How to make #hashtag work for your brand

Using hashtags the right way can get your stuff seen by like-minded folks who might be interested in the products your brand sells. As well as the boost to traffic, people who explore hashtags generally tend to be influencers too, so your content can spread fast if reposted. In this blog, we searched our brand builders using hashtags effectively and wrote up their tips. Read on to figure out how this tactic might work for you.

They are the web’s way of connecting content. People search by hashtags on many social networks, and algorithms use them to group search results. Making good use of hashtags gives you exposure to folks that are interested in, or follow similar content streams on social networks. It might be that someone follows a hashtag, or that a search algorithm returns results – or displays content in someone’s feed – because it thinks your content is relevant to that hashtag.

Actively using hashtags helps you reach more people, grow your audience and boost traffic – which leads to sales.

It’s not as simple as just adding an infinite number of hashtags to every post. As neural networks are increasingly being used in image recognition, the big silicon valley companies are able to detect (within a degree of probability) what is in your pictures. Few will ever know the ins and outs of exactly how the algorithm works, but it’s safe to say there are hundreds of people at a time designing ever more sophisticated ways to combat abuse. They might compare your hashtags to what they think is in the picture, or monitor how many people click on your stuff – then boost or delete your visibility in response.

Using hashtags to spread your content only really works if you publish genuinely interesting or useful content relevant to that hashtag.

Make sure you only use hashtags that are relevant to your content. For example, if your brand has a travel theme, publishing beautiful photos of places around the world on #adventuretime #travelife can help you pick up a tonne of followers. If your picture is in Thailand, #asiatravel is a great hashtag. If you post a pic next week of New Zealand, don’t be tempted to use #asiatravel, maybe #kiwilife instead. Genuine, quality and relevant content is how to win at this.

As an experiment, we launched an Instagram feed using great quality photos and just hashtags, following folks who were publishing on the hashtags too and picked up around 10’000 followers in a month. The audience is super specific and niche, like the hashtag. That audience can then be used to target with product posts or adverts from time to time.

To get started, think of some hashtags and search them. Look at other hashtags the most popular posts use and if they are relevant, add them to your repertoire so that you can use them too, if they are relevant to a future post. You might decide that some hashtags are core, but every time you post some content that’s a new opportunity to introduce yourself to people with a relevant interest in your product.

Next time you #post on #socialmedia, add twice as many #hashtags to get double #results!

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