WHAT ARE HASHTAGS?
It would be easy to assume that everyone knows what a hashtag is by now, but just in case here’s the simplest explanation we could come up with. Hashtags are made when using the symbol # with a particular phrase or a topic, this turns that # into a link for all content about that topic. Hashtags or (#) first gained popularity on Twitter as an easy way of grouping together content.
Today they are used on most social networks as a hyperlink, for example, if you hashtag a post #fridayfeeling, typically clicking that post will take you to all content that users have posted about that Friday feeling. Even offline media such as TV or print use hashtags to connect their brand and create a community through all their marketing.
SHOULD WE BE USING HASHTAGS?
Hashtags can be an effective way to grow your following and engagement and depending on your business could be an important part of your digital marketing. If you are investing in your social strategy, then hashtag research is a must.
Users can follow and engage with specific hashtags to stay updated on a current trend, you can create your own hashtag to promote a new product or service or search a hashtag to review content and find what’s relevant to you.
A great Instagram hashtag strategy doesn’t just reach more people — it reaches the right people for your business.
HOW TO GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR HASHTAGS
Using hashtags is an easy way for your post to be discovered. Using hashtags that are relevant to your brand will give you a greater opportunity to reach more people.
It’s important to ensure that every hashtag you use is relevant to your content, audience, brand, industry or location. By doing this, you will reach every potential audience; increasing your online engagement.
CHECK YOUR COMPETITION:
Look at what similar brands are using as their hashtag – this will give you inspiration for your own successful hashtag. What are they doing to promote it?
Does your target audience use the hashtag when using their product or service? If a hashtag has a huge reach and is relevant there may be a opportunity for campaign.
CHECK YOUR HASHTAG FOLLOWING:
Once you have chosen a selection of relevant hashtags, it’s important to consider the volume of posts for each one. If the hashtag chosen is very popular, your post will become lost amongst several other posts. If a hashtag has no following, the engagement received will be minimal.
Once your main hashtags have been chosen, you can experiment with other hashtags depending on the post that have a high / low following to gauge their engagements.
KEEP THINGS EASY TO READ:
Hashtags give you the opportunity to grow your engagements and following, but they should be used professionally. Ensure that your hashtags do not clutter your post by adding a line break between your message and your hashtags.
KEEP THINGS LOCAL:
Using geographical tags in your posts allows marketing on a local scale. Use your city in your hashtag; enabling you to target your local community.
PROMOTE YOUR HASHTAG:
Hashtags not only connect you with your followers, but your followers with each other. Consider hosting a competition or promotional offer and pair this with your hashtag. Use this competition to encourage your audience to engage with you and your hashtag.
Hashtags can expand your audience and increase brand awareness. When users search specific hashtags, they’ll see your branded posts in the results. This usually results in gaining new followers and potential customers.
Consider creating your own hashtag for you brand, product, service, or event you’re promoting. You can encourage your customers to use the hashtag when they purchase your product or service, or when they’re at an event you’re hosting.
Continuously including that hashtag in your posts not only helps increase your visibility, but helps users associate your business with that hashtag, further establishing your brand.
ANALYSE YOUR HASHTAG PERFORMANCE
Analyse hashtag performance from your previous posts and see what works best for you. Once you analyse how individual posts are performing and compare the specific results from each, you’ll be able to see exactly how effective your posts are at attracting a new audience.
Hashtags are one of the most effective ways to build an organic, strong, and relevant online community.