At their most basic, hashtags are a label that can be used on social media platforms to earmark certain content and make it easier for users to find information about a specific theme, event, or topic. A powerful tool for exploration, hashtags encourage users to dive deeper into content that catches their eye and ultimately spend more time on the platform.
An essential part of any marketing strategy across Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn—the role of hashtags on Facebook has been less clear cut, as the platform has regularly changed its tune about it.
So, in 2021, what is the role of hashtags on the world’s largest social media platform? Can they help you reach your target audience and assist potential fans and clients filter information? Let’s take a look at how to make hashtags on Facebook work for your organization.
The evolving role of hashtags on Facebook
When initially introduced on Facebook in 2013, #tags were adopted widely and with great enthusiasm. Surely you remember the dizzying long posts that included a long string of all possibly relevant hashtags? Unfortunately, the message would sometimes be lost in the urge to overdo it on hashtags, though, and over time, Facebook hashtag usage dwindled until they became nearly obsolete. Now, though, Facebook is reviving this popular social media tool.
In September of last year, frequent Facebook posters would have noticed that the platform started to recommend hashtags to add to your posts via a drop-down menu similar to how hashtag recommendations work on other channels. Likewise, the company also launched a campaign to notify users that using hashtags on Facebook can boost organic reach and improve Facebook SEO.
How to use hashtags on Facebook
So, with hashtags back in the game, how can you incorporate them as an effective part of your overall strategy? A good starting point is to remember not to overdo it. Use roughly three to four hashtags on your Facebook post, but test it over time to see what works best for your specific page. Always refrain from hitting users with a wall of hashtags, though. Your copy should still be what stands out.
Social media strategist Janet Johnson offers a few other useful quick tips for using #hashtags on Facebook:
1. Use relevant keywords to your business and the audience you are trying to target. For example, if you are a local business, use the name of your city too.
2. Use tools like Hashtagify.me to find other trending hashtags related to your specific tag.
3. Don’t put too many #hashtags in the middle of a #sentence. That makes #reading the sentence #annoying. See? Instead, write out your whole post. At the bottom of the post, add the hashtags.
The future of hashtags on Facebook
Current usage trends, and the fact that Facebook is pushing them, suggest that hashtags will continue to become more important on the platform. In addition, they really can’t hurt as long as you use them economically and sensibly.
Overall, it is crucial to stay on top of Facebook’s focus and goals to assess the role hashtags will play. This includes tracking references to related posts within the context of news and trending topics—as these are two areas of great importance to Facebook. Whether their current effort to push hashtags will be a game-changer remains to be seen. In the meantime, it is a good component to incorporate as an overall strategy, but one shouldn’t expect any #miracles.