How to use hashtags to grow your handmade shop

Sep 12, 2017 | Handmade Business Tips, Marketing Tactics

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Hashtags are a great way to build a community of fans and find customers online. It’s not always easy to understand how they work and how to leverage them, and that is exactly what we’re going to talk about today. We’re going to cover the use of hashtags on 4 social media networks, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. At the end of this blog post, there is also a free list of hashtags for makers and handmade shop owners waiting for you.

You can watch the video, or read the post below.

What are hashtags?

Hashtags are words or phrases preceded by the # sign and used on social media to categorize messages based on their topic. They have been made famous on Twitter first but are now used on most social platforms.

They have two main functions:

  • Creating communities. By using this type of hashtags (e.g.: #thetizzitcircle; #makersgonnamake), people recognize themselves as parts of a certain community.
  • Allowing to search for a keyword. By using a certain hashtag you’re going to find posts and pictures related to the topic. For example, searching for #madeincolorado, you’re probably going to find things made in Colorado, and by searching for #veganrecipes, you’re going to find posts and pictures showing vegan recipes.

Where should you use them?

For Twitter and Instagram – you should use them all the time. Those two platforms work around the concept of hashtags and that’s the way for you to reach out to your ideal audience and then bring them back to your social profile and eventually to your store. You’ll need to do a little bit of research and ask yourself what hashtags are your ideal customers using and start using them on your pictures and posts.

 

Facebook – I know this may surprise a few of you but Facebook isn’t actually a good platform to use hashtags. The algorithm and the way the Facebook search works have changed and it’s not recommended anymore to use hashtags on the platform. There was a study done by Buzz Sumo – they’ve analyzed over a billion posts from over 13 million brand pages and reported that posts that used hashtags didn’t perform quite as well as posts that didn’t use them. In other words, if you don’t use hashtags, you have a bigger chance of reaching a wider audience on Facebook.

 

Pinterest is not like a social media platform, it is more of a search engine. The way it works is that you write some keywords and get all those posts and pictures related to your search. Up until really recently, you would have heard me saying ‘don’t use hashtags on Pinterest’, because those posts weren’t going to rank well. They had a different way of ranking the images on the platform but recently Pinterest officially announced they reintroducing hashtags to the platform. Here’s a video on how to use hashtags on Pinterest.

How to find hashtags that attract customers to your shop?

A good hashtag should fulfill 3 main criteria:

  • It describes what your shop is about. Seems pretty straightforward, but it’s important to remember that.
  • Your customers would search for it. For example, if you’re selling jewelry, #ilovejewelry would be a good hashtag. On the other hand, if you’re making soap, you wouldn’t want to use #soapmaking, as it’s going to attract your competitors or people trying to DIY at home, looking for inspiration.
  • It isn’t over- or underused. You don’t want to use really big hashtags if you don’t have a big following because you’re going to get lost in the sea of other people using this hashtag that have a bigger audience. You don’t want to do the opposite either, meaning using a hashtag so small that hardly anyone is using. If you find a hashtag that has only been used 200 times it’s not enough to put yourself and your product in front of enough eyes. As a rule o thumb, you want to look for something between 10.000-500.000 mark. You can go hard if you have a big following.

 

That’s it for today! Don’t forget to download your free list of hashtags for makers and handmade shop owners here!

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Welcome! Want to learn how to build a profitable and successful handmade business and sell your handmade products to the world? You're in the right place! Read more ...
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