Social Media Marketing

Nigerian businesses are using Hashtags the wrong way on Instagram

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As a social media expert, I’ve noticed that most Nigerian businesses do not know how to use hashtags on Instagram. This wrong use of hashtags is not particular to Instagram alone but on all major social media sites where the use of hashtags is applicable.

You may ask: What’s an hashtag?


A hashtag is any keyword that begins with the hash sign or character “#“. The hash sign is placed in front of a word or unspaced phrase, either in the main text of a message or at the end. Hashtags have become an integral part of social media and can be used to track trends or follow particular topics. Examples of hashtags are  #Naija, #DigitalMarketingNigeria #LekkiRepublic #DelurgeConsulting, #ThingsToDoInLagos #NigerianBusiness #Abuja, #PortHarcourt, #SocialMediaMarketing etc.

Notice that the keywords begin with an #. They’re either branded or generic keywords. Hashtags are what makes your post show up for a particular topic when people are searching for those keywords on social media. If you understand online marketing, you will know that hashtags is the SEO of social media (you can tweet that and give credit to Delurge Consulting) :).

Back to our topic. Why do I say Nigerian businesses use hashtags the wrong way on social media? It’s because they use generic keywords/topics in their Instagram/Social media posts instead of location specific keywords/topics.

Let’s take a look at this Instagram post from EIA shoes below. They’re a shoe shop in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state Nigeria.

While it will look like she’s doing a good job I’ll only give her a 30% on the correct use of hashtags. She used generic hashtags like#fashionista #fashion #naturalhair #linda #street #stylish  and even #shoes the only relevant hashtag on her post is #Konga #Kongafashion and #Nigeria.

While generic hashtags may appear to attract a larger number of people, most people who will see her posts will be people from foreign countries who are not be interested in her products. Since her audience are mostly female fashion lovers in Nigeria, she could have used better hashtags/keywords like #NaijaFashion #UyoFashion #LagosFashion #BellaNaijaWeddings or even #LindaIkeji on her Instagram post.

Checkout our Instagram post below…

We are a Digital Marketing Agency in Nigeria and if you noticed we used very relevant hashtags/keywords for that Instagram post. The underlying aim of that post is to position Delurge Consulting as an expert Digital Marketing  Company in Nigeria. Our target audience is the Nigerian business owner so we used words like: #DigitalMarketingNigeria #SalesNigeria #MarketingNigeria #DelurgeConsulting #NigerianBusiness #Lagos #nigeria #Abuja #portharcourt #lasgidi #gidi #phcity #owerri #uyo #Aba #Lekki #AjahLagos #LindaIkeji #BellaNaija.

The main takeaway from this post is that you should use location specific hashtags on your Instagram post to attract your ideal audience. If you’re trying to grow a brand, make sure to always use a branded hashtags on all your social media posts. Remember it takes consistency to see results from your social media marketing efforts.

If you have any questions for me, you can ask in the comments area and I’ll be glad to respond. Don’t forget to subscribe with your email address so you can receive actionable tips to help you grow your business.

Like our Facebook page here. Follow us On  Twitter @DelurgeConsult and on Instagram @DelurgeConsulting.

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  1. Adeola

    October 14, 2017 at 7:09 am

    I had had my Eureka moment reading this. I have been wondering why I get only comments and feedback from my oyinbo brethren when am scrambling to hook up with naija clients.

    • delurge

      October 14, 2017 at 7:37 am

      Hi Adeola,
      I’m glad you got some great Instagram insight from this post. Keep checking back for more interesting updates.

  2. africalinked directive

    December 29, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    thanks for this information, now i understand the use of hashtag better.

    • delurge

      February 17, 2018 at 8:31 am

      Oh great! We are glad to have helped.

  3. uduak

    February 11, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    i operate an online grocery store. pls how do i get and use the relevant hastag?

    • delurge

      February 17, 2018 at 8:30 am

      Thanks for the comment Uduak. We’ll give solutions to all of that in our consulting session as agreed.

  4. Ayoola Falola

    March 4, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Nice one. Your points are valid. We need to learn how to push hashtags better.


  5. Ketiku Stacy.A

    April 1, 2018 at 12:39 am

    Nice one. I stumbled upon this post and I happen to be one of the guilty Nigerian wrong hash tag users. Now I know better. Quick question… What if you have about 600 followers on Instagram and you hardly ever get up to 90 likes on your post, what could you be doing wrongly?

    • delurge

      April 1, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      Hi Stacy,I’m glad you learnt a thing or two from the shared tips. On why you’re not getting upto 90 likes on your posts, there are several reasons for that. First is your previous wrong use of hashtag might have drawn a wrong audience to your profile and the content you put up does not resurrect with them.
      You will need to do a profile audit to know more about your followers. Also, Instagram algorithm restricts your content so that only about 3-5% of your followers actually see your posts. I’d suggest you stick to a content theme and use ONLY relevant hashtag to improve engagement. Cheers.

  6. Ajayi Temitope

    August 13, 2018 at 10:55 am

    I’m really happy I came across this post. I’ve been nurturing a feeling of unrest until I viewed this, I’ve been wondering why I get only few comments and likes from foreigners (majorly whites) when my interest is to hook up with naija clients. Now I see reason why it is so. Please help me out. Thanks.

    • delurge

      August 13, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      Thank you Temitope. We’ll see how we can help you better optimize Instagram to reach your ideal clients.

  7. Roopali

    September 5, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Thank you for this post. its really interesting and helpful for me to promote my business on instagram

  8. Busayomi

    November 10, 2018 at 3:24 am

    Thanks so much

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