Use event and wedding hashtags on Instagram to make your posts more discoverable and reach more people. But with the hundreds of possible hashtags, which ones should you use? And how do you use the hashtags correctly?
It’s actually pretty easy, and the more you understand, the less daunting it becomes. Read on, and I’ll share the toolkit to both find the right Instagram hashtags for your event and how to use them effectively.
Below we’ll cover what hashtags are, the two kinds of hashtags and when to use which type. And within about 10 minutes, you’ll be an expert. Promise!
What Are Hashtags?
Okay, you already probably know that a hashtag is simply a word (or words) with a # in front. But that doesn’t exactly explain what a hashtag is.
Hashtags are simply a way to categorize your Instagram posts.
Let’s elaborate a little bit. Hashtags are simply a way for Instagram (or any other social media platform) to quickly and easily categorize and organize your content. This makes your posts easy to discover by social media users in a few ways.
Hashtags Make Content Easier To Find
Instagram users can search for specific hashtags, for example, #weddingplanner, #chicagoweddings or #eventdecor, and find both inspiration and vendors for their upcoming events. Additionally, users can follow particular event and wedding hashtags to stay up-to-date with trends.
These hashtags help Instagram source the content for the Search & Explore page. “Geotags, account tags, and hashtags are additional ways to extend the reach of your content within the Explore ecosystem,” according to HootSuite.
And lastly, using hashtags helps users explore content related to whatever post they’re currently looking at. Hashtags provide a fun rabbit hole to dive down when browsing gorgeous event-related posts on Instagram.
Which Platforms Use Hashtags?
Pretty much all of them. The history of hashtags shows that they were in use long before social media. Still, it was on Twitter that they first became popularized as a method of categorizing posts.
As far as I can tell, all the major and non-major, social media networks use hashtags. That includes Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And they all use hashtags broadly the same. And when it comes to event and wedding hashtags, you can apply the same ideas even on non-social media platforms with hashtags. I’m thinking of UpWork, where many event pros find side gigs. Even here, hashtags help event pros categorize themselves, and job posters use these categories to find the right freelancers.
So, while we’re focusing on Instagram in this article, the lessons are mostly platform agnostic.
The Importance Of Hashtags On Instagram
Did you know that over half of all Instagram accounts browse the Explore section at least once per month? That’s over 500 million people each month using features that rely on hashtags for content discovery.
So when it comes to Instagram, event and wedding hashtags are a great way to expand your audience. Your posts will appear on the pages for your chosen hashtags or in hashtag Story pages. And because people follow hashtags, you’ll appear in feeds without them needing to follow your account.
How To Use Hashtags On Instagram
Simple – just type in # and begin typing a word like this:
Instagram will begin to auto-complete with popular hashtags, so if you start typing #wed, you’ll be able to find tons of high-traffic hashtags to add like #weddingwednesday, #weddingdecor, #weddinginspiration, and so on. We’ll get more into choosing the right hashtags shortly.
You can add your event and wedding hashtags in the post’s description or in a comment. Many wedding business brands add their chosen hashtags in the first comment to keep the post description neater.
How To Use An Event & Wedding Hashtag Generator
Using an event and wedding hashtag generator is a wonderfully quick way to source a ton of event-related hashtags. And at ThymeBase, we built exactly that: a hashtag generator, especially for the event industry.
To use the hashtag generator, you enter some details and let the technology do the work:
But the event and wedding hashtag generator gives you so many hashtags. Should you use them all? And what is the difference between recommended and unique hashtags? And how do you know which hashtags to actually choose?
Answers await, so let’s dive in.
How Many Hashtags Per Post?
Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post. Yes, you can use up to 30 hashtags per Instagram post, but should you?
Even using one hashtag can increase engagement significantly, so let’s begin by saying at least one. However, there have been numerous studies done showing different results. After looking over the various studies, I found that the consensus was between 5 and 15 hashtags per post.
Personally, I think you should use as many hashtags as are relevant to your content, whether that’s 5, 15, or 25. The most important thing is relevance. Don’t use #conference when your post is about wedding tablescapes. Similarly, don’t use #weddingdress if the content is about florals. Let the content guide the number of hashtags.
Before we figure out how many are suitable for your posts, we need to discuss two kinds of hashtags: recommended hashtags and unique hashtags (or brand hashtags).
Consider the event and wedding hashtags that Instagram auto-completes as you type. These are the recommended hashtags. They often have many posts associated with them, frequent new posts, and many followers. These are the hashtags you’re familiar with, like
The hashtag #weddings has over 200 million public posts, while #weddingdress has 43 million posts. So, you begin to get the idea that these are popular wedding hashtags.
So, recommended event and wedding hashtags help Instagram categorize and organize your posts, getting you in front of people looking specifically for your type of content. These types of hashtags get you discovered in Instagram’s Search & Explore pages and increase your reach.
