Last month, Crystal Media hosted its 3rd annual Social Media Day and it was filled to the brim with learning, insights and questions (with answers!) One of the questions that was asked in the chat was this:
We’ve received this question before, so today, I wanted to answer that question for you.
To create a branded hashtag, first you’ll want to do some research. Check if there are any hashtags with your store name already in use. If there is another brand using this hashtag, the one you choose to use may get lost with the others. You want it to be unique to your store, with little to no use on the hashtag already.
Some common things that brands incorporate in their branded hashtags are their location, their store name, or their business category. As an example, a pet store named Pets123 located in Detroit, Michigan may choose one of the following hashtags as one of their branded hashtags: #Pets123 #Pets123Detroit #Pets123Michigan #DetroitPetStore.
Remember, you can include up to 30 hashtags on one Instagram post and up to 10 hashtags in one IG/FB Story, so you can use several hashtags that relate to your business, but you should have one main one that is associated with your brand. In the example above, I would encourage the pet store to choose “#Pets123”.
People may choose to follow a hashtag instead of an account. As Instagram users are conscious of who they choose to follow and fill their feed with, not every user necessarily follows a brand. An Instagram user can follow a hashtag without it showing up as a new follow. This means posts using this hashtag can appear on their Instagram feed. For this reason, I would encourage you to use your branded hashtag on a mix of your posts— from products to tips to those that create connection. Hopefully after getting to know your brand better, the user will choose to follow your account.
Important note: I wouldn’t recommend using your branded hashtag on every single post. This may invite social media users to just follow the hashtag without having to follow your brand at all.
Store visitors and customers can use your hashtag. Many brands encourage people to use a hashtag when sharing images and videos of their store or products. If a user uses your hashtag, it will appear under the hashtag page of all the posts using that #. From here, you can check often to see if there are any new posts from store visitors. To get more people to use your branded hashtag, consider adding your hashtag to your Instagram bio and say, “Use #________ to be featured”. You can also include your branded hashtag on store signage so people know to use it on social media.
It helps build your brand and get you discovered. If you’ve been using your hashtag consistently, and you now have store visitors using your hashtag to share posts about your business, there should be a good amount of posts under your branded hashtag. If someone comes across this hashtag, they have a great chance of seeing a good selection of posts from you and store visitors. They may be introduced to your brand and choose to follow you or, even better, shop with you!
What I want you to take away from this blog:
- Create a unique hashtag that can be associated with your brand
- Use your branded hashtag on a mix of product posts and posts that encourage connection and community building
- Encourage store visitors to use your hashtag
I want to hear from you!
Do you currently have a branded hashtag? If so, let us know in the comments below! If not, feel free to send us a message on our Instagram @CrystalMediaCo and we’d be happy to help you brainstorm!