12 Best Free Instagram Hashtag Generators for 2023

Instagram continues to be a powerful marketing channel for businesses in 2023. But with over 1 billion monthly active users competing for attention, standing out requires a strategic approach.

One of the most important Instagram strategies is identifying and using relevant hashtags. Hashtags expand your reach and allow users to discover branded and user-generated content. However, the hashtag selection process can be daunting.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover:

  • The benefits of using hashtag generators as a small business
  • Key factors when evaluating generators
  • 12 top-rated free Instagram hashtag generators
  • Pro tips to optimize your hashtag strategy

As a social media consultant who assists small business owners with their Instagram marketing, hashtags are a frequent area of focus. The right hashtags lead to exponential growth, while the wrong ones result in lackluster engagement.

I relied on trial-and-error when starting out, but quickly realized I needed a more effective system. Now I use data-driven hashtag generators to identify relevant tags precisely tailored to my niche and content.

Why Small Businesses Should Use an Instagram Hashtag Generator

With over 500 million hashtags used on Instagram daily, researching them manually is inefficient. As a small business owner, your time is precious.

Here are 5 key reasons hashtag generators are invaluable:

1. Discover Fresh, Relevant Hashtag Ideas

The best generators provide hashtag suggestions you likely haven‘t considered before. Their algorithms analyze billions of data points to find ideal hashtags.

I‘ve grown my follower count by consistently incorporating generator recommendations not on my radar. They open up new avenues of discovery.

2. Identify Trending and Popular Hashtags

Timely, trending hashtags get more eyeballs. But staying on top of what‘s hot in your niche takes effort.

Hashtag generators analyze Instagram‘s firehose of data to pinpoint current trends and popular tags. Embedding these into your strategy can significantly boost engagement.

3. Avoid Banned or Spammy Hashtags

Using prohibited hashtags can get your posts hidden or account suspended under Instagram‘s policies. Quality generators filter these out.

As an entrepreneur, the last thing you need is to lose your account to avoidable errors. Relying on generators mitigates this risk.

4. Save Time and Effort with Automation

Posting consistently is key for organic growth. But the manual research of hashtags consumes too much time.

Generators return curated recommendations in seconds, allowing you to streamline the posting process. You spend less time strategizing and more time creating content.

5. Get Performance Insights

The best generators provide data on the popularity and engagement rates of different hashtags.

As a small business, performance metrics are essential to refine your approach. Generators deliver these quickly, without manual analysis.

6 Key Factors for Evaluating Hashtag Generators

With so many generator options, how do you choose the right solution as a small business owner? Here are the most important criteria:

1. Database Size

A robust database of hashtags is critical. Look for generators with databases indexing billions of hashtags for variety.

2. Search Filters

Customizable filters like keywords, languages, banned words, followers etc. allow you to narrow down hashtag searches.

3. Image Recognition

Some generators use AI to suggest hashtags based on analyzing the images you want to post.

4. Performance Analytics

Understanding engagement rates for different hashtags helps optimize your strategy. Prioritize generators that provide actionable analytics.

5. Instagram Integration

Tools that connect directly with Instagram via APIs streamline tagging, scheduling, and analysis.

6. Cost Considerations

Paid tools offer enhanced capabilities but can be cost-prohibitive for small businesses. Many free generators provide ample functionality.

Getting the right mix of these features will provide the best results without breaking your marketing budget.

12 Top Free Instagram Hashtag Generators for Small Businesses

Based on extensive testing and the criteria above, here are my top recommendations:

1. Flick

  • Powerful filtering and banning of inappropriate hashtags
  • Create curated collections to save hashtags
  • Additional functionality like post scheduling and visual previews

2. Display Purposes

  • Simple interface
  • Highly customizable filtering by numbers, languages, banned words etc.

3. Ingramer

  • AI algorithm quickly generates relevant hashtags
  • Provides location-specific as well as image recognition powered suggestions

4. Meta Tags Generator

  • Massive database of over 1 billion hashtags
  • Useful filters by engagement, followers, keywords etc.

5. TagsFinder

  • Finds related and similar hashtags for your search terms
  • Detects banned hashtags to avoid issues

6. Twipler

  • Analyzes performance of hashtags in your niche
  • Free report shares top performers to follow

7. SeekaGram

  • Syncs directly with Instagram for ease of use
  • Good suggestions based on your account history

8. Iconosquare

  • Generator works for both Instagram and TikTok
  • Organize hashtags into collections for frequently used ones

9. AutoHash

  • Provides location-based ideas from geo-tags on your uploads
  • Supports multiple platforms beyond Instagram

10. Photerloo

  • Uploading images generates targeted hashtag ideas
  • Works on desktop and mobile apps

5 Pro Tips to Optimize Your Hashtag Strategy

As a small business owner, you need to make every hashtag count. Here are tips I follow to optimize Instagram hashtags:

Leverage a Mix of Popular and Niche Hashtags

Balance broadly popular hashtags with some very targeted ones. Popular tags expand your reach, while niche ones ensure relevance.

Experiment with Optimal Hashtag Amounts

The ideal numbers range between 8-12 generally. Test using different amounts to gauge what engages your audience best.

Track Performance

Analyze metrics over time to determine your best and worst performing hashtags. Refine your mix accordingly.

Use Branded Hashtags

Create memorable branded hashtags that followers can easily use to amplify your message.

Place Hashtags Strategically

Putting hashtags only in comments or caption end helps improve aesthetics without reducing discoverability.

Key Takeaways

Finding the right hashtags on Instagram is challenging but can pay huge dividends. As a small business owner, hashtag generators are invaluable for identifying relevant and high-performing tags effortlessly.

Evaluate generators based on database size, filters, performance analytics, and ease of use. Many free tools provide robust capabilities.

Optimizing your hashtag strategy using the right generator will take your Instagram marketing to the next level in 2023!

Which hashtag tools and strategies have worked for you as a small business? Let me know in the comments!