Yes, you read that right. You don't really need to invest in a hashtag generating tool, especially if you are being thrifty with your expenses as an entrepreneur. In this article, I am going to share with you some of the easiest ways to create, list, and use amazing, scoring hashtags for your brand and social media posts.
There's a bonus tip hidden somewhere inside this article, so make sure you read it all. ;)
Let's get started.
Why are hashtags so important?
Hashtags are like a two-way street. On one hand, they make reaching your target audience easier by pushing your posts to their feed and search in a non-intrusive manner, and on the other hand, they make it easier for your target audience to find your posts when they are searching for a related piece of information.
For example, if you are a tech-startup selling a product based on AI, you would like your target audience know about not only your product but also the technology involved. In that case, you might think of adding #artificialintelligence #AI to your post.
Now, what this does, is it helps the social media platform allocate your post the particular hashtag wall/feed. People following that particular feed will be able to see your post featured on it, even if they are not following your social media handle. This applied to both Instagram and LinkedIn.
Although the use of hashtags on Instagram is much wider and popular as compared to LinkedIn, use of hashtags on LinkedIn is on the rise, as well.
However, it is not necessary that the use of hashtags will fetch your content enough eyeballs. Many a time, it is a matter of luck, but most of the time it is the quality of content and engagement on it that determines the visibility of your post on the wall.
How can I be a human hashtag generator?
The answer is simple. Research. You need to start with the product or service you are offering. Those will form the foundation of your hashtag efforts. If you are into selling handmade bags, then the easiest and first of all hashtags should be #handmadebags #bags etc.
When you are using hashtags specific to your product, try to use niche hashtags so that they are not lost in a crowded wall of hashtags that sees millions of posts, each day.
Lets's talk about special hashtags that have started to trend over the years and have become close to cult-like. Although these are not brand specific but instagrammers and Twitter-uses these hashtags, a lot!
The image below shows you how the followership for each handle differ and take a wild guess, as to which one you should use for your post. Each of the three have varied levels of followership:
#monday - 49.5 million
#mondayblues - 2.8 million
#mondaythoughts - 360,000
While #monday seems to be the most popular, you should preferably go for #mondaythoughts and then #mondayblues. Of course, you can go for all three, but it makes sense to keep your caption clean and not flooded with hashtags. And in that case, you will have to make a choice, as to which one you should choose.
Moderate followership, or one with 360k right here, is a decent hashtag to follow and expect your post to be seen by the hashtag followers.
Types of hashtags
Let's take a look at the variety of hashtags that are at your disposal. There are, primarily, 3 different types of hashtags that you can use.
Community hashtags - These are the best hashtags to reach out to a like-minded community who are already interested in your product or service, your location, Instagram communities specific to your industry, emojis specific to your product offering (#🍔 for fast-food joints, #🌳 for plant lovers or environmentalists) etc.
2. Branded hashtag - A branded hashtag is just what it sounds like. It represents your brand by its name, directly, any partnerships, or any of your products, or a particular campaign. They are more social and thematic in nature, as compared to community hashtags. The focus of branded hashtags is more on bringing people together around a common theme, much like a continuous online soiree, than a feed that is listing relevant posts on the feed.
Here's a couple of screenshots from the hudabeautyxnykaa collaboration, in which through which Nykaa, a leading beauty e-commerce store in India, showcases the products it houses from Huda Beauty, an internationally-acclaimed cosmetics brand. The unique hashtag is a great example of a branded hashtag, that focuses on collaboration, and brings fans of both Nykaa and Huda Beauty to that one feed for all the posts, at one place.
3. Campaign hashtags - Finally, we come to campaign hashtags. These hashtags are great for increasing awareness for a campaign that you could create and run for your brand. You can use this hashtag to create a buzz around the campaign and have your followers use the hashtags to share the content they create for your campaign. These hashtags, most of the time, see more of follower content (in the form of contest submissions or plain participation) as compared to brand content.
One of my favorite examples of this kind of campaign (hashtag) is the ShareACoke campaign by Coca Cola. The brand, which focuses much of its advertising and marketing on the topic of togetherness and community, removed its logo from one of the sides of its bottled and canned drinks. That side bore the words" Share a Coke with" followed by random names. People wanted to find their own names on the bottle. People who did find their names on the bottle/can took a snapshot and shared it with Coca Cola and the world using #shareacoke.
Of course, the campaign was a major success and it gave us some great idea as to the kind of campaign and hashtags we can hope to create for our brands.
Creating your own hashtag repository
You will find yourself creating plenty of hashtags. You will need hashtags for every season, for holidays, for your brand, your offerings, trending hashtags and more. How do you keep track of all the research you have done and the hashtags you have collected?
Create an excel sheet in which column A specifies the hashtag theme. For example, mine are Content Marketing, Branding, Marketing Tips, etc.
Column B will now house all the hashtags that are perfect for these larger heads.
So, next to content marketing I will have:
#contentmarketing #contentmarketingtips #contentmarketer #contentmanager #contentmaketingstrategy #contentmaketing101 #contentmaketingtrends #contentmarketingagency #contentcreator #contentmarketingexpert #coontentmaketingstrategies #contentmaketingworld #contentmarketingtrainings #contentmarketingideas #contentmarketingmanager #contentmarketingtools
And likewise for the rest.
Here are some tips:
Try to keep your caption clean and don't stuff them with too many hashtags.
Hashtags are important but too many hashtags may seem "needy."
Instagram allows 30 hashtags, but that does not mean we actually use all 30 of them.
You can add your hashtag to your post's first comment This DOES NOT reduce their effectiveness and at the same time keeps you caption clean.
Watch this video on how to keep your Instagram stories clean and tidy even when you have a ton of hashtags loaded in them.
I hope you found this article helpful. And if you need any help with your branding, marketing, and ad campaigns, you know you can always reach out to DigiWitch. Just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can brainstorm a great strategy to set your brand on a path that leaves a blazing trail.