To #hashtag or not to #hashtag

hashtag-horseWelcome to the wonderful world of the #hashtag. What was once upon a time the key to press to indicate confirmation on a dial phone or representing a number in written text, is now THE symbol for social media communication.

#confused? No problem, here’s the lowdown on what it is, why and when you should use it, and … when to cool it on the #hashtag usage (i.e. when it becomes #awkward)

 

#WHAT

A hashtag is a type of label used on social media platforms which makes it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content. Users create and use hashtags by placing the “#” in front of a word or unspaced phrase, either in the main text of a message or at the end.

#WHY

Searching for that hashtag will yield each message that has been tagged with it. A practical example, on Instagram, the hashtag #horse allows users to find all the posts that have been tagged using that hashtag.

#WHEN to #hashtag and #WHEN NOT to #hashtag

You can use hashtags on a variety of social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Vine, Pinterest etc etc. Let’s focus on two examples:

Twitter: This is really where the whole hash tagging phenomenon got started, and Twiter offers a bit more versatility in hashtags than with other social media. Twitter hashtags are used to denote topics of conversation, which can then become ‘trending’. In the ‘trending’ sidebar you can find a list of popular hashtags you might be interested in. Recent ‘trending’ hashtag examples: #trump, #beyonce or more relevant for equestrian businesses #horsehour.

Instagram & Facebook: : Hashtags can be used to complement photos shared on Instagram (& Facebook) and help you discover new accounts and pick up followers. Some hashtags were created specifically for Instagram photo challenges like #tbt (throw back thursday – THE retro photo #).

Hashtags can help you gain awareness and followers if used correctly, within context and sparingly: #do #not #over #do #it #because #it #makes #you #look #a #bit #silly….

In order to be successful with (Instagram) hashtags, it’s important to be strategic about your hashtag usage. The “most popular” Instagram hashtags are just simple words, and while tagging #love #happy #fun may get you a few more likes, it’s not going to do much for your growth long term. Instead of using the most popular Instagram hashtags, it’s better to use the top Instagram hashtags that have an engaging community behind them and are specific to your audience i.e. #equestrian, #oldenburger #dressage.

In fact, the narrower the scope of the hashtag, the more engaged the users usually are. You can even go as far as creating your own # and continue using it a on all your communication.

screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-17-29-02The maximum hashtags you can use on an Instagram post is 30. But, 30 really is overdoing it a bit. Posting a wide variety of hashtags in your caption doesn’t look great, and could come across as a bit too promotional and slightly inauthentic. Instead, try choosing a few relevant hashtags that are most representative of your photo to use in your caption, and if you’d like to add more, then you could choose to add the rest in the first comment.

Here’s a list of a few popular Equestrian hashtags to get your started:

#equestrian #stallion #horsesofinstagram #andalusian #instahorse #horse #grateful #olympics #twohearts #horses #equine #horstagram #caballo #pferd #cheval #dressage #horseriding #pony #horselover #love #equinelove #horsetagram #horsebackriding #jumpinghorse #jumping #horselove #equestrians #equestrianlife

Still a bit lost? We can help you find the best ‘hash tagging strategy’ to build your business or grow your personal branding.

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Commercial strategy… equestrian style

Ever wondered what makes up the different aspects of a commercial strategy?

Here’s an overview the helps demystify the magical world of marketing, PR, advertising and branding…. equestrian style….

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Get in touch if you need help on any of these aspects: The stylish equestrian consulting is here for all your equestrian (social media) marketing needs, can boost your PR with a network of equestrian social media influencer, sort out your advertising strategy for you or help you create a (personal brand).

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Size matters

size matters horse.jpg

Size definitively matters when getting the right social media influencer to represent your brand, but bigger is most definitively not always better.

The 300K+ Instagrammers and Youtubers of the social media world might seem like the perfect spokespeople for your product (shoutout marketing). You know that influencer marketing is the way forward, you did your homework, you found an account that has relevance to your brand, you agreed to a feature fee and boom, you’re in business.

But, what seemed like the perfect fit, all of a sudden turned out to have resulted in very limited return for your brand. Fine, the account you choose has over 300K followers, which on the surface seems huge, but the engagement on the posted content turns out to be very low and there is little to no additional traffic nor an increased follower count on your social media profiles.

What happened? Bigger is better, right? Not always. These mega influencers (300K and up) often have either artificially grown accounts with a generous portion of fake followers, or have started on an already established 100K+ account with non relevant followers. This results in a big followers count, but not necessarily followers that care.

Still, social media marketing and working with influencers is defectively THE way for forward for 2017 and onward. It could however be more effective to work with a few smaller, yet REAL and very specialised accounts with high follower engagement as opposed one big one.

Smaller ‘micro influencers’ (20-150K) will often have a more authentic and specific follower profile within a certain region or demographic that can be very relevant for your brand or product.

When choosing the right accounts to represent your brand look for signs of high engagement (likes, comments, shares), authentic pictures and a real person behind the account as opposed to ‘just’ followers.

Need help finding the right influencers to represent your equestrian business? Are you a successful micro influencer looking to represent your favourite equestrian brands?

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The millennial question

If you have 15 minutes to spare today, I would sincerely recommend want to watch Simon Sinek’s perspective on the millennial question. Not only how to work with them, to connect with them, but also about the effects of social media on the younger generation.

Reaching your customers through social media should be your #1 priority in 2017.

Get in touch to see what we can do for you!