It seems like lately, I am constantly discussing ways to boost instagram engagement rate and ways to boost instagram post reach with fellow boss babe business women. And not only local boss business women, but the ones I’ve come to meet through the blogging/instagram world. The instagram algorithm has changed, yet again (insert eye roll), and this always causes such an uproar. Sometimes the shift in algorithm can affect your instagram engagement rate and your instagram post reach or post impressions. If instagram isn’t changing their algorithm then their updating something else where they knock off hundreds, if not thousands of followers from your following. I, for one, am not sad to see the followers that they do knock off go, because these are usually bots/spam accounts that I really don’t want following me in the first place and that are really, secretly hurting my engagement rate. But for some, especially ones that really don’t understand how it all works, this can be very discouraging. If you’re totally new to the instagram world and all of the lingo, and you have no idea what “engagement rate” even means, fear not…..I’m about to explain it all.


Your instagram engagement rate is basically the percentage of people responding to your posts (liking and commenting) based on your follower count (it is different for everyone). To get your engagement rate, you would just take the number of likes on your posts + the comments and then divide that number by your total number of followers. If you want to get your overall average, then just take an average number of likes and comments you get on most posts and divide by your total number of followers. Now do you see why bots and spam accounts that follow you only hurt your engagement rate? If you have spam followers that aren’t able to engage with what you’re posting (because they are not real accounts), then they’re actually hurting your engagement rate.


Now let’s talk about your instagram post reach and impressions. Your instagram post “reach” is the total number of people (accounts) who actually see your content. Instagram post impressions are the number of times your post is displayed in peoples’ feeds, no matter if it was clicked or not (so if you see an account’s post in your feed and you keep scrolling and don’t engage, that still counts as an impression). Your impressions will always be either equal to your reach number or more. The reach and impressions of your post is important because this contains a number of “unique accounts” that aren’t following you already and could possibly be converted into followers. And that’s what growing your instagram for business is all about….getting your posts and content in front of as many people as you can.


One thing that I have noticed that always helps most of my posts get the reach I want is using hashtags. And I’m not afraid to go crazy with them! (ain’t no shame in my hashtag game!) You’re allowed to put thirty hashtags in a post and you better believe I use all thirty spots! It’s just another way someone searching on instagram can find you, people! SO I SAY, USE WHAT YOU’RE GIVEN AND USE IT ALL! Like I keep saying, Instagram is constantly changing the way posts appear in everyone’s feeds, so if you want your images/posts to reach more people and you’re trying to grow your following,

you need to take full advantage of hashtags!

When I divulge all of my hashtag tips into the discussion, the next comment is most always, “Do you really think that works”!? It’s literally been talked about all over the web that hashtags will help make your posts more discoverable by 12.6%, so my answer is….. YES, I PROMISE YOU, THIS WORKS! If you do it the right way, and consistently, I promise, you will see results.

Let me share my strategy with you.

FIRST OF ALL HERE ARE A FEW Things to take into consideration when you are wanting to increase your instagram post reach…..

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BUSINESS ACCOUNT – When you have a business Instagram account, you can keep track of all of your analytics for each post. This allows you to see what is working and what isn’t as far as which hashtags are driving in the most clicks, and which ones are getting the most impressions. This is essential in seeing which hashtags helped boost your instagram post reach.

QUALITY CONTENT – I can’t stress this enough when you’re trying to grow your instagram account! You need to make sure your content is representing you and your business and is something your audience wants to see or hear from you. Take a step back and pretend you are your audience. What would you want to hear from you? What problem can you resolve. What information can you provide that would matter to you as you are pretending to be your audience? How can you entertain your audience? There are tons of ways to provide your audience with quality content. EXAMPLE: Say you’re a restaurant. You might want to feature one of your chefs, especially if they have a fabulous track record. Or you might want to feature a new special dish, a signature cocktail, or things that you offer that set you apart from the rest, etc. catch my drift!?

THINK ABOUT Who your audience is and what they would type in to search for the content you’re putting out in each particular post – you need to use hashtags that are relevant to your business and your target audience and your specific thing you’re posting about. So think about what you’re business is about and only use relevant hashtags accordingly.

Take my content for example. It is mostly women’s fashion. I want my audience to be people who love fashion and might want to shop fashion. The first thing I’m going to put in the search field when I’m looking for hashtags to use is fashion. If you don’t know how to search for hashtags, today is your lucky day….I’m about to explain it and even throw in a picture for you! (*trying to wink, but really looking pretty creepy/cringy). To get to the search page, click on the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the app screen right next to the home icon.

It takes you to the “EXPLORE” page. Once there at the top you’ll see the search bar. Start typing in the hashtags you would like to search and then click on tags.

Type in those hashtags and see how popular they are – after you’ve figured out who your trying to target with your hashtags and how your audience would search for what you’re posting. You can also search successful accounts in your niche and see what hashtags they might be using and apply some of these to your posts here and there (as long as their hashtags are what you’re post is about).

