Weekly Column: 2017-09-22
I have recently encountered many young people who are very taken with Instagram. You can see an exceptional amount of people taking pictures of their food at restaurants and cafes, and they post these photos on their Instagrams with hashtags with the desire for many to see and like the pictures. Before, it was common to share the details of daily life on Facebook, but because people have become increasingly uncomfortable with exposing their personal lives through words and pictures on Facebook, the simple function of sharing photos on Instagram has explosive popularity with the younger generation. Unlike Facebook, where you had to weed through unwanted information and advertisements, Instagram centered on visual objects, photographs, and videos, to easily share content that is interesting and is attractive because people can communicate with just one picture.
That might be the reason that I have recently been receiving many inquiries regarding Instagram. Most are how to increase the number of followers or how to take pictures that will get a lot of likes, but one thing that is just as important as good content in Instagram marketing is how well hashtags are used. Excluding Twitter users, there are many people who do not know about the importance of hashtags. To put it simply, hashtags are tags that can easily share and communicate specific interests by using a hash (#). Ultimately, it is useful for finding posts of topics you are interested in by adding the specific tags. It is also very simple to use. To create a hashtag, you add a topic or phrase to a hash (#) in your written post, and a link comes up to link people with the same interests together.
Therefore, the hashtags that accompany an Instagram photo becomes a link that directs the flow of traffic and can have a tremendous effect on marketing. Not only does this bring exposure to a brand, but can lead to new trends and the creation of culture. Through this voluntary involvement of culture, people create brand loyalty on their own.
Another important feature of the hashtag is that it can be used as a search tool. Because you can find other content that has the same hashtag by clicking on it, it allows you to see how many others use this hashtag and use this information to bolster your own content through marketing.
However, it is not always the best idea to use hashtag keywords that many others use. The more popular a hashtag is, the more difficult it is to increase your exposure, so rather than use the most popular keywords, it can be more beneficial to use hashtags that are related to your brand, products, or services to maximize your exposure.
From observing the whirlwind use of Instagram, I feel that the younger generation communicates more with feelings than words. Also, from keeping an eye on popular content, it seems that rather than the appeal of professional images and content, people show more interest and relate more to photos that other people take, even if they are a bit awkward. This shows that people are tired of the artificial images and advertisements of the past and are more interested in the images that they can more readily relate to. Ultimately, this means that Instagram is not a place where people go to share quality photos, but a good space to share photos that people have taken.
In conclusion, if you are planning to market with Instagram, make sure to use content that consumers will relate to as well as use the appropriate hashtags associated with your brand to bring out the best results. Rather than using the most popular hashtags, come up with original hashtags associating your brand with one created culture, and it will not be so difficult to earn the consumer’s loyalty.