Once upon a time # was a symbol for a pound or preceded a number. Today, the humble hashtag has become a staple of the social media universe to the point where it’s caught on and used in speech, In lieu of pretentious air quotes, teens are dropping hashtags at the end of sentences. #solame #awkward. Due to their popularity and importance, we thought we’d take the time to share with you how to write awesome hashtags for your post.

Hashtags became popular just over a decade ago on Instagram. Whether you’re an Instagram influencer wanting to tag another duckface-posing bathroom selfie or a company looking to make their mark in the social media world, having a social media hashtag plan is as important as planning your content.

Why hashtags are important

Hashtags make your content searchable. With more than 95 million photos and videos being posted to Instagram on a daily basis, there needs to be a way for users to locate content. For example; if you’re a café in Bondi posting food porn, then #Bondicafe would be a perfectly acceptable hashtag.

Posts with hashtags get more likes

The Social Media Lab ran an experiment using 140 Insta posts across four different accounts and their finds were astounding. Posts with hashtags had a 70% increase in likes than those that didn’t.

Branded hashtags create loyalty

If you have your own brand content, when your users reshare they will usually use your hashtags when they repost.

How many hashtags to use

Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags on one post, but keep in mind they must be relevant and you want to avoid your post from being spammy. One trick you can use is to post your hashtags in the comments box to it doesn’t clutter your content.

Choose your hashtags carefully

If you are creating your own hashtags for your brand, it pays to be careful and run it by a few other people for their thoughts or you could end up with a social media storm in a teacup like when Margaret Thatcher died. The trending hashtag was @nowthatcherisdead, only it sent the world into a frenzy thinking triple threat singer, songwriter and actress Cher had passed away.

How to write hashtags

  • Be specific
  • Be relevant
  • Brainstorm with others
  • Write for your audience using their lingo (You don’t want to be using #budgiesmugglers if you are advertising swimwear for upper-class, elderly men).
  • Create your own branded hashtag (Target in the US use #targetrun, a succinct way for their followers to hashtag photos when they’ve been shopping)
  • Don’t get too complicated or try to be too clever #FOMOOGLF, know what that stands for? Nope, neither did we. Fear of missing out was the obvious bit, but the greyhound low fares…way over our head. Keep it simple.

Need help with a hashtag strategy, contact our nerd herd at Flosocial today.