Chamber launches hashtag campaign

By Karen Holbrook -

The Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce recently launched a new campaign encouraging business members to utilize hot social media trends. By taking part in the “Chamber Challenge” businesses are encouraged to hashtag their way to potential prize money.

According to Office and Tourism Manager for the Yadkin Valley Chamber Misty Matthews, finding new ways to get people in the doors of local businesses is a top priority. “We try to stay up on new social media trends and share it with you,” read a press release issued by the chamber.

“I wanted to get our members to visit and explore other member businesses,” said Matthews. “We wanted to encourage business owners to use more social media and incorporate it into their business.”

The challenge, which launched on July 21, will continue until Aug. 31, giving participants the opportunity to earn $100 for the most hashtags used for their business. The prize for whomever hashtags the most will receive $100 off of their Chamber Membership Dues or $100 in Chamber Bucks.

To officially begin the contest, a business would need to display the Chamber Member decal on their door or window, allowing other members to determine who is a Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce member. Decals are available through the chamber office.

To earn credit for the contest, guests, customers or business owners may take a photo of the store front, inside, window or door with the decal displayed. The item may then be posted on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #yvchamber, along with a written description of what business the persons posting are at and if they choose, their experience. Business owners also may hashtag their own business along with the business they are visiting.

“This will not only keep us doing business with other members and shopping local it will help promote each business you visit,” read the press release.

The use of hashtags has become popular on social media as a means of marketing or joining in on popular conversations about current events. By definition, a hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic.

According to the chamber press release, “A hashtag is a way to label something, typically a Tweet or Facebook post. For example, if you search for #yum on Twitter you’ll get a list of Tweets about tasty food and drinks. Other sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and other sites also use hashtags in a similar way. Hashtags are effective tools that will bring relevant customers.”

In addition to using social media for business promotion, hashtagging is also an effective way to market businesses without the expense of advertising. By involving the community, the chamber hopes to not only encourage participation but also draw attention to the services that are offered in the local community.

“We want people to shop local and get in the doors of local businesses,” said Matthews. “We hope that the businesses can learn from this and learn the power of social media. We want to get more members engaged.”

To view the posts already shared from local businesses, go to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest and type #yvchamber in the search line. The contest will run until Aug. 31. For more information, contact the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce at 336-526-1111.

Karen Holbrook may be reached at 336-258-4059 or on Twitter @KarenHolbrook00.

By Karen Holbrook

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