Instagram is a great platform for sharing your product or brand and drawing in new customers but getting new people to notice you can be a challenge. This is where a basic understanding of hashtags can be very advantageous. This simple digital tag serves an important role in getting people to give you their attention, and hopefully, their business. Hashtags are how people find you on Instagram. If they like what they see, they’ll be likely to follow you and if they need a product you sell, they’ll be all the more likely to buy it from you.
Hashtags are similar to keywords or keyphrases that are easy to search and track with just a few clicks. The more people use and click on a hashtag, the more it trends and the more people it reaches. By completing some basic research on what is trending, and assessing whether or not you can contribute in a relevant way, can help you get in front more eyes.
Hashtag marketing can be effective, but you must take care not to exploit it in a forced or unnatural manner. Using them excessively or attempting to make your company or brand seem relevant to a hashtag that’s not at all related to what you do can backfire fast.
Using too many hashtags with a post about a new product can muddy your messaging and appear amateurish. You don’t want to look as though you are unfamiliar with the very platform you’re using as a means to connect. Choosing the right hashtags and keeping them focused will make your company look professional, honest, and competent. Try to think of how you can contribute to a trend rather than bending it in your favor. Savvy Instagram users and potential customers will end up seeing right through your attempt and you’ll quickly fall out of their favor.
It doesn’t matter what you sell or what industry you serve; every brand wants to be popular and exciting, but it’s important to know your audience and your niche. For example, an industrial company like B & R Manifolds can appeal to customers by posting photos on their latest job or giving a quick video overview of the differences between custom hydraulic manifolds and custom pneumatic manifolds, and add one or two relevant hashtags.
It’s another manner for an industrial company to simply plug in a celebrity gossip hashtag or an unrelated meme simply to piggy-back on a trend that’s not at all relevant to their audience. The attempt might gather a few views, but the impact will be short-lived and won’t reflect positively on your reputation.
Another use of hashtags is as a way to interact with people. You can answer their questions that are related to your industry. For example, you can explain why your company uses a specific type of wood glue and get a discussion going on Instagram’s woodworking community.
A cosmetic chemical manufacturer may be able to discuss the benefits of their brand of acetone in connection with a new gel nail polish trend. The key is to play to your strengths and look for relevance in the latest trends. You may not be able to find connections every day, but opportunities will present themselves and can be very rewarding.
The whole purpose of hashtags is to get your brand out there but following up and interacting can be what people come back for. It also assures your audience that there is a human behind the Instagram account and not just a scheduling bot.
Hashtags can be great marketing and communication tools in general but using them proficiently is even better. Do some research, try some keywords, and take note of the results. The only way to learn what works is to get out there and see what happens.