5 Ways to Correctly Use #Hashtags on Instagram & Twitter | Express Writers

5 Ways to Correctly Use #Hashtags on Instagram & Twitter

by | Apr 27, 2015 | Social Media

Hashtags are an incredible part of social media. They are what connects people during incredible or tragic moments, bringing the entire world together on social media. They provide excellent opportunities for discussion and are excellent for businesses. However, you might be wondering just how to use them, and use them correctly, on Twitter and Instagram.
Let’s take a look at hashtags that will help you create an excellent Twitter or Instagram campaign.

Crash Course: How Does A Hashtag Work?

Hashtags are becoming vital to any social media campaign, but many people still might not know just what a hashtag is. Here is a quick rundown and reminder: a hashtag is a word or phrase used on social media that follows the pound or number sign (#). This helps to tie posts together with others and makes it easier for clients and readers to browse through the hashtag to find relevant information. This is a great way to index and categorize posts to make it easier for those with an interest in the specific keyword. For example, if you are selling artisanal coffee and want people who aren’t following to see your posts, you can use a hashtag such as #artisanalcoffee or a keyword that you use more often on your site. This will help connect you, and broaden your reach.

Why Should You Use Hashtags?

I briefly stated a benefit of hashtags in my example above. You need hashtags because they help direct people to your posts if they are not within your network. Let’s say you are a company that sells your product worldwide; you may have a few local customers, but how can you connect with someone in England, Australia, or America? Simple answer: hashtags. In addition to broadening your range and reaching out to more customers, you can also use hashtags as a way to engage with your clients, potential clients, and industry leaders. In fact, researchers find that tweets that utilize hashtags get two times the amount of engagement as a regular, non-hashtag tweet; interesting! The biggest thing about social media is being social, and you can do just that with hashtags directed at being social. I am going to take a more in depth look at this to show you just how you can correctly use your hashtags, especially when it comes to Twitter and Instagram.

Companies That Should Be Using Twitter or Instagram

Twitter is a great social channel for many businesses to use because it can connect you with a broader range of individuals. It can also provide you with the chance to host online chats, which I will discuss later. Twitter is a great social channel for small businesses and is also a great tool that B2Bs can use. Now, when it comes to Instagram, it is important to sit down and think about what your company does. If you don’t have much visually driven content and don’t focus on it too much, then Instagram is not for you. However, if you do have visually driven content or product, Instagram is perfect. If you are looking for some tips on how to use Instagram for your business, Social Media Examiner gives some excellent points to guide you in the right direction!

How To Correctly Hashtag Your Content on Instagram and Twitter

Now that I’ve taken you on a crash course reminder on hashtags, their importance, and if you should use Twitter and Instagram, I am going to help you learn how to use them. Remember, when it comes to social media and hashtags, you will need to tweak and grow to find the best ones for you. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can correctly, and awesomely use hashtags.

  1. Use Weekly AMAs or Hashtag Chats. Many businesses use something known as an AMA or an Ask Me Anything. Ask Me Anything is a really popular concept for many celebrities and users on Reddit, but it is slowly catching on for many businesses on other social channels. Most of the time, a business will adapt it into a chat instead of using AMA, but the concept is the same and helps develop communication and dialogue. A great example of a business chat is that of SEMRush’s #semrushchat that they hold to talk about various concepts. They discuss various questions with their readers and followers and then post the discussions on their blog. This is a great way to answer some of the common and current buzzing questions clients have while also creating excellent blog material.
  1. Create Unique Hashtags. This is a perfect way to get your posts to stand out while directing people to your accounts and site. You will need to use trendy hashtags that will get noticed, but throwing in a unique hashtag created by you will help put all of your posts in an easy to find spot. It can also help when people start discussing things with you, using that hashtag instead. This will direct more people to the discussion, and eventually direct people to your Twitter account, or website. In addition, a unique hashtag can also help you keep your business related photos in one spot on Instagram, giving people the chance to see all photos you’ve posted throughout your whole Instagram usage.
  1. Follow Specific Hashtags to See More Discussion. When you are using Twitter, it is a good idea to make sure you follow specific hashtags to see discussions and anything your clients might be talking about. This is especially necessary if you create your own hashtag to get people involved in discussions. It won’t work if you don’t keep tabs on it to talk with clients. The best way to follow specific hashtags is to utilize social media tools such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or others that allow you to create columns for certain keywords and phrases.
  1. Utilize Trending Hashtags for Easy Advertising. No matter if you are on Twitter or Instagram, using trending hashtags for advertising is a great method. Most of the time, popular hashtags are to promote something but are always asking for others to engage. For example, on April 12th, Game of Thrones was promoting the show’s 5th season starting up. The way last season ended showed one of the three dragons still flying around the countryside, causing trouble for the people and Dany. Game of Thrones’ official Twitter used this as a great way to advertise with #CatchDrogon, encouraging people to share gifs, images, or come up with clever tweets to catch the dragon. This was a great idea, and many fans participated. What made it even funnier was when businesses such as Arby’s joined in. This was a great way to advertise Arby’s by using a very popular hashtag. You can do something similar whether it is for a TV show, movie or just a random trending hashtag.

  1. Create a List of Hashtags to Use for Your Strategy. Before you start a hashtag campaign, you might find it helpful to sit down and brainstorm a few ideas. This will help you focus on the keywords you want to use for Twitter and Instagram while also helping you keep a list of all the hashtags you think can work for your business. Do some research into your top keywords and also take some time to look at Twitter and Instagram to see which hashtags are trending, not just in your industry, but overall. You never know when you’ll be met with an excellent opportunity to advertise your business in a clever way.

Top Trending Hashtags of 2015, So Far

Using trendy keywords is a great way to get your posts out there to a wider audience that might not look at your industry keywords. Let’s look at some of the trendiest hashtags so far!
#StarWars. This is the year of Star Wars. There will be a new movie, new game, and tons of new merchandise everywhere. During April 2015, the franchise held a convention called Star Wars Celebration. The convention worked with Twitter and anytime someone used a specific hashtag for Star Wars, new, little Emojis would pop up. It was pretty fun!
#Sports. Whether it be #baseball, #basketball, #football or the #StanelyCup, sports take over the trendy hashtags each year. These hashtags are great to get in on with your promotional material, especially if you make it sports related.
#Coachella. Coachella, the music festival of the hipsters, was in full swing in April, making it a trendy hashtag for everyone to use. It was used to highlight the festival, create advertisements using the hashtag, or even for a great discussion on issues such as cultural appropriation. The #Coachella tag and all of its subsequent ones had some intriguing aspects and discussions.

Everybody, Do the Hashtag Shuffle

Now that you know a bit more about hashtags for Twitter and Instagram, you should start doing the little dance known as the hashtag shuffle. Get to using them, and creating some excellent individual hashtags for your business. If you need help with social media or need keyword research to know the top ones to use for your website and social campaigns, then look no further. Express Writers is here to help with Twitter and other social media platforms, as well as providing excellent keyword research services. Which of these tips do you think will work the best for you and your business?
Photo credit: PrismaIllustration / iStock