Instagram Training
Series: #Hashtags!

by | Mar 19, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

First things first, what the heck are these hashtags the kids are all talking about?? If you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you might recognize this schizophrenic character as a “number sign,” a “pound sign,” or if you are in the UK, you might call it a “hash.” Since 2007 you can also add “hashtag” to its list of identities. Resist all you want, the hashtag is here to stay.

Hashtags are basically a link you create on the fly. It is a way to categorize content. One of the easiest ways to understand how hashtags work is to use the example of a party or a wedding. Everyone at the wedding reception puts the same wedding hashtag (#bobandjane4ever or something like that) on their photo and when someone clicks it, they will be able to see all the photos that were posted and hashtagged from that event. (Important Note: If your account is private, only your followers will be able to see your posts, no matter what hashtags you use.)

Did you know?
A hashtag can be made up of letters, numbers, AND emoji! (But no spaces or dashes.)

Instagram hashtags categorize content. Click on a hashtag and you’ll be able to browse posts that have been tagged with it. This helps Instagram users discover content they are interested in, and accounts to follow. The right hashtag (or combination of hashtags) will expose your brand to large and targeted audiences. By making yourself more discoverable on Instagram, you have a better chance of attracting new followers, getting more likes, and increasing engagement. Users can even follow hashtags just like they follow a friend’s account. This gives you a huge opportunity to show up in the feeds of prospective clients who are definitely interested in your product!

Throughout this article, I’ll use our buddies at Commoners Brewing Company as guinea pigs. Whether you are a brewery or not, these tips apply to just about any business trying to increase followers, likes, and engagement using hashtags. And if you are in the Charlotte area, I highly recommend you pop up to Concord, NC for a little “market research” at Commoners!

Branded Hashtags

A branded hashtag is one that is specific to YOU. This could be your company name (#commonersbrewing), your slogan (“#becomepartofthestory“), or a campaign/contest (“#commonerssunsets“).

When To # And When To @

via GIPHY

So, what’s the difference between using @commonersbrewing and #commonersbrewing?

Click and see! Using your “@” tag shows all of your posts. Note that this shows only what YOU have posted. On the other hand, clicking on your branded hashtag shows your posts AND any post hashtagged by your fans. The advantage of this “social proof” is huge. You can tell people how awesome you are all day long…but if their friends (or even strangers!) say great things about you, it carries a lot more weight.

Sweet Tea Tip
Encourage your clients, friends, and fans to use your HASHTAG instead of the @ tag when posting about your business. That way when their friends click on it, they will see all public posts with that hashtag, not just YOUR posts.

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