A Free and Easy Way to Track Instagram Hashtags

See Fresh Posts for All Your Favorite Search Terms

Instagram Hashtag
Photo © Jeffrey Coolidge / Getty Images

One of the best ways to find relevant posts to like and users to follow on Instagram is by scoping out what's been tagged with keywords or phrases that interest you. In fact, you may find a hashtag with such great content that you may want to track it so you can check up on it frequently for fresh stuff.

The Way Everybody Checks Up on Their Favorite Hashtags

If you just want to casually check up on a specific hashtag every now and then on Instagram, you can simply head over to the Explore tab, type the hashtag term in the search bar at the top of the screen, and tap the Tags option (as opposed to the Top, People, or Places options) so you can search for posts using that hashtag.

The hashtag term will remain in your search history until you go into your settings to delete it, making it easier for you to frequently revisit that particular hashtag search without having to type it in every single time.

But what if you want a more advanced and automated option? There are certainly lots of Instagram-friendly social media analytics tools out there, but most of them require signing up for a subscription at a monthly or yearly price. 

The Slightly More Advanced Way to Use HootSuite to Track Hashtags

HootSuite is a super versatile (and very popular) social media management platform that you can use for free. Using it with Instagram isn't exactly an advanced endeavor, but it takes it up a notch from just casually checking hashtags within Instagram itself. Here's how to do it:

  1. Sign up for a free HootSuite account and then sign in.
  2. Click on the button labeled + Add Social Network beneath the Compose message... field.
  1. Select Instagram from the popup menu and the click Connect with Instagram to allow HootSuite to connect to your Instagram account.
  2. Click on the button labeled + Add Stream beneath the Compose message... field.
  3. Select Instagram from the popup menu and then select Hashtag from the top menu.
  4. Enter the hashtag (without the "#" attached to it) you want to track and click Add Stream.

    If you followed the steps outlined above correctly, you should see a new stream appear as a column in your HootSuite dashboard, featuring an automatically updating feed of the most recent posts that include that hashtag in their post captions. You can add as many streams as you like to track multiple hashtags on HootSuite.

    Another huge benefit of using HootSuite to track Instagram hashtags, besides being one of the only free alternatives out there, is that you can do it both on the regular web and on mobile. HootSuite offers mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices that you can use to check up on and manage it all when you're on the go.

    If you're interested in tracking the comments you receive on your Instagram photos so you may answer them easily or delete inappropriate ones, check out our answer on how to track Instagram comments.

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