Best Hashtags For Rental Properties
As a friend in digital marketing once said to me, “hashtags are like free lottery tickets.”
With every hashtag you use, there’s a chance your post could takeoff and go viral. And if your post goes viral — then similar to winning the lottery — you might find yourself in a very lucrative position.
But unlike lottery tickets, hashtags are free to use.
It’s imperative that you use hashtags on each and every post.
But the specific hashtags you use, as well as how many you use, is very important.
In fact, the use of hashtags on Instagram is one of the most common mistakes I see from vacation rental hosts, Instagram marketers, and regular social media users alike. You should not be using any generic hashtag — you need to have a strategy behind it.
Let’s explore how to find the best hashtags for vacation rentals.
What Are Hashtags Used For
If you have a smartphone, you probably know what a hashtag is. They are simply words or phrases with a hashtag (#) in front to relate types of content on specific topics.
For example, #travel is a common hashtag on Instagram. Folks can click on these hashtags and browse through Instagram to find similar content related to traveling.
As a host marketing your vacation rental, you can employ these hashtags to draw targeted viewers, followers — and ideally — guests to your Airbnb.
So, what’s the magic number on hashtags to use per post?
How Many Hashtags Can I Use?
Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post. This means you have 30 free lottery tickets to potentially go viral.
So how many should you use? The answer is easy.
There is no reason to turn down an opportunity to reach more viewers by using less than all 30 hashtags.
Why would you ever turn down a free lottery ticket?
The same logic here applies. Instagram has given you 30 lottery tickets to potentially go viral, so use all 30 hashtags.
Now, some folks may believe that using less hashtags is somehow “favorable” in Instagram’s eyes. They believe 30 hashtags can look spammy, or for whatever reason, Instagram’s algorithm does not like to see all hashtags used.
We have not found any data to support that claim.
And anecdotally, we’ve used 30 hashtags on every single post for the last 3 years without any issues.
Don’t miss out on a free chance to go viral. Use all 30 hashtags.
What Hashtags Give You The Most Likes?
Now we’re beginning to ask the important questions.
When I first started @best_airbnb, I created a program that analyzed over 1000 different hashtags related to vacation rentals and travel. I then sorted this list by the hashtags that were commented on the most, as well as hashtags that received the most likes.
With this data, I was able to select hashtags that would give me more likes and more comments than travel accounts using other hashtags.
I felt like a genius.
I thought I had instantly found the best hashtags for vacation rentals.
So naturally, you might think that I chose the top 30 hashtags with the most comments and the most likes.
And you’re right — I did do that to start.
But it was a failure.
My engagement did not take off. My likes remained the same. And it felt like my posts were not gaining any uptick in traffic.
However, I realized something very important:
The hashtags that get the most likes and comments might not be the best hashtags for you to use.
A Bad Hashtag Strategy
After spending hours to nail down a list of hashtags, I realized most of those hashtags were highly competitive hashtags.
A highly competitive hashtag is simply one that has hundreds of thousands (or millions) of other people using it.
As an example, I found that #Airbnb is a great hashtag on Instagram. And it may seem like it’s one of the best hashtags for vacation rentals.
Folks that use #Airbnb as a hashtag gain a lot of likes and comments, since people on Instagram tend to search that hashtag to find cool places to stay.
But that hashtag could be a mistake for you to use.
As of writing, the hashtag #Airbnb has over 5.5 million posts.
So in other words, you’re competing against millions of other people who post content to that hashtag quite frequently.
For me, with an account that has over 500,000 followers, and usually gets over 20,000 likes per post, I’m able to rank on that #Airbnb hashtag. And that’s great.
But if you’re just starting on Instagram, and your photos get less than 100 likes per post, you are going to have a very, very hard time getting traction on the hashtag #Airbnb.
You’re competing against accounts like me for viewers on that hashtag. And your photo might never appear.
To put it into perspective, the top posts ranking on #Airbnb usually have over 1,000 likes. Some have over 20,000 likes.
So if you use the hashtag #Airbnb, and you have a small number of followers, you’ve just wasted one of your 30 lottery tickets to gain traction on Instagram.
