Author: Rick Marton

Hashtags on Facebook: Yes or No?

Hashtags on Facebook Yes or No? Rick Marton Effective Naturally Social Media Support

HASHTAGS: To use or not to use?

There’s some evidence to show that user reach is inhibited by the use of hashtags and our own analytics shows the same. Of course this could change at anytime if Facebook adjust their algorithm.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ‘ever’ use them.

A hashtag is a way of grouping items in a conversation that’s searchable to bring all the posts together. So if you really need, or you think your audience needs to be able to find all the posts under one search term, then a hashtag could help you do that.

Or….there may be a larger international search that you want your content included in. If the content in that group is all linked via a hashtag then you can ‘join’ in on that search by using the hashtag too. Essentially you’re popping yourself in to the eyes of their audience.

As with all hashtags, stop and think. Using too many hashtags makes something visually horrid and can impact your reach. If you’re going to use hashtags, only use one for the point of grouping posts together but only if grouping is part of your strategy and you think people will actually need to search that way.

Should you use a funny hashtag on a Facebook post?

If you think it’s so funny that more people will react to it (thus give it more organic reach), then go for it. But it’s going to have to be bloody hilarious! If it isn’t the crux of the humour in your post, then lose it. Remember the hashtag is there to group things, if you create a hashtag from scratch and no one else is using it, then unless you’re starting a movement or have the Hashtag integrated in to a major sporting event, the chances are it won’t take off. If it isn’t already trending or relevant to anything that’s really happening, steer away.

Oh one more thing, if you grab an Instagram post and automatically post it to your business page, the 30 or so hashtags you used on Instagram will visually pollute and likely pull back the effectiveness of it on Facebook. Just let it do the automatic share (if you have that setup) then edit it on Facebook to clean it up. Speaking of Instagram (and Twitter), on all social channels it’s good manners to only use hashtags that are relevant to your content. Hijacking something with content that isn’t relevant will mean you stick out like a sore thumb. Your content won’t belong there and that’s likely to make the audience disrespect you because they feel you’ve disrespected them.

Oh, sorry another ‘one more thing’…if you’re going to use a hashtag, make sure you spell it correctly.

Hopefully this clarifies some questions around hashtags.

If you have a question about marketing pop them up on our Facebook page and I’ll answer them as I can.



Are you really open when you’re open?

One of my biggest gripes that happens with bricks and mortar businesses is in regards to opening and closing times.

Businesses that close at 5:30pm, but already look closed at 5:15pm.

Do you think that makes the customer feel comfortable or uncomfortable? It’s obviously the latter, and making customers feel uncomfortable is a problem for business.

Here are three examples:

  1. Being in a cafe and they start taking the garbage out and stacking chairs while you’re there (within the advertised opening time).
  2. Being at a retail store that starts shutting down computers and is more focused on packing up then helping you.
  3. Taking the signs in from outside before you’ve closed so to anyone passing by you look closed already.

You might think it’s an efficient use of time because business is slow in the last 15 minutes, but let me promise you that giving a customer a substandard experience certainly won’t start attracting more customers. You’ll just end up getting quieter and quieter.

Think of the big brands, they generally have a 10 minute and 5 minute call ready for their doors to be closed at that time. There’s a consistency, but they don’t reduce the experience you’re getting so they can get out early.

The benefit behind a bricks and mortar store is that you have the opportunity to immerse your customer in an experience that online stores can’t match.

How good is that experience if you’ve already started packing up or if you’re not ready when people arrive in the morning.

Your customer experience should be like an event. You don’t rock up to a concert and they’re still setting up. The stage is set before you arrive. You don’t want the magic to be tainted because some of the musicians were just hanging out in front of the curtain before the curtain opened.

And there’s another danger – they stop coming because you look closed!

If you’re paying rent for a bricks and mortar store, it’s important you look open when you’re actually open – especially if you’re paying premium rent at a site that has good passing traffic.

Life’s too busy for customers to remember when everyone closes, so if you look shut I just don’t stop. It’s that simple.

Be open when you’re open, and close when you’re closed. If you don’t want to stay till 5:30pm then set the expectation that you close at 5:15pm and delight them if they come to the door and you grab something for them.

The point:
Whatever you do, when a customer interacts with your business give them the full experience and your full attention.


Read more blogs on how to delight your customer here, or download our free ebook ’10 things small business must stop dong NOW.’

Why movement matters in retail

Retail marketing assistance consultancy movement merchandising

When something moves, we pay closer attention to it.

But how stagnant is your business?

A couple of weeks ago we had a fun post on our Facebook page with those air filled stick men they often have on top of a Godfreys store denoting a ‘special event’  (yes one of many). But it doesn’t have a sign saying sale, all we know is that it signifies something going on.

Is your Brand an all-round Habit?

Tips on brand building habits every day business

Our ‘Touchpoints’ blog is written to tease out, understand, share and spark action on two important things – brand and touchpoints.

Lets be honest, organisations are recognised for their touchpoints that  either grow or detract from building a great brand. Either could be you!

It doesn’t matter if you’re advertising is great, it doesn’t matter how good your stores look – if your business is flat and doesn’t offer a unique brand to the market then it simply won’t be as effective as it could be. That may not be what you want to hear… #sorrynotsorry.

You must focus on getting the basics simplified so that your teams deliver your values, culture and personality.  Convincingly.

Here’s the fun part! I ask you to answer the following questions (in your mind is fine) within 30 seconds, here goes:

  • What does your company promise in their slogan? (this should be easy)
  • What is your core value to the client i.e. why do they come to you?
  • What is the brand personality of your company?
  • What sets your organisation apart from competitors?

So, I’m hoping you didn’t struggle too much to come up with the answers. But the real test is this:

If you asked these questions of everyone in your organisation would they give the same answers?

Scary Fact: When hosting a trade show in Adelaide a few years ago I encountered a scary situation. Trade shows and exhibitions are a big investment and you want to maximise face time with possible customers. As the host, I pre-warned all exhibitors that I would be back in 10 minutes to discuss a ‘call to action’ and I’d like to know their Point of Difference – what it is that sets them apart from their competitors. Many had 3 or 4 direct competitors in the room. After 10 minutes only 3 in every 10 exhibitors were able to tell something that would stand out. Lost opportunity!

The Shining light: One exhibitor that did ‘stick’ in my memory is Kumho Tyres. Their point of difference that they quickly delivered was their culture of innovation and trying new things – their slogan being: “What’s next is already here”. They’ve invented an aroma tyre that smells of Lavender. I’m told (but it’s not mentioned in their advertising) that it was originally a trial to see if ‘burning rubber’ could smell any nicer. Once they trialled it they also found it had superior handling and lower road noise. The point is that these guys knew their brand and had an example to back it up.

Effective Naturally champions the 4 pillars of ‘promise, value, personality, difference’ as the foundations to a strong and consistent brand. They allow organisations to confidently advertise a promise they know they can consistently deliver. Consistent delivery is what builds trust and it’s only when trust has been earned that an organisation could expect to the positive word of mouth and customer loyalty that is enjoyed by the best brands in the world.

If you want to read more on the benefits of positive word of mouth read my blog on brand evangelism, or take action right now and check out our coaching opportunities.