Thursday, August 15, 2013

Using Hashtags On Facebook For Business

The recent roll out by Facebook, allowing the use of functional hashtags, presents an opportunity for businesses that market themselves on the world’s largest social network. Hashtags simplify searching for and sharing of information and have been a popular tool on other social networks, such as Twitter. A hashtag consists of a ‘#’ symbol, followed by a word or phrase. A hashtag, when clicked, will take the user to a feed of all posts that include that tag word. These hashtags are completely clickable and also searchable.


Opportunities provided by hashtags on Facebook for brands include:


1 - Promoting

Carefully chosen keywords can be used as a hashtag and bring your company’s promotions to a wider audience, beyond your existing base of followers. Be careful that the words chosen cannot be associated in any way with unpleasant or controversial subjects. Also, make sure they are unique enough not to bring up a slew of unrelated results. Make sure you test your hashtags before you use them.


2 - Monitoring

Hashtags offer a way for businesses to closely monitor the conversations surrounding their brand by following their hashtag’s feed. This will provide valuable marketing intelligence, and keep track of how a brand is talked about on Facebook.


3 - Targeting

Hashtags give businesses the ability to target specific audience segments that may be following certain, specific hashtags. By using #greatburgers, for example, a restaurant could target all of the people looking to eat out at an establishment that serves great burgers.

Unfortunately, functioning hashtags are still not supported on the Facebook mobile app. Users can post hashtags, but without the ability to click-through to the feed. With over a billion users, Facebook’s adoption of the hashtag will bring the mainstream into awareness and use of this sharing, following, and searching tool, which will be beneficial to all.


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