Mix it up a little – I like to mix up my hashtags by how popular they are. What I mean is, you don’t want to only use hashtags that are the most popular that have millions and millions of posts under them. If you use only the most popular ones, your post will quickly get buried beneath the hundreds of thousands of posts with that same exact hashtag. What I like to do is mix a few of the most popular with some less popular and then some that are average in popularity. That way your post stays at the top a little longer with the ones that are more specific.

MAKE SURE YOU’RE TAGGING BRANDS and using their specific hashtags – this is super important as it can help you get reposted by that brand and into the feed of their followers who could then start following you. Some brands have their own specific hashtags which they usually put in their instagram bio.

When you use their unique branded hashtags on your posts, this helps the brand find your posts and if they like what they see, could possibly repost your post (like this amazon repost I got from tagging Amazon Fashion)….again why quality content is important) and their followers or viewers are looking at those hashtags, and ideally they’ll see your picture within that hashtag feed and potentially like what they see from your feed (this is why quality content is a must) and follow you as well.

An example of a brand with their own hashtag is forever 21. You can tag their instagram account if what you’re posting features something bought from their store and they have their own branded hashtag that you can use as well!

Consistency….If you want to see real results, you can’t just do this one time and expect a flood of followers and a flood of likes! To build your instagram, you need to be posting consistently, and using hashtags consistently. Try to post quality content at least 3 times a week or more. If you do this consistently, you will see the results!

You can also use an app like Plan to organize your posts, see your best times to post, and the best hashtags to use based on your past posts. It even lets you take a “Sneaky Peek” of other accounts in your similar niche and tells you what their best hashtags are that they use. Check out the app HERE.

Now that we’ve talked the how to’s of hashtags, let’s dive into the “what” of the hashtag strategy.


Again, this depends on your niche. So lucky for you, I’ve researched all of the best hashtags to use to boost your engagement and reach and I have broken it down into several niche categories below.


#fashion, #fashionstyle, #streetstyleluxe, #fashioninspiration, #ootdgoals, #ootdinspo, #fashiondaily, #dailylook, #dailystyle, #lotd, #ootd, #fashionista, #fashionable, #look, #style, #fashiongram, #fashiondiaries, #stylediary, #stylediaries, #styled, #outfit, #lovethislook, #outfitinspo, #ootdshare, #fashioninspo #outfitgoals #instashoes, #stylefile, #fashiontrends, #fashionblogger, #fashiondesigner, #instafashion, #outfitoftheday, #lookoftheday, #stylemom, #momstyle, #whattowear, #styleblogger, #instafashion, #howistyledit, #wiwt, #ootdmagazine, #whatiworetoday, #wiw, #instastyle, #fashionblogger, #fblogger #bloggerstyle, #bloggerfashion, #ootn, #aboutalook, #currentlywearing, #todayimwearing, #lookbook, #mystyle, #todayslook, #outfitidea #styletip, #streetstyle, #fromwhereistand

I am a member of Reward Style LIKETOKNOW.IT so I also use their specific hashtags in each of my enabled image posts which are (#LTKunder100, #LTKunder50, #liketkit, #LTKstyletip, #LTKitbag, #LTKfit, #LTKswim, #LTKfamily, #LTKshoecrush, #LTKsalealert – there are more, but these are the ones I use the most and get me the most reach).

If you’re interested in rewardStyle influencer marketing (what it is and how to apply), be sure to check out my post all about it HERE!


#beautyblogger, #beautyblog, #bblogger, #makeupflatlay, #makeupcollection, #makeupaddict, #iheartmakeup, #persuepretty, #makeup, #makeuptutorial, #makeuplooks, makeupideas, #makeuptutorials, #beauty, #beautytips #beautyhacks #beautyblender #beautymakeup #beautyguru #beautyproduct #beautyreview #beautyvlogger #beautytip #beautyroutine #beautytrends #beautyblogger #beautylove, #makeuplover, #makeuptalk, #MUA #makeupartist, bbloggersau, #makeuphaul, #makeuppalette (you can also use hashtags in this category that are specific to the product you’re using. Most makeup brands have their own hashtag and are extremely popular).


#fitnessfashion, #fitness, #activewear, #fitnesswomen, #fit, #fitdaily, #athomeworkout, #athleticwear, #fitspiration, #fitnessmotivation, #fitnessfashion, #fitfashion, #fitspo, #fitnesslife, #fitfam, #fitlife, #fitstagram, #fitnessjourney, #fitmom, #fitnation, #fitgoals, #fitnessjunkie


#foodie, #foodporn, #instafood, #foodphotography, #foodart, #food, #eeeeeats, #foodgasm, #forkyeah, #eater, #eats, #eatup, #feastagram, #platedpics, #feedfeed, #foodfeed, #sweettooth, #dailyfoodfeed, #foodstagram, #cheatday, #picoftheday, #instagood, #dessert, #plated, #foodintheair, #delish, #delicious, #eatingfortheinsta, #foodlover, #foodpic, #yummy, #chefmode, #cleaneating


#travelblogger, #travelgram, #vacay, #beautifuldestinations, #chasinglight, #momentslikethese, #takemethere, #travelwithme, #girlslovetravel, #sheisnotlost, #lifewelltraveled, #exploremore, #sharetravelpics, #letsgosomewhere, #vacaymode, #vacayvibes, #vacaystyle, #vacaygoals, #familyvacay, #travelphotography, #travelers, #travellers, #travelguide, #cityguide, #cityskyline

(you will also want to use a hashtag specific to where you are traveling!)


