Facebook is in full swing with the much-loved (or hated), much-used pound sign. Better late than never to give people the power of hashtags. It’s what they asked for. Right?
Hashtags are used everywhere in social media. They were first used on IRCs to “label groups and topics”. Then they spread to social media platforms starting with Twitter, then Tumblr, Flickr and Google+. Instagram, which is now owned by Facebook, languishes in them. I suppose Facebook saw the opportunity and jumped on the proverbial bandwagon. And since they began pushing paid ads and throttled the visibility of organic posts, this might be their half-assed attempt at apologizing…or not.
Hashtags are powerful. When used correctly, they help your posts reach a wider audience. For brands, they’re invaluable to your message. It’s like using a megaphone in a crowded room. Shouting louder gets you noticed, but then need you to maintain the conversation without getting annoying. They should be used in moderation. Go overboard and you’ll hinder your progress and appear spammy. Use them to give context to your message:
Bad Example: #spaghetti and #meatballs go #great with #italian #wine
Good Example: What goes great with spaghetti and meatballs? #italian #wine
The first message was an all out hashtag assault. Result – annoying. The second example had the hashtags at the end to give context to the message. Try to keep hashtags to 2, at most 3 per post.
Be responsible with your hashtags. It’s a good idea to do some quick research before you use one, to see how it’s performing. Look at trending hashtags as well and see if you can make use of those and ride the hashtag train to greater visibility.