I've recently designed and ordered new postcards (the ones I write a thank you note on and put in with my orders) and when I was designing them I added a little note to customers saying 'Please feel free to share images of your new chunky knit goodies on social media' and popped in my @laurenastondesigns handle and a cheeky #laurenastondesigns too.
It got me thinking about how people use hashtags and the best way forward, I generally go for a few obvious ones i.e. #wool #chunkyknitblanket and then some lifestyle i.e. #mycreativebusiness and #pursuepretty... but what else needs to be considered? I did a little research and came across some really interesting articles about hashtaging on Social media so I thought i'd share some of my learnings with you here...
Let's start simple - What is a hashtag?: Well, It's a word or phrase that's used to identify a certain topic. It uses the hash sign almost like the google search bar, think of it as the keyword in your search.
What should hashtags be covering? Basically you should be thinking about who you're trying to connect with. If you want to reach out to the creative community then use tags that reflect that such as #mycreativebusiness, equally if you're after people with an interest in interiors you could do for #interiordesign #homedecor etc. On instagram you can use up to 30 hashtags which gives us 30 shots to capture an audience so we can go for a few different options and speak to lots of people but on twitter we only really have 2 go's so it's important to know who you're targeting.
Do they need to be relevant? Yes! what's the point in targeting the wrong market with an irrelevant tag? If you google 'pink ceramic bowl' you don't want to see a picture of a blue bike so you'll take no interest in that image and more on to the images of pink ceramic bowls. It's the same with tags - focus on your audience and what they want to see rather than trying to trick unsuspecting bike enthusiast... you know what I mean right?
What will I gain? Through hash tagging not only will you introduce your work/images to a whole new audience but it also opens you up to exploring your interests. Instagram in particular is a wonderful place to discover small businesses, new trends and innovative makers, by using the appropriate hashtags to search you can find so many amazing new things, whether its companies, fashion or parts of the world you've never seen, it's a very exciting place to be with so much scope for you to find and be found.
Where to get Hashtag Inspo?: Simply searching hashtags on Instagram and Twitter will help give you ideas, IG suggests similar tags that you can then keep exploring. Another great place is blogs (like this one believe it or not!) and Pinterest is a brilliant resource to narrow them down. There's also tools you can use like Hashtagify.me and plenty more explained in this blog by Helen at Cosmic if you need help coming up with tags more relevant to you.
The best thing I've learnt: Kate from The Shop Files has a genius solution so the time consuming Instagram tagging. She suggests using the text replacement shortcut in your phone to cover certain themes, so when she uses "#blog" her shortcut automatically changes that to 10 different blogging hashtags! I could do a knitting one so that once I type #knit it would replace it with #knittersofinstagram #handknit #knit #knitstagram #chunkyknit #giantyarn. Such a great tip, thanks Kate! Again, there's loads more advice about hashtagging on The Shop Files Blog I highly recommend it.
My favourite hashtags: I've been having such fun lately exploring different tags, it's got me away from the boring old #handknit and into a heap of new material. A few of my favourites for general lifestyle and creativity are - #pursuepretty #mycreativebiz #creativelifehappylife #girlboss #onegirlband #interiorstyle #livethelittlethings #lovelysquares #smallbusiness #thehappynow #flashesofdelight
I hope thats helpful to any hashtag-phobics or anyone after a bit more clarity,