We’ve all seen hashtags on Twitter and Instagram, and recently, Facebook has jumped on the hype. Hashtags hit the big time when Twitter adopted them, but before Twitter, they were used in 2007 during the San Diego Fires as well as with IRC networking.
Hashtags are, simply put, a search engine tool. They allow users to search something and find posts directly related to what they searched. So, if I type kittens in the search bar of Instagram, the pictures that would appear are ones hashtagged with #kittens. They work the same on Facebook.
How is this useful for a business? Well, hashtags will lead you directly to the user or potential client. In a way, hashtags will be more useful for marketing than it will be for actual Facebook profile users because of privacy issues. Facebook users are able to make their posts private, so even if they use a hashtag, it won’t necessarily be found in the search engine unless you are friends with that person. However, as a business, your page is most likely public, which means your posts will be shot right into the hashtag feed, making the Facebook hashtag a better tool for marketing than users.
Some ways to use hashtags:
1. Search using hashtags to find who is using what tags or to find users/clients/competing businesses
2. Make posts right from the hashtag feed and search the results
3. Use/see hashtags from other services, such as Twitter and Instagram
4. Tag your articles or posts with relevant hashtags
The 4thpoint will probably be most useful as a business because tagging your articles or posts on Facebook with relevant hashtags is how you will directly contact users and potential clients.
Hashtags aren’t available to you yet? Facebook has only released this tool to certain people- most likely testing how it works and observing how it is received- so don’t worry, you’ll soon be able to #hashtag.
What do you think about Facebook adding hashtags?
Interested in learning more about social media for your business? Contact Social Instinct for a social media consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.