From the Desk of Facebook: Hashtag Advice for Marketers

facebook-hashtagThe day has finally arrived: Facebook has revealed the use of hashtags. While the implications of search results, SEO benefits, and cross-medium advertising has yet to manifest, Facebook is encouraging marketers to get started immediately. With hashtags on Facebook, there’s never been a simpler way to gain a larger perspective on what people are talking about.

Though hashtags on Facebook are new, they’re reminiscent of the clickable hashtags that already exist on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. However, elements that make Facebook hashtags unique include:

  • The ability to click on tags that were originally posted on other social networking sites outside of Facebook such as Instagram.
  • The ability to use the Facebook search bar to explore hashtags being used.
  • The ability for marketers to use hashtags in any ads that they run on Facebook, thereby linking their marketing efforts to a larger social conversation.

Of course, while Facebook hashtags could potentially be a game changer for the social site, the core of marketers stays the same: to create a compelling content strategy on Facebook, on your website, and throughout the web. Hashtags are simply a way to enhance your efforts.

What Marketers Need to Know About Facebook Hashtags

Many brands don’t know how to properly use hashtags – and it’s obvious whenever they post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site. While you can certainly be creative with your use of hashtags, several fundamental rules apply.

  • Pick related keywords. Think of hashtags as a way to emphasize your keyword. By having a keyword for a specific post, it ensures that the hashtag, content, and purpose are clearly tied together. Instead of getting terribly creative with your hashtag, it’s more likely to be effective if it’s a keyword related to your post, especially if Facebook users use the search bar to find postings about your service or products.
  • Hijack popular trends. If you’re a swimming pool business and everyone is posting about what a beautiful #summer day it is, then take advantage of that #summer trend. This is similar to the content of newsjacking, which gives your brand the opportunity to jump onto the bandwagon of popular topics.
  • Keep it short. With the web evolving towards shortform content, it’s essential that your hashtags are reflective of brevity and conciseness. If you’re already using related keywords for your hashtag vocabulary, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, this is just a reminder to avoid unnecessary hashtag usage such as #HashtaggingAnEntireSentenceForThePurposeOfUsingAHashtag. We’re all seen both individuals and brands hashtag more than they should, and that’s a major no-no!

Has your business developed a plan for using Facebook’s new hashtags? Or did they work well for you on Twitter?

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Daniel Chioco is a writer living in Nashville, TN. He earned his Commercial Music degree at Belmont University, where he also studied creative writing and wrote for the student newspaper. When he isn't creating content, Daniel works as an actor and films YouTube videos. He is also a freelance musician and is authoring his first fantasy novel.

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