Post signs with your tourist hashtag where visitors will see them.

This one is a simple idea that was raised during my visit to Cathlamet, Washington, population 553:

  • Post your local hashtag where visitors will see it.

The Cathlamet Chamber of Commerce is organizing a fantastic local photo contest. Most of the photos submitted come from residents. They use them in their annual calendar of events and in other publications.

Cathlamet also has visitors, people who sail along the river from the big city and stay at the local marina. Some take photos and post online, surely. But it's not always easy to find these photos or publications. So let's make things easier.

  • Choose a local hashtag.
  • Work with a local artist to put the hashtag on a poster that suits your local style.
  • Post it where the visitors are.

Cathlamet is a city of 553 people and I do not think there is any other place called Cathlamet. So, they can just use #cathlamet as a tag.

They have a casual charm of rustic mountain town. They also have a vibrant artist community. A hand-painted wooden sign suits them perfectly.

Visitors tend to enter the marina. Let's post this sign directly to the marina.

It will then be much easier to find photos and messages from visitors. The room can contact these people at the time of holding the photo contest and even throughout the year.


When I first published this article in my e-newsletter, Brandynn Stanford of Dublin, Texas, again indicated that a hashtag sign was directly 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 and #dublintexas had 1,856. That's great!

Hashtag Sign-Dublin, Texas, airport. Photo courtesy of Brandynn Stanford.

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About Becky McCray

Becky launched Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share stories and ideas of building businesses and rural communities with other small businessmen. She and her husband own an Alva, Oklahoma liquor store and a small ranch nearby. Becky is an international speaker on small business.

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