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What are they and how to use hashtags on Instagram to shine

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What are they and how to use hashtags on Instagram to shine

There is nothing in the digital world that produces more speculation than the use of labels on social networks. Absolutely nothing. All users have their theories about the best way to appropriate hashtags to achieve greater visibility and improve interactions. Some say that the important thing is the quantity; others, that what is critical is quality; a few emphasize that being timely at the time of use is the key; and the rest emphasize their immersion in the texts of the publications; and in the end everyone has an opinion and a recipe to use them correctly. We do not want to fall into these types of discussions because we prefer to review them all and find opportunities and ideas in each of these speculations. We want to start by stating that to use hashtags and get the most out of them there is no single formula – in fact, nothing in the South Africa Phone Number List world has it. Combining variables, doing experiments and learning from all the alterations is what will really bring us closer to the result. Therefore, below we will talk about all the theories, we will try to quantify their contribution and we will find the routes that will help us to obtain good results on social networks.

A brief historical review of hashtags to get into context
Tags for social networks were originally created as a mechanism for organizing and classifying content; With its help, users had the ability to find, catalog, and follow any stream of content that flowed within a digital platform. As a tool, it was first used in 1978 within the C programming language — a general-purpose language developed by Dennis Ritchie between 1969 and 1972 at Bell Labs. And, years later, at the end of the eighties, it was incorporated into the instant messaging service IRC (Internet Chat Relay), in which people used them to classify groups and topics. This categorization system would have been forgotten if Chris Medina did not find a use for it on social networks. On August 23, 2007, this Google employee proposed using the pound symbol preceding a word to tag and group posts. Initially, the idea didn’t rumble through digital ecosystems, but this quickly changed during an emergency in San Diego, California. There, Nate Ritter, a resident of this locality, made a coverage through Twitter of what happened during the fire of October 2007. In all the publications of his coverage he used the hashtag . Well, many documented the fact by following the hashtag and provided new information. It was at that moment that the potential of this tool became visible.


To give this system a boost, the creators of Twitter decided – on July 1, 2009 – to add an automatic hyperlink to all hashtags that would lead to search results for that tag. With this, the concept became widespread and its use became popular. In addition, the developers of the social network made a second move that catapulted the labels to success: they created the topics of the moment and allowed them to be included in this ranking of trends. Given the tremendous success that hashtags represented on Twitter, the reaction of the other Forex Email List platforms did not wait. Little by little, they all incorporated them into their programming logic and more tagged content began to appear on users’ timelines. The first social network that copied this functionality was Instagram, in January 2011; then Google +, in October 2011; and, finally, Facebook, in June 2013. Seeing it implemented in the dominant social networks, the others were forced to add this tagging and categorization system.

How to use hashtags on Instagram as a marketing action
Knowing their origin and first uses, we can move in the direction that interests us: when did you see an opportunity to add them to marketing actions ? Basically, from the moment that Twitter used them as a tool to measure the pulse of the interests of the moment of the audiences. The simple fact of making a ranking evidenced the importance for brands of creating and tagging content streams or joining existing ones. In essence, Twitter topics of the moment gave companies the ability to comment on interesting content for audiences and this brought visibility with it. Today, hashtags are one of the best ways available on social media to get some visibility, reach, and relevance. And those are precisely the three objectives most pursued by businesses on social networks. The first brand to notice the commercial potential of the labels was Audi, when it included within its Super Bowl commercial – in January 2011 – a hashtag that allowed them to generate, monitor and store a stream of comments around their vehicles. With this strategy – which was designed by the digital agency Offerpop – many organizations perceived the social impact of a label and the high levels of influence that these achieve in the communities. From that day until now, many people and companies added hashtags to their daily marketing actions , hoping to improve results. But, taking advantage of this tool is not an easy task and requires a lot of experimentation, knowledge and measurement to be able to extract benefits from its use.

What are the benefits of hashtags for businesses?
In addition to the aforementioned increase in the visibility and reach of publications, adding tags to the content broadcast on social networks brings three additional benefits to the digital strategy of companies that are worth reviewing:

1. Increase the exposure time of messages . The average life of a publication in a social network, according to studies, is 18 minutes. That is, a message broadcast on social networks begins to lose visibility in the audience 18 minutes after it is published. Those same studies claim that using a label prolongs that time. This means that using hashtags serves to postpone the drop in reach caused by the temporary decline of the publication.

