I hear this question from business owners all the time. Most of the time when I attempt to answer, I can see the person’s eyes start to roll into the back of their head. 🤯 It’s kind of a tough subject to wrap your mind around if you aren’t using social media on a regular basis.

I’m hoping a well-thought-out post like this one will help make it clearer. Here goes! 🤞

Think of a hashtag as a way of identifying what a piece on content is about. That piece of content could be a regular post, a story, a reel, etc. You can give any piece of content up to 30 labels, or hashtags.

If you’ve ever broken out a label maker for some heavy organizing you know that a labeling system is only good if you use it ruthlessly. If you only label some of your shoe boxes, but not all, then the system breaks down pretty quickly. The same is true for hashtags. That’s why it’s important to label each piece of Instagram content with hashtags and to be thoughtful about how you apply them. Don’t use the #bestcontractor one day and #thebestcontractor the next. You want to be consistent over time, aligning your brand with relevant hashtags.

You might be thinking, “Okay, I’ve used some hashtags, but so what? What good does it do me?” 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♂️

The power of the hashtag is that it can lead NEW customers to you. People on Instagram often follow hashtags. I’m interested in cross-country skiing 🎿 so I follow #xcskiing on Instagram. As a result I see all the posts that are tagged with that hashtag. And if someone selling cross-country skis did a post with that hashtag, I would see it and possibly buy those skis.

Sounds like a pretty good sales tool, doesn’t it? 💰

Hopefully that explanation helps. Another day I’ll go into how to pick hashtags. What other questions do you have for me?