Did you hear? Much to my great dismay, Facebook recently introduced hashtags into its social network. What used to be a nice, clean, content-happy place will now be overrun by too many symbolized keywords and updates that will look more like an assembly language than a legible, written one. But that’s a story for another day. They’re here and I have to suck it up and treat them like any new social media tool or feature. Twitter, Instagram and Google+ have had major success with hashtags, and hopefully Facebook will follow in their footsteps.
What’s a hashtag?
A hashtag is a word or a phrase prefixed with the symbol #. Hashtags are used to categorize posts and updates by keyword. They allow for searching of specific topics and content such as #crockpotcooking, #writingjobs or #recipe. Understanding and using optimal hashtags, allows people to more easily find your content – people who are genuinely interested in what you are writing about. Here’s how they now look on Facebook:
What do Facebook hashtags mean for your blog?
For bloggers and marketers, the addition of hashtags on Facebook means that your updates, and ultimately content, is now entirely searchable AND by people not directly connected to you. Previously, the graph search would bring up some results, but these were mainly posts and updates from people in the same network. With the inclusion of searchable hashtags, you are no longer limited in that respect. As long as a person has not changed their settings to private, you’ll be able to see what they have shared relative to the topic you’re interested in. This gives you much greater reach as a blogger and marketer.
As noted in a post on Marketing Land, “Getting your Facebook content distributed substantially outside of your connections or extended network currently requires either a highly viral post or a chunk of ad spend. Now, the opportunity to jump on a hashtag trend and to get exposure outside of your network is alive on Facebook.”
A Closer Look at How Hashtags Work
Clicking on hashtags brings up relevant posts, images and videos. People can also use the built-in search bar to seek out specific topics of interest. Here’s a look at how the results appear when clicking on a hashtag:
To directly search for hashtags on Facebook change the SEARCHHASHTAGS to whatever hashtag you are interested in (I used recipes).
Facebook is also becoming more Twitterish, as hashtags open the door to real-time conversations with fans, fellow bloggers and brands. Again, as noted on Marketing Land, “The use of hashtags allows strangers to align on a topic or share a common experience which was previously impossible on Facebook.” That is pretty cool.
Facebook hashtags are alive, bloggers! You might as well take advantage of them. Monitor what seems to be popular and incorporate them into your content strategy where appropriate. The results could be huge!
Image Via: eTeknix