Learning how to use hashtags on your post can be an excellent tool for increasing your engagement. This can be really easy if you understand who you are as a brand and what kind of people are you trying to attract. But what are hashtags exactly and why are people so #obsessed with them?
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, a hashtag is: “a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text (such as a tweet).” Do you remember the early days of Twitter when people used #FF every Friday to recommend the best accounts they were following to other people in the world? It was convenient considering that Twitter had very few characters back in the day. Nowadays the concept remains the same, when you put a hashtag in your post, people who search for that specific topic will reach all the posts that have been tagged (including yours).
But how does that affect the engagement of my posts?
Posts with hashtags have a more significant engagement than posts without it. Let’s say a company invites you to the launching of their new perfume, and they expect you to post about it. You upload a picture with just a caption and no hashtags, that picture will reach only the people that follow you, and maybe you are lucky, and they share it to their family and friends. But what if you use the following hashtags #[name of the brand] #Perfume #Launching #BeautyBlogger #Lifestyle #BeautyProducts. Your chances of people discovering your post increase a lot!.
How do I know which hashtags will work best?
This is not as complicated as it sounds. The rule of thumb is, do not use terms that are too broad because your post can get lost in the sea of millions and millions of posts with a generic hashtag. For example, if you are a fashion blogger and you upload a picture with a dress that was given to you by a store, instead of using a loose and generic hashtag like “dress,” you may try describing the dress, like this: #CottonDress #ShirtDress #PartyDress. People will find your post a lot faster by using hashtags that are more likely to be searched. Think like a customer, if a customer was trying to find that same dress you are wearing, what information do you think he will be putting on the search box?
You may use Google Trends to see how much people have been searching for that term. You may also use a hashtag generator app, but I would try to look for the hashtags on my own first since those terms could be too generic.
Instagram gives you insights into each hashtag when you search for it. It shows how many posts are tagged with that same phrase.
If you are collaborating with a brand, you may suggest creating a hashtag specifically for an event, or the launching of a product and create a campaign around that hashtag. Think of it as the jingles in the commercials when you were a child. They always included catchphrases that became iconic with time.
Don’t go crazy with hashtags! #Please #do #not #do #this. Hashtags are meant to have a meaning and to be searched. Remember what I said about thinking if your target audience will use that hashtag when trying to find your product on Instagram.
If you have a business account on Instagram, you will have the insights of each post, including how many accounts were reached using your hashtags. Check and evaluate your hashtags regularly as their performance tends to vary with time.
Hashtags are fun and easy to use once you get the hang of it. I hope you find these tips helpful. Don’t forget to check our influencer and business packages here or you may want to schedule a discovery call with one of our consultants.