You’ve seen (and used, I hope!) hashtags on other social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. The hashtag, a word or multiple words preceding the ‘#’ without spacing, is a method of categorizing online content and giving it context.
While using hashtags on Facebook used to be a faux pas, that is no longer true now that Facebook introduced hashtags in June. Facebook users have been able to make public status updates for some time, but what was missing was a way to find public posts on a specific topic. The hashtag is that missing piece for Facebook. Now you can click a hashtag to read all public posts (and posts from your friends).
Take “I love #KDWB,” for example. Clicking #KDWB within this post would return all posts with that hashtag, connecting fans of KDWB with one another. (Hint: it works just like Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr.) See my bulldog image at right for a general example.
So what’s to love about Facebook hashtags?
- Using them will extend the reach of your posts to non-fans. That’s right- people who haven’t liked your page can now find your posts and engage with them. Think of hashtags as a free alternative to page post ads. You can increase your reach on a post to non-fans without purchasing Facebook ads. (Hashtags likely won’t be as effective as ads on increasing page likes, but you should see an increase in reach as Facebook hashtags become more popular.)
- You can now create a cross-platform hashtag promotion, accepting entries from fans on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
- In addition to promotions and contests, radio can use Facebook hashtags as well as Twitter’s for on-air interaction, increasing the interaction and number of responses from listeners on show topics.
- Hashtags will supercharge Facebook ad campaigns. In addition to demographic data and interests (based on pages they like), you can now target people who are talking about a certain topic using hashtags. So, you might select females 18-49 who have been talking about #music #radio or #Kesha for a Top 40 ad campaign.
- When crafting social media posts, there is one less thing to change between your Facebook and Twitter copy.
- They will make Facebook a player for event marketing. Twitter has owned social media promotion for events, but now Facebook is in the game. You can create a hashtag for a conference, promotion or concert and use it on both platforms.
What are your thoughts on Facebook hashtags? Have you started using them yet?