Instagram is hands-down, the hottest social media site of the moment with 100 million unique visitors each month. If you are not aware of what Instagram is, it is a free app that lets you take a photo or video, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post it to your Instagram profile. The key to getting noticed on Instagram is the use of #hashtags.

Now, unlike other social media sites, Instagram does something pretty cool. They actively promote their users, for free. One way they do so is with their Weekend Hashtag Project.

What is the Instagram Weekend Hashtag Project?

Every Friday, Instagram announces their Weekend Hashtag Project (if you have downloaded my Monthly Marketing Calendars, you will know this is one of the tasks I recommend), where they ask users to submit photos based on a designated theme with a designated hashtag so they can find your photos.

Instagram Marketing Tips

Why This Is A Good Opportunity For Your Small Business

Instagram chooses their favorite photos from the competition and every Monday features them on their blog, meaning big exposure for those chosen. How so? In addition to being featured on their blog:

  • They also share the Instagram names of their top choices on their Instagram profile, to their 47.3 million followers.
  • They tweet out their favorite entries, to their 37 million followers.
  • They post their favorite entries on their Facebook page, to their 26 million fans.

This is a lot of free exposure. But stick to the theme if you are going to participate; don’t use your photo to blatantly promote your business or you will unlikely be selected.

I kept tabs on a photographer’s Instagram profile that was recently featured on their blog and social media sites and he gained over 3,000 followers in just two hours. And that is just followers, who knows how much traffic it drove to his profile.

Some Of Instagram’s Recent Weekend Hashtags Projects

  • #WHPresolutions2015, which asked participants to take creative photos and videos that symbolize their resolutions for the year ahead.
  • #WHPfeelslikehome, which asked participants to take creative photos and videos that capture the feeling of being at home.
  • #WHPfairytale, which asked participants to capture creative photos that feel like scenes from a fairytale.

If you are interested in participating in Instagram’s Weekend Hashtag Projects, simply follow @instagram on Twitter and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

Be Sure to Download My Monthly Marketing Calendars


Don’t miss out on great tips like the one above! Packed with creative daily ideas that will keep your small business visible and easily attract more customers, my January 2015 calendar is now available with versions for Online Stores, Retail Stores, Restaurants, Realtors, and Photographers. Download here.