Category: social media

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.



5 effective ways to run a successful competition

In the last blog post I told you all of the things you shouldn’t do when running competitions on Facebook…that’s a bit unfair unless I follow up with something a bit more empowering! So here it is…

1. Decide why you’re doing it:

a.) Encourage feedback. Use your competition to get feedback on which product your audience prefers, or to find out more about what they do on the weekend for example. Choose something that will benefit your marketing.

b.) Increase your audience. Ask a question like “give us your best caption for this photo” because the more people who answer the more you’ll fall into the newsfeeds of their friends, which will likely encourage some of them to participate.

c.) Generating leads. This is all about bringing people closer to your product so they’re more likely to buy it or enter their name in a mailing list. The idea here is that you’re using a light touchpoint to encourage people to give you a more permanent way for you to stay in touch, i.e. e-mail.

d.) Capturing data. Do you already have an email list but you want to know more about your audience and their preferences? You might want to get them to update their preferences (or even just a detail like their address) as part of a competition.

e.) Changing behaviour. A competition is a great way to reward people for changing their behaviour to suit you better. For example getting people to come see you in a quiet time rather than a peak time. They may need to enter during your quiet time, but make sure you leave enough time to give them a ‘thank you’ for entering that encourages them to experience wht you have to offer.

2. Use a prize that your target audience will love.

This is pretty obvious. And if you don’t know what type of prize your audience would love more, you could give them a choice. The upside here is that you also get to know your audience better.

3. Keep things simple.

The more hoops you make someone jump through the bigger the prize needs to be. The simpler you can keep it the better.

4. Celebrate the winner!

Too often competitions don’t make a big deal out of the draw, and then people wonder if it was legitimate or not. Make a big deal out of the winner so people are more likely to enter next time.


5. Measure.

Will you run the competition again? It should all come down to whether or not you achieved the goals you set out for in point number 1.

Remember there are some things you shouldn’t do when running a competition. If you missed those from the last blog post you can read them here.

The recent Bonds Baby Competition is a great example of using a competition to drive you closer, much closer, to their online store where they just happened to be having a 40% off sale. To participate you had to enter your email, then verify it with a link in your inbox. This is just one example of how you can move people from strangers through to likely customers in just a few clicks.

It all comes down to experimentation, and honing in on best results.

Remember, getting more likes and reactions isn’t everything!


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The 10 most overlooked areas of marketing

This week I saw a retail business that was spending over $100k per year on regional television, but doesn’t have a social strategy or even a website.

In contrast…

This week we recorded one of our clients measuring 5 million views of their social media posts over the previous 3 months. And it cost $1 per thousand people (that’s including our strategy and management fees).

In comparison, a $500 advertisement on regional TV might rate at 30,000 viewers (if the viewer didn’t get up to make a cup of tea)  – but that’s $16.67 per thousand people. 

I’ll admit the client I speak of also has TV ads on air, and to be honest it’s better for potential customers to see you in a variety of media so I’m certainly not saying get rid of TV as part of an overall marketing plan if that suits your specific industry. However, to ignore digital means your audience is getting smaller by the day. The longer you take to build your social following, the more loyal those people are becoming to your competitors that do have an active online presence.




An effective marketing strategy has many pieces to the puzzle. Here are ten most overlooked marketing areas that are important to take care of…


1. Marketing Map

Do all of your marketing channels align with a consistent message and link through to each other? If not you could be leaving your customers with dead ends. Be objective. For example when you promote a special offer on a TV ad, make sure it points you to the website, then make sure the website has the offer clearly placed front and centre so it’s easy to find. A marketing map will help you identify where you may be missing some links (and probably losing customers).


2. Social Media

There’s not enough room to give you all the current tips on social media, but do you actually use your social media channels regularly, and do you connect them with your website? Most importantly, do you respond quickly (Facebook classes quick as within 30 minutes)?


3. Online Reviews

Do you monitor these and reply to both good and bad? Set up alerts so you can be on top of them quickly. Again people use reviews to determine who they’ll choose to provide them their product or service. The way you respond will help them determine if you’re the right provider for them. Not responding at all doesn’t bode well.


4. Evolving Website

Google appreciates fresh content. Updating your website every month with a blog post may help keep your page relevant. Aligning your posts to write about hotly searched keywords will also help (but that’s a whole different lesson).


5. Responsive Website

A majority of social and website views are now done on mobile devices. So if your website isn’t user friendly on a mobile, then the chances are the user will click off your site within the second. That’s a huge missed opportunity.


6. What’s your bounce rate?

A bounce rate is a percentage of how many people visit your website then jump off again within 3 seconds. Obviously they’re jumping off because you didn’t make a great first impression. If you can get a bounce rate of less than 50% then that’s good and Google will likely reward you with a higher ranking.


7. Your Database

Do you use your database of actual customers and general followers? The database is the most valuable asset a business can own. Like social media, how you use this as a tool is something that should be tailored for the preferences of your particular customers, but if you’re not even collecting these details you’re missing out.


8. Cold Calling 

Don’t. Just don’t. If you don’t like being cold called, then why would you think potential customers might. It’s the equivalent to asking a perfect stranger in the street to marry you. Awkward. There are ways to make an approach over the phone but buying a database and making a cold call is not one of them.


9. Google my Business

Have you claimed your page on Google yet? Login to Google (top right corner) then click the grid beside the login area. At the bottom you’ll see Google My Business. By claiming your business and going through the verification process you’ll be able to update your details on Google search. Don’t wait to do it when you’re about to move as the verification can take a couple of weeks to happen.


10. Your brand messaging

Have you really worked out why someone should choose you over your competitor yet? If not, why not? If you don’t know why you’d  choose you, why would someone else want to?


This is just the tip of the iceberg, but these seem to be the ones that are most often missed that have stood out to me in the last few weeks. 


How would you like to have Rick Marton as your marketing mentor? Someone to work with you side by side to empower you with the knowledge you need to know (and none of the stuff you don’t), help you get maximum bang for buck and to stay on track with relevant marketing trends. If so, take a look at marketing mentoring and coaching on this page, wherever you are in the world.