Facebook Is Re-Focusing on #Hashtags – So Should You, Too?
A trend to watch for in 2021
3 minute reading time
In the second half of 2020, you may have noticed that Facebook was promoting the use of hashtags on posts by offering predictive text suggestions. Are you watching to see if it will take and wondering how to do it right for your business?
Early on, hashtags on Facebook were just sad leftover symbols copied from a Twitter post, but Facebook officially introduced hashtags on their own platform back in 2013 when we first wrote about it. While hashtag use flourished on Instagram and LinkedIn, it never really became the norm on Facebook. In fact, BuzzSumo did a study in 2016 and found that posts with hashtags did not reach as many people as posts without hashtags. Marketing advice based on that study suggested leaving hashtags to Twitter and Instagram.
Of course Facebook now owns Instagram, so they have access to the analytics and code that helped make connecting through hashtags successful on that platform. Relaunching hashtag use on Facebook only makes sense for them and marketing gurus are predicting that this might be a big trend in 2021. If you are going to try using more hashtags on Facebook this year, here are some best-practice reminders:
- DO make your hashtags easy to remember, easy to spell, and easy to pronounce.
- DON’T over-do the number of hashtags for your audience. Start with 3-5 and experiment to see where their “spam” limit is.
- DO try unique keywords and hashtags.
- DON’T use hashtags that are too generic. Focus on tags specific to the audience that you want to reach.
- DO research hashtags before you using them. Save yourself the embarrassment of becoming associated with topics you didn’t intend.
- DON’T break up words with spaces or punctuation because it changes the tag and the search relationships.
- DO use hashtags to connect with the communities in which your company is a member. Also use tags yourself to stay up to date on industry trends, community events, and hot topics.
- DON’T forget to capitalize individual words within a hashtag to make it easier to read.
The jury is still out on how hashtags will fare on Facebook this time around. We’ll be on the lookout to see which companies are using them and how so we can report back. Our Sprocket Websites team works to stay up-to-date on marketing trends to help our clients stay top-of-mind. If you need marketing assistance, just give us a call!
This article is an update to “#HashtagsonFacebook: Dos and Don’ts” dated 6/19/2013.