The Hashtag seems to have taken over the internet since the rise of Twitter. You can use it on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and now Facebook. So what do hashtags on Facebook mean for businesses and how can they use them to their benefit?
Facebook have finally announced that they are rolling out clickable hashtags. Meaning users and Page updates can be part of a discussion, which is especially useful for things like events or a popular news topic.
On their blog Facebook said that the reason for introducing hashtags was to help users find other users talking about the same things they were and take part in public conversations.
They also mentioned that they will be rolling out more features over the next few weeks and months. Including trending hashtags and deeper insights.
How Facebook Hashtags can Benefit my Business?
Hashtags are clickable. Meaning that users can click on a hashtag and see posts from other people who are using the same hashtag. This means that businesses will be able to use hashtags to get their posts in front of people who wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. Without the need to fork out for advertising.
People use social media to talk about things they’re interested in or their friends are interested in such as;
– A concert or event they’re attending
– A business event or networking event
– A film they’ve just seen
– Something they’re watching on TV
– A news story
– The weather – this is especially popular here in the UK where we get all excited by the odd sighting of the sun and think summer has finally arrived.
This means that businesses have got some great opportunities to get their updates and content in front of people who are interested in something they’re selling or talking about.
Imagine you have an ecommerce website which sells camping equipment. The summer is fast approaching (apparently) and over the next few months plenty of people will be going off on camping holidays and going to festivals and sports events.
Now imagine you want to target people who are attending the Formula 1 British Grand Prix. To tell them about some of your tents in an attempt to intrigue people who are yet to buy their tent. So you use the hashtag #britishgp in your update.
A user searches #britishgp in the search bar to see what other people are saying about it. They see your update and decide to visit your website and buy from you as a result.
The main takeaway and benefit for businesses here is that they have a great opportunity to get their posts out there in front of users who might not have seen them otherwise.
Six Tips for using Facebook Hashtags Effectively
Now you know why Facebook Hashtags will benefit your business, what’s the best way to use them? Here are six tips to help you use hashtags effectively. (These tips don’t just apply to Facebook, it can be applied to Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+ etc also)
1. Make Sure Another Brand Aren’t Already Using It
Before you decide to claim a hashtag make sure it’s not already in use by searching for the hashtag you plan on using in the search bar.
If there are people or other brands already using that hashtag and talking about a different product, service or business, it’s probably best to think of a new hashtag as it could easily get confusing trying to monitor what people are saying about you.
2. Keep it short and simple
While you aren’t faced with a 140 character limit on Facebook, people don’t want to use a massively long hashtag because it can be a bit of a chore to type out and easy to forget.
3. Don’t Spam Hashtags
Using hashtags which have absolutely no relation to what you’re talking about will make you look spammy and will put users off you right away. Especially if you make the same mistake as fashion retailer Kenneth Cole you hijack hashtags who hijacked a tweet relating to the unrest inCairo at the beginning of 2011.
4. Don’t use multiple hashtags in one update
It can be tempting to try and use several hashtags in your updates to try and get as many people to see your updates as possible, however using too many hashtags will annoy people, so try to stick to two or at the very most three hashtags per update.
5. Consistency across all social channels
As with your branding, any hashtags you use which relate to your business, your products or services or an event you are running should be consistent across all social media platforms you’re present on. This makes it easy for people to talk about you or find about you across multiple platforms.
6. Promote your hashtag
If you’re using a hashtag to promote your brand, one of your products or services, or an event you’re running make sure you promote it on your website, marketing emails and social media so people know that’s the hashtag they need to use when talking about your products.
Since Facebook’s IPO in May 2012 they have been trying to make money from the social network, which meant bad news for Facebook Page owners who were forced to pay for advertising if they wanted their updates to reach 100% of the people who have ‘liked’ their page, despite those people expressing an explicit interest in the page. So the introduction of hashtags is brilliant news as Page Owners will now be able to reach more people without having to pay for it.
If your business is based in Burntwood, Lichfield, Cannock or Staffordshire and are interesting in marketing which creates opportunities to sell your products or services, get in touch with us to find out how we can help. Call us on 01543 495 752 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to find if we can help you and your business.