Akbar Sheikh of Sheikh Productions

Melissa Johnson

Founder & Creative Director at Best Friends For Frosting

Known to make anyone smile within 10 seconds, Melissa Johnson is a multi-passionate entrepreneur – Blog & Brand Coach, Lifestyle Expert and Founder & CEO of the lifestyle website, Best Friends For Frosting. Melissa launched Best Friends For Frosting in 2010 with absolutely no formal training and turned it into a full time career, bringing on her husband full time along with a passionate team.

She has shared tips and tricks with audiences nationwide, from appearances on ABC and QVC to being featured on Martha Stewart, Better Homes & Gardens, and Good Housekeeping Magazine. As someone who loves motivational speaking, Melissa is inspired to help others, whether it’s through offering strategic business or blogging consultations, styling an editorial photoshoot, or creating DIY projects and recipespersonalized speaker bio


How To Create Branded Instagram Hashtags & Build Community

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to talk to you today. I run the Instagram account and website ‘Best Friends For Frosting’. We’re a lifestyle brand that covers interior design, DIY, motivational speaking, and so much more. I’m all about joyful living, positivity, happiness, the finer things in life, and living in the moment.

Expert session

Tactic that has had the biggest impact on Melissa’s success

Visually branding content, hashtag strategy, & growing a community

Result if you follow the steps in Melissa’s session

A stronger community associating with your own hashtags and promoting them

Full session with video, notes, audio and discussion inside EHQ Club. Learn more

Expert session snapshot


So branded hashtag is a dedicated hashtag that you can create that’s really tailored towards your brand.

So for instance, our branded hashtag is called so Best Friends For Frosting on and like we kind of chatted about earlier, the imagery is bright and airy and cheerful. And a lot of lifestyle bloggers are creatives in the industry, whether it’s bakeries, or event planners or photographers will use that hashtag.

And the reason why it’s really important to have a hashtag like that is because the more popular that hashtag becomes on Instagram, it will actually suggest for other users to use that hashtag when they’re using other people’s hashtags.

So it’s actually been a really great way that we’ve developed having new users or not users, but new readers follow our brand. So it’s been really great.

Another really great way about it is really just developing that community. So for instance, on there’s other lifestyle blogs that have really amazing hashtags that I follow, and I’ll find people to feature just through those hashtags or I’ll find new people to follow and get inspired from those hashtags.

I just think at the end of the day, using either, using hashtags that are branded or creating your own hashtag branded is so awesome for community.

Yeah, it’s fantastic to see that you’ve used a hashtag that is your business, right? It’s your Instagram account, it’s now your hashtag. So people know that it’s you. It’s not a generic word or phrase. It’s really unique to you guys which is great.

How do you go about choosing or deciding what your hashtag should be? And whether it’s even available as well?

So you mean when you’re actually creating your own user hashtag? So for us actually was really cool, because I was very, very clear with myself. That when I created this hashtag, I was very clear saying to myself, I want people to be able to use that and still, you know, but it’s Best Friends For Frosting.

And at first we were like, should we do so BFFs and that was kind of abbreviated your brand name, but it’s like now, you know, I think we really should spell the whole now because every time that new users or somebody else uses it, instantly start familiarizing themselves with the name restaurants or frosting.

I’ve seen other bloggers use hashtags that are created for their brand, but they don’t have their actual brand name in it. And I’ve seen brands do it with millions of people that have rebrand images using that hashtag programmed image, Instagram images using that hashtag.

And it kind of bums me out because I was like, darn like, obviously people in the industry know like, that’s your hashtag and that’s awesome, but at the same time, what about new users or anybody under the sun I just think that every single time that you you’re using your brand name is an opportunity to brand yourself and gain a new following.

I can see the way that you know you’re getting new followers through people being suggested your hashtag. And you mentioned a community that, can you talk to us about the community behind a hashtag, like how does that work and has helped? Is it working for you?

So creating a community based upon a hashtag is awesome because literally what it does is it brings likeminded people on the internet together that are going to generally like those images that are posted like.

So for instance, what we’re chatting about earlier about the bright and airy images that are used with our hashtag, people that like and really appreciate binary images are going to type in either our hashtag or other people’s hashtags that are also used as well. So that’s one really great way to create a community.

And then also, of course, the more that I see people that I respect in the industry, using other people’s hashtags makes me think higher that brand. I’ve seen celebrities use other people’s branded hashtags. I’ve seen bloggers or entrepreneurs that I really admire using other people’s branded hashtags.

And every single time that they use those hashtags, it’s instant street cred. It’s instant credibility, and it’s instantly saying, well, that is a brand that is respected in the industry that people are taking the time out of their day to punch in that hashtag because they know that people are going to take notice to their images.

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