The Importance of Instagram Hashtags To Digital Marketing.
By Ayandola Ayanleke
If you are familiar with social media, you already know hashtags and probably already use them. But if you are a business owner or want to increase the visibility of your brand, it is time to start taking Instagram hashtags more seriously. Hashtags can become an effective digital marketing tool when used properly. On Instagram, especially, hashtags are very important and they can take your social media account where you want it to go.
So, what are the importance of Instagram hashtags in digital marketing?
It Increases Your Visibility
The reason for hashtags, in the first place, is to serve as an organisation of some sort based on interests on social media; that is to categorise similar posts. So, for instance, if I’m interested in dogs and I want to see pictures of dogs or follow other dog lovers like myself, I can find them under the hashtag #doglovers. What is the implication of this for businesses? It means if you have a business that focuses on dogs, for instance, a dog walker or you sell dog feeds, if you add the #doglovers to your posts, you stand a higher chance of being found by me and others like me. Posts with hashtags will reach more people than posts without because the former will be discovered by a new audience while the latter will be viewed by only your followers and as a business, you want to always seek a new audience.
It Helps You With Competition
According to Statista, there are over 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram, so imagine the number of accounts you have to compete with. I’m sure you know you are not the only one in your niche or line of business on Instagram and competing for the same audience. This is not to scare you but to show you why you need to include relevant hashtags to your post to give you a competitive edge by increasing your chances of being found. On the other hand, you can use hashtags to find your competition, do your research to see what they are doing, what mistakes they are making and what stands your business out from the others.
It Helps With Branding
Another importance of Instagram hashtags is that it helps with your branding. There are different types of hashtags. You use the community hashtag based on interest, niche, industry, location, events or based on the content of the post. There is also the branded hashtag that is personal to your brand and the campaign hashtag that you build for a particular campaign that you are currently running. Branded hashtags are unique so you need to make sure it reflects your brand. You can use your brand name, your motto and/or what reflects your brand identity.
Don’t hesitate to use more than one branded hashtag but it probably shouldn’t be more than three as well. As you use them consistently, your audience will associate your brand with that particular hashtag. You can also encourage your audience to use the hashtag through your caption or in your story; not only will it help increase your visibility, but it will also help you get UGC (User Generated Content). Again, you can use the campaign hashtags – alongside your branded hashtags – when you launch a new campaign or for an event so users who are following or sharing can easily find it and use the same hashtag.
It Helps With Localisation
While taking your business global is a lofty dream you should have, you can only take your business to the world when you have conquered the local market. The geographical tags are very beneficial in your local marketing; it will expose your business to interested persons in your locality. Also, when using geographical tags, it is important to narrow it down to your city or town and not just your country or state.
Remember that to leverage the importance of Instagram hashtags, you need to actually use relevant hashtags and not just any hashtag. Luckily, Instagram suggests hashtags and indicate the popular ones. But don’t feel compelled to only use hashtags that are directly related, you can use hashtags that are indirectly related but relevant to your brand as well. However, stay away from controversial trends and hashtags, they will do nothing but hurt your brand.