As someone that manages more than one Instagram account as part of my job, I’ve always known that for social media management, hashtags are useful, and that I should be using them – but I didn’t really know how or why. On top of that, posting on Instagram is just a facet of the work I do, and I don’t have any time to manually create strategies each time I make up a new post.
It wasn’t until after the Flick team explained to me, did I understand how useful hashtags are in terms of gaining traction and reaching my target audience, but also how to effectively pick the right ones. I broadly work in the fashion industry, and so was blindly making up random fashion-related hashtags – without even knowing that #fashion was being posted into over 350,000 times, daily by people competing for the same audience. It frustrated me because I didn’t realize that I should be optimizing my hashtags, so I was just continuously trying to a) think of new hashtags and b) not seeing results.
If this sounds like a familiar story then this guide might be interesting for you. Or, if you’re not sure about hashtags at all, this should be able to bring you up to speed. This is aimed towards social media managers and coordinators who are in the same position I was in – you know hashtags are important, but you don’t really know how to use them effectively.
What hashtag types are most applicable to you?
There’s a lot of different types of hashtags out there. And, it’s helpful to be aware of the ones that will work for you if you are managing a social media account.
One of the most important hashtag types if you are representing a brand, is, you guessed it – branded hashtags. The beautiful thing about branded hashtags is that they have more than one use-purpose. First and foremost, they help you store content related to either a specific campaign or just your brand in general. Beauty brand Glossier use their branded hashtags really well, and managed to go viral with #topshelfie, which encouraged their customers to share snaps of their bathroom top shelves. They are also a way to encourage your audience to share posts about your brand, engage with you, and create content that you might want to highlight or repurpose later on. If you’re having a slow day and don’t know what to post, you can head to your branded hashtags to pick a piece that will spotlight a customer of yours – it’s like an image bank for your brand.
Product-specific hashtags are also really great if you are selling a product, or representing a brand. You might think about your main product offering and consider the hashtags related to that, so that if someone is searching for that type of product – your images will appear. For example, if you are a provider of a tech solutions software, you might look at hashtags relevant to this, and more specifically your type of product.
Location-based hashtags are also really useful if you are trying to reach a target audience in a specific area, or just want to communicate with people where you are based. This is useful if your brand frequently hosts live events in specific areas, and wants to attract an audience that will engage and attend. If you are a beauty brand based in Dubai you might pick hashtags like ‘#makeupartistDubai’, ‘#Dubaibeautybrand’ or ‘Dubaibeautyjunkie.’
Finally, audience-specific hashtags are also important when it comes to social media management and hashtag types. These are based on what your target audience would be searching, so you’ve got to do a little research and prediction here. However, a lot of the time it’s common sense. If you are a beauty account, you probably want to reach people searching for things relating to that topic like #makeuptips or #beautyhacks. Try and put yourself in the mind of your target audience or customer persona.
If you take a look at Flick’s Complete Hashtag Guide, you can see more hashtag types that are useful when it comes to the categories you should be using in your posts. These are just a few, and depending on the brand you represent, some will be more applicable than others.