It’s a common problem for the average social media user: how and when to use hashtags. Hashtags are the best and quickest way to get your brand out there to new users. You can use hashtags to improve your engagement, audience, and even sales. Find out how you can make this nifty trend work for your business:
What Do Hashtags Do?
Maybe we love the novelty of using the pound sign, or perhaps we just love summarizing our thoughts in a cutesy phrase. Businesses would benefit from using hashtags like engaged couples: to spread their brand and let people know what’s going on. Hashtags work by grouping similar content together in one place so that users can quickly search and find interesting content. Studies show that posts that have a few hashtags get 12.6% more engagement than posts that don’t use hashtags at all. When you highlight your content under a hashtag, users are more likely to come across your posts and eventually trace them back to your account, resulting in more loyal followers!
Hashtags & Branding
Just like any other marketing, there is a strategy for finding a hashtag that works for your business. Don’t think that just because a hashtag is insanely popular it’s going to help boost your post. Instead, we recommend using hashtags that rank at the top of your industry and have a history of engaging the community.
We recommend focusing on hashtags that will carry your company brand or branding message. Try focusing on a specific product or campaign in your message. These hashtags have the added benefit of tying back directly to your company and account, so you can analyze your success and gauge your reach using the categories you’ve created for your company.
Captions vs. Comment
Adding hashtags to posts in the caption or in the comments is a heated debate topic in the Instagram world. Facebook is trying to prevent spam by improving their algorithm to reduce less-relevant post appearances in users’ newsfeeds. However, this also means that people are trying to go around the system by getting unconventional with where they add hashtags. A recent study took a look at the benefits of placing hashtags in the post caption versus the comments, the results are fascinating:
Most users prefer to use hashtags in the caption of their posts. This puts their message front and center with the content and means that companies that have a large engagement following don’t have to keep moving their hashtag comment to the top of the feed. Photos and videos with caption hashtags also have greater success. The study found that these posts get:
- Likes on Posts = 61 average
- Comments on Posts = 3 average
- Account Visits per Post = 3 average
- Reach = 66 average
A few enterprising users try to put hashtags in the comments of their posts to go around Facebook’s algorithm, but this has been proven to be inefficient. On average, comments only get 55 Likes per Post and 51 Reach per Post. However, average Profile Visits are similar to putting the hashtag in the caption, and posts with the hashtags in the comments get slightly higher average comments per post.
No matter how you decide to make Instagram work for your business, using hashtags can be a useful and engaging trick that can help to accelerate posts to success.