So what’s the deal with #hashtags, anyways? Let’s hash it out.
A hashtag is a keyword or phrase (placed behind a pound sign) that serves as a searching or grouping tool for social media users. It helps to define your post. Every time you use a hashtag, it is grouped with similar posts.
Hashtags may seem a little weird until you know how to use them right. They can be very useful for a handful of things. These little pound signs are as good as gold- especially on Instagram. Here are four reasons why you should be using hashtags.
1. To build awareness for your brand
If you are just starting out, brand awareness is everything. First and foremost everyone needs to know who you are and what you’re about. Hashtags can help you do that. You can create branded hashtags that simply consist of your company’s name or you could make it fun and fresh, but still related to your industry. If you are going for the latter, try to make it something unique, but one that would catch on with whoever you would like to do business with. If you come up with a catchy hashtag, people could get it stuck in their heads, almost like a slogan. (Cue the top-of-mind awareness!)
2. To make it easier to discover you
When you are creating hashtags, think about some common terms people would be searching for that are related to your company. Some categories of tags to think about:
- Location: People love to search for hashtags about where they live or vacation. Want to pop up on someone’s feed? Location hashtags are a great way to do that.
- Community: Be part of something bigger than yourself. Use hashtags that other businesses in your area identify with.
- Descriptive: Use hashtags that explain what your post is about. If someone searches for your descriptor, there you are.
- Event: You can create a hashtag that people associate with a specific event or promotion.
3. To add context to your posts
Going for a humorous post, but don’t want your audience to read too much into it or take it the wrong way? You can clarify your joke with a context hashtag. You can also clarify details about a product or service using hashtags.
4. To clarify your niche
Let’s say you are a photographer. There are a million different types of photography you could specialize in. You only photograph weddings. If you use #photographer, you might not be found in the millions (maybe even trillions) of posts with that hashtag. Plus, people looking at your social media sites may question what exactly you are an expert in photographing. You need to find the sweet spot between specific and too broad when creating hashtags. You might try using a more niche-based hashtag like #weddingphotographer or even describe your style of photography - #lightandairyweddingphotographer. You can even try combining location and niche - #panamacityweddingphotographer.
One other thing to note about using hashtags is that social media algorithms encourage not using the same hashtags over and over. Try creating a running list of hashtags and pull different ones for each post. The good thing is that you can change your hashtags for each post and try out different combinations.
Hashtags are your friend. They can help you tremendously in the social media world. So go forth and conquer the metaverse one hashtag at a time!