2. They add context to messages . A well-chosen tag enriches the tone of social media posts. For example, a post that contains the hashtag #Epic or #Fail is much clearer for those who consume the content. In fact, labels and emoticons are the only tools available on social media to give more context to what is posted.

3. They improve the levels of interaction . The third benefit – and we believe the most important of all – is increased engagement rates. According to studies by the firm Hubspot, including labels in messages broadcast on social networks increases interactions and virality of the message by 55%.

Top 5 tips for using hashtags correctly
Adding the labels to your marketing actions on social networks is today an obligation; And believe us, there are no tricks or recipes that guarantee success. Appropriating labels to increase the visibility, interaction and exposure of your publications on social networks is an exercise that requires a lot of experimentation. This must be tied to a strategy and a lot of analytical work in order to find the right route for your business. If not done in this way, hashtags can become a simple decorative element within the publication. However, we have some tips that will help you shorten the paths and reduce the experiments. By following the tips below, you can quickly reap social media results by adding tags to your content:

1. Use the CamelCase methodology . One of the main complaints from users is the difficulty to read or understand a hashtag . And because of this difficulty its use is reduced. Well, capitalizing the first letter of each word that makes up the label minimizes this risk. In the eyes of the user, ElMejorCarroColombiano is simpler to understand than elmejorcarrocolombiano. The CamelCase methodology makes it easier to read and increases the likelihood of use.

2. Explain the meaning of the label . Nobody adds to the things they don’t understand. Businesses – and their marketing leaders – should do their best to make sure those who follow them on social media understand the reasons for using a hashtag . A label will only be useful and widely used when people know it, understand it and find it useful for their interests.

3. Add continuity to the use of labels . Making up a hashtag and abandoning it the next day is not a good idea — except when the tag has a temporary intention; like those of events or specific promotional activities—. What is convenient, because achieving visibility with your own label is a huge effort, is to create hashtags and promote them constantly. Let your followers get to know them and use them. Promote that they are always attentive to the content that is generated under their labels.

4. Lean on influential followers to give the hashtag vitality . Never allow your labeling initiatives to be born dead. Designing a plan in which your best and most active followers participate in the start of actions that involve hashtags is transcendental. In its beginnings, a label needs a stream of content from various social accounts in order to provide visibility and impact a community.

5. Be clear about the volume of content that is generated on each label . Evaluating the strength of a hashtag before using it is a must for community managers . Don’t make the mistake of joining petty streams of content, let alone invent a label when one already exists that has traction and popular momentum. Periodically review which are the most used hashtags and add tools to your digital ecosystem that provide you with information on the use and impact of each tag.

The mistakes to avoid when using hashtags on social media
Like all tools and actions in the digital world, tags have pros and cons. We have already spoken in detail about its benefits, therefore it is time to review the negative aspects. Here are the five most common mistakes when using labels in marketing actions :

1. Not verifying the generated content . Before including a hashtag in your posts, validate what type of content is being broadcast. It’s not worth it, no matter how popular the label is, to join a stream of information riddled with messages potentially damaging to your company’s reputation. Don’t mix with just anyone, your reputation is a very valuable asset.

2. Avoid labels that can be used against you . To decide the hashtags for your business, you must think maliciously and be very cautious. There are many cases in which a company proposes a label and then users take advantage of it to attack the reputation of the brand. The most notorious case of a campaign that used a hashtag and turned into a reputational disaster for the brand was that of McDonalds in 2012 .

3. Exceeding the number of hashtags . Let’s clarify something: the benefits obtained from the use of labels are not directly proportional to the amount used. Abusing hashtags is behavior related to spammers and punished by social networks. In addition, according to research conducted by the firm Social Bakers, when more than five labels are used, the levels of engagement and interaction of the content drop dramatically.

4. Use long hashtags . There is no worse idea when creating a label than to make it very long. Inventing a loud and eye-catching label is a challenge for creativity. Make it a point to explore the language until you find the hashtag that summarizes your intentions and keep it as simple as possible. This should not be done for character economy, but to facilitate appropriation and use by followers.

5. Use hashjacking with marketing technique . Never, for the world, fall into this reprehensible practice. The hashjacking is very popular labels used for purposes other than those proposed by its creator. For example, using the hashtag Marketing Digital in a post that has nothing to do with digital marketing – simply to take advantage of the popularity of the hashtag . One of the most remembered hashjacking cases was that of David Bisbal, who used the hashtag  PrayForJapan – in the midst of a tragedy that shook the world – to promote a concert .

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