What are Hashtags & Why are they Important?

If you have an Instagram account for your business (or any kind of social media platform, really) you’re probably already familiar with hashtags. Barely a post goes by, whether written by an individual, a corporation, or a celebrity, that isn’t loaded with hashtags. In the right hands, and with the right approach, they are a powerful tool indeed.

But what exactly are hashtags and why are they so important? Here at 123 Ranking, we know a thing or two about getting your company noticed online, so we’ve put together the following article to try and explain things.

What are hashtags?

A hashtag is a word or short phrase preceded by a number sign – # – also called a pound sign or (every more frequently these days) a hash sign. The hashtag is usually pertinent to the post itself, often highlighted within the text of the post and, when clicked on, will take you to other posts that have been written that incorporate that hashtag.

What are hashtags used for?

As mentioned above, if you click on a hashtag in a post, you will be shown all posts that share the same hashtag. This is a quick and easy way to categorise posts and, in theory, it makes it easier for like-minded individuals to find similar content on the platform, or other posts that are related to their interests.

Why are hashtags so important?

Take a social media platform like Instagram. On any given day the platform can expect almost 100 million photos to be posted by its users. That’s just unique photos – not counting reposts.

Now let’s say you run a bakery and you decide to post a picture of your latest creation. Sure, your dedicated band of Instagram followers will see it come up in their feed, but what about those millions of users who don’t even know you exist?

Well, they may not know your brand, but they certainly know if they’re looking for a #weddingcake, or a #fancycake, or an #epiccake, or… well, you get the idea. By sprinkling hashtags liberally into your posts, you can direct new viewers towards you and your company.

What hashtags should I use?

This is the tricky part. There are certain hashtags that are overused, to the point where any new post will get lost, almost as much as if it had no hashtags at all. Tagging a Valentine’s Day special offer with #love, for instance, won’t get you anywhere. The trick is to make your hashtags specific enough that they attract customers for your particular market, while being popular enough that people will stumble across it while casually browsing through hashtags.

This is where 123 Ranking can help.

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If you need help with managing your social media and want a company with a proven track record in effective online marketing, contact the team today to get a free, no-obligation quote for our services.