Do you remember when you used your first hashtag? For me, as a Gen Zer (or “Zoomer” as I much prefer it), hashtags were always part of my life on social media. In fact, I don’t remember a time where hashtags weren’t a thing. (Don’t lose all faith in me, though – I still know the term “pound sign”, despite probably being the last of the younger generation to know this.)
Anyway, if you aren’t on the hashtag train yet, you’re essentially missing out on free social media reach. So join me as I talk about why you need some hashtags in your life.
What is a hashtag?
Let’s start with some fun history. The hashtag was actually first used by Twitter user Chris Messina. Back in 2007, Chris offered the idea of using the pound sign as a way to group people/places/things together.
Little did Chris know this simple tweet shook how we search phrases on social media forever. Now, Merriam-Webster defines hashtag as “a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text (such as a tweet)”. Pretty cool how one tweet changed the entirety of the social media landscape, right?
While hashtags can be used on Facebook, I believe they are more useful for your Instagram (and even Twitter) strategies. Let’s talk about why.
Why should I use hashtags?
Well, first and foremost, hashtags are an easy way to show your post to more people. Jewelry industry people, ESPECIALLY bridal/engagement businesses: I’m talking to you. Brides look to social media for inspiration about their weddings, which include their dream ring. With the modern bride emerging, I’ve found that #alternativebride is an effective hashtag to add to modern bridal designs, rings set with salt and pepper diamonds, etc. And that’s just one example. Don’t you want your posts to reach more people?
You can also use hashtags to conduct content research. For example, if you search “stackable rings” in the Instagram search, you can find top performing posts with that hashtag all in one place. This can inspire you to post things that are more similar to what you see under that tag, as those posts are likely performing very well.
Another good use of hashtags is for branding purposes. Urge your customers to use a branded hashtag for your business. For instance, Stuller’s branded hashtag is #HowIStuller, 302 Fine Jewelry’s hashtag is #302onYou, and ever&ever’s hashtag is #EverAndEverBride. Branded hashtags generate a buzz in your local community. Think about it: if one of your customers posts a BEAUTIFUL pair of earrings made by you and hashtags it, their friends may be more likely to see your other work from that hashtag, or even follow you!
Which hashtags should I use?
Typically, hashtags should be relevant to the content you’re posting. However, some hashtags are more popular than others. Instagram only allows up to 30 hashtags on one post, but I’m going to give you some resources that give you popular hashtags when your search one topic.
This site is extremely easy to use. All you have to do is enter a phrase (ex. “earrings”) and they give you 30 relevant, popular hashtags you can use on a photo of your earrings.
Later is a scheduling platform (that I recommend you all get on) that has free and cheap monthly subscriptions. With Later, you can use their “suggested hashtag” feature which acts pretty similarly to all-hashtag.com, except you can use this function WHILE scheduling your posts! Disclaimer: the hashtags are a bit different due to the differing algorithms both sites are using.
I cannot recommend Later enough, and their hashtag tool is just a bonus!
And there you have it! Are you ready to start using hashtags? Let me know in the comments below.
Interested in more tips on how to shine on social media? Check out these posts that will help you on your journey to becoming a social media guru in no time.
2020 Social Media Strategy in Three Easy Steps
Utilize Scheduling to Amp Up Your Social Media Strategy