By: Liz Martin
No, hashtags are not just a silly and trendy thing that the kiddos are doing. They are actually a brilliant way to help your business shine on social media!
Let’s review a few of the reasons savvy business Instagrammers are using hashtags:
Ideally, it would be great to have some incredibly awesome product or location that makes everyone want to use your hashtags all of the time. This can take time to catch on and you’ll have to ask others to use your tag. For example, I have seen The Daily use #howidaily and I have asked anyone else that I meet who also sells products with tassels to use #everydayimtasselin. Now, when someone else posts with my branded hashtag, it could lead new customers back to me.
-Arranging your posts into categories for your customers/followers
I have begun cataloguing my products (#shopTCW) when I post a picture of something that’s available from my online shop, and when my shop (Cannonborough Collective) offers a new balloon we use #ccballoonshop. We don’t have a lookbook for our offerings, so that can be a good place to direct customers to see what is available. You want this to be a hashtag that no one else is using, so when someone looks at it it will help them be able to look at all of your products or perhaps a certain category of photography you offer.
-To be funny/cheeky/awesome
I definitely love a good punny or humerous hashtag! It’s probably pretty pointless to throw in #iamsohungryiamabouttoflip, #ohcaftanmycaftan, or #thestruggleisreal, but these types of tags may evoke a smile and remind your followers you are real, relatable person.
-To be SEEN
I think one of the most frequent ways new followers find me is through the hashtags I use. Ideally you want your photos show up in the “feed” of hashtags that people are searching. Yes, some people are THAT bored that they will sit and endlessly peruse hashtags. (#guilty!) I tend to do also peruse hashtags when I head to a new city to help find where I want to shop or eat, so others are probably doing the same thing when they head to Charleston (via #shopcharleston, #chseats, etc.). Take some time to search hashtags that have a good amount of other users to ensure people might actually be looking at it (more than 1,000), but not so many users that your photo will never be near the top of the feed that people are scrolling through. For example, #oysters isn’t the best hashtag for your oyster restaurant (1.6 million users), but #oysterlover or #oystergram might allow your exact type of potential customer to find you.
Methodical use of hashtags can get new eyes on you, but your Instagram feed needs to look great in order for this to equate to new followers/customers! If you know you could use a little more 1-on-1 help, I’d be happy to help you through my 1-on-1 Instagram consultation.