Hashtags for Independent Retailers

Some local retailers have been asking about hashtags and how they can use for their business, so here’s a quick guide.

Why use hashtags?

Hashtags help people find content they are interested in. By clicking on a hashtag, users can see posts using that hashtag. If you follow a hashtag, it will automatically appear in your feed in Instagram and LinkedIn. You’ll also be able to find and join conversations around that subject. If you’re content is engaging and relevant to that hashtag, you should find customers interested in you and what you are talking about. In turn, they may then follow you.

Make sure the hashtags are relevant to your brand & message.  

Keep a list of hashtags including brands, place and sector hashtags, then target and match the most relevant ones to individual posts  

Use tools to find the most popular & related hashtags for your sector

Understand how others are using hashtags, & learn from them  

Use hashtags of brands you stock  

Use analytics to see which hashtags are working best for you  

Don’t use the same list of hashtags with every post

Don’t go over overboard with hashtags. You can use up to 30 on a post on Instagram but 9 is the recommended optimal number, and 10 for a story  

Don’t inadvertently spell out an unwelcome word or phrase when you merge the words together! Check your hashtag works before posting

Don’t forget to refresh your list once in a while and find out the latest trending hashtags

How to use them

You can post hashtags at the bottom of the content. On Instagram you can add them more discreetly in a comment once you’ve posted, making your post looks less cluttered. You can also hide hashtags within your post on Instagram. Follow hashtags too so that you can take the opportunity to be part of conversations.

Hashtags for independent retailers

To promote independent retailers and to connect to those following shop local campaigns, take look at the hashtags below for independent shops.

Placing yourself in your locality and surrounding areas is also important, so use local hashtags, or tag in local campaigners. Also use hashtags relevant to your business is important too. Take a look at what your business neighbours are using to find the right variant for your area.

Hashtags related to a day of the week can works for your business if you can relate the theme to you in a relevant way. Running a campaign over a number of weeks can work well.  Bring it all together and a running shop could use #run #solihull #mondaymotivation #shoplocal on a Monday post talking about planning your runs for the week ahead.

For independent’s











Daily Themes











Local hashtags

#your town
e.g #Solihull

#visit[your town]
e.g. #visitSolihull

#love[your town]
e.g. #loveSolihull
Sector Specific

#[your sector]
e.g. #bikes

#[your passion]
e.g. #cycling

e.g. #velo

Campaigns to follow and join in with

There are a number of campaigns through the year, and if you are joining in, tagging the campaigner means they are more likely to see the post, leading to possible comments and shares. Not only can you join in with campaigns, but they share useful tips and advice, so they are worth a follow throughout the year.

@Savethehighstreet – driving footfall to the High Street

@totallylocally – promoting FiverFest

@smallbizsatuk – promoting small businesses and deliver the Small Business Satuday campaign (1st Saturday in December)

@independentsdayuk – promote the shop indie campaign on July 4th

@shopindieuk – run the BestSmallShops competition

@justacard – encouraging people to support and buy from artists, crafters, independent shops


Hashtags are there to join a conversation and let others looking for conversations about their particular subject find you. They help you target customers interested in the same things as you. The golden rule is to keep them relevant to your message, your sector and your locality. Don’t forget to keep a list of your core hashtags, so that when you’re posting, you’re not racking your brain trying to remember exactly what they are!

Five Questions Every Retailer Should Be Asking

2018 has been one of the most challenging years in retail.  As consumers continue to change their shopping habits and demand more from their retailers; as technology changes bring exciting new ways of delivering information and experiences to customers; as business rates and rents challenge costs, we more than ever need to keep asking questions that will drive business improvements.

Do you think of your customer before everything else?

Your customer should be at the forefront of everything you do. Why are your customers visiting you today? Where are they visiting you? In store, on your website or via social media? Are they getting what they want each time they visit you? What customer insights do you have? How well do you know your existing customers and target customers? What can you add of value that sets you apart? How are you growing your relationships with customers?

Is convenience at the heart of all your processes?

Customers are seeking convenience more than ever, and anything that makes it harder to interact with you means a potential lost customer.  How can you introduce convenience to every interaction you have with your customers?  When can customers contact you and how?  How can they order your products and book your services?  In what ways can you deliver products and services that are convenient to customers or do they have to come to you?  Can you do what you are doing now more effectively using apps and processes?

How engaged are you with your community?

Whether you are in the city centre, busy town or a village High Street, your regular customers, and your neighbours will want to wish you well and support you.  Have you got a reason for them to support you?  What kind of greeting and service do customers get across every channel they interact with you? What can you do within your community? Can you host clubs, run events, offer classes or advice?  If you can’t offer a service with your product, can you support the community in their events – volunteering for community events, raffle prizes for local schools and charities? Do you invite your community to engage with you across channels?

Have you embraced the latest technology and trends?

Technology is changing all the time so have you checked you are making the most of the features of the technologies you are using? What are the latest improvements available for your website, Google apps, your social media pages, your systems? Are you up to date with the latest trends? Can you improve processes by using new apps and technologies? Did you write off a technology or sales channel when it first came out that could now be relevant to your customers?

How can you grow?

Have you looked at new ways to expand existing products to new channels? Can you introduce new products to existing customers? Can you do this whilst keeping a focus on your existing business? What are your key business strengths that you can use to take you in new directions?

It’s worth taking time out of your schedule to work through these questions. This will lead you to identifying actions you can prioritise and deliver on.

If you’d like some help with answering these questions and applying them to your business, give us a call today on 07949391450 or email us at kim@khulseconsulting.com to book a session.

%d bloggers like this: