Facebook Hashtags and combining social conversations together for marketing
June 25, 2013 at 1:00 PM
by Mikul PatelDigital Marketing Consultant at Matraxis
A little late to the market, Facebook have finally added support for clickable/searchable hashtags. Hashtags have become the de-facto standard for people to summarise topics they are discussing online - whether it's the latest in breaking news, sporting events or celebrity gossip.
In an official blog announcement, it appears Facebook are playing the long game by gradually releasing features “including trending hashtags and deeper insights”
How does it differ from any other hashtag service?
Whilst some may jump the bandwagon and accuse Facebook of copying Twitter, there appears to be some subtle differences between the two:
- No character limits to hashtags length
- Currently supported on desktop version of Facebook only
- Hashtags automated on status updates that originate on other services such as Instagram
- Feed only shows tagged statuses from friends and posts open to the public (remember to change your settings!)
Following on from my recent article on social media standardisation, there does appear to be a trend towards social media sites adopting very similar features. In fact, Facebook recently added a verified pages feature aimed towards authenticating high-profile accounts with a visible blue tick...sound familiar?
Unified hashtags for marketers
You've probably seen offline television or print adverts where a hashtag is displayed in the hope to initiate online conversations on Twitter. Now that we see hashtags used by multiple platforms, marketers can now have unified hashtag campaigns, without the need to plaster multiple social media images and pleas to 'Like us' or 'Follow us' – which can often distract the marketing message.
As far as I can see, there is no limit on hashtags so there is an opportunity for marketers to join in topical discussions and promote themselves...whether this will lead to spam statuses is yet to be seen but there is no doubt that Facebook will look to monetise this for marketers in the future.
It will be interesting to see the insights features that will be made available in the future. Marketers have in the past had to manually search and measure people who used unclickable hashtags in facebook status updates.
Will the hashtag turn around Facebook's recent slump?
Since going public last year, Facebook hasn't had the easiest time with shares recently falling around 20% since the social network reported results May 1.
At a time where Facebook is losing ground to other services such as Twitter or Instagram, especially amongst the younger teenager/adult audience, it appears hashtags are just one part of a strategy to regain a less engaging audience. The key will come with hashtag support for Facebook mobile and apps, and how Facebook can monetise the feature for marketers to use and target consumers.
Are you measuring the impact of your social media marketing? Or are you interested in Facebook Analytics and understanding how people engage with your Facebook pages and apps? Get in contact with Matraxis today to discuss all things analytics and getting the most out of your digital assets and campaigns.
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