Hashtags have always been a part of social media platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest as a tool to discover what trendy people are talking about.
But Facebook, with its 1 billion active users, has never had a simple way to incorporate hashtags to help users see the big picture of what’s happening on its uber-popular social media site. Not until now that is.
Last week, Facebook announced they were joining the #hashtag party. Now, when you click on a Facebook hashtag, you’ll be led to a feed of what other people and pages are saying about that event or topic.
A hashtag is simply any word or phrase with the hash (#) symbol placed in front of it. Within social media platforms, it serves as a way to tag content-specific keywords. When posted, hashtags create a link, which takes you to a page containing the latest posts containing that hashtag.
Facebook redesigned the News Feed in March, adding filtered feed options designed to help users discover more about the things they care about. This same idea applies to the recent rollout of Facebook hashtags.
How to use Facebook hashtags
Hashtags are beneficial when used strategically and sparingly. They aren’t confetti to toss on top of your post just for fun. Please, #think #before #you #hashtag. #Nothingismoreannoyingtoareader.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Use hashtags within your #content, or at the end of a post. #likethis
- Use no more than two—three tops—hashtags to document and index your updates and posts. The idea is to attract more people to your page, so make your hashtags simple, clean and relevant.
- Create a few hashtags for your brand and use at least one with each social media post. Use hashtags as an extension of marketing campaigns you’re running across all platforms. Note: Any hashtags that are posted through linked third party sites will automatically populate on Facebook. This creates a consistent message across all channels.
- If you don’t know which hashtag to use, you can search Google or Facebook for the best choice. Once Facebook hashtagging has really caught on, you’ll be able to see how many people are using a certain hashtag and in what context, as well as variations of the hashtag. Bonus: you can find potential fans and pages when you use specific search terms.
Your followers probably aren’t aware of Facebook’s new rollout yet. Speed up the sharing by introducing them to the idea, and tell them some of the hashtags your brand plans to use.
According to Facebook Product Manager Greg Lindley, Facebook hashtags aren’t the only thing the social media site has planned. The team will be rolling out a number of new features in the future—including trending hashtags and deeper insights—to “help people discover more of the world’s conversations.”
Stay tuned for more news about Facebook hashtags. In the meantime, test them out and comment below on what #hashtags have worked for your company.