In the early stages of growing on Instagram, you need to avoid these highly competitive hashtags.
Instead, you should focus on low-competition hashtags.
A Good Hashtag Strategy
Like most things in life, a one-size-fits-all policy does not work well.
The best hashtags for vacation rentals on Instagram follows the same concept.
Hashtags To Use For Vacation Rentals With A Small Following
If you’re a vacation rental owner just getting started on Instagram (getting less than 100 likes per photo), then you need to find low-competition hashtags, and use those.
I’d recommend going for hashtags that have anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 posts to start. Some examples include:
- #airbnbhome (30,000 posts)
- #airbnbtravel (65,000 posts)
- #best_airbnb (27,500 posts — had to include this 😉
- #airbnbfun (35,000 posts)
As a small account, you stand a much higher chance of your content ranking as a top photo on one of these hashtags.
And as a top photo, you’ll get more viewers — and potentially — more likes and comments on that post. You will also rank on this hashtag much longer than if you target a high competitive hashtag.
Now, as you gain more followers, and you get more likes per photo, you can start targeting more competitive hashtags.
Hashtags To Use For Vacation Rentals With A Medium Following
If you have 500 to 2,000 likes per photo — or if you think you have an A+ photo ready to post that can garner even higher engagement — then you should expand to medium competitive hashtags.
For accounts of this size, I’d recommend looking for hashtags between 100,000 posts to 500,000 posts. Some ideas could include:
- #airbnblove (142,000 posts)
- #airbnblife (193,000 posts)
- #airbnbphoto (270,000 posts)
- #airbnbhomes (175,000 posts)
Here, you’ll be able to start ranking on some more popular hashtags. And with these hashtags, you’ll be able to drive a considerably larger amount of viewers and followers to your account.
Now if you’re lucky enough to have an account with even better engagement than 2,000 likes per photo, you can begin to target highly competitive hashtags.
Hashtags To Use For Vacation Rentals With A Large Following
If you consistently gross over 2,000 likes per photo on Instagram, then you’re doing well as a host marketing your home.
With this, you should focus on tapping into some more competitive hashtags. Aim for hashtags that have at least 500,000 posts, such as:
- #vacationrental (729,000 posts)
- #airbnbhost (561,000 posts)
- #travellust (769,000 posts)
- #travellerslife (508,000 posts)
The key thing to remember is that the number of likes and comments you get per photo will directly impact your ability to rank on hashtags.
The more likes and comments you get, the more competitive of hashtags you can use.
This is a basic overview of a hashtag strategy for Airbnb hosts and vacation rental owners on Instagram. But we could write a lot more (and will in the future) about hashtag strategies.
Ultimately, the best hashtags for vacation rentals depends on the size of your Instagram account.
In essence, you want to use all 30 hashtags that Instagram allows you to post. And specifically, you want to tailor these hashtags such that they match the size of your engagement.
If you get a lot of likes, target highly competitive hashtags.
If you’re just starting out, then target some smaller hashtags so that you rank on Instagram.
Lastly, all of your hashtags do not need to revolve around #airbnb or #vacationrentals. Those are just some examples we used. You can find hashtags with low competition in anything related to travel, vacations, or homes.
Examples might include:
- #vacationspots (70,000 posts — perfect for small accounts)
- #vacationready (167,000 posts — perfect for medium accounts)
- #travelbucketlist (636,000 posts — perfect for big accounts)
In the end, you don’t want to waste a lottery ticket on a highly competitive hashtag that you will not rank on.
I’ve read so many different social media gurus and blogs telling hosts to use hashtags like “#vacation” or “#travel”
You, most likely, will never rank on those hashtags as a small account — and you just burned a hashtag to get more likes, comments, and bookings to your rental.
Instead, use hashtags that match your engagement size.
Like all things in life, it pays to do research, formulate a strategy, and execute on it. Instagram hashtags are no different.
When done properly, you can unlock massive growth for your Instagram profile and Airbnb bookings.
But if done improperly, you’re turning down a free chance to win the jackpot.