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Hashtags on Facebook

Well that escalated quickly. In one sense it was probably inevitable. After Facebook purchased Instagram, a social media site that uses hashtags regularly, it was probably only a matter of time that they would fully jump on the hashtag bandwagon.

So now instead of being mocked when you accidentally use a hashtag on Facebook, it will now serve a purpose!

Of course the next big question is #howdoImakemoneywiththat?

Hashtag Basics

To get everyone up to speed, the purpose of hashtags is to add a search factor to any conversation whether it is on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and now Facebook. By tagging your post with”#” and a term you are creating a reference point. In some cases this is an original term and in others you are adding your post to an existing grouping.

The danger, and often stupidity, of hashtags is the complete overuse and abuse by people who add multiple hashtags to a post because they want to, not because they are trying to ensure people can easily find it.

For example, one user posted a picture to Instagram and then reposted it to Facebook with the message, “#selfie #errandsalone #heavenly #summerfun”. Now in this sense the user was trying to convey their actions from the picture in Instagram. The “#selfie” was because it was a self picture which makes sense. The “#errandsalone” is just wasteful. But, the use of hashtags is a pop culture situation that spawns conversations and social sharing so no matter how idiotic some users are, it still needs to be considered for your own marketing.

Hashtags on Facebook

The concept is actually rather good because it provides a simple way to link conversations between multiple users on different threads. The hashtags will be blue and will redirect to a search page that includes other posts with the same hashtag.

For people who are developing a hashtag as part of their brand, this bodes well for additional free social marketing options. Plus you will be able to click hashtags from other services and follow trends.

One important note is that the hashtags won’t change the privacy of your post. That is more of a note for personal users rather than business applications, unless you utilize groups within your page.

Making Use of It

So how do you monetize hashtags? In essence using hashtags on Facebook will be the same as on other social media outlets. It will allow you a simple way to add your brand (specific hashtag) to product posts and ads.

First, you need to create your own hashtag or phrase that is the social media equivalent of your brand:

  • Specific – You want your tag to be unique enough that people won’t find you when searching for something completely different.
  • Association – You want something closely associated with your brand or industry. Hundreds of hashtags are registered everyday so people need something simple and easy to remember that is naturally associated with the brand.
  • Short – Social media is often limited in characters so don’t take them all up with an overly long name!

Next you need to make it work for you by including it almost like a signature in posts. You want to promote your content and make it more social. Plus you can include hashtags for relevant conversations you want your posts to be included in. For example, the NBA Facebook site jumped right on the bandwagon with #NBAFinals to organize relevant posts which differ from #NBAAllstars or #NBAMVP.

Here are a few tips:

  • Make them public – Always make sure your post is public and not restricted.
  • Create unique hashtags for events – There is a fine line between proper usage and spam, but you want to make specific events unique and have your users utilize that hashtag for that event.
  • Don’t use irrelevant hashtags – As noted before, spam and stupidity are not things you want to use, let alone associate with your brand.
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