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Instagram and Hashtags; Like bread and butter

Posted by Tracey Voyce on 10 January 2017
Instagram and Hashtags; Like bread and butter

Hashtags, formally known as the 'pound' symbol only started to take off when Twitter initially introduced the idea around 2007. Now, hashtags are an important aspect of any social media campaign strategy, and are an easy way to connect your business to your target market. This is especially true for Instagram, hashtags and Instagram go together like bread and butter.

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is a key word or phrase strung together without spacing and the hashtag symbol placed in front. For example: #bloomtoolswebsitedesign or simply #bloomtools

How does a hashtag work?

Businesses can use hashtags to tag keywords and phrases that are either relevant to their business or their target market. For example, if you owned a real estate business on the gold coast, you may want to hashtag #propertiesgoldcoast #goldcoasthomes on a post regarding new properties for sale. Once you've hashtagged these keywords or phrases they will appear in a designated feed, showing only posts with these hashtags. Hashtags are a way to categorise public content which enables you to engage with other social media users interested in this topic.

Why should you use hashtags?

When you use hashtags on Instagram, it is automatically shared as a public post that everyone can see. That combined, if someone searches for that particular hashtag you will appear. This gives you the opportunity to connect with your target market on topics that are relevant to them. Using hashtags on your posts will increase your likes per post, followers and can even be a great lead generation tool if you link them back to your website.

How do you use hashtags?

Hashtags will help your business reach a large audience, spreading the word of your product or service and also encourage social media users to interact with you online. Higher online engagement can also lead to purchases, and increased amount of return customers.

The key thing to remember about hashtags, is that you will need to do your research before selecting. For Instagram, we suggest looking up the hashtag you are interested in using through searching it first in the Explore function. This way, you will be able to gauge whether or not the content that is being shared using that hashtag is actually relevant to your target market. You should choose hashtags that are relatively short, easy to remember and most importantly specific to your business. If the hashtag is too vague, your post could be lost in the sea of other content. If you own a hairdressing business on the Gold Coast, it is not enough to just have #hairdresser you should try to be more specific so your particular target market can find you, for example #GoldCoastHairdresser.

It's also important to remember you shouldn't overdo it with your hashtags, in our previous post "Boost your Instagram game with these top tips" we noted that you should have at least 5 relevant hashtags to each post. I would suggest not having more than 15, and you can easily deter users if your post has too many words. Here's a great example from Qantas.

Instagram Hashtags; Quantas Example

In summary, hashtags are a vital aspect of your Instagram presence. They can grow your follower base, help you connect with your target market and encourage online engagement. They can even lead to sales and an increase in return customers.

Still struggling to get on board with Instagram and hashtags? Why not make it part of your online marketing plan, and speak with your local Bloomtools Internet Marketing Specialist today!

Author: Tracey Voyce
About: With more than 20 years business management experience, Tracey Voyce is the sales and franchising brains behind Bloomtools. Tracey has owned and managed many businesses and spent several years training and motivating coaches at the world’s largest business coaching franchise.
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Tags: Social Media