A Marketer's Guide to Hashtags on Facebook and Google Plus
People seem to be slowly but surely warming to Facebook’s hashtags. As anyone who keeps up with the latest trends on Facebook knows, unless no option is given, changes to the social media site usually take some time to catch on. Facebook’s user base tends to be a little less dynamic than other social media websites and so new introductions such as hashtags take longer to hit the mainstream.
However, this is not to suggest that the Facebook #hashtag is a failure, we’d imagine by this time next year it will be increasingly a mainstay in your mother and grandmother’s status updates. So, how do marketers take advantage of this and perform better marketing with hashtags on Facebook?
Across the other social media sites, hashtags have become a great way to expand reach and create interest in a niche topic and find people interested in joining in such conversations.
As is the case with the other social media sites, hashtags allow expansion of reach and place you in front of people who otherwise may not know you even exist.
They’re easy to monitor too thanks to Facebook Insights. Keeping an eye on the Reach and Engagement numbers of posts with and posts without hashtags gives you a good idea whether or not your posts are benefitting. If you keep tabs on hashtag placement, post length and other factors you get even more detailed insight into what’s working best for your site.
Brand with Hashtags
Using hashtags to brand your Facebook webpage with a particular tag can help to really push your brand. Using one particular hashtag while releasing or focusing on a new product or service allows you to create a separate area or stream about that particular item or service. This allows people an easy way to find out about, focus on and stay in touch with the latest information for your brand.
All Social Media
Depending on the tools you use – Hootsuite, Buffer, etc. – you can now use hashtags across all platforms. So, if you used the hashtag for Twitter, G+ or Instagram, it will now also work across Facebook.
This saves time and effort when preparing posts and also allows for cross platform promotions. For instance use a common campaign branding phrase as a hashtag that people can search for across all platforms. It might not be something you should include with every post, but it will work regularly and creates a synchronisation across your social media efforts that weren’t apparent previously.
Google+ and Hashtags
Google+ has integrated a whole range of logical ways to use the hashtag and now uses relevant expandable list to solve hashtag issues. These lists are ideal to help you in finding relevant hashtags for your posts. In addition, clicking on G+’s hashtag option leads you to a number of hashtag posts and topics.
Being mindful of the best of stream is also a good idea, though even here the better and more clickable content is the content that comes with interesting titles and quality images.
Graph Search – the benefits and things to be aware of
For Facebook, hashtags could be the saving of its GraphSearch feature. As we’ve seen the hashtag increases reach among other things and leverages search results based on friends, fans and followers graphs. For brands and businesses this can be very beneficial, however there are also risks involved – so choose hashtags with care.
Watch Out They’re Keywords!
Remember hashtags are keywords and are there to help tracking content. Broad phrases don’t tend to work well for small businesses and in essence just adds to the noise, rather than benefits your brand. Use hashtags that are personal to brands, branding or products.
Also, using broad hashtags will aggregate your updates with everyone else using that particular hashtag. This can place you in with the spammers and makes you harder to find.In short, be specific. You don’t want to be associated with the sort of folk who add dozens of hashtags each post or ten exclamation marks a sentence.
This is especially true if you are a small business. Generic marketing works best for big companies, if you’re a small business you need to speak to people within your community.
Facebook’s hashtag feature is something that is becoming slowly and surely ingrained into the conventions of Facebook use and though not mainstream yet, it will soon be as common as Liking and sharing.
For more help with your social media management, contact MySocialAgency.