You’ve probably noticed that, like Instagram and Twitter, Facebook allows you to include hashtags in your posts.
The value here is that people search and follow hashtags, so including the right ones could get your content in front of the right set of people.
Because hashtags play such an important role in content discovery, they’re a must-have for marketers who want to make the most of Facebook’s impressive reach.
Although hashtags have been around for a while, they’re a relatively recent phenomenon, and it’s a pretty new feature for Facebook in particular.
Figuring out how to use them can get confusing.
In a recent article, AdEspresso offers some helpful tips and tricks for incorporating hashtags into your Facebook content.
Some Basics About the #Hashtag
We’ve written before about how to create a hashtag that actually boosts your brand. Let’s take a review of some best practices:
1. Keep it brief but unique:
You don’t want your hashtag to go on forever—too many words strung together and users can’t easily digest the message. If it’s unique, your hashtag will stand out, and you’ll also gain a lot more traction and credit when it gets picked up.
2. Evoke an emotion:
Pull at the heartstrings. Make them laugh, or cry, or even get them angry.
The #SFBatKid was a great example of a hashtag that really took off and promoted Make a Wish with a documentary about one of their participants.
A young boy got to dress up as Batman and accompany a full-grown Batman to save the day, all courtesy of the Make a Wish Foundation.
[image source: AdEspresso]
With a brief, unique, and emotional hashtag Make a Wish generated tons of conversation and earned marketing, and we’d guess a huge surge in donations as well.
3. Be funny:
Hashtags that are either funny, cleverly constructed, or both are much more likely to catch on quickly and spread like wildfire. If it’s funny or clever, it’s often easily catchy, and users will be excited to be a part of it.
4. Proofread it and look for hidden meanings:
Avoid any embarrassing misunderstandings by thinking through your capitalization. Test it out to make sure you’re good to go by looking at the entire hashtag in lower case letters, looking for hidden words or phrases users could find. It doesn’t hurt to have someone else take a look at it, too.
5. Hashtag your event:
By creating a hashtag that is specifically for an event, you encourage users to share their experience on social media in real time. Even if they aren’t posting consistently, having a ton of people sharing pictures or statuses about your event, tagged with your hashtag, will give you instant free promotion to what could be other members of your target audience.
6. Be prepared:
Every now and then something goes awry when users take the hashtag and run with it. Examples include #McDStories, where users really gave their favorite McDonalds stories. All of which seemed to all have a terrible ending, and #AskELJames, where fans were encouraged to ask any questions they’d like to ask the author of “50 Shades of Grey” (you can just imagine how that went).
You can learn more about using hashtags on Facebook over at AdEspresso, including how to use A/B testing to hone your hashtag strategy.