Hashtags: The good, the bad, the ugly.

Hashtags are a great way to utilize keywords to get your products in front of a new audience. Anyone who searches for those keywords will pull up your posts via internal search engines on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter.

But that won’t do you any good if you aren’t using the right kind of hashtags. 

How to use hashtags to promote your handmade business

You should always use relevant keywords for tagging your shop posts. Example, I make ecofriendly handmade toy storage solutions for kids in the form of monsters, called Mon-stors. So, if I were to post on Twitter, I would utilize my keywords like this:

“Looking for a fun #storage solution for the #kidsroom? Try #handmade & #ecofriendly toy storage Mon-stors at!”

If I were to post on Instagram, I would caption my photo then add a series of relevant hashtags in the second comment, like these:

#handmade #upcycled #kids #baby #nursery #parenting #kidsroom #momlife #boymom #girlmom #toddler

The words I chose to add a hashtag to are words that are commonly use in searches for my products or for lifestyle content relevant to my products. They are all relevant and form a sentence, they are inviting and informative.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is a disgusting trend of tags that hurt sales. Pushy, rude hashtags that have nothing to do with your product. Here is an example, if I were to do this for my shop:

“New listing on! #buynow #hurryupandbuy #forsale #new #pleasebuy #buyme #youshouldbuythis”

Think on it. Which tweets do you think would reach more people? Which tags would bring in more of your target audience on Instagram? I don’t know about you, but when searching for storage solutions, or jewelry, or clothing, or art, or, well, anything, I have never, ever typed “hurryupandbuy” or “buyme” into a search bar. Just reading that makes me cringe. You wouldn’t walk up to someone at a craft fair, thrust a product at them and say “hurry up and buy this!” so why on Earth would you do that on social media? I honestly do not understand this trend, but as it’s taken off & become almost standard practice for sellers, I’ve watched several shop owners complain about sales dropping off shortly after they started adding “#buythis” and other such tags to their postings. It may not be the only factor in these declining sales, but using abrasive marketing tactics surely can’t be slowing the decline very much.

Other tags that fall into a less rude category but still do nothing to increase awareness about your products to interested parties are #wahm #etsyseller #etsyshopowner #supporthandmade #shophandmade & so on. It’s one thing to tag a post of something you purchased from a handmade shop & encourage others to #shophandmade – something else to try to sell them something & tell them to #shophandmade.

No one wants or needs to be told to buy something. Everyone want to make a choice. It is your job to entice people to visit your shop and to do that you have to explain your products to people in as much detail as possible by using strong keywords, and hashtags help you do that by allowing you to accent your keywords, so people looking for items related to your products can actually find them. No one is going to find your beautiful, handmade, elegant jewelry made with natural stones and sterling silver with tags like #buynow #forsale #etsyshop #wahm #jewelryforsale or #youshouldbuythis on it – but if you tag your #handcrafted #natural stone #necklace made using #sterlingsilver accents with the right keywords, they just may find – and buy! – it.

Let’s stop the trend of abrasive, irrelevant & rude hashtags! Start using strong keywords to help drive traffic to your shop & speak directly to your target audience for organic, natural growth on your social media channels..

Need more #hashtag help? Leave a comment, I would love to help you get on the right path to utilizing keywords to increase traffic to your site!

5 thoughts on “Hashtags: The good, the bad, the ugly.”

  1. The one exception to having any buy now sort of hashtags would be if you’re using Inselly – you can either hashtag with #inselly or I believe #forsale works too. That said, I usually just hashtag with #inselly regardless since, like you said, it does look less tacky 😛


    1. When using them to group images with a thread, like Inselly, definitely use the hashtag! But no one really searches for #handmade #cute #jewelry with the tag #forsale. Another good rule of thumb is to click the hashtag yourself. Is the images that come up ones that your target audience would want to shift through to see your products? Or is it stuff that is totally unrelated to your products?

      Definitely a good point though! Using tags to group your items in a thread is totally acceptable hashtag etiquette.


  2. Glad to read this article and just re-affirm that I had been using appropriate hashtags! I hate the pushiness that is commonplace in social media as well and it would have never occurred to me to give orders or make demands on potential customers in my hashtags! Thanks for the encouragement to keep doing what I do!



  3. I make zentangle inspired art on greeting cards, thank you cards, placemats and similar items. Please let me know what are some of the tags i can use on instagram to get more traffic to my account and to get sales. Thank YOU.


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