Jun 2013

Hashtags started off as the unique feature of Twitter before Google+ and now Facebook introduced it. While personally I love Facebook more than Twitter, I always liked the hashtag feature on Twitter and wished Facebook had it! This is because, hashtags are a great way to follow as well as facilitate conversations, especially from a marketing point of view. So, as you might know, Facebook recently introduced the hashtag feature too and if you are a brand using Facebook, here are 4 things you should know about it:

So, is it a good thing that Facebook has introduced the feature as well? I must say, yes! This is because enabling hashtags on Facebook opens up some new possibilities for marketers and brands to explore which was cumbersome or even impossible before. Here are some of the ways we can leverage on this feature currently or in the near future:

  1. Index Conversations: Hashtags on Facebook make conversations indexable. There is always a LOT of chatter on Facebook but no easy way to group those conversations. Hashtags allow grouping of conversations and brands can leverage on this while running themed contests or campaigns.
  2. Group Fan Page Content: Brands post about a variety of things on their Facebook page. Some of them also post a weekly series of posts like our very own series of Search Mondays, Social Tuesdays etc. Hashtags will now make it easier for brands to group the content on their page.
  3. Understand Fans Better: Social networks are one of the most important platforms for brands and marketers to reach out to their audience. Each network has its unique value proposition. The demographics of users on Facebook are different from that of Twitter. Therefore, brands that are focused largely on Facebook now have the ability to know about the topics that their fans are interested in i.e “listen” to their fans. This will helps brands on Facebook to deliver appropriate and topical content.
  4. Better “Contextual” Targeting: Facebook ads help a lot in reaching out to the right audience through their extensive targeting options. Now, with hashtags, Facebook will have so much more information about the topics that people on Facebook are talking about. Hence, we can expect better targeting options to be available for Facebook ads and Sponsored Stories.
  5. Possible Improvisations in Graph Search: Hashtags might also aid in improving Graph Search. While Graph Search is the best search that Facebook has had till date, there is always room for improvement. Hashtags will help Facebook in providing answers to more complex queries from marketers and also help marketers know more a lot about their fans. For example, marketer will probably be able to search for the topics that people that like a particular page are talking about.

Personally, I feel that Facebook is doing a great job in making itself clutter free and transforming itself into a platform that brands can leverage on. I believe that all the features that are being introduced newly by Facebook are all aimed at learning more about the users and using that information to empower brands and marketers -be it Graph Search, the new Newsfeed, the new Timeline layout, the “moods” feature or the latest hashtags feature! Moreover, I love using hashtags as they give context to anything you share online and I no longer need to explain to people as to why I use hashtags on Facebook! Haha! 😉

Do you have different views about the topic? Then, please feel free to comment below and start a discussion! 🙂

Khyathi Nirmal Kumar

Khyathi is the Lead for the Technology & Education verticals at Happy Marketer.