Using Facebook Hashtags: Guide for Business

Mark_3000
Mark Mitchell Social Media Director, MySocialAgency

Posted on June 17th 2013

Using Facebook Hashtags: Guide for Business

facebook business hashtagsFacebook’s Graph Search option has been far from a failure, but it hasn’t been a significant success either. One of the biggest issues is the fact that the feature is based on the social graphs of your friends.

This has its limitations as you only get results returned based on the people you know or the businesses you are associated with in one way or another. Enter the new hashtag feature.

Potentially, the addition of the hashtag could extend a business’ hold on customers to a significant degree and allow them the chance to be found by a whole range of new potential customers. It’s not all plain sailing and there are a number of risks involved too and care has to be taken.

Scattering of Hashtags

I’ve seen it on a number of occasions – people scattering hashtags around posts like they’ve a sort of hashtag Tommy gun. Hashtags are extremely beneficial when used well and little more but noise when used badly.

Potentially hashtags could be a lot more problematic on Facebook too as there’s no limit on post length. Essentially placing half a dozen hashtags in Facebook posts is the social media equivalent of spam – avoid it. It destroys the readability of sentences, looks sensationalised and is pointless if not focused.

Hashtags should not be generic keywords but more specific ones. Using generic hashtags on Facebook is the same as doing so on Twitter. It just increases levels of noise and chances of you being seen are minimal. Try and be specific, focused and unique as it increases the chance of you being seen in conversations.

Make it Easy

Using a hashtag that’s easy for user’s to remember and easy to spell, pronounce and use is best. If you want something unique – ensure that it’s easy to remember, provides information on what the topic is and make it visible on other sites too. Promoting your unique hashtag on Twitter, your site and other forms of media you use, engrains it in people’s minds so they’ll most likely recall and use it.

In addition, expect hashtag spammers to at some stage or another receive penalties from Facebook and other social media sites in the same way Google does. To ensure you’re not aligned with these spammers, use your own unique keywords and hashtags.

Search

Searching for a hashtag before you decide to use it as your tag is a smart move as though a hashtag may be unique to your business, it mightn’t be unique to all businesses. Nobody wants to end up with a hashtag that evokes something negative in a different industry or arena. One example of this is Entenmann’s Cookies, who used the hashtag #notguilty on Twitter only for it to feature alongside a horrific murder case.

The Future

The use of the hashtag on Facebook throws it into the mainstream and toward a user base that’s not always the most up to date with social practices. However, expect its intro to push hashtags truly into the mainstream for almost all users.

What do you think about the hashtag revolution? Let me know via the comments or grab me on Twitter - here.

Mark_3000

Mark Mitchell

Social Media Director, MySocialAgency

Social Media Director for MySocialAgency a UK based digital marketing agency. In my spare time a massive travel addict, tech and music geek. I am a deep thinker and love to add a human touch to otherwise faceless marketing content.

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Comments

It sounds like you think hashtags will benefit brands more than users. If so, I definitely agree. Hashtag spamming could become a huge problem as well. I've already seen examples from the wedding industry Pages on Facebook. 

Hey Elisabeth, I do yes, but then this is more based around my own preference. I personally use Facebook purley for friends. I wouldnt want people outside of this circle to find the content I post on there, I actually go to pretty extreme lenghs to lock my personal Facebook down so its totally private.

As I say though, I am maybe old school in this respect and its just my way of enjoying the site.

For brands however, it represents a great oppurtunity. Since Facebooks aggressive monetisation, it is harder and harder to get found, so unless, as you say, the spammers tainte it (as they may well do ;-) It represents a great new oppurtunity :-)