Hashtags are one of the most commonly queried elements of social media marketing. Originally intended for purposes of Twitter, they represented a way to filter and sort through the massive amount of messages.
The idea was to filter discussions efficiently – you’d be able to see all tweets from people on that topic.
Later on, hashtags were introduced to Facebook and people started using them freely. Some people think tagging every word is effective because it’ll mean your content will show up in more conversations, but that’s a flawed theory. In order to maximize the performance of hashtags, you need to conduct research to develop an understanding of which tags are most relevant to your business.
But before we get into that, let’s see how hashtags actually work.
• Click on the hashtag to get redirected to its feed. You can also click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram.
• Every hashtag on Facebook has its own unique URL.
• Search for a specific hashtag from your search bar, for example, #NBAFinals or type facebook.com/hashtag¬/xxx into your browser (replace the x’s with the tag you want to look up).
• Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.
Facebook is currently facilitating more than 1.5 billion searches on their platform every day, so there’s a good chance they are clicking on hashtags and seeing what’s available. There is no limit on how many hashtags you can use on Facebook. Over time, people started using more and more of them.
The catch is – you should use only the ones most relevant for your business, and here is why:
Hashtags can help your posts be more searchable on Facebook. On the other hand, too many hashtags lower engagement.
The statistics show that:
• Posts with 1 or 2 hashtags averaged 593 interactions.
• Posts with 3 to 5 hashtags averaged 416 interactions.
• Posts with 6 to 10 hashtags averaged 307 interactions.
• Posts with more than 10 hashtags averaged 188 interactions.
Even going from 2 to 3 hashtags caused a significant drop in engagement, because the updates become harder to read. Since every page has its own audience, that might reach differently in certain ways. The best thing is to do your own research, and see what works for you. Start with using no more than two tags per post and always keep track of your analytics.
Now you’re probably wondering how to choose the right tag. Use relevant keywords to your business and the audience you are trying to target. If it’s a local business, you might want to use the name of your town. There are also online tools, such as Hashtagify, which can help you find trending hashtags related to your specific tag.
As such, it’s down to your own testing to see what you find out. As always, while the generic data indicates one thing – that hashtags are not overly useful – individual results, as they say, may vary. Some social media experts claim that Facebook didn’t need to bother with hashtags because users could control what information to see in their News Feed. On Twitter, it was an active way to seek out information; on Facebook, you got the information passively in your News Feed. There are also other Facebook metrics worth tracking. To find out more about them, check out this article.