reach the ‘top posts’ of the hashtags – as seen on the hashtag page.
  • Efficiency Score: An estimate of the overall value of this hashtag. High-efficiency scores indicate hashtags that are worthwhile using.
  • Daily Average Post Cost (DAPC): The average number of posts made with this hashtag across the entire platform. High DAPC indicates high competition but also a good level of interest.
Bad hashtags will have a low ‘efficiency score’. It’s good practice to avoid hashtags where there is too much competition. How can we tell? Crowded hashtags have a high DAPC and you’re unlikely to rank high in them – leading to a low ‘times ranked’ count and ‘average rank’.
Find out more about how Flick approaches Instagram hashtag metrics here.

Find The Best Reels Hashtags For Your IG Account With Flick

Effective use of hashtags for Reels on Instagram is key to driving engagement for these posts. Using a balance of low, medium, and high competition terms that are relevant to your brand, content, and each other is a proven way to be ranked highly by Instagram’s algorithms.
How can Flick help you find the perfect hashtags to get your Instagram Reel viral? We offer:
  • Hashtag Search: Find hundreds of quality hashtags in minutes – based on your content category, your target audience, and previous Reels. Drive more impressions, profile views, and follows from untapped audiences.
  • Competitor Research: While you search for hashtags of your own, you can observe top-performing hashtag content to help you figure out whether your content is the right fit.
  • Avoid Banned Hashtags: You’ll never have to worry about banned hashtags ever again, as we filter them out for you.
Let Flick generate hashtags for your Reels and watch your account grow using our powerful analytics tool.
Sign up for a free 7-day trial to see the results for yourself, or learn more first with our free Instagram hashtag research course.
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Hashtags & Analytics

Find, manage, and analyze hashtags for Instagram.

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Content

Why Use Hashtags For Reels On Instagram?

Instagram is bullish about Reels

How Do Hashtags Work On Instagram Reels?

Do Reels show up in Hashtags Pages?

Which Types Of Hashtags To Use For Your Reels

How To Find The Best Reels Hashtags For Higher Engagement With Flick

How To Add Hashtags On Instagram Reels

How To Test Your Instagram Reel Hashtags

Top Hashtags for Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels Insights: How to Grow Reels Using Hashtags

How do I find out which Hashtags aren’t working?

Find The Best Reels Hashtags For Your IG Account With Flick


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