Author: Issa Asad
Hashtags are one of the biggest crazes on Twitter and on Instagram. If a celebrity uses a particular hashtag it is sure to blow up in an instant. Or as a business owner, you can use hashtags to indicate a sale or other new product release. If a customer uses the hashtag, you can give them a discount on a future purchase or other such incentive for using it.
Using the current trends and incorporating the trends to your account and photos you share is likely going to gain more attention. Not only are more visitors going to look at images which have a catchy headline and hashtags, they are also more likely to share these with friends and possibly others who do not follow your Instagram account.
In turn, this means new followers, it means more likes on the images you share and it potentially means an increase in sales figures for a particular product which has a catchy hashtag. All this comes by simply posting a photo on the social media site and properly utilizing the trends which are currently well known by the visitors and followers who follow you on the social media platform.
Use the Latest Trends to Market Your Brand
Hashtags allow Instagram users to connect and join in other stories on the social media platform. Certain hashtags have withstood the test of time, such as “throwback Thursday.”
As a business owner, it is a good idea to develop a hashtag which allows your followers to get in the mix and to share their own photos, as opposed to simply adding your own images to the site. For example, a hashtag asking customers to share a selfie with a new clothing line they purchased (which was just released) is a great way to develop on your story.
When a follower posts their own image with the hashtag (#), it is not only going to allow other visitors to your account to view the images, it will also allow you to connect with your customer.
When the customer knows there is a person behind the computer, it is more likely to make them feel closer to the business and to your brand. The closer they feel to your company, the more likely it is they will make future purchases, and the more likely it is they are going to share the product line or services that your company offers with their friends and family.
The hashtag is even a great way for other people on Instagram to learn about your business. If one of your followers is using one of your hashtags, if a friend of theirs (or someone who follows their account) sees the hashtag, they are likely going to follow your business account.
So, not only do the trends such as hashtags allow you to connect with your customers on a human level and allow you to engage by commenting on their photos, it also allows you to build on the number of followers you are going to gain because of a cool hashtag. The more attention you can garner, and the more free marketing you can gain from your followers (without exposing them), the more people are going to see your brand name, the more they are going to learn about your products and the easier it is going to be for you to grow your business online.
All of this is going to come as free publicity for you, and is a great way for you to engage with your followers through the photo sharing platform online, and for you to gain more attention for the new merchandise, or a sale that you want to share online.
Use What’s Relevant
If you can find a hashtag that is relevant to your business (such as #SelfieSunday), this is all the better for your business. Due to the fact that these hashtags are already developed, it will allow others who are on Instagram to see the hashtag being used by your follower.
This is then going to garner more attention to a particular product, to new merchandise you are selling or to other relevant information about your product. If it is a popular hashtag and if your followers are participating using images of your merchandise, this is free marketing for you as a business owner, and it is a great way to spread the word about your business and the product line that you offer for sale to your customer base.
Keep It in the Industry
There are a number of industry related hashtags which have also become popular on Instagram over the years. It is important to take advantage of these as well if you are in that particular industry. Attaching the hashtags to images you post on your account page makes it easier for people to find them.
Some ways to incorporate hashtags are:
– Events. If you are hosting a function or a formal event, using the industry related hashtag to showcase a new product, or something that your business does, is a great way for site coordinators to view the image and share it on their site.
– Customers. If a customer is using one of your products and you can use an industry related hashtag, do it. Not only will that particular customer share the image on their account, but will possibly share it on other social media platforms as well.
One of the main benefits of using the industry related hashtag is the fact that it is going to be re-posted by others who are tagged, and it is also going to be shared through other social media platforms. If attendees to the event use Twitter or Facebook, they are likely to post the Instagram image on these sites as well; the same goes for the customers who re-post the image.
So you are going to gain more visibility on Instagram as well as on the other social media, and social sharing platforms out there as well. From there, others are going to find themselves, will see an image a friend posted or will see a hashtag, and will also share these on their social media platforms.
Basically, the industry related hashtag is going to garner more attention for the product, or for a particular brand you are trying to gain more attention for and people are going to share it for you.
It is important to use these as often as possible, and to tag as many people as possible when you post them on your business account. Doing this allows more followers to see they were tagged, and this will potentially lead to friends being tagged and others who are on the social sharing platform to sharing the image as well. More people are going to see your product or your brand name because of this, plus this comes to you as a free form of marketing as you do not have to pay for the images that you are sharing, and you do not have to pay your followers for sharing the images that they are sharing for you.
Track Your Hashtags
To make sure the hashtags are having a positive effect on your business, it is important to track them.
One such place that you can do this is at: http://totems.co/
Not only can you boost your recognition online using this site, you can also track the relevance of your hashtags, how often they are being shared and how much you are getting out of using them.
Some information that the site will provide you with includes:
– Contributors and who is sharing the images which are posted using hashtags.
– The content and how it is being discussed online.
– Engagement, and how many people are sharing or re-posting the image with certain hashtags.
– Context, and how it relates to the images you are sharing.
Basically the site is going to give you a breakdown as to how the images are being received by those who follow you on Instagram. It will also provide you with the necessary feedback so that you can determine whether or not certain hashtags are working, which ones are working and which changes you have to make.
Tracking the relevance of different hashtags you are using will allow you to determine which ones work, which ones don’t and which ones you may want to try in the future. It will also allow you to make the necessary adjustments as needed, or to make changes to the types of images you are sharing as needed. All of this can be determined by using the appropriate sites and seeing what kind of an impact different images are having. Lastly, it will also show how often the hashtags are being shared, or re-posted by your followers on the social media platform.
Know Your Industry
Simply because a particular hashtag is industry related, does not mean it is going to help your business out.
As a business owner, you need to use analytics and you have to use the information that is presented to you to determine if these hashtags are helping or hurting your business. Simply because something is trendy (such as the #), does not mean it is right for your business.
By tracking this information, you are not only going to know when to use it, and when to leave it out, you are also going to know how to engage your followers to use the hashtag to ensure you are getting the most out of it.
More often than not, people are going to respond to the use of hashtags; it is simply a matter of finding out which ones work, what to use when to use them, and what to avoid posting. When you do this, not only are you going to see a major increase in the frequency at which your images are shared, but you are also going to realize a difference in the number of site visitors that are following you on Instagram as well.
So, learning the ins and outs of how hashtags work, using the appropriate ones and knowing how to use them, are some things to keep in mind in adding the hashtag to an image. Proper use will go a long way; but overuse, or improper use is going to hinder your growth, and may eventually lead to certain followers turning away from your business if they feel they are being exposed in any way.
Read Chapter 4: Stimulate Your Customers’ Emotions [/fusion_text]
Issa Asad is an entrepreneur and marketing strategist from Miami, Florida. Issa Asad has over 15 years of experience
in the marketing, technology and telecommunications industries. Mr. Asad has been the Co-Founder, Founder, Managing
Member, President, Vice President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of multiple technology, telecom and online-based companies.