Facebook Hashtags: The Potential Value for Business
I talked about hashtags ( you know, these things: # # # ) in my debut article for ME Marketing Services: “Hashtags: The Value Beyond the Symbol.” When I wrote this post back in April, the social world had already begun to circulate rumors about Facebook users soon being able to do something that Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr users have been doing for a while: using hashtags. My initial feelings about the possibility of Facebook hashtags leaned towards the negatives…how hashtags don’t belong on Facebook and how they are already abused there by social media newbies. Fast-forward two months and the cat was let out of the proverbial bag: Facebook introduced hashtags on June 13, 2013.
By design, the new Facebook hashtags are searchable and clickable. They allow the platform’s users to easily highlight their key thoughts, events and favorite brands, just to name a few options. This also provides people with a way to expand conversations far beyond a single status update. People may initially misuse and abuse Facebook hashtags; but they inherently hold a great deal of potential value for business owners and marketers – and their customers, too.
These are many ways in which a business should be able to tap into the value beyond the symbol – these are two to start with:
Facebook Makes Social Listening Easier
The advent of Facebook hashtags brings with it an efficient way for marketers and business owners to monitor and track what people are talking about on the platform. A user now has the ability to “eavesdrop,” or search, by clicking on Facebook hashtags. Doing so reveals other recent Facebook posts with that same hashtag, as long as a person’s privacy settings allow for such visibility. Socially savvy businesses will also see Facebook hashtags as a vehicle for engaging with their audiences – something which further humanizes them in the eyes of consumers. The potential value for marketers and business owners lies in the ability to learn what their customers and target market need – and how to best serve them through proper utilization of this acquired knowledge.
Facebook Has Created Content Curation Capabilities
Content marketers may find significant value in using Facebook hashtags, as long as the trend catches on as it did for Twitter and Google+. As businesses publish their own and/or related articles on their pages, they should choose a creative and appropriate hashtag to include on the Facebook status each time. They have now made themselves searchable – and “findable” – to potential customers, current customers, or anyone else who may be interested in reading about their topics. People often share good content…and now they have an easier way to find it. The potential value for business is revealed through increased opportunities to develop brand advocates who will help spread their content – and messages – far and wide.
Have you tried out Facebook hashtags for your business yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether they are useful – or annoying!