Hashtag use on social media…it is something a lot of people are still trying to get to grips with. They’re popular on Twitter, Instagram is overrun by them, and Facebook decided to join in on the fun too. When it comes to hashtags, they could be awesome for our organic reach, but only if you are using them correctly. When it comes to Facebook, the rules are slightly different compared to other social media platforms. Here are some do’s and don’ts of hashtags on Facebook for small business pages!
What is the purpose of a Hashtag?
Let’s start off with what a hashtag is: It is a word or phrase that turns into a clickable link when you put the # in front of it (ex. #Facebook, #FabulousFBpages). In doing this, it can allow you to be part of the topic. In general, clicking on the hashtag will show you all the other posts that are using that hashtag, allowing you to get in on that conversation. They can allow you to be seen by someone who is searching for that word/phrase. On Instagram, hashtags are essential to be seen, and they’re great on Twitter too, especially for networking events, but on Facebook? Not so much.
How do they work and how should I use them?
Research has shown that using too many hashtags on Facebook posts can actually bring down your reach and engagements. When searching for a word or phrase on social media, the hashtag does not always matter, and you will get results with and without the hashtag, spaces, etc. That isn’t the case with Facebook. For example, if you’re selling earrings and use #earrings in your post, it won’t show up if someone searches for “earrings”. They would have to put “#earrings”, and this may be why hashtags on Facebook don’t really work.
This doesn’t mean you need to avoid them altogether. Only one to two hashtags are recommended at the very most and they should be planned accordingly to make sure they fit in your marketing strategy. If you are using the hashtag to network, that’s great! If there is a popular hashtag, such as in a trending topic, then use it (but only if it is appropriate!). Never use a hashtag that has nothing to do with your post. This is also seen as spam and can have negative effects on your marketing campaign.
Please keep this in mind when cross-posting, especially from Instagram to Facebook. You can edit the Instagram post before posting it to your Facebook page.
So, do Facebook hashtags matter? Only if it feels appropriate, like with networking, and make sure it doesn’t look spammy. Take the time to research which hashtags are popular for your industry (this goes for all social media platforms!). Totally get involved in conversations and networking, but keep it to one or two. Too many look like spam, and people are more like to scroll past if it appears in their feed. You don’t need a long list of hashtags to be seen on Facebook through search. Instead of hashtagging a business name, tag them instead (and this can really help with reach). Use the right keywords that pertain to your business and/or product to create quality social media content instead!