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If you’re active on social media you’ve probably seen hashtags even if you aren’t using them. A post may end with words or phrases prefixed with the # symbol.
It might seem like a fad but there are real benefits for a business to jump in and adopt a hashtag strategy. On certain social media platforms (like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram), the hashtags are a great way to extend your reach and present your content to new potential clients.
Hashtags basically act as a filing cabinet across the social media world, they pull together similar posts so that they can be searched for and seen together. Think of a big file with all the #food posts, then each file can be subdivided further to make it more specific eg. #donut or #cake
It’s, therefore, important to stay on track and relevant to the use of hashtags. It would be pointless to post a picture of a waterfall with #delicious, but there are many options which would be more appropriate like #nature #scenic #scenery
There is no need to separate hashtags with commas, just a space, and if you want to use a phrase, run the words together like #naturephotography
It’s best not to get too long and complicated, as it can be difficult to read and it’s very unlikely someone will find your content through a search.
Choose hashtags that reinforce your brand or the quality of your product. For example #businessname #bestnatureshots
One way to find popular hashtags is to click on the magnifying glass within Instagram, click on tags and start to enter one of the words you want to use. A list will come up showing some of the most utilized terms. Here is an example:
It’s important to think about the audience you are trying to connect with, reaching thousands of people may not deliver one lead. The secret is to hashtag to hone in on your target demographic. If you are selling honeymoon packages, a good hashtag may be #futureMrs for instance.
As a business, it is likely you will not only connect with potential clients but will also build a network of like-minded professionals who may follow your feed or ‘like’ your posts. If you see a business similar to your own and like their content, click on their profile and look at a couple of posts to see how they are targeting their audience. Are they using a hashtag strategy that could also work well for you? Your inspiration may come from the other side of the world as the searches yield international results. If your business is multilingual, use hashtags in different languages.
Actively searching the hashtags you are using also demonstrates how your posts compare to the competition out there. Are your posts of the best quality? Are others using filters and editing to create more original content?
Taking the first step is the most daunting. Once you get started, experiment with new hashtags, see what works for you. There are many who say don’t use more than 1 or 2 hashtags but every business is unique and your hashtag journey is yours alone.
It’s easy to sign up for an account and it’s free to use the standard account. If your account does really well and you want to start paying for ‘promoted pins’ at a later date then that is always an option. Before doing that it is worthwhile building a gallery of pins because if you attract traffic and they want to scan your images, you’ll want them to find the best you have to offer.
No matter what your product or service, you can either showcase the item itself, someone using the item or the before’s and after’s of a service. With a bit of creativity almost anything can be presented in a visually attractive way. If all else fails, text can still be pinned – choose a font or format which is eye catching to compete with the barrage of stunning images out there.
Each pin can be edited to link back to your site. Therefore as your pin is picked up by others, your links are naturally growing. The more successful your boards and pins, the more significant the increase in not only links but the chances of yet more ‘pinners’ seeing your brand name or website address, hopefully being intrigued enough to take a look.
One of the benefits of Pinterest boards is the unlimited number of pins and the ability to break up the content into different boards. This means you could have one general board and then use more detailed boards for supplemental shots from unusual angles, close-ups, images of the product in use, relative size (displayed next to something recognizable), shipping materials, your production team, your warehouse – anything that you know will enhance your reputation. This is an alternative to cramming your website full of these images because the ‘real estate’ on the page is so scarce.
Pinterest is most popular with women and depending on your type of business, that could be ideal targeting for your key demographic.
Rather than trying to pull together a collection of your best pictures, Pinterest is custom made to build your galleries over time. This means that instead of sending many images to potential clients or colleagues, you can share the link to your site and they can see your galleries any time they wish. It might seem impossible to build a gallery of hundreds of pictures, but by adding a dozen or so each month, the collection steadily builds and what once seemed a daunting task has become a reality.
Instead of describing what a customer wants as ‘the picture in the blue second from the left on the 3rd page’, they can ‘pin’ the images they want and then show exactly what items or components they are interested in. This is reinforced with accurate and meaningful product descriptions on each pin so the text needed to identify the product is tied to the image.
If the older items are still in service and for sale, the boards act as a timeline showing older models as well as the newer models which over time your business will more likely focus on. If they are defunct and no longer for sale, then those older images or boards should be deleted.
If you don’t get in the Pinterest game, you are missing an opportunity to reach a set of potential clients that your competitors are likely reaching already.
For the time investment, it’s a really simple way to get a great looking portfolio. You can add the Pinterest icon to your site and cross reference it from your other profiles.
Whatever your reason to get started, it’s a sound platform to promote your business and don’t be put off by competitors who already have galleries with hundreds of thousands of pins. They also had to start somewhere and it’s amazing how quickly the number of images can build. For this reason – think strategically up front about how you want to partition your data into boards. Get started, get comfortable and then go ‘public’ with your profile when you’re happy with it.
If you need help planning a social media marketing strategy, Trulium can help. Likewise, if you want a Pinterest gallery but don’t want to do it yourself, Contact us today and let’s get started! Pinterest accounts for business can be a great addition to social media marketing, especially if your product or service lends itself to stunning visuals.