There are so many ways that help increase more followers on Instagram for eCommerce, and most brands know how to fill each of their posts with relevant hashtags. However, some haven’t yet taken advantage of Instagram hashtags or have had trouble with using them to gain more followers.
If you are falling into the latter category, this blog will walk you through simple but best practices to make hashtags beneficial for your brand. It isn’t actually as complicated as you might think.
1. Use different types of Hashtags of Instagram for eCommerce
There are many types of hashtags you can work with to increase reach and build brand awareness on Instagram. You can add one or more hashtags to each post, but an analysis conducted by Hootsuite showed that a post using many different hashtags (specifically, at least seven hashtags) could bring the most engagement.
Below are four widely-used Instagram for eCommerce’s hashtags that you can apply to a lot of posts:
- Branded hashtags
- Niche-specific hashtags
- Event hashtags
- Entertaining hashtags
Let’s learn the advantages of them.
At its most basic, branded hashtags are hashtags that you create by your own, so they’re unique to your business. A branded hashtag can be your company name, the name of a product/campaign, or even just a short tagline. You can also choose something as hashtags which are irrelevant to your brand, but firmly connected with your brand identity.
Take Fashion Nova as an example, they create their own branded hashtag #novababe to show their inner voice of a racially-diverse and self-love message. In the world of fast fashion, this brand customizes products for every shape, size, and woman of color. They encourage women to post their best outfits and broadcast their obsession (to the world). At the peak of Nova’s Instagram Thirst Trap strategy, this hashtag was repeated thousands of times and reached 3000 Instagram influencers around the world.
So, how to create your own branded hashtag that is actionable? All you need are:
- Brainstorming. The hashtag will represent your brand, but it should also be short and sweet. Think of some potential names or events which relate to your product or your brand’s message.
- Checking. If it was already in use, you should choose another one. A hashtag that could create a community usually should start fresh.
- Promoting. To use branded hashtags effectively, you should create a plan and promote the new hashtag on both stories and posts. Don’t forget to focus on storytelling and to tell your audience about the meaning of the hashtags.
Furthermore, a branded hashtag can also develop from the usual form into a special hashtag for contests. There are some examples of contest hashtags such as #channelcontest, #Lisaminigame, #Linnwearluxury, etc.
After Instagram introduced a new algorithm, brands who are nervous visibility should invest in user engagement. For best practices, influencer-generated hashtags are useful niche hashtags that boost your post considerably.
For example, brands use a more targeted hashtag like #coffeeshots instead of a general hashtag like #coffee will reach an engaged community.
Figure out which hashtags are most robust in your industry by using services like Iconosquare or Instagram’s built-in hashtag suggestion tool.
Current events and seasonal holidays such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Independence’s Day are great chances to reach out to new followers and reward loyal customers with promotion campaigns. So how can we let people know that your products are being discounted? It’s time you add some event hashtags in your posts such as #valentineday #newyearsresolution, #christmasgifts, etc. Hashtags can work like signals which notify your followers to special events going on with your store.
As the name suggests, entertaining hashtags are mainly used to bring laugh and fun to your followers. They even help you to improve your brand awareness and engagement. And they also enhance the close-knit of the relationship with your main audiences.
Here is an example of using an entertaining hashtag (#getitgirl) from @daynaleecollection.
For best practices, you should do research on each type of hashtags above, and use combinations of various hashtags in each section of your contents. This will increase your branding while supporting you to reach the largest and most consistent audiences.
2. Add hashtags to your Instagram Stories
We all know that Instagram Stories has only been around for a few years, but it is a useful feature that gains enormous popularity. According to Statista.com, the number of Instagram Stories’ daily users in Jan 2019 is more than 500 million, as twice as daily active users on Snapchat. That is the reason why most brands have never denied to use Instagram Stories to grow their brand’s awareness.
Data by Statista.com
Instagram users can add hashtags to their Stories by using the hashtag sticker or typing them out with the text tool. If these hashtags are popular enough, users will be able to view real-time Instagram Stories. Then, hashtags on Instagram stories show up across the top bar of the hashtag page along with a new “Follow” button. And when people click the button, they also follow all relevant posts.
#versace with real-time Instagram Stories
To generate more followers with hashtags on Instagram Stories, brands should focus on:
- Choosing 2-3 hashtags
- Avoiding messy hashtags
- Creating ingenious hashtag stories
Be creative with telling a hashtags-story
3. Encourage followers to use branded hashtags
When a brand shares a user-generated photo and tags a specific user, others will tend to take their own photos and share these photos on Instagram. There are valued user-generated content to increase engagement on Instagram. You can also use them as followers’ feedback on your newsfeed.
These ways below will help encourage your audiences to use branded hashtags.
Ask your audiences to use the hashtag
This seems like a common way but many eCommerce brands forget to use in their Instagram for eCommerce marketing strategies. The most simple way is to post a photo relevant to your audiences and ask them to post on an official hashtag.
You can also ask them to share a photo of their purchased products with your hashtags and get discount codes for the next shopping. This way could result in some extra sales for your eCommerce business.
Create advertising campaigns centered around unique hashtags
Advertising campaigns with unique hashtags are good chances to get people to engage with your brand. It all about creating imaginative, thoughtful content and using some nifty strategies to help it spread far and wide.
For instance, Coca-Cola’s create an ad campaign with #ShareACoke that harnessed the power of hashtags. When a customer purchased and enjoyed Coca-Cola products, they shared photos of themselves on social media, especially on Instagram. And the #ShareACoke hashtag helps them to be seen by a wide audience. In the end, the hashtag and photo campaign led to a 2% increase in U.S sales.
#ShareACoke with Coca-Cola
4. Perform Better with Competitive Analysis
Even if you are up-to-date on trends in your market, it is worth checking out what your competitor is doing to avoid falling behind. When stalking your competitors, you should take a detail note of what exactly hashtags they used and reported outcomes.
Then use all the data you collected to come up with new hashtag campaigns for your brand. This way, you will uncover some content ideas you had not acknowledged before. To build hashtag search features on social media platforms, you should use more Instagram competitors analytics tools.
An Instagram competitor report by Sprout Social.
5. Measure Reach of Hashtag Campaigns
Measuring the reach of hashtag campaigns is so important. It lets you know the reasoning of using Instagram for eCommerce hashtags or how the reach of the brand’s awareness impacts the revenue of your business. Furthermore, you will know what kinds of contents/topics you should share. This is probably one of the most straightforward insights you can get from Instagram for eCommerce hashtag analytics. Look at your hashtag engagement report and find common themes among them. Then, create more content around those topics. For instance, we can see there’s a lot of engagement around hashtags related to smoothies.
The statistic indicates that @cookingfromheart should post more photos or videos of smoothies and smoothie bowls. This insight could be used to create content ideas for content outlets.
Additionally, hashtags allow you to target who your posts reach based on their interest. However, simply using relevant hashtags does not make sure that people will come crowding to your Instagram. That’s why monitoring the analytics for your Instagram hashtags is so important. It allows you to find out the hashtags that do and don’t work.
Below are some tools which will give you all the insights you need to track and analyze your Instagram hashtags:
Using Instagram hashtags strategically is a great way to connect with customers, find content created about you by your followers, and build long-term relationships with influential partners! Hopefully, these new tips for using Instagram hashtags have sparked some new ideas that you can begin to implement around your own hashtag marketing strategy!