Why The Instagram Hashtag is What Your Brand is Missing

If your brand isn’t on Instagram by now, you’re missing out on one of the fastest growing social media platforms available to reach potential (and already existing) customers. With 50 million new users just in the last six months, Instagram is quickly ushering in a new kind of social media trend. An almost entirely visual newsfeed.

And on a platform that focuses almost exclusively in image-based content, how does the hashtag fit in it at all, much less boast the most powerful use of it over any other social media platform?

Because it can tell a #story.

The hashtag on Instagram can contribute to telling a brand’s story and share it’s culture and community in a way that can’t be conveyed with words alone. Very simply, it can play a very crucial component in weaving together a brand’s visual voice.

Take for instance, the UK-based online clothing mogul, ASOS. Recently, they launched an Instagram campaign using only the hashtag, #MakeMeACurveModel. In 10 days, thousands posted self-portraits (#selfies) in hopes they could be the new face of the fashion brand.

And why does this matter?

Because beyond creating viral publicity, ASOS also encouraged fans to become a part of their brand’s visual voice. They allowed their customers to contribute to their company’s story. Finally, now that the campaign is over, they also have a hash-tagged fan photo album of the entire successful campaign. And it didn’t cost them a dime.

And where Twitter and Facebook fall short in making the hashtag actually work as a conversation because it’s bogged down by text, Instagram succeeds in using it to tell powerful visual stories with purposeful images from both the brand and the customer. From start to finish, there is picture proof of a beginning, a middle and a happy ending.

And that folks, is what we call a #SocialMediaSuccessStory.