Marketing with Hashtags


Gift Basket Network Success Express

A Marketing Tip That You Are Probably Not Using

We, as small gift companies, are fighting not only Amazon but also the search engines themselves for placement in “search results.”  Catering to ad revenue over actual information, Google and the search engines will list all those companies that pay Google before listing companies that are actually located in the location searched or sell the products searched for.

I consider myself to be fairly well informed about SEO (search engine optimization) but that isn’t enough in today’s online world.  If you only depend on SEO, you won’t be found.  Google constantly adds other things to what they look at to rank a site.   Your ability to market your business through other methods is essential even for organic search engine results..

My own e-commerce site has dropped in organic search and I’m actively searching and adding other things to my online and offline optimization.  You should be doing the same.

As I find ideas to use, I will be sharing them here with you in future posts in this Success Express site.

Here is one that I recently found on an Etsy blog post (and, yes, I do have an Etsy website as well and, no, I don’t and am not allowed to sell gift baskets there) I had not heard of before but will be using:

Create a Hashtag for your business and create a campaign for it

The Etsy blog post had this story to tell about one of its member businesses who did exactly that.

“When Etsy seller Jahje Ives first launched a hashtag for her children’s decor shop Baby Jives Co in 2013, she penned a handwritten note for each order. Her message thanked customers for their purchase and encouraged them to post a photo using the hashtag #babyjives. As her Instagram following grew, Jahje promoted the hashtag more heavily, including a friendly reminder in her Message to Buyers and diligently tagged her Instagram posts with #babyjives. She even upgraded her packaging to include a business card with her hashtag and social media handles. Three years later, #babyjives has over 1,500 tagged posts and Jahje has made over 2,500 sales in her shop.”

Sounds like a good marketing technique to me.

Here are some ideas from Etsy to help you get started creating and marketing your business hashtag.

  • So what is a hashtag?  It is a word or words which follow a #.  I have been using the hashtag #TipOfTheDay on the GiftBasketNetwork Facebook group.  After reading the Etsy article, I plan to change that hashtag to something more specific and unique.  Twitter first introduced hashtags in 2007 and they have been confusing people ever since.
  • Creating your hashtag should take some time.  Don’t just create it off the top of your head.  When you think of something that you would like to use (perhaps your business name), type it in the search bar on Instagram to see if someone else is already using it.  Also see what kind of content is being shared with that hashtag so that you don’t end up with a double meaning or something that might be embarrassing.Write down notes about who your ideal customer is, asking yourself what they like to do, see, and post about. Draw from these ideas to create a hashtag that focuses on their interests.  You can create a hashtag that focuses on your brand.  For example, for one website that I am creating, I will be using the hashtag #LicketySplitGifts to show that delivery is quick.No one owns a hashtag.  You can use one that is popular already and your posts using that hashtag will appear with all the other posts using the same hashtag.  To see how this works, type #Tipoftheday into the Facebook search and you will find all the posts on Facebook that use the same hashtag.Keep your hastags short and simple.  #whenyouputmanywordstogether in a single hashtag, the letters can become all jumbled up and difficult to skim through.#ButIfYouCapitalize the first letter of each word, it’s easier to distinguish each word and read at a glance. Hashtags are not case sensitive, so when you combine multiple words together in your hashtag, distinguish them by capitalizing the first letter of each word.  Don’t use spaces or special punctuation such as @ in your hashtag.
  • Use your new hashtag on blog posts, on twitter and other social media platforms.  Invite people to share it. You can use it on your business card and in packaging.  One Etsy company includes a postcard with the hashtag and social media names with  the products that she ships.
  • Give your customers a reason to share your hashtag.  Create a contest.  Create a giveaway.  Ask customers to post a picture of your product using your hashtag.  If you’re delivering a gift basket, post a picture of it along with your hashtag and ask the sender and/or recipient to share it.
  • Use it regularly and use it everywhere.

If you find this idea intriguing as I have, you can read the entire Etsy article here.

Do any of you already use this idea?  If so, please share how it is working for you in the comments. What other ways do you have to communicate with your followers?

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