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The social media world is like high school: every week there’s a new rumor circulating. But a big one seems to be gaining traction recently: Facebook hashtags.
In mid-March, The Wall Street Journal reported, “Facebook is working on incorporating the hashtag, one of Twitter’s most iconic markers, into its service by using the symbol as a way to group conversations . . . It is unclear how far along Facebook’s work on the hashtag is, and the feature isn’t likely to be introduced imminently.” Nevertheless, if and when Facebook launches a hashtag feature, there’s no doubt that it will fundamentally change the way users engage and interact with brands on the platform.
The implications of using hashtags on Facebook have yet to be fully explored by marketers, but with the feature looking more and more like it will become a reality, it’s time to seriously prepare to enter the #fray.
Here are three reasons why Facebook marketers should start strategizing today:
1. Hashtags Will Make Facebook More Searchable
One great thing about Twitter is that regardless of the number of followers your brand has, there are opportunities for users to find your original content. Let’s say a brand tags referral marketing; any user who searches for that topic will inevitably stumble upon your content as well. This result wasn’t (and still isn’t) possible on Facebook. Not yet. But with the introduction of a hashtag feature on Facebook, users will be able to search for relevant content, thus increasing your brand’s reach into new territories.
With or without hashtags, you should ensure that your content is searchable and can effectively engage multiple audiences. Either through the use of SEO keywords or by posting in specific groups and communities, you should always be looking for ways to engage with more users online.
2. Hashtags Will Help Brands Conduct More Targeted Market Research
Building on that last point, once people are able to search for specific topics on Facebook, your brand should be able to find those users who are interested in and engaged with your product. You’ll essentially be able to bypass the time-consuming process of looking at groups and segmenting your existing user base. But that doesn’t mean these practices will no longer be important; hashtags will simply make the process more efficient.
As you know, finding those users who are inclined to share your brand with others is extremely important to developing an effective referral marketing program. While hashtags will make this easier to do in the future, it’s still worth your while to keep searching for brand ambassadors however you can today.
3. Hashtags Will Expand the Reach of a Social Media Manager
A huge reason why Twitter is such an effective marketing tool is because it helps brands identify current trends and ride the wave to increased visibility. Bringing this feature to Facebook would allow brands to target their content to better fit the conversation that’s already happening online. Hashtags on Facebook would be a game changer in the marketing world, putting an entirely different spin on how to best target customers on the social media juggernaut.
Although Facebook hashtags haven’t been officially announced, there’s no reason to assume Facebook won’t move ahead with the feature. Therefore, marketers should start planning for the best-case scenario now.
What do you think? Are you excited for Facebook hashtags?
Posted April 01, 2013 in Social Media