About a year ago, I scrolled back through some of the earliest pictures I’d posted on my Instagram account. I noticed that I hadn’t used hashtags on any of those earlier posts and in a moment of boredom, I added a few applicable hashtags to several pictures.

What followed next was quite surprising. When I first posted this picture, I simply captioned it, “Say hi to Cody!” Poor Cody only got one or two likes because at the time I had just a few Instagram followers and they were the only ones who saw the picture. Once I edited the post to add the following hashtags, the post became more widespread and six more groups of people were able to see Cody’s happy face.

  • #DogsOfInstagram
  • #Husky
  • #HuskiesOfInstagram
  • #HuskyLove
  • #dog
  • #snow


The love for Cody flowed and he immediately got several more likes, showing the power of the hashtag.  Each hashtag assigned to a photo, puts into a group of like pictures with the same hashtag. People browsing through Instagram’s hashtags will see your picture even if they don’t follow you. 

Using popular hashtags is a great way to get your picture in front of many more sets of eyes. When someone sees your picture and likes the quality, style, activity, etc. they’re likely to come visit your feed and might even decide to follow you, especially if they engage in the same types of activities you enjoy and share. 

Because it can be time consuming to type several hashtags when I post pictures, I’ve organized my hashtags in the Notes app on my phone. Currently, I have my hashtags organized into: 

  • General Running
  • Winter Running
  • Running in Southwestern Virginia
  • Hiking
  • Christmas
  • Virginia Tech Football
  • Outer Banks
  • Ragnar


Once I’ve picked the picture I want to post, I write my caption, and then copy and paste the appropriate set of hashtags. I quickly scan the hashtags to make sure they’re all applicable for that picture. For example, if I happened to take the running picture with my iPhone (something I rarely do), I don’t want to use the GoPro hashtag already included in my running hashtags. 

For more visibility, I use hashtags that are frequented more often; however, sometimes it’s fun to make up hashtags that bring out a fun point about the picture even if it’s a hashtag never used before. 


Some of my favorite running hashtags include:

  • #RunnerGirl
  • #RunHappy
  • #RiseAndRun
  • #GetOutAndMove
  • #RunerProblems
  • #RunnerFuel
  • #InstaRunner
  • #LoveTheRun
  • #RunnerFriends
  • #RunnerFriendsAreTheBestFriends


Some of my other favorite general upbeat fitness type hashtags include:

  • #LifeIsGood
  • #OptOutside
  • #FunTimes
  • #FindYourStrong
  • #BeatYesterday


When I want to identify my picture by the type of camera used when taking the picture, I’ll might use:

  • #GoPro
  • #Hero5
  • #iPhonePhoto
  • #Canon


If you’re not already using hashtags, tagging your posts with popular hashtags is an easy way to get more people to see your Instagram pictures. Now it’s your turn to help me out, please answer the following questions so I can learn what hashtags I’m missing out on using!


  • Questions:
  • Are you on Instagram? If so, what’s your handle? ~ I’m @debrunsfit
  • What are your favorite hashtags?
  • What hashtags am I missing?
  • What’s the silliest or funniest hashtag you’ve used?


Happy Running! ~ Deb