Well, the rumours are true! This week, I finally got hashtags on my Facebook.
I have long been an outspoken hater of Facebook hashtags. The main reason why was because they are, as I saw recently quoted, “as useless as an elevator in an outhouse.”
The main purpose of hashtags (on other networks, and now finally, on Facebook), is searchabilty. Let’s say, for example, there is a certain topic you’re interested in, or passionate about. Using hashtags is a great way to meet other people who are equally as interested or passionate about that topic. Go to Twitter or Instagram and do a search for #Vegan or #Canucks, and you’ll find tons of interesting people you may want to connect with.
Many of the hashtags that ended up on Facebook were the result of auto-posting. People would hook up their Twitter or Instagram feed to their Facebook page, and hashtags on FB were the result. But they were totally useless there, and really only contributed to the clutter and “noise” of Facebook. Which is why I have been so outspokenly against them.
I’m still anti-auto posting. @mentions still won’t work on FB, and it’s just lazy social media, as far as I’m concerned.
However, now that Hashtags are live on Facebook, I’m beginning to see the light…
Using Hashtags for Search:
Hashtags on Facebook work similarly to Twitter. You can click on a hashtag, and it will show you all the posts anyone has written (that are public) about that topic. This could be, again, a great way to connect with people you don’ know, but share interests or passions with. Simply head to the FB search box at the very top of the page, and type in your hashtag search.
Using Hashtags in your Posts:
- Limit the amount of hashtags you use to 1 or 2. Better to go broader with your hashtag, rather than more specific in most instances, and try to tie into something that’s trending if possible (ie #meatlessmonday over #vegetarian).
- Don’t hijack the hashtag. For example, if you’re writing about vegan culture, don’t use #justinbeiber in your post just because it’s trending. Unless you have something specific to say about Justin Beiber and Veganism.
- Use them even if you don’t have them yet. FB is slowly rolling them out, you may not have them, but they are live and they do work.
- Do capitalize the first letter if you are using multiple words in your hashtag, #ToMakeItMoreReadable
A couple of other quick thoughts:
- Using hashtags may increase your Edgerank.
- If you’re concerned about privacy (given that FB is a closed network, lots of people like to protect their privacy, whereas Twitter is an open network, part of what makes it so great), click to see what Mari Smith has to say about hashtags and privacy on her FB page.
What’s the future hold for #facebook #hashtags? Who knows. Ads and hyper-targeted demographics, no doubt, as FB likes to make money.
For more info, follow #hashtagtips on Facebook.
What’s you opinion of the new Facebook Hashtags?