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!

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9 Comments

  1. I now finally know what hashtags (#) are all about. I never used them in my facebook and twitter marketing… but now i see a good reason to use them. Thanks for explaining this for me. If hashtags help to organize and categorize content, then i think it could be a good benefit for Facebook users, and a good move by Facebook altogether.

    7/1/2013 7:44 pm
  2. I always use hashtags in Twitter although, I’m not that keen on using it on Facebook at the moment. Too many people trying to hashtag their entire status update. O.o

    7/3/2013 12:52 am
  3. We started adding hashtags to FB posts a few months ago (actually, it was my VA’s idea). We figured it was just a matter of time before FB caught on to this since it’s become so popular on Twitter.

    7/8/2013 4:38 am
  4. I thought the use of hashtags in Facebook was just a product of people who want to create their accounts into twitter and the like. Thank you by the way for this information

    7/18/2013 11:07 pm
  5. Personally I don’t use hashtags. But people are doing things just for the heck of it. For business it could help variably.

    7/20/2013 8:26 am
  6. Cindy

    Over the last few weeks I have seen too much overuse of the hashtags. I can the see the need in a marketing campaign but for everyday use I don’t see the point. It has become annoying more than anything else. At least with Twitter you are limited to a certain number of characters per post, which is minimizing the hashtag overload. Facebook, I’ve got people tagging photos with 20-30 hashtags and I’m coming very close to hiding them.

    I use them for my business but it usually means one with every 5-10 posts, not 5 with every post.

    7/22/2013 11:37 am
  7. Thanks for the post. I would just like to ask, does hashtags can do anything for traffic? Or can it increase your likes on facebook?

    9/4/2013 3:10 am
  8. Thanks for sharing your valuable information related to hash tag. I m using the hash tag on twitter but never used it on Facebook. Will surely make the use of it on Facebook. But i have doubt, does it help in gaining traffic. If yes then how.

    9/20/2013 2:37 am
  9. Kristina – Hashtags don’t automatically increase traffic to your Facebook page or likes on it. What they do is cause your post to show up to anyone following the hashtag you use. For that reason, if you’re using them to try to grow your page, you’ll want to use popular or relevant tags. Here’s a bit more info: http://socialmediatoday.com/jenniferhanford/1631571/facebook-hashtags-five-brands-doing-them-right

    9/20/2013 7:57 am

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