Are you hashtagging effectively? You might be hashtag savvy on Twitter and Instagram, but what about Facebook? Although it’s fairly new to hashtags compared to other social media sites, Facebook and its 1.5 billion users present a great opportunity for marketing efforts.
Hashtags categorize conversations about public events, topics, and people. On Facebook, they can be used in personal timeline posts, business page posts, group posts, event posts, and all comments. They allow you to contribute to the conversation while helping you connect with others discussing the same subject.
For example, if a consumer wants to try out a new fashion trend, she might search #romper. All relevant posts with that tag will appear for the consumer to view.
In a survey by the RadiumOne ad agency, among 494 participants:
- 43% of respondents think hashtags are useful and 34% of them use them to search/follow topics
- 58% of respondents use hashtags on a regular basis and 71% of regular hashtag users do so from mobile devices
- 41% of respondents use hashtags to communicate personal feelings and ideas
- 51% of respondents would share hashtags more often if they knew advertisers awarded discounts for sharing product based hashtags
Although Facebook’s original Graph Search is fairly useful for providing search results of the businesses and people you’re currently connected with, hashtags expose your page and your relevant material to the entire Facebook community. Therefore, when users need something or have a certain interest, they can find you even if they have never “liked” your page before.
Facebook hashtags allow brands to track what’s being said about them as well as what’s being said about their competitors. This way you can track consumer problems and overall sentiments. Additionally, if a fan has a question or concern in a hashtagged post, you can choose to respond to it.
It takes careful consideration to choose an appropriate hashtag for your campaign. It’s important to first do some research and test a few terms you are considering. You don’t want to choose a common tag like #tech or #promo
because they aren’t unique or exciting and a search will probably produce tons of unrelated results.
It’s important to do a search of your potential hashtag before posting because it could be linked with an unrelated or negative current event or topic. For example, a company used #notguilty as a creative way to
bring attention to its low-calorie food but unfortunately this also brought up search results linked with dialogue about a murder.
A good example of a successful Facebook hashtag campaign was Starbucks’ #TreatReceipt. This deal offered discounted drinks in the afternoon for customers who showed their receipt from that morning. They also paired this hashtag with other timely tags such as #heatwave to stay relevant in broader conversation.
Hashtags are great for steering more traffic to your page and more involvement in your campaign or contest because people browsing Facebook will be more likely to see your content and engage with it.
DO hashtag, but be careful you DON’T overuse them. The haphazard use of hashtags can make your posts look like spam! Scattering hashtags throughout a post can make it look cluttered and unfocused, whereas one or two strategic tags can be viewed as helpful and clever.
Although you shouldn’t overuse hashtags, it’s important to use variety in your posts to include multiple aspects of your company. For example, if you’re a sunglasses store, be sure to hashtag not only keywords such as #wayfarer or #aviators, but also #sport and #cateye. This way you won’t miss out on a sale regardless of which specific style a customer prefers.
Don’t underestimate the power of Facebook hashtags. Your business should be using them within quality posts in order to encourage engagement and find new consumers. Hashtagging properly can be an easy way for you to come out on top–so get to it!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in January 2018.