Hastags can be an extremely powerful social media marketing tool for local retailers. Hashtags increase your reach outside of just your followers and fans, help you organize your content and add a bit of fun and flair to your posts. They’re becoming increasingly popular across all major social networks and can instantly add value to your social posts. We’ve compiled a list of popular and unique hashtags to help you get started today.
What is a hashtag?
A hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase preceded by a hash symbol (#). It functions as a label or tag to help make your content more discoverable. When you add a hashtag in your social post, it becomes a clickable link that will take followers to a listing of content that also uses that tag.
Why should I use hashtags?
Using hastags in your social media can be a powerful way to reach more shoppers online – both locally and outside of your area. Shoppers can click on a hashtag from any social post in their feed to see other social posts that include that same hashtag. If you’ve included that same hashtag in your social post – you’ll be included in the list of results! For example, take a look at the #shoplocal hashtag on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/shoplocal. The key to making hashtags work for you is finding ones to get your social content in front of the right shoppers online.
Using hashtags in your social content can also send the right message to your shoppers about your store’s brand and personality. As silly as it may sound, hashtags can make you appear “with it” and “cool” which will leave a positive brand experience with your shoppers.
Tips for Using the Right Hashtags
- Use hashtags that you notice your local shoppers are already using. When friends of your shoppers (who you haven’t yet connected with online) click on that hashtag in their friend’s post, they’ll see your content as well!
- Use hashtags that are popular in your city. Increase exposue to potential customers in your city by using popular local hashtags. For example, we live in Husker Nation and a popular hastag is “#GBR” (Go Big Red) and “#LNK” (Lincoln). We recommend that our local retailers use these hashtags on game day to promote their red and white merchandise.
- Use #ShopLocal. Encourage shoppers to keep their dollars local instead of shopping big-box.
- Use hashtags that other local businesses are using. Take a look at other retailers and small business that you admire to see what hashtags they are using. Work together to grow the Shop Local movement.
- Use hashtags for popular brands you carry. Get your posts in front of the right kind of shoppers, by using hashtags for sought after brands when you post pictures of their merchandise. Brands like #freepeople, #toms, and #verabradely all have active hashtags.
- Create your own special hashtag. Let your loyal shoppers easily see the merchandise you are posting and encourage them to show off their favorite items from your store by using a hashtag you make up just for your store.
- Use trending hashtags for seasons, holidays or themes. Some hashtags are widely recognized, making them ideal for reaching a large audience. Use popular hashtags when they are relevant to what you’re posting to boost the visibility. A few examples are #ootd (outfit of the day), #fashion, #summerfun, and #laborday.
- Use hashtags for popular internet memes. Hashtags on social networks have created some internet traditions. Participating is fun and will boost exposure to your posts. Post an old photo of your store for #tbt (Throwback Thursday). Trade shout outs with other local businesses for #FF (Follow Friday). Post an outfit recommendation or inspirational post for #FashionFriday.
Hashtag Best Practices
- Keep your hashtags short and sweet. Use an acronym or keep the phrase to 3 words or less. Make sure not to include spaces!
- Use a combination of hashtags. Add 2 – 3 hashtags to the end of your sharing captions. Your message should be first, but keep it short and sweet (1-2 sentences). Then add your hashtags to the end.
- Monitor your hashtags. Watch your Facebook insights to see what posts are reaching the most shoppers. Are some hashtags reaching more shoppers than others?
Inspiration to Get You Started
Try out a combination of hashtags from the list below:
Using popular, well-known hashtags will help you get the word out about your store and your merchandise to both local shoppers and out-of-towners alike.
#ootd (Outfit of the Day)
#wiwt (What I Wore Today)
Seasons & Holidays
Get in the holiday spirit by using holiday and seasonal hashtag.
Sales & Promotions
Increase the exposure of your sales & promotions by using these popular hashtags. Also, consider creating a custom hashtag just for your store to help get the word out about your deal! For example, if your store’s name is Whimsy, use something like: “#WinAtWhimsy”.
Brands & Item Details
Include hastags for popular brands or item details that would get your shoppers excited. Are you a resale store with a Coach bag for sale? Include the hashtag “#Coach” to get exposed to more shoppers.
Have you started using hashtags? Share your most successful combinations of hashtags in the comments!