I've cursed and even resorted to hiding people from my newsfeed that overtake it with Instagram pictures with hashtags like #sun #selfie #summer #me #makeup #hair bla bla bla... In fact, I resent Instagram a little for it. But, Facebook have introduced their own hashtags, in fact they've been live for just a few months now and they're quickly working their way into the UK's marketing scene with 61 of the country’s top 100 brands having used them already!
The idea behind them is similar to that of Twitter’s; you can click and search the hashtag to become part of a bigger conversation, or, as a brand, reach more people.
So why should you bother?
- There is no character limit, unlike Twitter
- There are 200 million active users on Twitter, if Facebook can get 30% of their active users to use hashtags publicly, their conversations will reach further than that of Twitter.
But what to bear in mind if you do:
- Only public status updates will appear in the search – this means comments and private updates will not be part of the conversation - and yes, most people have their profiles and updates automatically set to private!
- Hashtag’s are not fully integrated with Facebook mobile… yet!
And the impact?
After the infamous Red Wedding episode of Game of Thrones, 367,000 mentions on Twitter were recorded compared to the 674,242 fans on Facebook that were talking about it – and yes, that’s before Facebook hashtags were introduced! Facebook has proved the platform for social media marketing with fans discussing content as they watch. Companies including Channel 4 and BBC have experimented with this before by streaming content directly through Facebook.
Facebook hashtags have the potential to match the use on Twitter - JR Badian, VP of digital marketing and social media at MasterCard believes they can be used for targeting updates to those who are interested, and this method can help extend the reach of your Facebook page.
With the majority of users having their updates set as private on Facebook, many brands are starting to use hashtags to complement the conversation already taking place on Twitter and manage the audience between the two platforms.