The Power of an Instagram Hashtag

By Julie Lewis | Thursday, April 7, 2016

What are all those # about?

You may have noticed recently that the once redundant ‘#’ button on your old phone has become the foundation for a revolution in the written language.  Believe it or not but #hashtags do have a purpose! They are used to search, share and categorise content shared across social media platforms.

When using Instagram, a strategic hashtag (or 10) is a great way to gain exposure for not only your creative snap shots but also your business.  Next time you are thinking about running a competition, product launch or any kind of new campaign, consider utilising the power of a hashtag campaign.

A hashtag campaign is when you encourage Instagrammers to share brand-appropriate content with a caption that includes your campaign’s unique hashtag.  A hashtag campaign is a cost-effective way to create a real buzz for your brand and essentially turns your customers into brand ambassadors who help to market your business for you!  This will also create the opportunity for you to engage with your followers and collect content that you will be able to report on your social channels by re-posting and featuring the best contributions.

Here is an example of one of the most successful hashtag campaign in New Zealand to date:

Tourism New Zealand #NZMustDo

Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) are the marketing department for our country and are responsible for encouraging people to travel to New Zealand. You may have seen their internationally award winning ‘100% Pure NZ’ campaign.  Using Social media, they have created an incredibly successful hashtag campaign.  Their campaign asks travelers to use #NZMustDo when sharing their experiences that they think people MUST DO when visiting New Zealand; this has had an unbelievable amount of feedback.

To date the hashtag #nzmustdo has been used in over 220,000 posts on Instagram alone. That is 220,000 opportunities resulting in millions of comments, likes and engagements from past, current and most importantly future travelers to New Zealand.  Every time a person shares a picture of New Zealand on their personal Instagram their family, friends and all their followers are witnessing the amazing experiences that can be had in while visiting New Zealand. This hashtag is an extremely powerful tool to grow awareness and motivate people to travel to NZ.

See the #NZMustDO campaign in action for yourself.

Not only is it growing awareness but it is also helping TNZ to collect marketing material to use on their own social media channels.  The huge upside for TNZ is a big selection of regrammable content created by travelers. The TNZ Instagram account is only filled with user generated content and all they needed to do to use those images was click ‘share’.

Here is an example of a recent post that TNZ Shared:

How to utilise a hashtag with TNZ - Instagram - Dubzz Digital Marketing


This post received over 17,000 likes and hundreds of comments just like these:

• Lets go back now
• Can you take me there??? ?
• This isn’t even close to the best place in NZ
• This is my favourite place on Earth!

This is the power of Instagram and the power of a well-run hashtag campaign.

If you want help to create your own engaging hashtag campaign using Instagram get in touch with one of the Dubzz team who will be happy to answer any of your questions and help get you #regramming in no time.

Author: Julie Lewis

Julie is certified in Google Ads, Analytics and Mobile Optimisation, and holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and a certificate in Front End Web Development. When she’s not squinting at a computer screen, Julie plays rugby for the Bay of Plenty Volcanix and fosters kittens through the Rotorua SPCA.

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