Hacking the Hashtag – Part I

Welcome to a summer social media mini-series – Hacking the Hashtag! Are you pumped?? #imsoexcited #wereheretopumpyouup #snl #doyouseewhereimgoingwiththis

Even though Facebook is still the big social media guy on campus (and they technically do use tags now), Instagram usership has soared since being founded in 2010, with monthly users topping 1 billion in 20191. Facebook pioneered what it means to market on social media, but Instagram has and continues to redefine what it looks like.

One of the differences between Facebook and Instagram is held within the search bar. When a user clicks into the Instagram search bar, they’re able to search top posts, accounts, tags, and places. Within that list is one of the greatest marketing tools Instagram has to offer: Tags (short for Hashtags).

Hashtags are words or phrases that serve as tiny search engines within Instagram. It’s like a micro-Google for every public Instagram post that includes at least one hashtag. It’s one of the most effective tools for expanding your reach on the platform and, I’m sorry to say, chances are you aren’t using them correctly for your business. #ouch #truthhurts

Take, for instance, a common obstacle many businesses run into on Instagram: a large number of their followers are peers or other industry professionals as opposed to potential clients and customers. If you find yourself in that boat, take a look at your hashtags. Are you using hashtags that your peers and other industry professionals are using, or are you using hashtags that potential clients and customers might be using?

Putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and following their lead is vital when trying to up your #hashtaggame. Think about what you would type into Google when searching for something as a consumer. Including a healthy dose of peer and client-friendly tags to each post is a great place to start.

Join me next time when we dig a little deeper with the Four Tenets of Hashtags!

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