Hashtags have arrived on Facebook, so we’ve put together this quick guide to get you up and running, and using them successfully in your social media marketing.
What are hashtags?
Skip this if you’re a seasoned hashtagger! If you’re not familiar with hashtags, they’re the clickable words you see on Twitter, Instagram and now Facebook with the hash symbol in front, like this: #FacebookMarketing. When clicked, they take you to a feed of recent posts on that topic.
By using a hashtag, your post, tweet or photo can be flagged as related to a particular topic, and searchable by people on those platforms looking for that topic. This can increase your reach beyond your existing networks and result in more views, likes and retweets.
How do hashtags work on Facebook?
Very simply, if you’re posting about a topic, you can add a hashtag by typing ‘#’ followed by the topic / person / thing you’re tagging.These could be popular or trending topics (e.g. #
- Don’t use any spaces – they have to be all one word
- Upper/lower case makes no difference but you can capitalise each word for easier readability e.g. #HashtagTips
- Research existing hashtags using Twitter, Google+ or Facebook to find those already in popular use. Try using this URL to find posts using a specific hashtag on Facebook: www.facebook.com/hashtag/YourHashtagHere
- You can make up your own hashtags – using a branded hashtag can be good to build your own brand or promote a particular product across many social media platforms
- Don’t overdo it – #hashtags quickly become #annoying when #overdone! #PleaseStop #TooHard #GoingCrazy
Smarter hashtag use
You’ve probably already seen a bunch of posts on Facebook or Twitter that are jammed with hashtags. While this might increase short-term visibility, it won’t win any friends. It’s best to use them sparingly – not in every post, and only one or two per post. They can be used within the post as part of the main copy, or added to the end of the post. The former is better if it won’t affect #readability, and the latter if it’s a bit cumbersome: #copywritingtips
In a nutshell…
…it all comes down to your Facebook marketing goals. If your goal is lead generation, then your strategy may be to provide quality, useful information that your target audience would appreciate, find valuable and share with their own networks. If it’s more about brand awareness, you might use popular hashtags that get your brand exposed to a wider, relevant audience.
Smart use of hashtags can help your posts get seen and shared more often, building up your follower base and bringing more visitors to your website.
This post was originally written by me for the Real Time Minds blog – a great small business resource of which I am a founding member.