Do You Understand The Power Of A Hashtag?
With the constant evolution of social media, it can be hard to keep up with the latest tricks and tips that can help promote your presence online. One way to do this is through the use of the hashtag. It allows a user to expand their reach far beyond their followers, and is a way to generate more traffic through their page. For those who are new to marketing online, this blog will help outline and explain how the power of the hashtag can grow your audience base and allow you to reach an unlimited amount of people.
The first step to this is to understand just how the use of the hashtag works on some of the most popular apps, such as Instagram and Twitter. Think of it as adding a link to the word you attached the hashtag to. Then, when you click on that link, it brings you to a page within the platform that contains all other posts featuring the same hashtag.
An easy example for this would be the food hashtag on Instagram. The photo application has a massive number of food accounts and foodies who love to follow, like and comment on each other’s pictures. An easy way to gain access to these massive followers is to hashtag your enviable food pictures with #food. #Food is one of the biggest hashtag pools on Instagram, with over 239 million pictures tagged with that word. This hashtag now serves two purposes.
It allows anyone who looks up ‘food’ in the Instagram search bar to see your photo among all others who have hashtagged the same thing.
It allows you or your followers to click on the #food link and gain access to all other photos that have hashtagged #food as well.
This opens up your presence to way more interaction than you could manage on your own by engaging with followers one on one. It works the same for Twitter: your tweet will now be grouped with all other tweets that have the same hashtag. Twitter also has a unique feature, which is their ‘trending’ bar. If one particular hashtag is being used by a large number of people, it will become trending, increasing user engagement with that hashtag even more. This is because the hashtag will now be displayed on every twitter user’s main page. The hashtag allows you to reach a wide and varied audience, so to employ it, and employ it well, can result in an increase in followers and online engagement.
The important thing is to ensure you are properly using the hashtag in a way that does not interrupt the flow of your post, and the use of it will evidently alter with different applications. For example, there is pretty much no limit to the amount of hashtags you can put on an Instagram post. However, on Twitter, you are limited by character count, meaning each tag should be specific. With Facebook, hashtags have not integrated themselves onto that particular platform, and aren’t necessary or useful to engage with your audience.
Now that you understand how a hashtag works, here are some tips to best employ the hashtag on two top social media platforms, Instagram and Twitter.
Hashtag on Instagram
Use a lot of different and varied hashtags to engage a diverse audience. For example, if I am posting a food picture, I could use 10-15 hashtags related to what is in my picture and where the picture was taken. If I took the picture in a Victoria restaurant, my hashtags might look like this: #food #foodgram #yyj #yyjeats #restaurant #datenight… As a sample of the different hashtags you could employ.
To avoid extremely lengthy captions, a trick is to post your Instagram with your caption, and then comment beneath the photo with the group of hashtags. That way, when your audience is scrolling, only your caption is readily visible.
Hashtag on Twitter
With Twitter, character length limits your hashtag use, so keep it short and precise. One to two hashtags at most is all you need, ensuring that it is directly related to the topic you are discussing.
It is best to add the hashtag at the end of your tweet, instead of integrating it into your sentence. It keeps it looking clean and doesn’t interrupt the flow of your phrase.
With any new feature, it will take some time and adjustment to find how best to integrate the hashtag into your social media platforms. The hashtag will allow you to grow your audience and connect with individuals from around the world, so don’t be afraid to start employing it!
This weeks blog was written by our Marketing Assistant Chloe Gillot, a 4th year student at the University of Victoria majoring in English and French, with a minor in Business.