7 Tips for Using Facebook Hashtags

KC Fox | @KCFox787 Two years ago, history was made when Facebook, after long awaited anticipation, got hashtags. Fast forward to the present day, however, and the average user will still witness businesses using hashtags incorrectly. Here are some helpful tips to improve hashtags on Facebook.

  1. Keep the hashtag short and readable

Hashtags are not a place for long sentences. Think more along the lines of a phrase or even shorter. By using too long of a hashtag, it becomes hard to read and is more work than the average user is willing to do.

No: #IAmWatchingTheNBAFinals         Yes: #NBAFinals

  1. Be specific

While you don’t want to be so specific as tip number one explains, you also don’t want to be so vague that the hashtag could apply to more than you are bargaining for. By being specific, it tells readers exactly what you are referring to while also making the hashtag feed more like what you are talking about.

No: #water                  Yes: #CaliforniaDrought

  1. Don’t use too many hashtags

This is a big no-no. Nothing says, “I’m new to hashtags,” quite like using every hashtag even the slightest bit related. A good rule of thumb is using one to three hashtags in a post, varying this according to the content. Remember, less is more. Too many hashtags are harmful because so few people are going to read every one, so you might as well condense them down to the basics. It also takes away from what isn’t in hashtag form.

No: #food #love #datenight #restaurant #dallas #texas #chicken #meal #dinner #happy #bestfood #findoutforyourself #foodie #mouthiswatering #italian #italy #downtowneats #healthy #glutenfreeoptions #greatservice #greatprices

Yes: #RestaurantName (insert the restaurant name) #Dallas (or wherever you are located)

 

  1. Know what punctuation to avoid in a hashtag

A successful hashtag links to a feed of other posts with the same hashtag. If unsupported punctuation is used, the hashtag can no longer link correctly. Therefore, know what not to put in the hashtag. Avoid spaces, periods, exclamation marks, question marks, and other punctuation within hashtags. However, you may still use terminating punctuation. For a more detailed list, see this article: http://www.dailydot.com/lol/hashtags-fails-punctuation/

No: #Favorite Color        Yes: #FavoriteColor

 

 

  1. Capitalize the first letter of the word

This is especially important if there are multiple words or the words pushed together could be read as something differently depending where the imaginary spaces go. With one word hashtags, it isn’t necessary to capitalize, that’s your personal preference. Being that spaces cannot go in a hashtag, capitalizing the first letter makes the content easier to read.

No: #todaystip             Yes: #TodaysTip

 

  1. Be consistent

Try re-using hashtags that are unique to your business. This promotes unification among similar posts. By using consistent hashtags, your followers are more likely to use the hashtag themselves if they post something similar as well.

[picture of meal]

No: #meal #food (changing each time)

Yes: #RestaurantNameDishSpotlight (insert Restaurant name)

 

  1. Consider Facebook’s suggested hashtags

While I don’t recommend mindlessly adding every hashtag Facebook thinks is relevant to your post (see tip 3), it does have its benefits. This feature can show you what is possibly trending at the time or similar topics to yours. So while Facebook’s suggested hashtags shouldn’t be ignored, they also shouldn’t be blindly accepted. Use your best judgement to decide if the hashtag will add to the post.

No: Accepting all hashtag suggestions

Yes: Using the appropriate hashtag suggestions

Even though hashtags have been around for two years on Facebook, that does not mean they are being used to their fullest potential. Follow these tips to take your social media marketing to the next level.

For more hints on bettering your company’s Facebook page, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3lkigbq5jg

Will Nesbit