Hashtag is one of the most popular social media culture and users’ habits nowadays, many social media users add hashtag when they post. Instagram hashtag function has become the album of different brands.
Hashtags were used commonly on Twitter at the beginning, yet there were not many Twitter users in Hong Kong and thanks to the appearance of Instagram bringing the hashtag culture to Hong Kong! Many users use hashtag to highlight their main points while some want to interact with other users and gain more views, likes ,and comments through hashtag. Some brands create their own hashtag and make Instagram be their unique photo albums. When users click into the hashtag, they can glance over all the products.
Although Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook have their own hashtag function, it seems that the one from Instagram is the most common one. It is based on the characteristics of Instagram -- all users have to post pictures when they write any posts on Instagram. Internet users expect they can not only read comments or reviews of a product when they recognise the need to purchase, but they also want to take a look at the product itself through photos. It is Instagram that meet the consumers’ expectation, with hashtag, they can easily search for products they want with photo displaying the actual products.
Some brands also categorize their products and add different hashtags for different collection. Instead of looking for a needle in a haystack, users can effortlessly find out relevant products by hashtags on Instagram. Take HKPlay N Dine as an example, though HKPlay N Dine is not a very typical brand selling some products or services, rather, it is like an online magazine, recommending good food and good place in Hong Kong. HKPlay N Dine uses different districts in Hong Kong as well as different kinds of recommendation to categorize its posts, if you are searching for some nice restaurants, you can simply search the tag #pnd district(#pndtsimshatsui, #pndmongkok etc.) and you can read some food reviews and if you are looking for some hot spots you can enter the tag #pndspots and have a look.
Users’ engagement is also essential. Currently, users can follow accounts and hashtags, therefore, the brands have to make an effort to manage their Instagram accounts and hashtags. In this way, users may publish posts with the brands’ hashtags which is promoting the brands, and the hashtags can also become the bridge and the way to interact between the brands and the Internet users.