Ah, the good old days: Remember how we would shake our fists at those friends who posted hashtags on Facebook? “THIS ISN’T TWITTER,” we’d lament to the computer screen, rolling our eyes with superior social knowledge.
As it turns out, those overly-eager hashtag abusers were just ahead of their time. Facebook recently unveiled the hashtag feature on the network, allowing users to click through to view more people talking about those words, phrases or topics – even if they originated on Instagram. It’s also possible to search for hashtags in the search bar, further expanding Facebook’s knowledge graph.
Facebook’s hashtag use will vary from the other social networks, however, in that privacy settings will still override the hashtags. So those users who have their privacy set to “friends only” will be sharing their hashtags solely with their connected circle. It’s too early to tell if this privacy issue will hinder how hashtags are used on Facebook (vs. Twitter).
Hashtags work to connect people by way of conversations and topics. Whether unique or trending, the symbols are meant to emphasis important points or ideas. For both individuals and businesses, it’s recommended that they are kept to between one and three hashtags per post.
Although it still stands to be determined how effective hashtags will be on Facebook, they possess great potential for marketers. First of all, they make it easier for brands to cross-promote campaigns. Companies often create custom hashtags to streamline brand mentions, offers and information, and now this will carry over to Facebook as well. It’s a streamlined way to reach your audience through multi-media: For instance, include a hashtag in a commercial to lead viewers to your social networks.
Another opportunity for marketers on Facebook is the ability to utilize hashtags for ad targeting. Even if you can’t see the user’s private post, you can still use it for targeting purposes. This provides more relevant marketing material than an outdated list of favorites or music on a user’s profile, because these interests are “real-time.”
Adage reports that trending hashtags and mobile access will roll out soon. Hashtags on Facebook can contribute to your overall social media marketing strategy. If optimized correctly, they can help increase brand visibility and traffic. Contact ZOG Digital today for a social media optimization audit.