Have you recently started noticing Facebook posts that now include a collection of #hashtags? A new update introduced in July 2020 means Facebook hashtags have made a big comeback and effective usage on the platform can aid businesses massively in their visibility – but are you using them?

The History of Facebook Hashtags

Facebook hashtags were introduced in 2013 – several years after they’d gained popularity as a social media marketing tool on other networks. After launch, they were used similarly to platforms such as Twitter and Instagram: with related words and phrases being hashtagged and inputted directly after the intended caption or post.

However, with the lack of analytics and insights demonstrating a heightened ‘reach’ of posts using hashtags, the value of the use of them wasn’t readily obvious to brands, businesses or influencers – and so the use of them decreased rapidly in popularity. An update to Facebook hashtags was made in 2016, but it failed to communicate effectively to businesses the value behind using hashtags, and so they remained scarcely used.

How Facebook Hashtags Differ From Other Platforms

The main difference between Facebook hashtags and those used on other social media networks is the aesthetic of them – they stand out. You can click through hashtags and view other related content just as you can on other channels.

Broadly though, Facebook hashtags work in the same way as they do on other social media platforms and so when used correctly, are a beneficial organic marketing tool.

What’s Changed With Facebook Hashtags?

The latest update to Facebook hashtags encourages users to post with them to better extend the organic reach of posts. Business users will now find they’re targeted with hints and tips to help and encourage the use of hashtags, and demonstrate how they work to link posts to related content and the larger ‘conversation’.

When creating a Facebook post, typing a # symbol followed by the first few characters now allows the network to pre-populate a dropdown menu of related hashtags that are currently being posted about or have relevant content.

When creating posts in Facebook Scheduler however, each hashtag pre-population drop down option actually indicates how popular and how established each hashtag it is on Facebook – so that users aren’t relying on the popularity of use of hashtags on other platforms (ie. Instagram) to match it.

How To Best Use Facebook Hashtags

Facebook hashtags should be used in a similar way to other platforms, but not exactly the same way. Try the following tips to best extend your reach using hashtags on Facebook:

  • Research your hashtags on Facebook and use a variety of them, differing in popularity. Extremely established and very heavily used hashtags will, just like on Instagram, find your post getting lost – so mix it up. Experiment and find what works best for you.
  • Establish your own unique hashtag and use it for each of your posts. (like in Instagram)
  • Stay savvy! Research hashtags before you use them, in case you inadvertently link to content you don’t want to be associated with. Never assume any word or phrase is ‘safe’ or relevant.
  • Include your hashtags in your actual post and NOT in the first comment (as often done on Instagram). This is because when someone hits ‘Share’ on your post, your hashtags will be lost.
  • The amount of hashtags you can use on Facebook is currently unlimited – but that doesn’t mean you should fill a post with them. Instead stick to an appropriate number of related and appropriate hashtags.
  • In order to find relevant hashtags for your business, content and audience, the Facebook hashtag feed pages are the best place to research. They allow you to search tags and look through the current related content, so that you’re able to identify the best possible niches for your posts to sit within.

What About ‘The Algorithm’?

We all know about the ‘algorithm’ of social media networks, and that they chop and change and fluctuate the reach and popularity of posts. It’s true that there are programs and algorithms working ‘behind the scenes’ on Facebook as there are on all social media channels, but it’s not something that businesses need to overly stress about.

Instead, focus on doing things ‘right’ and taking the time on each post to tailor it to the relevant platform and audience – using appropriate and relevant hashtags.

Need Social Media Marketing Support?

If you could do with a helping hand on Facebook or any other social media network, give us a call or drop us a line at Woya Digital. Social media platforms are constantly changing and developing; but as with any industry, there are experts, and experts can transform your marketing online.

Woya Digital is making business growth through digital marketing affordable for any business through our pay monthly marketing packages, with no upfront investment! If you’re looking for affordable digital marketing support for your small business, get in touch for a persona chat!