The Mystery of the Facebook Hashtag
There are no limits to how many hashtags you can add to a post in Facebook. However, a quick run through your news feed will reveal that Business Pages use very few, if at all. This is because social media managers have widely different views on the subject of Facebook hashtags. There is no right or wrong on this topic but if you are going to use them, above all else make sure to use them correctly. Facebook has supported hashtags on the platform since June 2013 and there are numerous internal Help Articles explaining how to use them. However, if you input a hashtag into the Facebook search bar, the results vary widely, including a lot of unrelated content and spam. To follow a hashtag link in a post also returns unreliable results. The Facebook algorithm may return results related to those you already follow making it more difficult to use the feature to explore new content.
On Twitter right now the optimal amount of hashtags is only two. On Instagram between eleven and thirty hashtags per post is perfectly acceptable. There is no best practice for the Facebook hashtag at this time.
Think about your brand image. Depending on your target demographic, hashtags can be annoying or even confusing to your core audience. If your audience is social media savvy and your brand voice is casual then it may be worth a try. Social media results vary for businesses on Facebook so just because it worked in one study, it may not work for your brand. Here are a few reasons to try a Facebook hashtag:
Your brand is new and you are trying to piggyback off of the success of well-known daily hashtags. There is no guarantee that #WeddingWednesday will get your business noticed because of the sheer volume of usage. If your goal is to get noticed, try to be very specific like #DestinationWedding or #BeachWedding. The website http://hashtagify.me/ is helpful to discover alternative popular hashtags.
Your brand created a new hashtag for a specific campaign. Especially if your business automatically sends Instagram posts to Facebook, the hashtags should support the campaign goal on Facebook-only posts as well. Post the hashtag across all social media platforms for continuity.
Your brand is involved with a larger community that is identified with a hashtag. For example, Grand Hyatt DFW does not often use hashtags. The brand voice is also more formal. Recently though, they joined a global effort in support of a cause. Increased reach was not the goal here, but a byproduct.
Your product or service is not that exciting one way or another and could benefit from positive association. If your business does not generate interesting content on a regular basis, consider sharing a holiday or special day’s hashtag in a Facebook post. For example, #SpringBreak or #OpeningDay of Major League Baseball extends reach. It provides feel good content for brands that don't naturally attract raving fans. Beware, this type of post is not targeted. Your Facebook Business Page timeline will look nice and upbeat but these types of posts reach fair weather fans, not necessarily customers.
Do you #hashtag your Facebook posts? Tell us about it on Twitter @ThinPigMedia