April 7, 2014

5 Ways you should be using Facebook #Hashtags (and a few sprinkles on how you definitely shouldn’t )

It’s been beaten and mocked. Sodden with shame by Jimmy Fallon and Jonah Hill and aligned with ‘selfie’ and ‘food porn’ too often. Now opponents doubt it’s relevance on the (still relevant) social network Facebook. Yes, Facebook is still relevant. We, of course, are referring to our ol’ friend, the hashtag. As a friend, we are here to show you how to augment your Facebook strategy by implementing purposeful, timely, and engaging tags without subjecting your fans to #hashbaggery. We’re here to help, and to warn.

1. Ground your hash tags in #reality, not #groundyourhashtagsinreality

We’ve seen #thistypeofhashtaguse on social before. But you’re a stoic and reputable organization that wants to be taken seriously. By implementing unwieldy hashtags that are more than 3 words, you lose the ability to contribute and join a conversation on real-life, viable and sensible topics. Brands would be more successful designing and implementing their hashtags categorically. Keep your hashtags to one or two word combinations and be specific. Anything else is probably too long-winded to understand or replicate.

2. Integrate, promote, track, and drive your multi-platform social contests.

You may have already held social contests for users via Twitter and Instagram, where tracking your branded hash tags has been possible for quite some time. Facebook is presumably one of your earliest adoptions of social, and there’s a chance you’ve ignored them when it comes to contests. With the introduction of hash tag support last year, user-generated contests tracked by specific hash tags can now include Facebook, making your tag-driven contests more dynamic by being multi-platform. As an added perk, your social media manager will appreciate that content can be designed to fit all platforms, streamlining the writing process while saving your organization time and resources.

3. Hug your neighbor.

The best and brightest brands understand that being a part of conversations in your surrounding area may draw the attention of someone who may not have otherwise cared about you. Is the restaurant next door to your shop having a promotion or grand opening? Give it a shout-out on Facebook using its official hashtag. Don’t want to shout out? Take a look at who is using the tag for some insights on your geographic market. It’s all about being a good neighbor.

4. Be limited.

Limit! Limit! Limit! #posts #that #look #like #this are not only difficult to read but show a lack of vision and creativity. This may be acceptable on Twitter, but the sentiment towards hash tags on Facebook is that they are new and annoying. Why push any buttons? Using only 1 hash tag per post is a strategic way to drive conversation around a single event without being overzealous and off-putting.Presumably, your goal for each post is to drive traffic, interest, or awareness to a given topic or event, so 1 hash tag is plenty.

5. One for good measure.

When it comes to tracking, using a hash tag once every few posts allows you to monitor and report on engagement for updates that include hash tags vs. those without them. By having these insights, you can make better decisions on how to use tags moving forward. Content is king but measurement is everything, so keep your hash tagging on Facebook few and far between. Facebook hash tagging can be an effective way to drive conversation around your brand. The practice is critical to measuring engagement while saving social media managers time in developing multi-channel content. At the end of the day, remain strategic and use proper judgment when implementing tags on Facebook; otherwise you may find yourself more alienating than engaging.