Hashtags 101 – Part 2

Hopefully you’re more comfortable with hashtags after reading Part 1 of this blog entry. Now let’s get into more advanced work and talk about branded hashtags.  Did you know that you can create your own hashtag and use it to start a conversation with your followers or to curate certain content? A simple example of this is a hashtag I created for my dog. If you search #junebugperez you will see photos of her. She doesn’t have an Instagram account so whenever I post a photo of her, I use this hashtag.

Now you, the retailer, can create a custom hashtag around some aspect of your business. Consider a custom hashtag for things like:

  • a store event
  • a lifestyle that’s relevant to your customers – for example, #LiveInLevis is a hashtag created by Levi Strauss to be used by the end users of their product. If you search that hashtag you’ll see over 200k posts by people living in their Levis. Brilliant right?
  • when your customers post a photo of themselves in something they bought from your store. Better yet, for when your customers are trying on outfits while in the store. Why not have a space in your store specifically for Instagram (or Facebook) photos? This is a great way to drive visibility on Instagram (See Brit+Co’s holiday house for example #bcHolidayHouse)

When you create a custom hashtag, keep it simple and memorable. If they’re too long they’re hard to read. Try aliterations. They’re useful and mentally “sticky”. Remember LiveInLevis and bcHolidayHouse? Rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

Here are some ideas for hashtags you all can use:

Regional — If you have a popular landmark nearby, use its hashtag. It’s likely people will be searching for it when visiting your area and I’m sure you wouldn’t mind if your store/product/event somehow appeared in the same list of results, right? It’s not a guarantee, but it’s more likely if you use it!  If your town or city has their own hashtag USE IT! e.g. #sonoma #longbeach #dtla #downtownboston #brooklynbridge #goldengatebridge

Here are some examples of results that can be found when searching for places on Instagram. Stores, restaurants, and the like (circled) all reaped the benefits of using helpful hashtags. You can, too!

Events — If there is a popular event that people travel to your town to attend, I’ll bet they have a hashtag. Use it around the time of the event so when people are getting ready to go there or while they’re there, they’ll find you when they search that event.  e.g. #jazzfest #bottlerock2017 #outlandfestival

Special feature/personality — There is a great little café near my house called Wide Eyes Open Palms (find them @wideeyesopenpalms on instagram). They have outside seating and as you can probably imagine there are quite a few canine visitors. Guess what? They have a hashtag for customers to use when they take a photo of their dog at the café. Check it out: #wideeyesopenpaws You might see a certain adorable pup there ☺ And if you’re ever out this way, pop in for coffee and ricotta toast.

I’d love to hear about your new or best hashtags. Comment below and let us know how they worked out!


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