It’s now been a week since Facebook rolled out the hashtags feature to everyone and within the first day, I saw people using them like it was going out of fashion.

facebook-hashtags

Hashtags are nothing new and Facebook is late to catch up with this trend of monitoring conversations with that magical symbol. Because so many of you are inept at using them I’ve decided it is imperative I write this post to help you guys out.

Here are a few of bad examples:
facebook-hashtag-3 facebook-hashtag-2 facebook-hashtag-1

Why is this bad?

It looks horrific. My eyes want to roll to the back of my head, it’s that bad. How many subjects can one post need? For shorter posts, maybe one or two is sufficient, whilst longer posts need to be used wisely and not overloaded with more hashtags than sentences. Otherwise, you’ll be no different to a teenage girl on Instagram!

Furthermore, it looks like spam and the reasons individuals overuse them is either because they want to reach out to more people than is necessary, most of whom are irrelevant, or they just think it’s cool putting a hashtag in front of every word: #itsnottrustme.

Posts with so many hashtags are hard to read, are not fluent and will deter friends and fans. When hashtags are abused it’s a pain to sift through the good and crap posts and just no fun, especially when you have a desire to learn more about a certain topic.

Please help! What should we do?

Here are a few good examples:

facebook-hashtag-6 facebook-hashtag-5 facebook-hashtag-4

 

See how they are easier to read and specific to that topic. After reading these posts I can now dive right into the hashtag and get more related topics, meaning I’m getting more value from your shared hashtag. If you’ve been a success with your content and the user is hooked, send them to a related hashtag that has value so they can learn more. They will remember you for it.

Even better, create your own hashtag. This is what we did at Zap for a while. We offer 4 main areas of services and want to educate our audience on these subject matters. We’ve created #ZapCreative, #ZapSocial, #ZapSearch and #ZapViral. Anything shared that can be categorised within these hashtags, whether it be our own work or industry news, gives great value to our audience as they have somewhere they can go to get more related posts and news within our business and industry.

Some other tips!

  • Promote your hashtags now and again and let users know they have a place to go to learn more.
  • Relate your hashtags to the ones you use on Twitter. You have more room on Facebook, so no need to abbreviate, but keeping the same hashtags will help your fans who are on Twitter and use Facebook too.
  • Next time you hold an event, create a hashtag for the event for Facebook and promote the event on both Facebook and Twitter. This feature has been used so well on Twitter, it will be great for fans who prefer using Facebook.

Does the overuse of hashtags get on your wick or am I just too fussy? Do you know any other tips you would like to add? What are your feelings towards Facebook bringing this feature to us? Is it too late?

 

5 responses to “Facebook Hashtags. You’re Doing It All Wrong.

  1. What’s quite interesting here is that while space limitations on Twitter force you to have them #in #the #middle of the text, on Facebook it looks a lot better if you put them at the end of the post – almost like the way tags appear on some blog layouts.

    1. That’s a very good point. More cleaner posts is what I want to see on Facebook but I understand the limitations on Twitter. I really like the reference to tags on blogs. Thanks for the input Craig.

  2. To be fair they aren’t really much use on FB, for one they aren’t searchable and when you click a # you can only see what friends have used that # at least when used on Twitter these are searchable as most of the data is public. Facebook have scared people so much that very few create public posts, unless its coming from a page.

    1. At the moment I’m getting a lot of pages and profiles I don’t know, even foreign languages, so I must be seeing profiles I’m not friends with. It is a bit all over the place just now but we’ll wait and see if it improves. Thanks for commenting again Matthew.

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