How To Use Recommended Hashtags
Every image you post on Instagram should have some recommended hashtags. These are the hashtags that will get you more likes and more follows from new people.
But not all recommended hashtags are the same. You have broad hashtags, with many millions of posts, like #weddingdress. But you also have local hashtags like #bayareawedding or #sfweddings for those in San Fransisco. Each town and city will likely have variations of their own. Still, they’re particularly effective in finding new clients for event professionals.
Local hashtags are great because the people browsing local hashtags are, well, local to where your business is located. Or looking to have their event there. So if you’re in Vermont, adding #vermontweddings to your posts will make you discoverable by people who are specifically interested in finding Vermont wedding vendors.
So my personal recommendation is to always include a couple of general recommended hashtags and a couple of local recommended hashtags in every post.
Event Industry Networking With Local Hashtags
One other interesting use case of local hashtags is the networking aspect. I’ve spoken to hundreds of event planners who, when they need to source new vendors, turn to Instagram. They use local hashtags like #sfeventpros to find new people to work with.
So tag your best work with local hashtags.
And if you’re not sure what those local hashtags are, use the hashtag generator or browse tags in the Search page, like this:
- Go to the search page in Instagram
- Type in your location and a keyword like wedding
- Click on the tags
You’ll see the top hashtags related to your search, as well as the number of posts. Don’t worry if there are only a few thousand. Often, the more niche a hashtag is, the more you’ll stand out.
How To Use Unique Hashtags
Unique hashtags are all about attendee-generated content. They help your event attendees share their posts with each other in an easily discoverable way.
Consider the hashtags #ciscosalescon2021 or #deanandalisonwedding. If you let guests know your unique event hashtag, when they add their content to Instagram, everyone at the event will be able to find it. It’s a super fun way to share pictures from the event.
From a business perspective, unique hashtags allow you, the event pro, to reach the guests who experienced your incredible work. Suppose you’re also posting your pictures from the event. In that case, the guests will see them. They’ll also see your profile, maybe follow you, and hopefully get in touch when they need your extraordinary efforts.
Using Brand Hashtags
Unique event and wedding hashtags are great for sharing content, but brand hashtags are great for highlighting your event business. Look, it’s effectively the same idea – a unique hashtag that no one else is using. But instead of it being about an event, it’s about your business. If your clients, and their guests, tag #deanseventplanning in their posts, then it effectively creates a crowd-sourced portfolio for you.
So, consider using a brand hashtag to organize Instagram posts from events you worked on.
Use Both Recommended and Unique Hashtags Together
Okay, so you understand both recommended hashtags and unique hashtags. Now, let’s look at using them together. It’s simple, really. When you use a mix of hashtag types, you’re putting Instagram to work for you.
A handful of recommended tags expands your reach widely. A unique hashtag places your business’ Insta profile in the thick of the event’s content. And since you have up to 30 hashtags in each post, there’s no reason not to use both when appropriate.
So use recommended event and wedding hashtags to highlight the unique content in each post. And use unique hashtags to collect them all together under one wedding.
Think about it like this:
- Add a few recommended hashtags around your broad theme, like #weddinginspo and #weddings
- Add a couple of local hashtags to focus the areas you work, like #idahoweddings and #boiseweddingplanner
- Use recommended hashtags to categorize the content of the post, like #weddingflorals or #springweddingflowers
- Include the event’s unique hashtag to make sure you’re included in the event’s virtual album.
- Add your brand’s hashtag so people can see your other events with a quick tap of the tag.
I count that to be between 10 and 15 hashtags, depending on how many recommended tags you use. And that’s perfect.
Event And Wedding Hashtag Quick Tips
- Use at least 10 hashtags on each post but never more than 30.
- Try out different hashtags regularly – Instagram’s algorithm rewards changing things up.
- Add location-based hashtags to help people find you locally.
- Mix it up between broadly popular hashtags and niche ones in each post.
- Use hashtags to help Instagram understand the subject of the image. For example, floral hashtags where florals are prominent, or tablescape hashtags where the flat lays are the subject.
- Use unique hashtags to tie content all together under one event.
Work Together To Expand Your Reach
I recently worked on an event where all the vendors worked together to plan their hashtags, share Insta profiles, and generally get on the same page about social media strategy. Of course, we used ThymeBase’s event planning software for organizing, discussing, and sharing. This way, everyone involved could contribute to each other’s portfolios, introduce their followers to each other, and make sure they’re using the same unique and branded hashtags.
The event industry is uniquely collaborative, and so I strongly recommend working together on a unified social media strategy with everyone involved in the events you’re doing. And if you tag #thymebase in any of your Instagram pics, we’ll like, follow and share. Coz we’re all in it together!