Oh, boy. Unless you want to use them for marketing purposes, or unless you’re a teenager interested in broken grammar and trend-riding, those hashtags probably get under your skin in a bad way. #NerveRacking! But they do serve a great purpose.
Hashtags create a clickable, searchable link that allows content to be categorized. This obviously helps average users follow and play along with trends, and it definitely helps marketers to take advantage of these trends in order to further their branding goals. Using Facebook for business in 2013 should include using hashtags, and here are a few quick ways to do it.
5 Simple, Quick and Effective Uses for Hashtags
1: Increasing Your Reach
There’s a lot you can do on a site like Facebook in order to make it into more News Feeds, but you still won’t be reaching as many as you’d like. Using hashtags allows you to increase your reach beyond this aspect. Let’s say a user is looking for something related to your niche, so they decide to search for material via a hashtag. If you’re using this tag, your reach has just increased and your brand is now included within the context of that hashtag. So use something that’s niche-specific and that your audience is already searching for or using. Just be careful not to use unrelated or inundated tags.
2: Special Promotions
So, you have some type of event or content that you want to promote? A hashtag is a great way to get the word out. Creating or using a hashtag for this purpose gives you a great opportunity to have your content catalogued. So when someone finds any piece of material containing this hashtag, they’re finding out about the promotion or event. It reaches more of a depth.
3: Steal Some Thunder
This one can be tricky, so be forewarned. But let’s say that there’s a similar brand out there using a certain hashtag, but their audience isn’t so inundated with people that the content stream is condensed. You can step in and be part of that audience by using that hashtag. You have to pick your spots here, as it can be risky, but it might allow you to bring some of your competitor’s fans to your neck of the woods.
4: Show Some Consistency
No matter which hashtags you’re using, a great tip here is to remain consistent. Be consistent with the message you’re portraying of your brand. For example, you might be using a hashtag that you think speaks to your target market, but it might be in use in another way that you’re not suspecting. This has happened before. Some marketers claim hashtags thinking they’re created for positive purposes, but come to find out they’re often dealing with natural disasters or war. So be consistent with your messaging here, and always check out the tags for intended use.
5: Keep Them Short and Simple
Hastags obviously need to be one continuous word, #LikeThis, but they also #CantBeVeryLongEither. Keep them short, simple, to the point, and don’t use a lot of them. A message doesn’t need more than one hashtag. You can even use third-party Facebook apps out there to maximize your ad potential and with Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories to target hashtags at certain demographics (but make sure that it is under Facebook “Preferred Marketing Developer” program). And in case you don’t know, Promoted Posts are posts that allow you to be seen by more people by appearing higher in news feeds while Sponsored Stories use existing Facebook friends who engage with a Facebook page.
Hashtags aren’t that widespread on Facebook as of yet, at least compared to what they’ll probably be in a few months. So you have a great chance to get in there and to mix things up, claiming hashtags for your brand, and to start building an audience. I also suggest incorporating holidays or current events in your hashtags as long as you don’t abuse it.