The hashtag — that is now 15 years old! — has become a social media phenomenon. Now, it’s rare to see a social media post without one, especially on Twitter and Instagram.
When and how did the hashtag become such a trend?
Originally called the pound sign, online use of the hashtag didn’t appear until used on IRC (Internet Relay Chat) in the late 1990s, where it was used to create and categorize groups.
So, why are hashtags so important?
When used properly, they really are an integral part of digital marketing. You can follow and engage with specific hashtags to stay updated on a current topic/trend, you can create your own hashtag to promote a new product or service or even search a hashtag to find what you’re looking for almost immediately.
If you’re still unsure about the use of hashtags, here’s a few of the main reasons why hashtags are so important on Instagram!
As with any business, it’s important to figure out who your competition is, what they offer, and how they advertise, so you know what makes your business the better choice. You can use Instagram hashtags to research competitor accounts, their top posts, and their most-used hashtags.
2. (and 3.) Branding and Visibility
Branding and visibility are the most effective uses of hashtags on Instagram. You can utilize hashtags to expand your audience and increase your overall company awareness. When users search for you, they’ll see relevant hashtags or if searching for specific hashtags, they’ll find your posts in results. Which normally results in new followers and potential customers.
You can always create your own hashtag for a product, service, or event. You should always encourage your followers/customers to use that hashtag to help promote yourself, your product and your events. Creating your own hashtag gives you the chance to dominate your brand. Including that hashtag in your posts helps increase visibility and also helps users begin to associate your business with that hashtag.
When using a hashtag to promote your event, it not only connects you with your followers, but also them with each other. The traction a it can promote before, during, and after an event is unequivocal.
Another great tip for using hashtags to promote your business is to pair it with a giveaways. Like having contest where people upload their photos under a hashtag to win a prizes. This could be any number of things best Halloween costume in October to Valentine’s Dinners in February.
With the entire world in our pockets, searching about breaking news is literally in the palm of our hands. Because of this, many political movements create a hashtag for their cause. This works basically the same as event promotion. People use the hashtag to say they’re running a fundraiser event and users share their posts before, during, and after.