Hashtags are a fundamental part of the evolution of social media; what was once considered another button on a telephone is now used to categorize content on social media and make your posts more searchable by users all over the world.
There’s a scientific formula to using hashtags and as noted by Jimmy Fallon, overuse of hashtags can be extremely annoying and irrelevant.
However, there are several guidelines for brands to follow when using hashtags on Instagram to engage with their fans and develop their online community.
- You can only add hashtags to your own photos – if you add hashtags to other user’s photos they won’t be searchable.
- 11 hashtags is the magic number to get the most engagement on your Instagram post.
7 Ways for Brands to Use Hashtags
1. Create a branded hashtag for contributors to your brand Instagram feed
This is great for brands that host takeovers or share contributor content.
2. Create a customized hashtag for your event
3. Create a hashtag to inspire your external community
4. Create a hashtag to inspire your internal community
5. Create a hashtag to promote new product
6. Find hashtags created by your fans or followers
Brands who connect to their fans and search key hashtags will be able to see the hashtags created by users who take part in the brand.
6. Host an Instagram contest for your brand
7. Host a scavenger hunt
Check out the example by @heineken with the secret hashtag #SHHH.
Contributor content was posted to a separate Instagram page: @crack_the_us_open.
Guests who took part in the scavenger hunt had to follow a series of questions and participate by posting photos with correlating hashtags.
Do you have any hashtag tricks up your sleeve? Share your favourite hashtag campaigns or brands who use hashtags effectively in the comment section!
Header image by Michael Coghlan via Flickr