In their quest to stay relevant and be all things to users, Facebook finally rolled out hashtags last week. Now when content is tagged in Facebook, you’ll be able to click on it to see what your friends and brands you follow have posted using the same hashtag. Facebook’s a little late to the game on this, but now that functioning hashtags are here, posts and content featuring them feels much more natural. They make organizing and collecting content on Facebook easier and can help your marketing efforts.
Organizations who are looking to increase awareness on a topic or message should be using hashtags across all of their social media efforts already. The beauty of Facebook hashtags is that now those groups can boost engagement on a post outside of their fans. One great use for these new tags is when multiple organizations who support the same cause can work together to build a larger, more organized campaign for awareness. Groups can communicate, connect resources and share information and marketing efforts to increase the impact of the message online.
This is already working out for the American Cancer Society with their #finishthefight campaign. Searching the hashtag on Facebook brings up all of the individual event pages from Relay for Life to Making Strides Against Cancer. It allows the ACS and its audiences to quickly view activity and use the content in larger marketing efforts on their national brand page.
Anyone in event management is thanking the Facebook gods for finally adding hashtags. Hashtags easily and quickly organize activity from an event for organizers to collect tagged content from sponsors, Instagram photos and posts from fans before, during and after the event. I had firsthand experience in this during a recent craft beer event, Fishers On Tap, where the hashtag was originally used for promotion on Twitter in the weeks leading up to event and then taken over by attendees who shared their experiences from the event in real time across multiple platforms. Now that it’s over, the event organizers can go back and review all of the Facebook activity and use the data for future events. (More signs for water stations!)
Adding hashtags was a step in the right direction for Facebook. Should they be a part of every piece of content you post? No. But they will be a great tool to aggregate information, connect with other businesses and increase the engagement of content when used properly.