Why you need to use these perfect hashtags for your local Ottawa business

Ottawa Fashion blogger Using hashtags on instagram

I notice a pattern that occurs every time I meet a new business owner in Ottawa, or when I visit their store. It’s sad to say: but their Instagram accounts are usually weak, underdeveloped and more of an embarrassment than something they can be proud of. It’s lacking followers, lacking professional or high-quality images, there is usually not enough content, there is no sign of engagement and worse, they are not using a single strategic hashtag to save their life. The reality is that very few businesses in Ottawa do Instagram well, which is why Ottawa Influencers have carved themselves a nice digital home in this city.

Lately, I have been compelled to help all these entrepreneurs by sprinkling a few pieces of good advice every chance I get. Now, most of you know that I teach an Instagram course, so giving free advice is technically counter-intuitive. I have to admit that I am getting overwhelmed, and worse, I am tired of being asked to share my strategies for free. So, being the entrepreneur that I am, I figured that I might as well benefit from the extra traffic on my site and make this wealth of knowledge accessible to everyone.

But before you get the wealth of hashtag knowledge, please promise that you will not abuse them! Only use them when they are relevant to your content, so your target audience can easily find you. There is no need to have 10 thousand followers if none of them can be your customer.

Disclaimer- I am very passionate about all of this, and you may find my advice a bit harsh… but I wouldn’t share it with you if I didn’t love you! #ToughLove


My top Instagram tips for Ottawa businesses

  1. Use great pictures. Invest in high-quality images, or invest in a photography course. Just promise me you’ll up your photo game.
  2. Engage. As in, respond to every message. Thank folks for commenting, answer their questions and show a sign of DAMN LIFE! (Can you tell this bugs me?)
  3. Tag strategically. STOP TAGGING ME IN A RANDOM PHOTO TO GET MY ATTENTION! Why don’t you just email me if you want to pay me to promote your business? Yes, PAY ME! It’s my job! Tagging is meant to include relevant accounts in your posts, like partners and sponsors or to give credit to another account.
  4. Use hashtags strategically. BTW- this (#) is a hashtag. It’s a keyword that helps to define and describe an image because photos cannot be searched without words. Look up hashtags that are relevant to your business and get inspired by what the pros are doing and how they do it. Don’t use overly common words (like love or life) and opt for more descriptive and specific words.
  5. Use user generated content. Crowdsourcing is the best way to generate good content (pictures) by recycling it. Bonus- it gives love to your followers. Make sure to tag them and give credit.
  6. Be consistent. Find a pace that you can commit to and stick to it. It’s the best way to populate your account. Create a rhythm and a pattern that works for your business and mix up the type of content you post. Use a 1:4 ratio of posts that are behind-the-scenes, promotional, educational, and inspirational.
  7. Stop focusing on the number of followers. Just be good to the ones you have and by virtue of your great service, your awesome business, and your achievement of tips 1 through 6, you will naturally acquire more relevant followers.

Ottawa Fashion blogger Using hashtags on instagram

Use the following hashtags for your local Ottawa business

#Ottawa #YOW #613 #MyOttawa #Ottawalife #ottcity #OttawaStrong #Ottawaliving #OttawaSenators

#RideauCanal #OttawaRiver #OttawaTourism #Parliamenthill #Elginstreet

#OttawaU #OttawaUniversity #CarletonU #Algonquincollege

#Ottawaevents #ottawanightlife #Ottawastyle #yowstyle #yowcitystyle #613Style #ottawafashion #Ottawahair #ottawabeauty #ottawagirls #narcityottawa #OttawaBarber #OttawaYoga #OttawaPhoto #igersOttawa #OttawaMusic #613hair #OttawaSalon #Ottawa2017 #OttawaCity #OttawaFun #OttawaPets #OttawaDogs #OttawaBlogger #OttawaMarathon #OttawaArt #OttawaArtist #Apt613 #apt613wknd

#OttawaFood #OttawaFoodie #Ottawafoodies #OttawaEats #613eats #613food #Ottawarestaurants #ottawacafe #ottawacoffee #Ottawabakery

The best thing to do is copy paste the hashtags that are MOST RELEVANT to your business (DO NOT USE THEM ALL!!!) and store them in your notepad on your phone. Because you can only use 30, categorize them by theme and define all angles of your image.

Here’s an example on how to hashtag a photo of a croissant and coffee from your coffee shop:

Ottawa- #OttawaFood #OttawaFoodie #Ottawafoodies #OttawaEats #613eats #613food #Ottawarestaurants #ottawacafe #ottawacoffee #Ottawabakery

Coffee- #Butfirstcoffee #Coffeetime #Coffeemug #CoffeeLover #CoffeeCup #CoffeeLove #Coffeegram #Coffeedate

Description of photo- #Croissant #Coffee #Latte #Breakfast #Yum

I can go on and on about the art of using strategic hashtags, but I think I assigned you enough homework for now! I hope this post was helpful and that you use the advice and tools that I gave you to grow your business. Now… #GetToWork!

Photo credit Debra Cowie Photography

Cafe Union Street Cafe

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