Hashtags are phrases of letters, numbers or emojis combined without spaces after a “hashtag” (#) symbol. Traditionally, they are used to identify content with a topical “tag” in order to make it easier to find.
For example, hashtags are typically used on social media to:
- discover brands or particular subject matter (#cutepuppies) or brands (#prolexmedia);
- follow coverage of an event (#2021oscars) or campaign (#oreohorrorstories);
- join a wider conversation (#bellletstalk) or social movement (#metoo); and
- express context (#springbreak), emotion (#feelingood) or humour (#momtexts).
Brands and businesses can naturally benefit from the visibility and reach hashtags can offer their content. Here are five ways you can use hashtags to your advantage:
1. Use relevant hashtags to promote engagement with your brand.
By using hashtags relevant to your brand or industry, you can earn more visibility (impressions) for your content with people who are actively searching for a particular hashtag. Because these people are already interested in the topic, they are more likely to engage with and contribute favourably to your brand. Essentially, hashtags can lead your potential customers or fans to you.
2. Start an ongoing conversation around your brand.
Create a unique hashtag for your brand (always search first to see if it’s already in use!) and promote it to allow your fans to advocate for you. This not only encourages your fans to share your brand with a wider audience, but also allows you to quickly see what is being said about your brand online. You can then share content featuring your hashtag to earn fans’ loyalty by showing them you’re listening. Think of it as creating an ongoing online conversation around your brand.
3. Keep an eye on the competitive landscape.
You can search hashtags to collate posts for particular industry segments, which allows you to see what competitors and influencers are sharing or talking about. You can also see what potential customers are sharing or talking about to gauge interest in particular topics. Searching relevant hashtags is a quick and easy way to monitor competitors and conduct some market research.
4. Use a healthy variety of hashtags for a wider scope.
You can use up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram feed post, but it’s most important to use them wisely. The more variety you have on different levels, the wider your reach. You should always include your branded hashtag in your posts, but for maximum reach you should use a mix of popular hashtags (>250K), moderately popular hashtags (<250K), and niche hashtags (specific to your industry or offering). You can search hashtags to see how popular they are, and then use this formula to penetrate different levels of reach.
5. Check to see if your hashtags are working.
If you use an Instagram business profile, you can access post insights to see the number of impressions you received from hashtags. To do so, click on “View Insights” just below the post on the left side, swipe up to go through the post details, and then view your hashtag impressions. By doing this, you can see which hashtags are working the best for your content.
We hope you can leverage hashtags to your advantage with these tips. If you’d like to take your social media game to the next level, get in touch with Prolex media for helping building a solid social media strategy and creating professional, captivating content.
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