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.