Facebook announced the introduction of hashtags to their platform. Starting today, hashtags will be clickable and will allow users to view public posts containing the hashtag, and will also allow for Instagram linking. This is actually great news from an social media marketing perspective. Here’s who actually cares about this integration:
1) Facebook Users
Research has already determined that users are starting to utilize Facebook less often then they once did. Users are now migrating to other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. All of these platforms utilize hashtag search capabilities. Now that Facebook has integrated this capability, users can now expect a consistent user experience on Facebook. Furthermore, they also have the ability to truly see what’s going on outside of their social circle. Twitter has grown its user base thanks to this mindset. Expect users to start trying this out immediately.
Any business that has attempted marketing on Facebook knows the inherit challenges that comes with it. First, Facebook is generally a very closed off eco-system. In order to gain page likes, a business may need to look in to paid advertising, or establish a strong community via a different platform. What’s worse is that your posts may reach roughly 12% of your fans. Want to reach more of your fans? You have to pay of course! This is the exact reason why Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was publicly outraged at Facebook, and was contemplating a shift to Tumblr instead.
As a business marketing on Facebook, hashtags will allow you to reach a much larger audience. While you may still want to utilize paid advertising, and developing a community on other platforms, you can now add hashtags to your marketing strategy on Facebook.
Twitter has been a regular hangout for journalists. When following key events such as the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, or other major news stories, Twitter hashtags are the place to be. While I wouldn’t expect flocks of journalists to start transitioning to Facebook, I can expect them to utilize it as another form of research.
Consider this from a marketing perspective. If you’re marketing a new website, product, service, news story, etc, you now can have journalist’s eyes on your content. Reaching potential customers is one thing. If you’re offering something newsworthy, reaching journalists is a whole other thing and can truly help super charge what’s important – your online marketing strategy.
Hashtags are a fantastic tool to utilize on platforms like Twitter. Facebook users have even used hashtags without having the integration present. The usage has turned in to a type of “web speak”; utilizing a hashtag when there is no benefit either than the so-called visual benefit. One thing is certain though, if you’re working on marketing something, hashtags provide tremendous value.
Are hashtags going to change your strategy, or even get you to use Facebook more often? Let us know!