Hashtags finally rolled out to Facebook
Facebook - after a long period of expectation from many quarters - has rolled out the use of hashtags in posts that appear on Pages and in the news feed. At the time of writing, hashtags will only be clickable by desktop users on the site, although Facebook hints strongly that this will extend to mobiles and ads sometime in the future.
How Hashtags work on Facebook
If you are familiar with Twitter, Google+, Instagram, or Pinterest, you'll know that hashtags are a method used to group similar types of content together, and can be created by typing a hash or pound symbol directly before a word while composing a status update on your Page, personal profile, or in of a comment, like this: "What do you love about your local #kohls?" or "It's Gap's summer sale, with up to 50% off! Come take a look... #targetsale" where "#kohls" and "#targetsale" are clickable.
On Facebook specifically, clicking a hashtag will open up a feed where you’ll see stories from the Pages and people who have posted with the same hashtag. People can use hashtags in Facebook search to ﬁnd posts related to speciﬁc topics or interests. Billions of pieces of content are shared on Facebook every day - peaking in the 8-11pm primetime slot - so hashtags provide a huge opportunity for brands and marketers to participate in conversations in a meaningful, relevant and timely way.
Tips for Using hashtags for business on Facebook
- Use hashtags related to your brand or industry in your Facebook posts - either general ones, e.g. #beauty or ones you create that are specific to your business, e.g. #denverburgerbar
- Every Facebook has its own unique URL, so think about driving traffic to that URL from other locations, e.g. your blog, other social networks, business cards, instore marketing materials, etc. to encourage conversation. Use a URL shortener like bit.ly to make the link small and memorable.
- Discover new Pages and partners by searching for hashtags in Facebook search, and search your own hashtags to monitor what people are saying about you and your brand, then join the conversation.
Note: For more advice about using hashtags as effectively as possible on any social network, including the recommending formatting and amount you should use, check out the tips on hashtags in the Twitter Tips chapter of my book, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Macarthy is the author of the #1 Amazon Web Marketing Bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips, available for Kindle and in paperback.