They’re finally here – hashtags on Facebook. I say finally, because for months, many people (myself included), were annoyed by the hashtag overuse on Facebook. At that point, hashtags did absolutely nothing to help your brand. Folks just assumed that since hashtags worked on other social media platforms, they must work on Facebook too. Well, they were wrong, until now.
Hashtag functionality started rolling out to Facebook users on June 11th. Not everyone reacted well at first. Some claimed hashtags were best left on Twitter. Others created pages devoted to “Stop The OverUse of Hashtags.” The complaining did little good – hashtags are here to stay. So how can we make hashtags work for us – increasing our brand exposure?
What is a Hashtag?
This might seem like a simple question, but do you honestly know the purpose of a hashtag? Hashtags are words or phrases that begin with the #(pound sign). You’ve seen them around for awhile now, but what do they do?
A hashtag turns a word or phrase into a “clickable” link. When you click on the hashtag/link you’ll find a built in search of posts or tweets where a particular keyword or phrase was used.
Why Should I use Hashtags?
Hashtags used correctly will boost your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). How? Hashtags will target keywords or topics allowing fans and potential clients to find your business quickly. Essentially they act like a built in Rolodex.
By including appropriate hashtags on your social media platforms, you can quite possibly get exposure from people who may not have seen your post otherwise. These simple little “tags” can make a huge difference in your reach.
So your thinking, “well that’s simple, I’ll just use a bunch of hashtags and my exposure will increase.” Not so fast, make sure to apply these tips to ensure hashtag effectiveness.
5 Tips to Ensure Your Hashtags are Effective
- Use Keywords. If you know anything about SEO, you’re familiar with keywords. Keywords play a vital role in SEO as they do in effective hashtags. Guard against haphazardly hash-tagging. You should only be adding hashtags to keywords associated with your brand. Period.
- Don’t overuse hashtags. Please, if you take nothing else away from this article, remember this: do NOT overuse hashtags. Overuse will confuse and annoy fans who find themselves lost in a sea of pound signs. A general rule of thumb – limit your hashtags to 2-3 per post.
- Avoid punctuation and abbreviation. Remember, hashtags are a simple system. Abbreviating or using punctuation when creating hashtags limits your visibility, IF the customer even finds the tag. For instance, if you want to search for Facebook you wouldn’t type FB, but rather use the hashtag “#Facebook.” Something as simple as a period at the end of your hashtag will impact your reach.
- #Donotjoinwordstogether. See how confusing that was? Users like to join together keywords that have little to no relation to the subject. This is fine for personal use, but if you’re looking for SEO, make sure it’s clear what you’re going for or representing and stick with that.
- Research your hashtag. Apparently some brands have embarrassed themselves by using a hashtag already in use for an entirely different purpose or that doesn’t align itself with their company message. Don’t let yourself be embarrassed – do a little research.
Hashtags are a great way to increase your visibility and market your brand. Remember: keep hashtags simple, avoid punctuations, use keywords, and set a limit of two/three hashtags per social media interaction.
Do you feel overwhelmed when it comes to promoting your business with social media? We would love to help. Contact us for a free review of your current efforts, and suggestions that you can use today.