It’s hard to believe, but the hashtag will 10 years old in a mere two years. A feature originally designated to Twitter in 2007, the hashtag has become synonymous with marketing campaigns, viral topics, and has even become a tool for expressing oneself. Hashtags are now used on nearly every social network out there – from Instagram to yes, even Facebook.
Today, I want to focus on hashtags and Facebook. It’s no secret that Facebook is still the social network of choice when marketing one’s brand (this isn’t exactly breaking news to you marketers), but do you really need to use hashtags on the world’s larger social network? Let’s take a closer look.
Hashtags expand your brand
One of the biggest hurdles for any small business owner is growing an audience on Facebook. With so much competition out there, trying to grow your brand on Facebook often feels as tiring as running an uphill marathon. Hashtags can ease the difficulty; especially if you keep up-to-date with trending news and topics.
The Super Bowl is a great example. If you were on social media during the Super Bowl, you probably noticed tons of brands using popular Super Bowl-centered hashtags during the game (even brands that have nothing to do with football). Because millions of people around the world were following hashtags for the event on nearly every social network, a lot of small businesses benefited. As a result, many of them probably earned new followers by the time the game is over.
Jumping on the bandwagon of a trending topic is one of the best ways to make Facebook’s hashtag feature work for you. Even if a trending topic is not related to your small business (in most cases, it will not be), that doesn’t mean you need to ignore it. Be creative and put your own spin on the trending topic, and expose your brand to new eyeballs.
Facebook has practically crippled organic reach. Most of the time, growing your small business on Facebook consists of purchasing ad campaigns just to expose your brand to others. By using hashtags, you can earn a little extra publicity for free. We touched on this a little bit ago, but by jumping on the bandwagon of a trending topic, you are exposing your brand to people that probably otherwise would have never come across your brand in the first place. Especially if you are a small business that is just starting to market on Facebook, using popular hashtags can be a great way to expand further for free.
Yet another tool
Hashtags on Facebook are arguably unnecessary; but at the end of the day, they are still a great tool to use for promoting your brand. If you want the best results as quickly as possible, it is in your best interest to begin an ad campaign to grow the brand – but that’s another topic for another time. For those other times where you want to get a few new likes? Consider latching onto a popular hashtag and tweak it to make sense for your brand. It’s another method of marketing; and it is worth using!