Hashtags are finally available on Facebook, something that has been commonplace on most other social media networks including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. If you’re a fan of these other social media networks, then you’re quite accustomed to seeing and probably using hashtags. In fact, you might have used them on Facebook in the past, but they weren’t clickable.
If you are new to the hashtag, allow me to explain. A hashtag is a simple way to categorize social media posts. You simply put the hashtag (#) before a keyword and it becomes clickable and searchable. To be most useful, the hashtag relates to the social media post so it makes it easy for people to find it. For example, here’s a social media post I may want to share about Facebook hashtags:
Have you started using #hashtags on #Facebook yet? #socialmedia
The 3 hashtags that I’ve used can help categorize my post. That way, people who keep tabs on those hashtags will find my post. In addition, if someone reads my post, they can click on the hashtag to see any other social media posts that others have tagged with the same hashtag.
I’m sure you can see how hashtags can help get your content out to more people, which is why many people were anxiously awaiting the arrival of hashtags on Facebook. Now Pages can add hashtags that will help others find their content – which hopefully will lead to more exposure for your business.
Getting Started with Facebook Hashtags
Start researching potential hashtags to use. You want to find out what people are using. If you use a hashtag that isn’t as popular as a similar one, you will miss the opportunity to get found by more people. For example – I might want to check the popularity of #internetmarketing versus #onlinemarketing . To search for a hashtag, just type it into the search box at the top of Facebook. Once you do search for a hashtag, Facebook will also give you suggestions of other hashtags that you should research.
Keep an eye on hashtags that your target market and competitors use. If your target market is fond of a hashtag, you should be using it in your posts (if it makes sense only!). That way, it makes it easier for your posts to be seen by your market. Similarly, check to see what your competitors or other companies who target your same market are using. You might get some good ideas from them. Keep in mind that you will only see posts from people who make their posts public. Right now, that may be a majority of Facebook Pages until more users open up to using hashtags and loosening their privacy settings.
3. Be Thoughtful
Be smart with your use of hashtags. Don’t overdo it. If you use Instagram, you might be familiar with what I’m talking about. People will hashtag a post to death in hopes that it gets seen by more people. Only use hashtags that really relate to your post. So far, I haven’t seen this happening yet on Facebook, but let’s not start the trend.
4. Get Creative
You may already have had success creating your own hashtags to use on Twitter or other social media networks. If not, why not try it now? Remember, a hashtag is a way for similar conversations to be grouped together and they are searchable. So you could have a contest where people share a photo and include a hashtag that you created so that it can be found by others. This is one of the reasons marketers love hashtags. Here is a great post from AllFacebook about how brands are using hashtags on Facebook.
Advertising on Facebook will get a little more interesting now that you can target people based on which hashtags they use. Even if they have their profile set to keep posts private from anyone but their friends, companies can still reach them via an ad. I suggest you give it a test after you’ve researched which hashtags your target market is using.
Have you started using hashtags in your Facebook posts?