Host a Photo Campaign

This article provides a breakdown on how to use #hashtags to organize photos around a particular theme or campaign. For a case study of how the band Deftones used tags to organize a photo contest on Instagram, please read the Instagram blog post, How to Host A Photo Contest on Instagram.

Using #hashtags to organize submissions

#hashtags make it easy for you to collect photos from your followers around a certain theme. To use hashtags, simply add a hashtag (e.g. "#car") to your photo's caption, and the photo will be tagged with "Car". Then, users will be able to click on the hashtag as part of your caption and see the most recent photos tagged with "car", including your own. For common questions related to using #hashtags, please see the #hashtag help article.

RSS feed

Every hashtag has an RSS Feed associated with it, which makes it easy to subscribe to new photos. If you're interested, simply point your favorite feed reader to[hashtag name]/feed/recent.rss (where [hashtag name] is the name of the hashtag without the leading #). This will allow event organizers or anyone with a feed reader to follow along with live photos as they're added.


Several brands have already taken advantage of the hashtags feature.

  • Singer-songwriter Jason Mraz wants Instagram users to translate his new song, “I Won’t Give Up,” into one image. The contest asked fans to tag their photograph with #IWONTGIVEUP. Read more about the contest and see the results.
  • General Electric asked Instagrammers to take photos inspired by three areas of GE innovation and tag them #GEinspiredme. The contest winner was flown to London to take photos of the GE aviation facility. Watch the contest video.
  • Brisk encouraged users to tag their photos #briskpic to enter their photos for a chance to appear on a limited edition can of Brisk Iced Tea (
  • Charity:Water uses #charitywater to collect photos of the important role water plays in people's lives.
  • NBC News (@nbcnews) uses the #TODAYconcerts hashtag to organize photos from their summer concert series; they choose a second hashtag for each show (ex: they used #KennyTODAY for the Kenny Chesney concert).