Facebook Marketing – Embrace the #Hashtag

Facebook Hashtags: Last decade, or next year? Today the whizzkids on the Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency team take a peek into the confusing world of hashtags on the platform that didn’t become synonymous with the term- and why your online marketing efforts need to consider them all the same.

Wait- didn’t this happen already?

Hashtags were introduced to Facebook in 2013, so you’re not wrong if you remember the trauma of endless hashtag strings from the time! Yet, despite their merger with Instagram, we’ve seen hashtag use on Facebook decline over time- but now Facebook is pushing to reintroduce this nifty feature, just better than before.

As of September 2020, hashtags are a recommended part of your Facebook posting, accessible through a drop-down menu that’s equatable to their other platforms. They’re also dangling the lure of improved organic reach to bring everyone on board with this new trend. It’s intended as a way to bring current events, trending people, and ‘buzzy’ topics to the forefront of our feeds- especially popular (and non-controversial) matters like TV shows, sports, and other global events. Unlike many other social platforms, the ability to ‘sort’ Facebook by trending topics has long been missing, and this is their push to regain that sector of the market.

How does this affect my Facebook Advertising?

If you’re browsing and see something interesting? Simply click on the hashtag to get redirected to the ‘feed’ for that topic. You can also search for hashtags in the search bar. As an advertiser, you simply need to include relevant hashtags in the post, which should be recognized as you’re typing by the platform. In turn, it will point you to related and trending hashtags.

Not that you should take this as an opportunity to return to the 2013 hellscape of more hashtags than content, however! Your copy should still shine. It could take a few post’s worth of experimentation to see exactly what works with your specific audience, but make sure you are not hiding your message nor appearing as a ‘hashtag hopper’ simply trying to ride the wave of attention rather than deliver interesting and relevant content. As with Instagram advertising, you want to balance the hashtags enough to ensure your message is still clear. We’d recommend 2-3 per topic or post, and you certainly will only rarely need more than that.

Facebook #Hashtag tips everyone should know

So how do you add these hashtags to your online campaign management? Firstly, be aware that each Facebook hashtag actually has its own URL, and the accompanying status update box at the top. This can be used to drive traffic from other sites, if you’re looking for more engagement. You can also feed the hashtag activity to your site, if you have a mind to do so.

View them as a way to get a conversation rolling, especially with different groups within your audience. As with most digital marketing efforts, take some time to decide who your target market is, both within your industry in the broad sense and for this specific post. Your Facebook hashtags should echo and complement your existing hashtag use on other platforms, keeping your brand identity consistent throughout.

On that note, it’s a good idea to follow popular pages and influencers in your industry to get a sense of what they’re using. Given the U.S is often the trendsetter for cultural aspects, keep an eye on them as well as your direct competition here in South Africa. This should give you a wider field to play with than just the hashtags you already know about, too.

You can even start a hashtag ‘bank’ for future use. Obviously, you don’t want to recycle old news long after it drops off the social radar, but many product, campaign, and even topical hashtags can retain relevance. For ease of organic use, Capitalize The Hashtag Words, rather than running the phrase together, so it’s easily accessible to the human eye as well as the algorithms of Facebook. Don’t forget to ‘audit’ what’s worked previously, especially with your best performing posts, so you can create a solid base to work from. As always, you will need to keep track of what works and what doesn’t, so monitor the engagement trends of your hashtagged posts to see what’s a hit and what’s a miss.

And there you have it! The re-introduction of Facebook hashtags is an exciting new development in the world of social media marketing, so it’s important to make sure your company is using all the tools at your disposal efficiently. Not sure where to start with Facebook advertising? The team at Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency are always on-hand to help you make the best of your social media marketing, so don’t be afraid to reach out to us today.