Owning a small business does not have to put you at a competitive disadvantage. The hashtag is one of the great equalizers of 21st-century marketing. When used correctly, it can help boost the quantity and quality of views on your digital content. In this article, we will discuss how to use small business hashtags to increase the visibility of your brand.
How To Use Small Business Hashtags To Promote Your Brand
One Hashtag To Rule Them All
What is a hashtag?
A hashtag is a word or phrase used in conjunction with the number sign (i.e. #DigitalBranding).
Hashtags are used on the major social networks – including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Essentially, their function is to connect you to the hive mind of people interested in a certain topic on social media.
On every platform, #ShopLocal is a community of people interested in promotions and discussions related to local businesses. It is a hashtag used both by shoppers looking for local businesses in their respective areas and brands looking for new customers.
Ok, But Why Small Business Hashtags?
Using a combination of general business and small business hashtags is a good way to diversify your marketing efforts.
However, as a small business owner, it is also important to capture a niche audience that is supportive of your efforts as a startup. As you are probably aware, people who buy from small or local businesses are some of the most fiercely brand-loyal. It is their commitment to helping “the little guy” that sees them, more often than not, remain customers in the long term.
So, using small business and related tags will help you position yourself in discussions that are relevant to this market.
On Instagram, for example, several #ShopLocal tags combine the general hashtag with specific locations; thus creating their own sub-communities of local brands in certain towns, states, or even countries.
If you are a small business located in Raleigh, NC, for instance, you might use the hashtag #ShopLocalRaleigh to be seen by people in Raleigh.
Whether your target market is B2B or B2C-based, the first step to finding people in your niche is to find the perfect hashtags.
What Hashtags Should I Use?
There are quite a few online resources for finding the best hashtags.
RiteTag is at the top of the list.
RiteTag works by finding the most popular Twitter hashtags related to the ones you search for.
In our example above we searched for “smallbusiness” (you can search with or without the # sign).
Our results were divided into three categories;
- Very active – Use these to be seen now (green)
- Somewhat active – Use these to be seen over time (blue)
- Not active – These hashtags are not currently active (gray). In other words, there are more valuable ways to use your Twitter character limit.
It is good practice to use a mixture of both very active and somewhat active hashtags. This is because the ones that are very active are often so popular that it’s easy to get lost in a sea of tweets when you use them.
Somewhat active hashtags, on the other hand, have just the right amount of engagement. So, you will be seen over time and are less likely to get lost in the noise.
In general, most brands opt to use 1-3 hashtags per post. So, you can experiment with any combination of very active and somewhat active hashtags.
Other online resources for finding popular hashtags include:
General Hashtags For Small Businesses
Now that we have gone over a basic overview of what hashtags are and how they are used, we can discuss the most commonly used ones for small businesses.
Twitter + Instagram
- #ShopLocal + #YourCity, State or Country
- #ShopLocalCityInitials (Check to make sure the local you’re using has this tag)
Lastly, Twitter chats are a great way for your brand to build its reputation on social media. Digital Branding Institute hosts a weekly chat with industry leaders every Wednesday at 12 pm Pacific.
#SmallBusiness hashtags should be in the arsenal of every new business. They are an essential part of your brand’s social media and marketing strategy and provide an excellent means for creating greater brand awareness. Therefore, you should use them to generate new leads by connecting to people who want to discover products and services by lesser known companies and by joining relevant discussions about the trials and tribulations of owning a small business.
Does your small business currently have a strategy for using hashtags on social platforms? What other ways do you recommend?