Hashtags have almost merged into our everyday speech these days. Instantly recognisable as part of #socialmedia, hashtags can drastically improve your personal or professional brand online. You just have to know how to use them.
That’s why we’ve put together the top six steps to using hashtags online to boost your traffic, grow your following and get yourself seen by more people.
- Develop your own hashtag.
Create your own hashtag and make sure you put it to every image you upload. You might have noticed that posts to our Instagram and Facebook pages always contain the hashtag #TACB. That’s because it’s unique to us and, should anyone search for it or click on it from one particular image, they will find every other post we have ever done as well. It’s a means of establishing your brand and making it easy for people find more of your content.
Your hashtag doesn’t have to be your business name either. One of the best examples of brand hashtags comes from Frank Body. The girls behind the driving force of the company opted to go for a cheeky vibe and, instead of repeating their own business name, they chose a catchy phrase. Now the hashtags #letsbefrank and #thefrankeffect are social forces not to be messed with close to 100 000 hashtags collectively!
When you have a catchy and useful hashtag associated to your brand, let’s call it your signature tag, you can create a social movement with others wanting to get involved too!
- Understand your target audience.
Hashtags are the ultimate way for each person to search and organically find content that is interesting to them. If you’re posting a picture of your new Nars lipstick, do you think people looking for #puppies are going to be interested? To get the optimum amount of attention and traction to your image, think about the kind of things people would be searching for to find your picture. Be relevant and you won’t look like spam.
- Consider your limit.
Instagram allow a maximum of 30 hashtags so think carefully about what you’re tagging. To be honest, you don’t always need 30 hashtags, so don’t try and fill it up that limit with meaningless, irrelevant tags. Doing so will just look a bit needy and start to appear as spam.
Hashtags don’t have to be visible to the audience. One of the best ways to keep a post looking clean and tidy, but still attaching the appropriate hashtags to get it out there and seen, is to put all of your tags in the first comment below your caption
It’s also an effective method to posting these without having to include them in your image caption. We all know how bulky and untidy it can look when you have 30 hashtags sitting below your picture, so try putting them in the comment below your caption instead! That way they don’t detract from your catchy phrase or inspirational sentence, but the tags will still be attached to your image and ensuring it gets out there to the right people!
- Keep up with the trends.
Use tools like hashtagify.me to find trending tags. It’s also super beneficial to pay attention to successful accounts similar to your own and see what they are hashtagging. Those are the best indicators of how to do hashtagging properly.
- The power of one hashtag.
Sometimes the use of one specific hashtag can make all the difference! There are some accounts that exist purely as a collection of regrammed images. A perfect example of this is the account @Ihavethisthingwithfloors. The feed consists are imagery focused upon shoes on an interesting floor. Sounds fairly plain, right? But people have used the hashtag #ihavethisthingwithfloors over 330 000 times! The account then regrams the best of the bunch. The benefit of this is that, should you be regrammed by these ‘hashtag project’ accounts, your image will be in the eyes of a much larger crowd. Those people can then be lead to your account and follow you. All this from including one simple hashtag!
So keep an eye out for trending and popular accounts such as this and remember them when you have an image that is relevant to their hashtag projects!
- Understand your platforms.
While hashtags exist across social media, they are not always used as frequently or in the same way. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are likely to be the main platforms you will include them, but take the time to understand the main way to use them for each.
Instagram users, as mentioned above, search hashtags primarily as a way of honing in on the content of interest to them. In this sense, hashtags help you get your image (and therefore your business) seen by the right audience in which to grow a following.
Facebook, on the other hand, is not a platform to go hashtag crazy! It’s best to keep it to one or two hashtags and keep them very specific. By using a signature business hashtag, it becomes a way collating all of your posts for people easily access your content once they have stumbled across you.
Twitter, where hashtags originated, has changed in the way they are used. They are now a way of joining a particular conversation (such as live feeds for tv shows, political discussion, current affairs).
The power of hashtags is absolutely huge when they are used appropriately and effectively.
Stick to the above tips and you’ll be well on your way to being a hashtag pro!