(used on social media sites such as Instagram) a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic.
“spammers often broadcast tweets with popular hashtags even if the tweet has nothing to do with them”
Hashtags were created by Twitter to organize content and allow for better searching on the site. Other sites quickly picked up the hashtag craze and now most sites feature hashtags to organize content and provide search parameters to find topics and interests.
Hashtags can be beneficial for business when used the right way.
Hashtags can provide an easy way for potential customers to find your business on Instagram, they allow you to track performance of your brand and they have the capability to increase your engagement by up to 50%.
While hashtags provide some great benefits on Instagram, there is a downside. Using hashtags incorrectly can harm your campaign.
A few rules to follow when using hashtags on Instagram include:
- Do not overuse hashtags in your posts.
- Hashtags must be relevant to the image you are posting.
- Use of irrelevant hashtags are viewed as spam.
- Hashtags should be easy for followers to remember.
- Hashtags should be easy to track.
- Do not use generic hashtags.
Business use of Instagram is vastly different than personal use. Personal users often post numerous hashtags and are not following any guidelines. They aren’t trying to sell a product, they are interacting with friends.
Businesses on any Social Media must remember that appearing too salesly or not offering value to their followers will harm their business on the site, potentially losing followers. People do not want to be sold to, they want to interact and engage and learn.
Don’t be so eager to generate new followers or push your products/services that you lose sight of what Social Media Marketing is all about. It is about providing a good Content Marketing Strategy so that your audience will engage with your business, provide word-of-mouth, and perhaps buy what you are selling.