Facebook has announced that it is in the process of unrolling the ability to follow conversations and topics via hashtags similar to other networks like Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. The thought is that “hashtags on Facebook allow you to add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion. When you click on a hashtag in Facebook, you’ll see a feed of what other people and Pages are saying about that event or topic.” Facebook goes on to explain further in their Newsroom post. Keep in mind that these things can take weeks to roll out so don’t be surprised if you don’t have access to it right away.
Using hashtags on Facebook
Whether or not you’re excited about hashtags on Facebook, one of the neat features it seems most people will find positive is that the hashtag carries across networks. So from a business perspective it’s nice to know that you’ll be able to create and use one hashtag for a campaign, regardless of the network(s) you promote that campaign on. People can then search for your hashtag and click on results that take them to a new network (think of a Facebook campaign that takes you to an album on say Pinterest or vise versa). Taking this a bit further you can envision how this might allow a business to jump into conversations or topics you may not have had access to previously (especially on Facebook). So if something is happening in pop culture and you can somehow tie that to your product or service you can hashtag it to bring people to your page like never before.
Things to keep in mind regarding hashtags on Facebook
Privacy settings still apply. If your posts are only open to friends then only your friends will have access to your hashtags. If you want your hashtags to go viral, make sure you make posts containing hashtags public.
You can create a hashtag for virtually anything by simply putting the # sign in front of a word…..but that doesn’t mean you should! Reserve using the hashtag for when it makes sense. Use hashtags for events, product launches etc. but don’t use a hashtag without purpose. You could easily annoy your audience (especially on Facebook) by abusing the use of the hashtag.
Go beyond the hashtag post. Remember hashtags are a great way to listen to what’s being said about you or a topic you care about. Don’t get caught up with all the ways and opportunities to post hashtags and forget to use them for search!
Now it’s your turn to chime in. Are you pleased hashtags are being enabled in Facebook? Why or why not?