It creeped up on us like a zombie dance from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, I am talking about one of the trendiest trends that stuck around like butter on bread – hashtags! Hashtags are the not-so-new method to describe a photo, article, or videos in the world of social networking.
Basically, hashtags are everyone’s simple go-to when they desire to find something in a certain category. Whether it is #cupcakes, #forests, or #summerdiyideas (diy stands for Do It Yourself), hashtags are the building block of social networking culture and targeted social media marketing. They are the methods most widely used to collect photos, articles, and videos and categorize them into certain genres. But, are they beneficial for you and your brand? Let’s find out!
The Importance of Hashtags In News, Events, and Business
As a form of promoting, finding, and categorizing almost anything in the world-wide-web, hashtags are a staple of social media culture and digital marketing in 2017. In fact, many companies use hashtags for proper targeted social media marketing.
Hashtags & News
Hashtags in the world of news have the ability to turn a simple misunderstanding to a world-wide news headlined event. This may be a drastic way of describing it. Hashtags allow users to connect with news events directly from other users who are experiencing it hands-on. With this said, news networks will use hashtags to categorize an event that then can be searched up anyone interested in knowing about that certain news story.
However, now more than ever people are reaching towards UGC (User Generated Content) due to their lack of trust in news outlets. Users will search up an event using hashtags and then if they see another social media user broadcasting it, they take it as a more credible source. Examples can be anything from certain negative and harming news that have been occurring in parts of UK to even political news stories that make groundbreaking news.
Hashtags & Events
Not just for worldwide news and event stories, you can also check hashtags for local events in your area. Searching for events is as easy as searching, #newyorkevents and seeing what other people are up to and where they are going.
Hashtaging at events is a trend as well, sort of like a social staple of the who’s-who and who’s doing what. Basically, if you find yourself at Coachella, hashtag that you are at Coachella so people know you are Coachella.
Hashtags & Business
This is where your business comes in. When it comes to targeted social media marketing, no one knows better than businesses that rely partly on hashtags to get the word out. A catchy hashtag can make or break a business.
On Instagram, businesses will create hashtags in the hopes that they are picked up by users, which in turn means a greater chance of their brand name spreading and gaining more weekly Instagram followers. A perfect example of this is Starbucks, who, when wanting to create a marketing campaign, will come up with catchy and unusual hashtags to get the word out of their latest inventions. Another great example example is the #shareacoke campaign created by Coca-Cola in efforts to appeal to all people wanting to share a coke with a specific person.
But, what can you learn from these businesses?
1. Using Hashtags for Instagram for Targeted Social Media Marketing
One of the many uses of hashtags on Instagram is targeted social media marketing where businesses will target Instagram followers to either gain followers, increase comments, likes, or even leads. This is where you use Instagram’s handy and dandy search function to see what other Instagram companies and brands are posting and what users are responding to.
With this in mind, you can create a customized hashtag marketing campaign dedicated to people in a specific niche, which is also in alignment with the brand or product you are desiring to market. For example, if your brand is all about supplying a need for mothers with newborns you can use the hashtags #newborn, #firsttimemother #mother and other relevant hashtags for targeting Instagram followers.
2. Using Hashtags on Instagram To Keep an Eye On The Competition
When building a brand, it is important to become aware of what other brands are out there supplying the same service, need or product. With this in mind, your Instagram account management must entail looking at the competition and the hashtags they use, as well as how users respond to their campaigns. By keeping an eye on how certain hashtags within your brand’s niche are doing, you can better gauge the game and how it will turn out. This is a vital step of any digital marketing strategy.
Hashtag trends change constantly, therefore, it is important to keep up with your hashtags – new and old as well– and how they are performing alongside other brands. If you are using the same hashtag as your competition but they are receiving a notable amount of likes more than you, it is time to go back to the drawing board and finesse your Instagram social media marketing hashtag campaign.
3. Using Hashtags on Instagram To Promote Special Deals and Events
When it comes to promotion, think of hashtags as the ‘word-of-mouth’ method. When users cling to an event, a promotion, campaign, or a product, they will hashtag it until no end, well, until it becomes successful enough to grow on its own. What areas of your brand can your market a promotion or an event?
If you are an independent cupcake creator and you are creating a recipe book, why not create a campaign where your weekly active Instagram followers and users can win a free book? Create a specific hashtag (#) and call on your followers to hashtag it on specific posts that are synonymous with your brand. This will build a growing community of people using your hashtag and in turn, visiting your brand, website, and Instagram feed.
4. Using Hashtags on Instagram For Visibility Purposes
This one goes without saying, hashtags are extremely important if you want to be seen by the Instagram community. If you have no followers and you begin using hashtags, it is guaranteed that you will begin attracting them. This is because, by using your hashtags to categorize your brand under a specific name or niche, people searching for that niche or specific hashtag will come across your brand, in turn getting you followers.
Visibility is key to creating a dynamic Instagram brand. Without a following, you have no brand, and without hashtags, you will not make it far enough to succeed in this social culture. If you are struggling to develop any form of visibility through organic reaches, you can always consider the most popular option, buying active Instagram followers. Given its cost-effective prices, buying active Instagram followers could be an alternative solution if you are struggling with hashtags while also helping with future targeted social media marketing.