We all know that social media marketing is OH-SO-important. Instagram has 700 million active users while its stories have hit 200 million users. Top brands across every industry have realised its marketing power and are quick to get on board. But I’m not gonna drone on about the wonders of influencer and social media marketing on Instagram. What I want to tell you today is that you’re wasting your time and money on it! That is if you don’t do it right. And one huge mistake that will lead to this downfall is NOT including hashtags. Here are some reasons why hashtags are a must and how you should go about doing it.
Builds Brand Awareness
Instagram gives you a platform to communicates with millions of people. But the problem is that there are millions of brands and people on that stage as well. By hashtagging, you distinguish your post and associate it with your brand. Used often and widely enough, these millions of users will immediately know which specific brand or business is talked about.
– Looking good, Selena
Most Instagram users don’t stop at posting photos and videos. They search keywords in search boxes that relate to their posts or interests. These keywords will appear in a drop-down list. To be part of this list, you must use hashtags on your posts. Once people get acquainted with your brand or campaign, they will start looking for specifics like hashtags.
Here, Coca-Cola uses ‘Share A Coke” as their hashtag. It’s unique to their brand and memorable enough for Instagrammers use. Like Coca-Cola, make sure your hashtag stands out. Research on what you think will stick best with your target audience and create a hashtag that is unique.
According to Buffer, accounts that use 11 hashtags with their photos get an average of 77.66 interactions per post. With hashtags, you can reach a wider audience and improve your engagement rate (=likes + comments). Audience engagement shows that people are really listening to what the influencer says about the product instead of just scrolling blindly past the post, thus getting ‘influenced’.
(Top posts containing #motivationmonday. Source: Popular Chips)
Building on to the search function of Instagram, hashtags are a great way to capture people with interests related to your brand. Here we see that hashtags like motivation Monday are already trending. Many brands leverage on it by using this hashtag in their campaigns to grab the attention of the many already following this trend. For example, flannels.com.
Keep tabs on your community
With hashtags, you can find out who’s already talking about you and figure out the what your community associates your hashtags with. This is important for research for future campaigns. For example, accessory brands may find through hashtags that the community likes to post pictures of their products with food or drinks. This should prompt you to craft your next campaign around food and beverages.
Engage social influencers
After learning more about your brand community and what they relate most to, find social influencers who already talk about your brand and research more about what they post and whether their feed’s theme and target audience are inline with your company’s. This can help you in crafting your next influencer marketing campaign.
(Influencers posting about #dwwatches. Source: Popular Chips)
Set a trend
Many brands and campaigns became overnight sensations through social media and influencer marketing. Using hashtags will allow your brand to become the new word to create buzz and help you set the trend.
So what are you waiting for? Get hashtagging in your next post. But remember not to go too crazy with the hashtags, it’ll just make your post look desperate. Stick to a handful that is relevant to your posts and unique to your brand. Happy hashtagging!