Whether you are an inbound marketer or not, chances are that you've seen that iconic #hashtag symbol a lot recently. The hashtag (formerly known as the pound sign to any non-social media dwellers) was originally used to follow specific topics of conversation on the social network, Twitter. Now the hashtag is common place all over social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. While companies everywhere have capitalized on the hashtag to start conversations around their brand, Facebook has been awkwardly absent from this sharing capability.
Alas, times have changed and the largest social network has joined the hashtag revolution. Facebook released an official blog post yesterday in regards to public conversations.
"Starting today, hashtags will be clickable on Facebook. Similar to other services like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest, hashtags on Facebook allow you to add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion. When you click on a hashtag in Facebook, you'll see a feed of what other people and Pages are saying about that event or topic. "
Facebook goes on to say that users can now search for a specific hashtag in the search bar. Users can also click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram.
Facebook has finally realized the power of the hashtag and how it helps in the discovery of good content. The addition of hashtags means that users will now be able to contribute to conversations around events or topics. Plus, as the feature rolls out, businesses will also be able to add hashtags to Facebook ads that they are running.
Hashtags on Facebook will now allow for brands to promote the same phrase or terms that they use on other social platforms, such as Twitter or Instagram. This consistency will help seamlessly unify inbound marketing efforts across all social networks. As always, content is king in inbound marketing, and hashtags will help increase the chances of that content being found.
Of course, if you are an inbound marketer, hashtags are not new to you. But don't forget that Facebook and Twitter are two very different social networks. Here are a few tips for starting your hashtag campaigns on Facebook.
1. Don't overuse hashtags. Yes, hashtags are great and should definitely be used to promote your business, but please don't overkill them on Facebook. #hashtagscanbesuperannoyingifoverused
2. Create an original hashtag. Incorporate your specific keywords or a unique phrase that will set your brand apart from the others. Make sure that your hashtag is not already being used!
3. Make your Facebook account, as well as all hashtagged posts, public. This one should be a no-brainer since social media is all about conversations and meeting new people.
4. Keep it brief. Facebook is not limited to 140 characters or less, but that doesn't mean you have to post a novel. Research shows that 100 characters or fewer seems to be the best length to generate social media engagement.
5. Include photos. Pair your hashtag with photos! According to Facebook, posts that include a picture or video generate roughly 120% and 100% more engagement.
For those who may be concerned with privacy rights, Facebook does mention that users can control the audience for hashtagged posts just as they would for regular posts.
Interested in learning other ways that social media can help leverage your Internet marketing? Click the link below to download our free ebook.
What do you think about the introduction of hashtags to Facebook? Let us know what you think!