Should You Use Hashtags on Facebook?
I recently attended a social media seminar, in the fast-paced digital world, it is Important to keep abreast of the latest updates and thinking. At the seminar, we were told that hashtags have no place on Facebook. Now I don’t know about you, but I am seeing more and more people using # on this platform.
So, I went on a mission to find out whether we should be using hashtags on Facebook.
Hashtags on Facebook are the same as on other platforms they build a searchable index of relevant content. By adding hashtags posters are hoping to make their posts more visible and searchable.
The downside to this though is that the hashtags in your post are clickable, this means that you could be directing your fans away from your page, is this really what you want?
There has been a recent study by social media giant BuzzSumo of one billion posts. It concluded that hash-tagged posts performed worse than untagged ones. Now you would think that would give a pretty clear indication that you shouldn’t use them, right? Well not entirely!
Now it seems that some audiences are particularly receptive to hashtags. The only way to know if your audience is receptive is to test by using them. They can be used to inject humour into your posts. Beware though, one of our clients recently added #humpday to her post. If you followed the link you did not get Wednesday memes!
The take away from this is to know your audience, if your product appeals more to the older generations then # are probably not for you. If you appeal to adventurers or younger demographics, then test them out. Just ensure you know where they will take your fans if they click on one!
On Instagram, you can use up to 30 hashtags per post and the recommendation is that you utilise every single one. My pet hate, though, is when Instagram posts are shared with Facebook and you get 30 # on a Facebook post.
This is a big NO! Research is very clear on this point, if you are going to try out hashtags on Facebook use one or two only, any more and your engagement will start to drop off.
Now I don’t know about you, but I find hashtags in the middle of a sentence really #annoying! It makes the content so much #hardertoread. If you are going to try out a hashtag or two, make sure you add them at the end of a post.
# or @
Do you know the difference? On your Facebook posts, it is possible to tag other business pages. Simply add the @ symbol and the Facebook page name. These tags expose your content to a wider, and hopefully targeted, audience. Now, this does not mean that you should @ your competitors Facebook page in all your posts, that is just not the done thing! It does mean though that you can tag complimentary products and tourism organisations.
As an example, if there is an event in my area and I have tourist accommodation I can tag the event Facebook page with some of my posts that relate to the event.
Other great people to tag are your Tourism bodies. As an example, in my area I might tag the following on some of my posts:
As with all things Facebook there is no real answer. The best advice I can give is to try out a hashtag or two, but no more. Monitor your posts with insights and see if they have an impact on your reach or engagement. Have fun with them but make sure you know where the link will take you!