Another smart strategy is to come up with a hashtag that’s closer to catchphrase or slogan. For example, Redbubble uses their own #findyourthing hashtag to encourage followers to show some love to their artwork:
These tags are the bread and butter of brands looking to run any sort of user-generated content campaign. If you want to encourage people to take pictures on behalf of your brand, you’re going to need a campaign-specific tag to make it happen.
Community tags represent industry terms relevant to the types of content your posting.
For example, #fitness would be an example of a massive community hashtag, while something like #choosecopic represents a niche community tag as displayed by Officeworks:
With an understanding of just how diverse hashtags can be, the question remains: which hashtags are right for your brand?
How to Quickly Find Hashtags to Use
If you’re overwhelmed with choices of which hashtags to couple with your content, don’t freak out.
Marketers should consider two primary steps for finding the best hashtags to roll out with their campaigns,.
Step #1 - Look at Influencers, Followers and Competitors
Figuring out which tags to include doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel.
With a bit of good, old-fashioned digging, you can see at a glance what sorts of tags are on already the tongues of your audience.
Start by writing out a list of your top competitors and relevant influencers in your industry, making note of which tags they’re using on a regular basis. Then, take a peek at your own followers’ feeds and do the same.
With a couple dozen tags handy, you have a decent sample size to work with. You’ll likely find common threads between the tags your audience is posting, including lower volume tags and more common community terms.
Step #2 - Use the Tools of the Trade
Your second step for finding more hashtags is to let an algorithm do the legwork for you.
There are plenty of tools out there such as Keyhole and RiteTag which can clue you in on tags and terms to include in your posts.
As you can probably tell with most of the examples in this post, many brands follow a “less is more” mentality when it comes to hashtags. Granted your tags are relevant and don’t distract from your caption, simply use your best judgment and err on the side of two or three rather than twenty.
As a side note, brands need to handle hashtags with care.
Used excessively or in poor taste, hashtags can be marketing poison.
You’re not going to “hack” Instagram’s algorithm by spamming hashtags. In fact, there’s currently talk of Instagram shadowbanning accounts for doing exactly that. You’re not going to score points with followers with Instagram’s algorithm or your own followers by flooding your feed with hashtags, either.
Hashtags should be used to complement your posts rather than make fans or followers think that you’re a bot.
Also, don’t turn a hashtag into a potential PR snafu. While there’s nothing wrong with taking a stance on issues via social, brands should tread lightly with politically charged tags. Tacking #resist or #metoo onto your promotional post not only could be seen as being in poor taste, but also upset your audience.
And rightfully so.
As long as you use your best judgment, chances are you don’t have much to worry about.
How to Squeeze the Most Out of Your Hashtags
Last but not least, making the most of your Instagram hashtag strategy means letting the world know about your tags.
And if you want your followers to promote your hashtag, sometimes the best way to do so is to simply ask.
And don’t forget about marketing in the real world, too.
As part of converting customers into followers, you can take steps such as displaying your hashtag in your storefront, on business cards and as part of your product packaging.
While they might not seem like much on the surface, hashtags are incredibly powerful tools in the hands of savvy marketers. By sticking to this guide, you can fine-tune your own Instagram hashtag strategy that spreads the word.
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