Hashtags, which appear as the # symbol, enable users to follow specific topics of conversation within a social network’s ever-changing stream of user comments. Hashtags have proven useful to users who are searching for online conversations and events as they unfold in real-time, e.g. TV shows, or sports.
Facebook launches hashtags to amplify this trend, using it ‘as a way for people and businesses to discover and engage in these conversations’. Although Facebook has joined the hashtag party late, this move it the ‘first step in surfacing relevant and important public conversations’. Facebook are looking at this addition as it’s first step into a powerful marketing tool, explaining that ‘over time (their) goal is to build out additional functionality for marketers including trending hashtags and new insights so that you can better understand how hashtags fit into your overall Facebook advertising strategies and drive your business objectives’.
So here’s what marketers need to know (from facebook-studio.com):
- If you are already using hashtags in an advertising campaign through other channels, you can amplify these campaigns by including your hashtags in Facebook advertising. The same creative best practices on Facebook still apply – compelling copy and photography that is in the brand voice works best.
- Any hashtags that you use on other platforms that are connected to your Facebook Page will be automatically clickable and searchable on Facebook.
- Like other Facebook marketing tools, hashtags allow you to join and drive the conversations happening about your business. We recommend you search for and view real-time public conversations and test strategies to drive those conversations using hashtags.
- Hashtags do not impact your distribution or engagement in News Feed on either desktop or mobile. We recommend you continue to focus on your existing campaigns to drive your most important business objectives.
Facebook hasn’t pushed hashtags as part of their ads system, or even brought in real-time ad placements via hashtags, but we anticipate this will be part of their ‘next steps’ strategy.
Facebook is currently rolling out hashtags to roughly 20% of its users this week, with a full global launch expected in the coming weeks.