Ultimate Instagram-Hashtag Guide for Wedding Vendors
Instagram and its usage of hashtags has now become an important communication tool. When it comes to sharing those engagement photos to posting that moment of the “I dos”, wedding vendors can no longer deny its power and significance. Nowadays newlyweds will often instantly use Instagram and Instagram hashtagas from getting wedding inspiration to finding the perfect venue or vendor
When it comes to social media usage for wedding and wedding planning, the 2018 WeddingWire reported the following:
83% of wedding planning is now done online
62% of couples create their own wedding site
52% use a wedding planning app
54% implement a wedding hashtag
And this makes sense.
There are over 300 million+ Instagram users already with the hashtag #wedding with over 141 million posts and growing.
Right now If you are a wedding vendor not using Instagram, this lowers your chances of being found or connecting to potential customers. It will also make your business seem too old fashioned and outdated, causing many new couples to go someplace else.
Below is the ultimate guide of using and posting content to bring in more customers via Instagram. It goes over some of the basics of Instagram real quick while providing you some details or how to choose the right hashtags that makes your post connect to those brides to be.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a social networking app for basically sharing photos and videos (posts) from your smartphone. Everyone who creates an Instagram account has a profile and news feed depending on people or business they follow. People can find photos or videos they like by searching for a specific account name or hashtag.
Ok, what's a hashtag?
A hashtag is the # symbol with a word, phrase or even emoji that groups content of other posts to that word or phrase. By including a hashtag on a post this allows you to index your content in a way that people can discover it, not just your followers.
That’s simple enough. What's next?
For those that have just created an Instagram account, it's incredibly important that your account biography communicates everything you want your followers to know about your business.
This may seem very basic and not very important but I’ve seen a lot of businesses mess up this part. Although it is more professional to use your company logo as the profile picture, sometimes using a mascot or a particular person as the profile picture can bring in more followers and activity. This depends on the type of wedding vendor that you are.
If you are a wedding photographer or a planner it could be better to use a photo of someone to connect with potential clients compared to if you're a large wedding dress company.
Once you’ve got the profile set then you can start posting those amazing photos to market your services.
Great but what types of photos should I post?
This is a question a lot of wedding vendors ask and a lot of digital marketers get. No matter how much you might search on blogs or ask digital marketers directly, there isn’t a go-to template or answer.
First off, you need to have a goal in mind!
No matter what channel you are using for any marketing campaign, what is your goal? Connecting with clients? Awareness? Creating a game plan before posting on any social media is incredibly important so you know what you are trying to achieve and what kind of content you want to create.
You really shouldn’t post or spend money on marketing until this step is stable and complete. If your having trouble creating business strategies and goals then you need to take the extra time to have this figured out or work with a marketing consultant to help you accomplish this. Venus Wedding does provide Social Media Campaign Consulting to help wedding businesses with this step.
Alright, now how many hashtags should I use?
Hashtags are incredibly important for Instagram marketing.Sometimes making sure to use the right hashtag can be more important than the image itself.
Many marketers will say that 11 hashtags are the ideal amount to have. This refers to a study done looking at the engagement rate of an account with at least 1K followers based on how many hashtags used.
In the study using 11 hashtags gave them 79.5% interaction rate per 1k follower. So from using data from study using at least 11 or more hashtags is the sweet spot for more engagement and possible views for your posts. Now the maximum amount of hashtags allowed on Instagram is 30. It's ok to use up to 30 hashtags on a post but it's important to make sure the quality is better than quantity.
When you use too many hashtags that appear spammy this can make your account look suspicious and get shut down. Definitely make sure you don't try to add more than 30 hashtags. Stick to using anywhere from 11-30 hashtags, and if you really want to focus on growth use the maximum 30 if the hashtags are in good quality and make sense.
Where should I put the hashtags?
There are two places you can put the hashtags, in the caption of the post or in a comment underneath it. Where you post the hashtags truly depend on how you want it to be presented. You want people to be focused on your image and caption instead of mess and clutter of hashtags and content mixed together.
Here are the steps on how to post the hashtags in a comment or in the caption.
In a comment:
- 1Upload your content but don’t add the hashtags in the caption box.
- 2After the content has been published, click the speech bubble icon under your post to leave a comment.
- 3In the "Add a comment" box you've clicked, enter a period or bullet and then hit Return.
- 4Repeat Step 3 at least five times.
- 5Write or paste all of the hashtags you want to include and click Post.
At first, this comment may be visible however once the post gets more comments then the hashtags will be hidden unless the person clicks the View all comments” button.
In the caption:
- 1Write whatever description or information in the caption of your image/video you will be posting.
- 2Once completed tap on Return..
- 3Next enter a period or bullet and then hit Return.
- 4Repeat Step 3 at least five times.
- 5Write or paste all of the hashtags you want to include and click Post.
For the caption, Instagram will hide anything after three lines. This will make your hashtags not view-able to people unless they tap the “more” options on your post. Even then, because the hashtags are divided from the main caption information by a least 5 spaces this makes it look clean when people do look at the full post.
What kind of hashtags should I use?
There is no set template or specific list to use every time. There are definitely useful groupings of hashtags to remember and can be used effectively to help boost your content.
Hashtag Grouping 1: Business name or brand identity
If you are a wedding business, the first hashtag you want to use should always be the business name or brand. This is a great way to build brand recognition and a fanbase. If you use the same hashtag for your brand name, people will start to remember you and what they should expect from your business.
Depending on your profession, it might be good to add that as well.
If you are a wedding planner or photographer using #weddingphotographer or #weddingplanner would be fine.
