Instagram has made it a whole lot easier for businesses to reach out to potential clients by offering the hashtag feature. This feature enables users to essentially place their picture under particular categories that will become visible to other users should they for search them. For example, someone looking for local floral arrangements can search ‘geelong florist’ and a collection of images that have been tagged with that keyword will appear. Plenty of users search keywords just for inspiration and with no intention of seeking services. Yet this is how they come across businesses.
How to use the hashtag?
Hashtags are important because they organise your post into a particular search result, which in turn makes it easier for people to find you. You don’t have to worry about signing up for a fancy degree to learn how to use the hashtag, all you need to remember is to put it directly in front of a keyword you’d like your post categorised under. Instagram doesn’t correct your spelling either, so to make the most of your hashtag usage, make sure you get that spelling right. Hashtag keywords also don’t need to have any punctuation or special characters. If you were to create a hashtag that held more than one word together (eg, Geelong florist), you simply place your words one after another without spaces (‘geelongflorist’). No need to be grammatically correct except for the spelling.
How can I use the hashtag effectively?
- Popular hashtags: Firstly, do some research to find the most popular hashtags for your industry. You can do this by searching relevant keywords into your Instagram searchbar. Click on ‘tags’ and a list of hashtag categories will be displayed with the number of posts in them. The more popular the better! Because that means it’s a word that people engage with or search for the most. Remember to keep your hashtags relevant to your service as you essentially want like-minded people to come across your posts.
- Keep them simple: Your hashtags should ideally be easy for users to search. Many users are scrolling through or in some way using their social media while they are on the go. It’s better to have basic, relevant terminology as all users from all backgrounds will be likely to use them.
- Avoid overuse of hashtags in your caption: All users have a different way of how they add their hashtags. You may choose to embed your hashtags in your caption, or instead list them below the caption. If you are embedding them in your caption, avoid using too many. This takes away to ease of reading, therefore, users will be less likely to engage with your post. If you are worried you have to many, a better option is to list them below the caption or add this list into the comments below.
- Regularly hashtag: For your posts to reach your target customer, they need hashtags. Some of your posts will do better than others even with the same hashtags. The purpose of them is to attract eyes and encourage word-of-mouth, both powerful ways to attract new customers. Posts that have hashtags included are proven to reach more eyes than those without, so why not make the most of it?