Facebook Hashtags are in effect!

In a move that seemed inevitable, Facebook has introduced the use of clickable hashtags, allowing users to group comments and explore trending topics in much the same way as its rival Twitter. The tool is already prevalent on a variety of social networking sites including Instagram, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

facebook hashtagThe hashtag helps to sort and view online conversations worldwide in real time by providing users with an easy way to channel content. This is already widely used in conjunction with broadcast television, sporting events, political debates, and of course advertising campaigns.

So how does the rollout of Facebook hashtags affect marketers?

By enabling this feature, any public post with a searchable hashtag is completely discoverable on a global level. This allows marketers to join conversations about their brand, while greatly increasing the possible reach through Facebook’s giant user base.

For businesses already using hashtags, it’s an easy transition. In a recent post, Facebook made it clear that “Any hashtags that you use on other platforms that are connected to your Facebook Page will be automatically clickable and searchable.” This allows Facebook hashtag campaigns to flourish across multiple social networks and assists brands in creating truly ubiquitous campaigns.

New to hashtags? A few things you should know:

1.       Be Concise

Short and sweet works best. If it’s too long it becomes a hassle to use. Using a hashtag that is personal to your business allows you to easily track your content and avoids hashtag spammers. Try to find keywords that resonate with your community and align your brand with this niche group.

2.      Avoid Hashtag Overload

Try posting with no more than 2 to 3 hashtags per post. By overloading your posts with hashtags, the chances are you will get lower engagement as users will skip over content that looks spammy. While it’s important to use targeted hashtags to participate in real time conversations don’t go crazy.

3.      Assess Risk

There has been some catastrophic hashtag fails in recent history, the #QantasLuxury marketing campaign would be one of the more disastrous for Australian brands. The Twitterverse jumped on the chance to hijack the hashtag and make fun of the airline’s recent industrial disputes.

Before launching a hashtag campaign, make sure you assess the potential risk of people using the handle to create negative connotations about your brand and have a response in place if things turn sour.

4.      Join the Conversation

Hashtags encapsulate real time conversation. If you’re building on your own hashtag, stay on topic and provide users with good quality, unique content. It’s also good practice to tag contributors and thank them for participating.

 

The team here at AOG has been experimenting with hashtags on other platforms for some time and are excited about how their application on Facebook will affect social campaigns. If you have any questions about Facebook hashtags or any other parts of social media marketing, be sure to drop us a line!