Hashtag Grouping 2: Location
Letting people know where your located is incredibly important.
Using region hashtags like #[insert-your-region-here]wedding and #[insert-your-region-here] [insert-your-wedding-profession-here], lets people in the area know what options there is. It can also inspire people to decide to plan their wedding in your area. The hashtag doesn’t have to just be the region but an aspect of the region too.
For example, if you're a wedding vendor in Hawaii, you could use basic region hashtags like #hawaiiwedding or #hawaiiweddingplanner. For more specific region hashtags, use hashtags like #mauibeachwedding or #mauiweddingplanner.
Also If it's appropriate, using venue hashtags is even better. Often brides will have a venue in mind but are still looking for caterers or photographers who know that location
Hashtag Grouping 3: General Wedding Hashtags
These hashtags could be used for any wedding type post. Some of these general hashtags could be: #wedding #bride #ido #instawedding #weddinginspiration #weddingideas #creativeweddings #theknot, and the list could go on.
General wedding hashtags have a very large search amount but you need to remember because of that there is a lot of competition too. So many images with generic wedding hashtags get posted that it is difficult to be seen. It’s good to use a 1-2 of these general hashtags however I would recommend to focus and use more specific hashtags for your wedding services.
Hashtag Grouping 4: Specific Wedding Hashtags
When you use general wedding hashtags, it will bring anyone that is interested in weddings. Once you focus on the more on the specific wedding hashtags, it will bring more attention to those specific services that your business provides. Although this audience is smaller, these people are more likely to engage and convert into a potential customer.
For example, if you are a wedding entertainer (band or dj) the hashtags below would fit this group:
People who search and look at these hashtags are looking for inspiration or for their wedding entertainer. There are plenty of other specific wedding hashtags you can use to get super focused on the theme or service you have.
Hashtag Grouping 5: General Popular Instagram Hashtag
Sometimes adding some general popular Instagram hashtags can help build up the mood or feeling of a post. This can still include wedding content as well. These hashtags are mostly created by other brands or Instagram users to share happy and inspiring images. Using this for images that are very beautiful, colorful and add more value and make the post more relatable.
These hashtags could be:
You also need to be careful and remember hashtags that can do the opposite. Even if they are popular, hashtags that solicit likes and followers should be avoided. Using the hashtags #followme, #like4like, #follow4follow, #tagsforlikes, etc will attract bots, spammers, and users who have no intention of actually following or engaging in your content. This also shows that your brand is fine with engaging in this type of spammy behavior which doesn’t look good.
Great info! But this is often harder said than done.
That’s totally understandable.
So let's look at examples of hashtag-ing on Instagram.
I love wedding dresses (Say Yes to the Dress is my dirty pleasure), so let's look at some posts of wedding dress vendors. I looked around and found 3 different wedding dress vendors and picked a random post for review. Let's see how they use Instagram hashtags.
Example 1 - Modern Bride LA.
They have over 2,700 followers with 200+ posts.
And how do they use hashtags?
Well, they don’t.
They don’t use hashtags or any descriptions and it shows.
They have gorgeous photos of an amazing dress with only 24 likes.
Most of their posts don’t have any comments and when they do have comments, many of these comments are asking about who is the designer or the price.If this was described in the caption, this would solve this problem.
Example - 2 CoCoMelodly
They have over 60K followers with 2.600+ posts.
A big step up from the previous wedding business in terms of followers size.
And I’ll be honest, I really love CoCoMelody wedding dresses. It's actually a Japanese Wedding Dress chain that has one shop in LA, one coming soon to NYC, and you can also order dresses online. I’m planning to buy one of their dresses for my own wedding. That doesn’t mean they have the best hashtag game out there.
Let's take a look.
There are two different images they used for the same post.
There is a basic description of the dress that is fun and relatable with a call to action.
In the caption, they use only a couple hashtags while the rest of the hashtags are on a separate comment. With the caption, they use a brand name hashtag, general Instagram hashtag and a specific wedding hashtag which is followed by hashtags for the two specific dresses they have.
This is great because if someone is interested in one of those dresses they can click that hashtag of the dress style and look at other photos of it.
Unfortunately, they use the hashtags #likeme and #like4like.These are spammy hashtags that attract bots or users that don’t really engage in your content.Right now the post 800+ likes and around 25 comments.With around 60K this isn’t bad results but definitely could be better. It's likely because a portion of the followers aren’t really active due to those hashtags
Example - 3 Rina’s Bridal Boutique
They have over 2,600 followers with 1,200+ posts.
They have around the same amount of followers as the earlier example Modern Bride LA.
So how do they compare?
This post that I picked has over 2K likes and 30+ comments!
This is better than the example picked out from CoCoMelody who has a much higher follower amount.
The caption is short, sweet but fun at the same time. The first hashtags are the brand hashtags followed by some location hashtags. The rest of the hashtags are some specific wedding dress hashtags, general wedding hashtags, and a general fun Instagram hashtag.
My only suggestion would maybe to add a couple of more hashtags. You could also add more of a description and sometimes it works or sometimes it doesn’t. It depends on the mood and feeling the short caption provides.
In general most of their posts get around 60 - 400 likes which is still pretty good for their follower size.
As you can see using hashtags and how you use them can greatly affect your reach to those brides to be. Of course using the right hashtags isn't the only thing you need to do but it's definitely an important factor. No matter what you need to make sure that you have a clear understanding of your brand, social media goals and how to organize and create your marketing campaign. Once you have that clear, you can start posting and building your online social media presence. Other than posting amazing photos, use these tips and techniques to help create amazing Instagram content for your wedding business!
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