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Hashtag Strategy on Instagram - Needless Work or the Key to Success?

What if I told you that there is an easy-to-use tool on social networks that can help you increase tracker engagement and brand recognition while exploring what your competitors are doing? Don't you believe it? This tool is… hashtags!

Today, there is almost no post on social networking sites that is not marked by a "leytro" and the words that follow it. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you did not know which hashtag would be best to use or how to choose the right hashtags that will catch the attention of potential customers? Read on and discover the secret to how to have a successful hashtag strategy.

Why are Hashtags so Popular?

Hashtags are words or phrases next to the # character that act on social networks much like keywords on Google. This means that when people search for a particular word, they are shown posts that include a hashtag with that word. At the same time, they make it easier to trace and get noticed, and companies also use them when they want to deliver their message, create a movement or campaign. 

The hashtag can no doubt be called a social phenomenon that celebrated its 10th-anniversary last year. After all this time, they are still very popular, and their popularity has spread from Twitter, where the hashtag phenomenon began, to all other digital platforms. Nowadays, hashtags are an integral part of digital marketing on social networks, most notably Instagram uses. Can a small leotard (#) really have such a big impact on the performance of your posts? 

Let's see why businesses should use them.

1.   Increase Brand Awareness.

If you are new to the business world and on Instagram, these hashtags can greatly help you gain visibility and reach a wider audience. When users type in a word or phrase on their Instagram search engine, they will find posts where the word (phrase) is used in the hashtag. 
That way, your posts with the hashtag of the same name will appear among the many posts. The same is true for those who are already specialists in Instagram - hashtag they will increase the range (angle. REACH) posts and possibly bring new followers and potential customers. Namely, your posts will be found by the right people who search for the content you are offering yourself.

2.   They Make a Mark.

Companies are also often inventbrandedhashtagwhich has the potential to be adopted and people began to associate with the brand. 

How does this work? We can think of a hashtag as a “mouth-to-mouth” method, as the use of the marked hashtag in your post can spread further between your followers and then their followers… A network is formed.

When you host a promotional event, the hashtag not only connects you with potential buyers but also buyers with one another. You can use it before, during, and after the event. 
Collaboration with influencers or raffle will have the same effect, where you can set up a photo post with your business product and a hashtag as your terms of engagement. The options are huge, how you use your hashtags is up to you. Be creative.

3.   Activate Trackers 

You can encourage followers to use your hashtag, as mentioned before, through sweepstakes. However, that's not all. Hashtags are often used in various local or global movements. They can be socially, politically or charitably colored. 

Hashtags help people keep up with major (groundbreaking) events, global movements, and campaigns. This makes it easier for them to keep up with the issues and to get involved in the discussion. Surely you've ever noticed the hashtags #JeSuisCharlie, #MeToo, #TakeAKnee, #IAmAllWoman and many more.

This way of using hashtags is relevant, for example, to brands that place social responsibility at the core of their business and build awareness and engage consumers around it.

Hashtag Strategy in 4 Steps

Now we definitely agree that hashtags are quite useful and worth using, so it's good to make the most of them. You will need a good hashtag strategy in doing this. I will explain it to you below.

1.    Do the Research.

Usually, you do not venture into unfamiliar terrain without first researching and examining the challenges ahead. Also, the hashtag strategy starts with this step - good research will lead you to success, so take the time to do it.

The survey can be conducted at 3 levels:

  • Market research. Check out the phrases your audience and experts use in your posts. This will give you an insight into the trends and most common terms used, and get an idea for your hashtags. Click on the hashtag you find interesting and see if it is active and relevant enough to use. Tip: Also check out the hashtags used by opinion leaders in your industry - influencers and leading brands.
  • Keep up with the competition. In any business, it's important to find out who your competition is, what it offers and how it advertises. This helps you find out what your business is doing better and what more it can offer its customers. Instagram is very useful in this because you can explore your competitors and the hashtags they use in their posts. This gives you an insight into the response of the audience, which hashtags work well, which ones don't, and you pass that on to your posts. It should be noted that hashtags and their popularity can change from day today. Keeping track of trends will allow your hashtags to keep up with the times. 
  • Use hashtag research tools that give you a comprehensive insight into a single hashtag. This way you can find out which phrase works well and which one doesn't and consequently get new trackers. Here are some suggestions of apps and websites to help you become a true hashtag master:
  • Later
  • InstaTag
  • Hootsuite Analytics
  • Iconosquare

2.    Select the main Brand Hashtag and use it consistently.

The branded hashtag we've come to know above will help you with brand recognition, which is one of the most important features of the overall hashtag strategy. It can be simply a brand name or a slogan. A bookmarked hashtag is a way for users to find the content you created for them and make it easier for people to find information about your brand. Keep the bookmarked hashtag simple and straightforward so people can quickly type it into the search box.

You can encourage your trackers to use the branded hashtag when purchasing a product and tag and share your business with their trackers. Also use the hash tagged brand at promotional events, which we wrote above. You can also ask the hashtag for influencers who have tested your product. In all the ways described above, your hashtag will expand into a large network of users who will automatically start associating your hashtag with the brand over time, which in turn may encourage the purchase of your product or service.

Hashtag is, therefore, an integral part of digital marketing on social networks, not only to take care of brand recognition, can even be the main attraction of the entire campaign. So, while planning your Instagram engagement strategy, in addition to the hashtags you have in mind, you have a campaign hashtag that you can use all the time.

In 2011, Coca Cola launched a campaign backed by the hashtag #ShareACoke. Classic packaging has been replaced with an individual name tag, which, according to the company, creates a more personal relationship with consumers and inspires shared moments of happiness. At the time, the Internet was pretty much "shapeless", non-personalized, and personalized bottles helped the company succeed in a successful campaign built on a personal approach that was repeated several times after 2011. The hashtag #ShareACoke has quickly become popular, and people still use it today.

3.   Make the Perfect Blend.

Hashtags work in a similar way to keywords. It doesn't matter if you rank first with your keyword if no one is looking for it. It's the same with hashtags. Use the ones people are looking for, so this step will take you some extra time to think carefully. In doing so, let me remind you that it is good to avoid "mass" hashtags, such as #love since you will have a hard time competing with such a massive set of posts.

Now that you've done the research and determined the hashtag of the brand, combine that into a complete set of the hashtag. Use as much variety as possible to increase your target audience by opting to buy Instagram followers UK as much as possible. For me, I have some ideas for how to reach a variety of hashtags:

  • Get involved in current events and holidays.
  • Use words could potentially get the audience's attention.
  • Use local hashtags that are tied to a place that is related to your post (example: #Post Cave, #PostCity, #ChildishFish…)
  • Of course, you can add any other general "catchy" word, but it should be relevant to your post (#flight, #sonce, #love, #positive thoughts).

Some companies advocate the perfect mix to fill all 30 hashtag sites: 10 local words, 10 generally “catchy” ones (#love, #sun, #instagood, #vegan…), and 10 that could attract the interest of a potential audience.

Tip: You can write down all the hashtags in a separate document and then edit, add and modify them as needed.

4.   The number of Hashtags.

Now that I've revealed to you a good hashtag strategy that will most likely lead you to choose the "right" hashtags, another important question remains - How many hashtags are best to use? It turns out that there is no definite answer to this question, some suggest 2, others 5-6, but if you can think of enough relevant hashtags, you can even fill all 30 spaces reserved for the # character.

So there is no such thing as an absolutely correct number about the appropriate number of hashtags. It is best to keep a close eye on this factor in Task 1 (market research) to see how much opinion leaders tend to use. So you have to figure out how many hashtags will work best for your posts. Good luck!

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