Nowadays you can spot hashtags virtually everywhere; from social media to billboards to print or television advertising, hashtags have become an inescapable feature of our lives.
With hashtags you can make it easier for the online community to track down your posts on a variety of social media, this helps to enhance follower engagement and drive brand reputation and sales.
With a host of benefits and no entry barrier at all, it comes as a very little surprise that hashtags are as popular as they are. However, for every hashtag that becomes popular, there are innumerable others that do not have any impact at all.
The trick is to create hashtags that are effective in driving customer traffic and engagement.
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Some tips for crafting the ideal hashtags:
Make It Original and Distinctive
If you think that a hashtag of your own is really necessary, then you should make sure that what you have in mind is first of all relevant to your business and brand.
Otherwise, inserting hashtags that are out of context will have the wrong kind of audiences turning up without any incremental benefit to you and also result in a lot of frustration on their part that will give you a bad name.
While creating a hashtag you should not only research whether it is already being used by someone else but whether there are any negative connotations to people of different demographics and cultures that will have a backlash on your brand.
For hashtags to be useful, they must make sense and not be just a jumble of words; something that can be easily overlooked in the effort to be original. The trick is to maintain a balance between being generic and completely brand or company-specific.
Crafting effective and sticky hashtags should be taken as seriously as creating a brand name.
Make the Hashtag Short
For hashtags to be effective in driving visitor traffic and your posts getting the maximum number of Instagram likes, it is best that they be as short as possible without compromising on the meaning and identity.
Ideally, the length should be restricted to 16 characters as that is the maximum number of characters allowed on a Twitter handle, though Instagram does not impose any character length limits.
Decide on the Nature Of Campaign
If you are creating a hashtag for a marketing campaign that is going to be relatively short, you can use a hashtag indicating its short shelf life and not having to worry about it becoming redundant.
However, if your campaign is going to be a continuing one, your chosen hashtag should not impose any restrictions.
Limit the Number Of Hashtags
It is only when relevant hashtags cannot be pinned down accurately that there is a tendency to use a shotgun approach by including as many hashtags as possible in the hope that at least one would work.
Brands should only use hashtags that are relevant and resonate naturally with the target audience.
Limiting the number of hashtags used can significantly increase the chances of them going viral, and make the marketer's job of driving traffic and sales that much easier.
Even though trends change very frequently in social media, you need to stick with the chosen hashtags for some time and not conduct a new hashtag campaign too frequently. It's a great idea to include them in every Instagram post but be sure not to confuse them with different ideas in one campaign.
Give Hashtags Adequate Time To Gain Traction
Getting noticed on social media is all about the timing of posts, and it is no less on Instagram when you introduce your hashtag.
If you are using your hashtag to promote a product or an event then you should start using it well before the scheduled date of the product release or launch event. If you have a large following then the lead time can be considerably shortened.
Creating hashtags is a matter of putting a lot of thought regarding the desired activity and how you can make your target audience relate to them.
Clarity of intent and communication, as well as brevity and distinctiveness, are the cornerstones of hashtags that have the maximum impact.