This week Facebook announced that it will be “switching on” hashtags in the near future. Of course you’ve always been able to integrate hashtags into posts – but until now there was no real functionality. This week’s Friday Five sheds light on some of the key features of Facebook’s hashtags.
1) The Big Reason Behind the Adoption
If you’ve ever watched a popular TV show or cheered on your favorite team, you can probably guess why Facebook thinks it’s time to accept the hashtag. The company’s release announcing the hashtag news cited the popularity of engaging with communities during TV programs and sports events. We’ve all seen Twitter hashtags at the bottom of our T.V. screen – but there hasn’t been a similar way to bring together fans on Facebook.
If your business has a TV presence, the inclusion of hashtags could be hugely beneficial. Encourage a continued conversation via Twitter and Facebook with the simple use of a hashtag! This goes for radio, as well. Additionally, look for opportunities to participate in conversations organized by hashtags on both Twitter and Facebook.
2) Hashtag Search
Search on Facebook has never been stellar. Now Facebook users can search, hopefully with greater success, using hashtags. If there’s a conversation around a particular hashtag, you should have no trouble finding it (as is now the case on Twitter). However, the struggle will most likely be figuring out which hashtags are stirring up the conversations you want to participate in. Again, you can see how a TV or sports program would fit nicely into this structure as the hashtag will be obvious to anyone watching.
As a business, you can take advantage of this new search feature by claiming a hashtag and nurturing the conversation around it. Be sure to select a hashtag that won’t be hijacked (popular ones will quickly be used by many).
3) Clickable Hashtags
Facebook announced their users will now be able to click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram. This will, hopefully, bridge the gap between conversations that start on other social networks, ultimately increasing buzz.
Businesses that use hashtags on other platforms will benefit by increased exposure and the ability to draw in those in the Facebook community who want to click on a topic to find out more.
4) Compose Posts From Hashtag Feeds
Another new feature that will benefit businesses: the ability to compose posts from the hashtag feed and search results. This will allow people to start sub-conversations, make comments and add value to conversations that are both relevant and popular. Those who take advantage of this feature early on will most certainly benefit the most.
5) Streamlined Advertising
Facebook recently announced that it’s streamlining its advertising experience. No longer will a brand have to purchase sponsored stories in addition to ads, for example – photo ads will now automatically receive the same features that today’s sponsored stories have.
Amidst the changes that Facebook advertising is undergoing, hashtags can give advertisers an additional boost. Facebook is constantly angling for more ad revenue, so the addition of hashtags – which may be able to help brands advertise more effectively – will ultimately benefit Facebook’s bottom line.
Do you think hashtags have a place on Facebook? Tell us how you plan on incorporating them into your social media strategy – and don’t forget to check out RingCentral’s own Facebook page!