You probably got a notification recently that said if you want to increase your engagement and reach for your posts, you should add hashtags. Does this mean that Facebook is actually caring about hashtags for their algorithm? Keep reading and find out!
History of the Hashtag
Now, hashtags are going to be a vital part of your content strategy going forward after you read this blog. Hashtags came to Facebook way back in 2013, and they really didn’t do much with them. They were kind of like, yeah, we’re okay with them, but it doesn’t do anything. Now, unlike other platforms like Twitter and Instagram and LinkedIn where hashtags are a vital part of your post’s success, Facebook has, for the most part, been like, whatever, but now they’re actually giving it the attention and weight that it deserves to increase the organic reach of your post. So this all started back in May of 2020 when Facebook decided to push #supportsmallbusiness. This was to allow users in local areas to support their local businesses to help keep them alive through the COVID pandemic crisis. Since then, they’ve encouraged Facebook pages to add hashtags to their posts so that they can boost engagement and reach. While it really isn’t clear what this has to do with the algorithm or how it works, Facebook has said add hashtags to your posts to give it the little bump in organic reach that it has, and let’s be honest, I think all of us will take any little bit of organic reach that we can when it comes to Facebook.
How do they work?!
So how do hashtags work on Facebook? Well, it’s just like everywhere else. You take one word or a series of words with no spaces and add that pound or number sign to the front of it. When you add it to your Facebook post, I encourage you to put it at the bottom and make sure not to do too many because that’s just tacky, and remember, your Facebook audience is just going to be getting used to you using hashtags again on this new platform. You have to remember, your viewers aren’t used to you using hashtags on Facebook and they’re probably not used to seeing them either. So use them very lightly and delicately when you’re adding them to your posts. Once you have made that hashtag for your post, it becomes a button that you can click and it will take you to other posts that you have that have your hashtag included. So let’s use puppies for example. If you add puppies to your post and you click on that puppies hashtag, you’re going to be taken to a hashtag list on Facebook that’s going to list all of the awesome hashtags that have puppies on it. Now, what’s really cool about this is that Facebook is giving weight to the immediate community that you have. This means that your friends and the pages that you follow and interact with most that are using #puppies are going to show up at the top, and then underneath it is going to be the second layer and that’s going to be people who are connected to the people that you are friends with, the post they have with #puppies in it. Then after that, it’s just kind of anyone that’s using it most recent or for posts that you probably would interact with more. Now, if you want to research what hashtags you should use, which ones are going to be most relevant, maybe you want to claim your hashtag for your business, you can go up to the Facebook search bar at the top and just type in the hashtag and see what comes up. This is going to be a great way for you to not only figure out what hashtags you should be using for your business, but it’s also going to allow for you to get really involved in your local community and see what are the hashtags that are happening around me and in my specific vertical or area?
Now, a tip for you to have more success and ease of use when it comes to hashtags on Facebook is you should create a list of hashtags that you can kind of use for different styles of posts. Now, a lot of us Instagram users are going to teach you that you should create groups of hashtags that you can copy and paste and use in your post. For example, I have a whole list of hashtags for social media, a whole list of hashtags for my podcast, and a whole list of hashtags for being a YouTuber. By having these groups, it’s easy for me to copy them and then paste them into my content calendar to schedule that out. The same thing can be done with Facebook. You should be creating three to five hashtags that you can use for different types of content you’re creating. Whether you’re doing behind the scenes or promoting a product or day in the life or whatever it is that you’re doing, create a bunch of different ones that you can keep referencing so that you can add them to your post. Now, you might be a little bit skeptical at this point, but I promise, you definitely want to be adding hashtags into your post. Facebook guru Mari Smith even revealed to us that Facebook is testing a button for browsing. With this feature, there is going to be a ‘see more posts with this hashtag’ button and you can click it and go see them, rather than just having that button in the post. Facebook is definitely giving hashtags attention and you need to make sure that your brand is a part of it. When it comes to etiquette, as I said earlier, make sure that you’re not doing too many hashtags and definitely don’t do something like you do on Instagram where you’re putting like 30 of them at the bottom of the post. That is just bad and tacky and honestly kind of lazy. So don’t post things from Instagram to Facebook. It’s not going to work or look quite as nice. Stick to three to five and make sure you put them at the bottom of a post just like you do on LinkedIn versus within the paragraph or sentence.
Until next time, I’ll see you soon.