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Nicole Wilson
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Harnessing the Hashtag: Are You Using it Right?

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Key hashtags should be alligned with your image, message and tone of voice. By utilising key hashtags across all content posted on Instagram, a strong affiliation between that word or phrase can be created alongside your brand. Let’s take Melbourne’s Frank Coffee Scrub, for example. The talented team behind Frank’s social media strategy are a good indication of how the right hashtag can create a cult following for your brand.

Don’t tell me you’re an avid Instagram user and you’re not familiar with the hashtag #thefrankeffect? We thought so. By utilising this hashtag throughout their Instagram campaign, they have managed to create a cult following of female (and male) scrubbers worldwide, all who religiously post pictures of themselves covered in coffee. Yes, covered in coffee. You can now scroll through countless coffee covered women/men/children/babies/pets on Instagram by simply searching #thefrankeffect. As the hashtag begins to trend and develop momentum, the use of key hashtags can by eased and filtered through your feed more strategically. Launching just last year, the brand told Start up Daily that revenue this financial year will most likely exceed $20 million. Whoa.

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Another great example of a key hashtag that has been dominating our feeds is #girlswithgluten, used heavily by an Instagram feed of the same name which literally features girls eating gluten in various tasty forms. Just like Frank’s #thefrankeffect, girls everywhere have jumped on the bandwagon by posting photos of themselves eating donuts, croissants, bagels – you name it – under the now infamous hashtag.

So what’s the purpose of this Instagram feed? Last month, Elite Daily blogged about the hashtag’s success at gaining a strong cult following and the mysterious unknown purpose of the feed, but we have a theory. We recently noticed that the feed’s ‘about’ features the newly launched Dirty Lemon Detox’s website and it got us thinking – is the Dirty Lemon team behind GWG, or have they simply seen the power the feed wields (rightly so) and teamed up with them in an epic marketing move? Either way #girlswithgluten is giving the hashtag #cleaneating a run for its money and honestly, it’s a breath of fresh air.

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Finally, we can’t talk about harnessing the power of the hashtag without talking about last week’s hashtag flavour of the week #straightoutta, which was absolutely everywhere thanks to Beats by Dre. Launched as a meme generator that allows users to create a straight outta ‘insert hometown or witty (or not so witty) joke here’ this trend’s aim was to promote Straight Outta of Compton, the biopic about 80’s – 90’s rap group N.W.A, which Dre himself belonged to. Since the generator was launched pictures with the hashtag #straightoutta have been flooding in, 190, 000+ pics to be exact, when last we checked.

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Additionally, it is important to be aware that key hashtags are not enough to carry your entire Instagram campaign strategy. Content quality is obviously of the utmost importance. Using highly searched hashtags is an extremely beneficial SEO tactic in the social media world, but be careful not to go overboard, as it could potentially compromise the integrity of your feed. To avoid this, make sure your hashtags are relevant to each specific post, and don’t be excessive; quality over quantity – always.

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By Nicole Wilson


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