Facebook Hashtags: Are They Worth Your Time?

Facebook users added hashtags to their posts #ironically. That is, until two weeks ago, when Facebook officially added support for hashtags.

Now hashtags on Facebook are clickable and organize conversations across the social network.

But does it mean anything for your business now that hashtags on Facebook mean something? Or are they just more noise to filter out?

Facebook Brands: Meet Hashtags

Hashtags are for categorizing conversations and they originated on Twitter. Other social networks – like Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest – similarly use hashtags to group together similar content and make it easier for other people to find.

Facebook’s hashtag feature works the same way, pulling up a list of related conversation when users click a hashtag in a post:

Hashtags are also searchable through Facebook’s Graph Search, which mixes publicly shared posts with posts shared from friends in your network.

Does Your Page Need Hashtags?

The official word from Facebook is don’t count on hashtags to replace or overhaul your current Facebook strategy.

Much like Graph Search has the potential to give your business page a bit of an edge in getting discovered by new fans, hashtags may unearth your page’s content to users who wouldn’t otherwise see it.

A post that got buried in a fan’s news feed could get exposed again with appropriate hashtags. But you probably won’t gain a ton of new followers from it.

In my official opinion? Use hashtags if you want to, but they’re not vital to your Facebook strategy.

If you do choose to hashtag your Facebook posts, here are a few tips to make them more worthwhile:

Don’t overwhelm people with hashtags.

You’ve probably seen this on Instagram – people who caption their photos with every conceivable related hashtag. And it’s total gibberish: #pretty #sunset #gorgeous #summer #relaxing #weekend #colors #colorful #beauty #natural… Limit your hashtag use to one or two relevant ones at the end of your post. Facebook marketing is still all about the content.

Use relevant hashtags.

You have a much better chance of your post getting found if you use hashtags related to your industry or post’s topic. If you’re talking about a local event, you might want to include the town’s name in a hashtag.

Don’t use hashtags for the sake of using hashtags.

If a hashtag makes sense in your post, use it. Don’t add a hashtag for the sake of adding a hashtag. And don’t feel pressured to use a hashtag in every post you publish, either.

What’s your take on Facebook’s newly functional hashtags? #Win or #fail? Share your opinion in the comments!