Social media platforms seem to be changing at a rapid pace, and companies have to keep up if they want to stay relevant with consumers, and their industries at large. One of the ways that brands can get their content in front of the eyes of the consumers is through using hashtags, especially on platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram.
When hashtags are used strategically, they bring a lot of benefits, from having the content reach a bigger audience, raising brand awareness, targeting specific segments of the target audience, increasing the reach of influencer marketing or improving SEO.
When Instagram developed and implemented its new algorithm, it suddenly became a lot more difficult for content to reach the right people organically. Combined with the increase in users, these days it’s quite difficult to break through all the noise, but one of the best tools that companies can use for this is hashtags. Instagram uses hashtags to categorize the content, and deliver it to the target audience. However, brands should also keep in mind that overusing these hashtags can lead to a “shadow ban,” where the posts stop showing up in search results, even if they’re using the right hashtag.
One of the most important things that brands can do on these social platforms is to create branded hashtags, that include the name of the brand, its slogan, a product, or the name of a campaign. There are two main advantages for brands that use these types of hashtags. One is that they’re able to monitor how the campaign is performing, just by following the branded hashtag. The other one is getting user-generated content because whenever a person uses that branded hashtag on their post, they will increase the brand’s presence on the platform.
Contributing to trending topics where a large number of people are already engaged can quickly place a brand in front of a big audience. These types of posts can also easily reach people that aren’t part of the target audience, which means they also build brand awareness. Whether it’s a current trending topic, or it’s a hot topic within the brand’s industry, there are plenty of conversations that businesses can join to benefit from these things, and the way to do it is by adding a hashtag related to the topic.
Giveaways and contests bring a lot of user engagement to brands, because not only do a lot of people enjoy competing, they also enjoy winning awards, such as discounts or free products. However, with these contests, it’s best to do multiple smaller ones, instead of one big giveaway, because that way the brand can build a bigger momentum. Contests and giveaways can also result in a lot of user-generated content, especially when they’re paired with a branded hashtag relating to the giveaway or the contest. This way, companies can drive a lot more customers to spread awareness about the company as well as benefit from a type of word-of-mouth marketing.