This one is a simple idea that came up when I was visiting Cathlamet, Washington, population 553:
- Post your local hashtag where visitors will see it.
The Cathlamet Chamber of Commerce does an awesome local photo contest. Most of the photo submissions come from locals. They use these on their annual events calendar and other publications.
Cathlamet also has visitors, people who boat along the river from the big city and stay at the local marina. Some are taking photos and posting online, surely. But it’s not always easy to find those photos or posts. So let’s make it easier.
- Decide on a local hashtag.
- Work with a local artist to put the hashtag on a sign that suits your local style.
- Post it where visitors are.
Cathlamet is a town of 553 people, and I don’t think there is any other place named Cathlamet anywhere. So they can just use #cathlamet as a tag.
They have a casual rustic mountain town charm. They also have a vibrant artist community. A handpainted wooden sign suits them perfectly.
Visitors tend to come in through the marina. Let’s go post that sign right at the marina.
Then it will be just that much easier to find photos and posts from visitors. The chamber can reach out to these folks when its photo contest time and even throughout the year.
When I first shared this article in my email newsletter, I heard back from Brandynn Stanford, in Dublin, Texas, where they have a hashtag sign right at the local airport. They chose three hashtags to include, based on what is already shared on Instagram. Brandynn said that #dublintx already had 2,274 posts, and #dublintexas had 1,856 posts. That’s pretty awesome!
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.