It has been said that every Instagram feed needs a sprinkle of Scotland, with its landscape of majestic lochs, bens, glens and castles offering the perfect picturesque backdrop to any social media snaps.
Millions it seems have done just that, with new data revealing that “Scotland” has recently surpassed 20 million hashtags on photo and video sharing social networking service Instagram.
The milestone comes weeks after National Geographic, which has the biggest non-celebrity account on the social media app with 246 million followers, named the Scottish Highlands as one of the 25 most breathtaking places in the world to experience in 2023.
VisitScotland, the national tourism organisation for Scotland, enjoys that they said is a “significant” presence on Instagram.
Having launched the world’s first “Instagram travel agency” in 2017, which allowed visitors to design holidays to Scotland based around other people’s Instagram photos, the official VisitScotland Instagram account is now the most followed tourism organisation in Europe on the platform, with more than 1.5 million followers.
Added to that, their own VisitScotland hashtag that they created has now been used over 4.2million times on Instagram, which is more hashtags than any Scottish landmark has achieved to date.
In response to news that “Scotland” has surpassed 20 million hashtags on Instagram, Lesley McIvor, VisitScotland Senior Social Media and Influencer Manager, told The Herald: “Social media has become an extremely important tool for marketing Scotland as a tourism destination.
“Instagram is just one platform that VisitScotland has a significant presence on – with our account being the most followed tourism organisation in Europe at 1.5 million followers. The social media team often use the popular Scotland hashtag to our advantage, while our own VisitScotland hashtag is becoming more visible, having been used 4.2million times.”
“As with other channels, our Instagram account has the primary aim of creating destination awareness with engaging content for a global audience. Scotland’s stunning scenery is a huge draw for visitors and Instagram has proved to be an ideal way to showcase just how special our country is.
“Through engaging, visual content, we hope users can see Scotland as a great destination to visit and inspire that global audience to consider Scotland.”
Scotland’s total of hashtags to date on Instagram far surpasses that of the 9.5 million dedicated to Wales and the 3.2 million dedicated to Northern Ireland.
However, Ireland and England have both been tagged more times than Scotland, with 23.3 million hashtags and 34.8 million hashtags respectively on the social media platform.
— VisitScotland (@VisitScotland) November 13, 2022
In terms of locations within Scotland, “Edinburgh” is streets ahead of the rest with 10.4 million Instagram dedicated hashtags, while “Glasgow” has had 7.9 million dedicated hashtags to date.
In third place is “The Highlands” with 2.8 million hashtags, ahead of “Aberdeen” with 1.8 million hashtags, “Skye” with 1.4 million hashtags and “Dundee2 with 1.1 million hashtags.
Scotland's Instagram milestone also comes after the south of Scotland was named one of the best places in the world to visit by renowned travel guide Lonely Planet last week.
In it’s Best in Travel list for 2023, it named the south of Scotland as one of the best educational places to visit, alongside the likes of Manchester, New Mexico, Dresden, El Salvador and Marseille.