Dr DJ Johnston-Smith

Director, Scotland’s Churches Trust


The plethora of available social media platforms out there today can be a daunting thing to many, but like it or not, this means of mass and micro communication is here to stay.  Used well, with a little bit of practice and persistence, it can offer congregations, with limited time an no budget for publicity, an unparalleled opportunity to celebrate and share their love of the special buildings in their care and encourage new visitors to stop-by. One of the easiest ways to do this is by utilising existing national and international built heritage hashtags in your messaging. We’ve listed some of these below…

For those that don’t know, hashtags are those words with a “#” symbol in front of them that you often see appear on news, current affairs, entertainment and other television programmes. By including a hashtagged word or phrase in your social media post it can be more easily found by other social media users you are not perhaps connected to but who are also interested in the conversation you are having.

Hashtags are now a mainstay of online conversation about national and international events, from a #GeneralElection to #BritainsGotTalent, from #QuestionTime to #MatchOfTheDay. It can become a little more complicated as some users often also shorten or change the hashtags for speed and brevity, so the above examples might become #GE2024, #BGT, #BBCQT or #MotD. You can add multiple hashtags to cover such eventualities, but certain platforms have slightly different etiquettes about this, on Instagram, for example, you will find that more is definitely best!

It’s hard to go wrong by including a hashtag in one of your posts. The only thing really to remember is that there should be no break between the “#” symbol and the word or words, and no break between words either if you are using short phrase. Using upper and lower cases does not make any difference, the social media platform will not differentiate, but you may wish to capitalise words in a phrase to make them clearer. 

So how does all of this help with our celebrating our built heritage? Well, all over the world millions of folk are Tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking, TikTokking, etc about millions of topics, naturally this content includes buildings, architecture, history and heritage. Some of these hashtags can be used any day or time, others are day-of-the-week or day-of-the-year specific. So we’ve gathered below as many general examples as we could find and will add to these as we find more or as new online conversations begin. Click on any that might be appropriate to what you plan to share to see examples on Twitter of what other accounts have recently shared using that hashtag.

  • #MedievalMonday [All things medieval, your building, architectural fragments in your collection, pieces of window glass…]
  • #MosaicMonday [Do you have a lovely mosaics floor? Share a picture]
  • #MementoMoriMonday [Gravestones in your yard with memento mori symbols on them – skulls, crossbones, winged souls, spades, etc]
  • #MonumentsMonday [Could be an image of any monument in your church, inside or out]


  • #FontsOnFriday [Picture of your font from an interesting angle]
  • #FrescoFriday [Do you have a complete fresco or fragments of one in your church? Share details from it or the whole thing,
  • #FindsFriday [Something that was maybe found in your building or grounds during a renovation or archaeological dig]
Everyday & Other Random Hashtags
  •  #ExploreChurches [Encourage visitors old and new with an inviting image and word or two]
  • #LostChurches [Share a pic and account of a church that has been demolished or ruined]
  • #ChurchCrawling [Term used by many of those that enjoy visiting churches, useful to attract more visitors]
  • #RepurposedChurch [Churches that have found other uses than originally intended]
  • #AnimalsInChurches [Interesting snaps of any animals found anywhere in a church]
  • #ChurchCeilings [Show us those beams, ceilings and vaulted roofs]
  • #RandomScottishGravestones [Any grave memorial in your kirkyard that you care to share]
  • #AugustAngels [Any image of an angel, eg on a window, grave, painting, piece of furniture, in your church] 

If you are using Instagram, at the end of the post you may want to add a long list of hashtags that are relevant to your content so that other users interested in that topic can find your post. These would include the day specific hashtags above but could include any relevant tags from the following list:

#scotland #scottishhistory #scottishchurches #churches #churchesofinstagram #doors #doorsofinstagram #stainedglass #stainedglasswindows #churchoftheday #WoodWork #churchcrawling #explorechurches #stonework #stonemasonry #medievalchurch #medieval #medievalarchitecture #gothicchurch #gothicarchitecture #historicarchitecture #church #beautifulchurch #medievalart #stonecarving #gothic #sacredplace #romanesque #romanesquearchitecture #historicbuilding #architecturehistory #oldbuilding #historicarchitecture

The list is by no means exhaustive and entirely depends upon what you are posting about, delete those terms that do not apply to your content. You might also consider adding your town, county or region as a hashtag too, as other Instagram users might be searching geographically for engaging content.

When it comes to specific calendar days for tweets, saints’ days and other similar religious holidays and celebratory days are the most obvious to ensure days to try to remember to include the appropriate hashtag in your tweet, Instagram or Facebook post. But there are also many local, national and international heritage days, weeks and months to look out for too.

Adding the appropriate hashtag to your posts, with a nice engaging image, collage or film clip will hopefully ensure you reach much further and your content will be seen by far more folk than your immediate followers. Sometimes it takes a wee while to get going, but keep persevering. Post a pic of your steeple or front door from a different angle, or time of day or season. It will pay dividends in the end.

Now what day is it? Have a look at the list above, find an appropriate picture and get posting on your social media channel of choice!