#myhome, #interiors, #homedesign, #passion4interior, #interiordesign, #designer, #design, #homedecor, #homestyle, #home, #interiorsofinstagram, #interiorsofig, #interiorstyling, #interiordecorating, #decorating, #styling, #homeinspiration, #homebeautiful, #interiordecor, #interiordecoration, #homegoals, #housesofig, #interiorandhome


as many of you know, I am also a realtor in my area. I have an additional instagram for my real estate business, so I use these below hashtags a lot.

#realestate, #housesofig, #home, #housestyle, #homestyle, #homedecor, #homedesign, #exteriors, #homeexteriors, #homeinteriors, #homegoals, #outdoorentertaining, #realestatemarketing, #realtorlife, #realtor, #realestateagent, #design, #marketing, #isoldit, #homesforsale

you can use most of the above hashtags for interiors for real estate posts as well


#quotes, #typography, #selflove, #quoteoftheday, #inspire, #inspiration, #writing, #inspiring, #quotestoliveby, #dailyquotes, #motivation, #quotesdaily, #quotesaboutlife, #quotestoremember, #quotesoftheday, #quotesandsayings, #quotelover, #quotesilove, #quotesforher, #motivationalquotes, #quotesoninstagram


#ontheblog, #blog, #blogger, #blogpost, #blogging, #newpost, #inspiration, #inspo, #instagood, #tbt, #igdaily, #photooftheday, #picoftheday, #potd, #design, #create, #igers, #influencer, #bloggersofig, #bloggersofinstagram, #flashesofdelight, #bloggingtips, #savvyblogging, #bloglovin,

(you can also add your state or city (if it’s a big city) in front of bloggers like #nycbloggers or #dallasbloggers). and these can be used no matter your blog/post niche.

A few more pointers…..

*only use a few hashtags in your actual caption.

*Use the rest of the 30 hashtags under your photo in a comment so it’s less distracting to followers.

There are also several apps/programs that will generate the best hashtags for you to use based on the picture you’re posting or by plugging in a given hashtag.

One that is pretty cool and different is called the Instagram Hashtag Generator and it uses AI image recognition technology to identify popular hashtags based on your specific picture. You just upload your picture and the program will analyze it and give you the best and most popular niche hashtags based on the picture you are using to post. You then just select the hashtags in bulk and copy and paste them into your Instagram caption.

I hope this post was helpful to you and helps you get to growing your instagram by implementing the instagram hashtag strategy. Stay tuned for more on the instagram growth topic! In my next post, I’ll be explaining why I feel like you should find a tribe of boss babes to support your posts via likes and comments; aka an instagram engagement pod. I’m sure I have left something out (story of my life, ha!), so if you have anything to add to the hashtag strategy, or any instagram growth tips, please leave it in the comments!

Leave a Comment

The Comments

  • Avatar
    March 6, 2019

    Great article and so well written. I am a high-end (designer) fashion blog which hashtags are much harder and rewards doesn’t have any. The landing pages for designers that I share on insta are almost impossible to be seen on. Everything you explained makes so much sense. Thanks for sharing and if you have any ideas for me…..share away!

    • Victoria Pantovic
      Victoria Pantovic
      > Betsy
      March 7, 2019

      Thanks so much Betsy! I’m glad you liked all of the tips! I would love to help more in this department if you need it! I actually do this for several local businesses in my area! Just shoot me an email

  • Avatar
    March 7, 2019

    Need to try this hashtag generator. This article was so helpful.


  • Avatar
    March 7, 2019

    Wow this is such a useful post.

  • Avatar
    Christie Moeller
    March 7, 2019

    Such a great informative post! I feel like I’m always hunting down hashtags. I hear lots of other influencers say they don’t use them anymore but I swear by the extra views they bring!

    xoxo Christie

  • Avatar
    March 12, 2019

    So helpful! I need to use a hashtag generator-
    Such a time saver!!

  • Avatar
    March 15, 2019

    Thank you so much for this post! There are so many good tips here so I’m going to have to come back to this post for sure to reference some of them!


  • Avatar
    March 18, 2019

    Oh my gosh! This was so helpful! I appreciate you sharing popular hashtags based on what your Instagram is about!

  • Avatar
    Anna Peak
    March 18, 2019

    Such a helpful read! Thank you!

  • Avatar
    March 18, 2019

    Thank you for going in depth with what kind of hashtags to use! It is very helpful! #scsister
    xo Aurora

  • Avatar
    March 19, 2019

    What a great post! Love all these tips, lady – was in need of some refreshed hashtags! xo Dayna //

  • Avatar
    March 19, 2019

    Thank you so much for such an informative post! I’m a new blogger and new to IG and this has been so helpful.

    • Victoria Pantovic
      Victoria Pantovic
      > Karen
      May 27, 2019

      so gad you have found it helpful!

  • Avatar
    November 6, 2019

    wow, what a helpful content.
    thanks for sharing useful post.