I don’t blog often, but when I do, it’s because a certain topic keeps coming up again and again. This past week, it’s:
hashtags on Facebook.
A few clients and acquaintances have asked recently about whether hashtags on Facebook are useful, tacky, good practice or a negative thing for your company’s social presence.
First, let’s take a look back at how hashtags on Facebook every became ‘a thing’.
Back in 2013…
Facebook announced that hashtags were clickable and would help people find certain types of content. The idea was just the same as on Twitter and Instagram: you’d click a hashtag to find out what other people were posting with that hashtag.
Anyway, after a short time, Facebook’s searching algorithm got dysfunctional, which you can read about from Social Media Examiner, and hashtags on Facebook became unimportant.
And fast forward to today.
It looks terrible
One of the things I love about Facebook is its use of NO HASHTAGS. I don’t know about you, but I find hashtags cumbersome, difficult to read, annoying to research and too often misused.
They look really bad on Facebook.
But apparently I’m not the only one who felt/feels that way. In fact, a Buffer blogger compared whether posts on Facebook did better with or without hashtags.
Yay or nay?
The answer, my friends, is nay.
The Buffer research showed that Facebook posts with hashtags got less engagement than posts without hashtags.
Why? The exact reason isn’t clear, but the Social Media Examiner article does make mention that the hashtags made posts harder to read. I agree.
Facebook is more visual than Twitter, and looks very different from Instagram. Using the same mentality across all platforms, and cross-posting with tools like Buffer and Hootsuite without tailoring each post to its platform, is one of the biggest mistakes I see companies and marketers making when it comes to their social media management.
Why do I care?
I like seeing companies make awesome connections with their customers via social media. I like seeing your sales increase because of it. I like seeing more traffic through your door because you’re actually offering customer service where your customers want it: online.
I like doing it right when it comes to social media management. Don’t put hashtags on Facebook. You’ll see better engagement from your audience if you don’t!