What’s a #hashtag anyway?
A hashtag is the # symbol before a keyword that turns that word into a clickable link. When users click the link, it will take them to a feed showing posts that include that keyword. Basically, a hashtag is a way to organize conversation around a single keyword or topic.
Hashtags first became popular on Twitter when conference attendees were looking for a way to easily connect, and they’ve grown in use from there. You’ll find hashtags commonly used on Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and it should come to no surprise that now they’re on Facebook as well. I think the real question is not “Why did Facebook add hashtags” but rather, “Why did it take so long?”
Better Facebook reach
When you use a hashtag, anyone who clicks on that hashtag, whether it’s the specific one you’ve created or not, it will display your post for them to see. This means that your posts have potential to get in front of anyone looking for #marketing advice, not just the fans of your Facebook page. Your potential reach goes from fans and friends of fans who share your content to anyone on the planet searching on your keyword, people who may not have realized your small business exists.
Try using some hashtags in your future Facebook posts. Check your insights and watch your reach stats to see if they are working. Try different keywords to see which words and phrases get you maximum reach.
Organize your content
Use hashtags to help brand yourself and organize the information in your content. At Allée we do a #MarketingMonday tip each week. By creating our own hashtag for our weekly marketing tips, fans can easily see all our tips in one place by doing a simple search on that hashtag.
Like with Twitter, if you’re having a special event, create a hashtag for that event. Encourage others to use that hashtag to talk about the event as well. When Facebook users click the hashtag, they’ll be able to see the excitement building by having all comments about your event in one place. You’ll be able to build conversation around it and easily see what others are saying about it.
Tips for using Facebook hashtags
Keep it simple
Hashtags have to be all one word, so keep them short and easy to read. Capitalization doesn’t matter; capitalize for readability so it’s easy to catch the meaning when scanning quickly. #AlleeEvents is going to be easier to read and more meaningful than #alleeevents, although both will show the same results when clicked.
Hashtags are for sharing
If you’re using keywords for hashtags to get found, using the same keywords as everyone else is a good idea. You want to use the hashtag people are clicking on. If you’re trying to create a unique hashtag for your brand, double check to make sure no one else is using that hashtag already.
Watch for trending hashtags
Watch for hashtags in your industry that are trending and jump in on those. You can use the same hashtags that have worked for you on Twitter on Facebook. Just keep in mind that Facebook and Twitter are different platforms and you should be creating different posts for each platform, even if you’re using the same hashtags.
Facebook is always changing. They’ve recently updated their insights and now you can use hashtags. I love the changes. I think they’re great for users and great for small businesses. What do you think?