Freelance Social Media Marketer at Lauren Bath Services
Lauren Bath was Australia’s first professional Instagrammer quitting her day job in 2013 to break into the tourism industry. She has since racked up over 120 travel campaigns and now run campaigns and educate the industry on how to use Instagram for marketing and how to work with influencers.
Lauren is the Travel Instagrammer in The Travel Bootcamp, teaching how to grow your Instagramming, blogging and travel writing career.
How To Use Your Instagram Hashtag For Customer Generated Content
Tactic that has had the biggest impact on Lauren’s success
Using Instagram hashtag for customer generated content
Result if you follow the steps in Lauren’s session
Gain Instagram followers who create great content about your business that you can use on your own page
Full session with video, notes, audio and discussion inside EHQ Club. Learn more
Expert session snapshot
If you can take your own pictures, that’s the best way. If you’re taking your own pictures, and you’re pretty handy with a camera, that’s going to be the easiest and best way because the images will be consistent if they’re all taken by the same person.
So the first course of action I would recommend is to invest in even an entry level DSLR. Teach yourself how to use it. Pay attention to a simple compositional rules, making sure that your horizon line is straight, making sure you know you follow the rule of thirds.
That’s something you can Google I’m sure. You in great light, so early mornings, late afternoons when the light is soft and interesting, shooting interesting things, you know, hero shots, the beach reflections, anything that looks great in a photo.
And if you if you have the ability to do that, that would be the easiest way. Unfortunately, not everybody has an eye for photography. And it’s like anything in life, you know, everybody’s got different talents and different things that they go out.
And I think if you don’t have a great eye for photography, and it’s not something that you’re very interested in, then don’t take that course of action, because you can really tell when it’s forced and when the enjoyment is not there. So I’d say give it a go. If it’s not your thing, there are other ways to get content.
And some of the ways that I recommend to my clients is working with up and coming influencers or photographers in the area that you live. You know, commercial photographers, they’re not going to want to work for exposure and rightly so they’re professionals.
But there’s a real chain in photography and we all start at the bottom a ladder. I should say we’ll start at the bottom. And look, exposure and experience really is a thing when you’re just starting out. So if your second cousin just got their first DSLR and they’re taking cool pictures of their friends, why don’t give that person a chance to create some content for you?
You know, there’s always people like that in the community and word of mouth will get you exposure to those sorts of people. So, definitely working with up and comers is a great way to build relationships and build your content library. Outside of that, if you have staff, same rule, you might not be a photographer yourself, but if you have a staff member, that’s pretty handy with a camera, that’s always an option.
But realistically, as a small business owner, especially working in the tourism industry, but you know anyone that has a great brand or a brand that can be portrayed visually, the best way to create and generate enough content for your social media needs is user generated content. And user generated content is basically content that’s created by your audience already.
I’ll give you an example. If you have a restaurant, and you have great looking food, and you have people coming in, these people are eating the food, they are taking photos of the food because it didn’t exist if it doesn’t happen on social media. So you’ve got people out there in your restaurant or cafe, and they’re taking snaps of the food, they’re taking their flat lives, taking their selfies, and they’re putting these probably on Facebook and Instagram, maybe Twitter.
So giving these people the means to share that content with you, preferably through a hashtag will give you then the opportunity to draw on that content and repost it or reshare it to your own account and start to actually share the story of your brand or product so naturally and organically in the way that your audience and your buyers are actually experiencing it.
So the easiest way to set up your user generated content is first of all, to have a think about a hashtag that you’d like to use. Ideally, your hashtag would be a business name. If you have a business name that is shared by another business, you will do a little Instagram search for it.
So on the second tab of Instagram, that’s the Explore page. There’s a little search box at the top there, type in the name of your business. I’m just going to use a restaurant that I used to work at Cafe Marina.
So I would type in Cafe Marina, and if the hashtag pops up, that says there’s 10,000 pictures tagged there, I would say okay, so these pictures actually taken at Cafe Marina, if so great. People are already doing my job for me. If there’s another Cafe Marina in California, then maybe not use that username, use that hashtag, sorry, maybe use Cafe Marina or Australia or something that sets yours apart.
So now that you have a hashtag that you can kind of claim as your own. It’s related to your business. You would put that in the bio of your Instagram account, so if you had a Cafe Marina Instagram account, you just put a little disclaimer and your profile, and it usually read something along, use hashtag whatever the hashtag is Cafe Marina to allow us to repost.
And that’s just a little disclaimer letting people know that you are joining on user generated content and sharing it. Importantly, once people do start using that hashtag, and you want to reshare it, the way to reshare it, it’s I can’t even believe this is still the main method, but it’s to take a screenshot.
So you find the picture on the hashtag, something that you like, something taken at your business. I mean, that’s used your hashtag, take a screenshot of it from that screenshot, you just crop out the original picture, and you can do that straight in Instagram. You don’t have to use a third party application.