Promotion of Knoxville’s business community via social media is centering around the use of a new hashtag, which Knoxville Chamber members are being encouraged to use.

This month’s Lunch and Learn session with the Chamber centered on the #IChooseKnoxville hashtag, and how businesses can use it to promote themselves and the city.

Hannah Vander Veer is the director of the Knoxville Chamber; she tells KNIA/KRLS News the hashtag is meant to allow consumers to interact with businesses, and not simply be told what and where to buy their services — because this type of interaction is what the modern consumer is looking for.

“The thought behind #IChooseKnoxville is just to create an online community, getting businesses and customers to interact and to basically tell the story of Knoxville,” Vander Veer says. “Customers want businesses to invoke emotions in them, so if a customer feels like a business is paying attention to them as an individual, they’re so much more likely to walk in your door.”

Vander Veer says more consumers are turning to electronic media first to find out what they need to know about a service or business they’re looking for, so allowing potential customers to find a business quickly, and giving them a reason to keep communicating, can turn them into regular customers.