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#Facebook Hashtags: The Good, The Bad & The Annoying

As an avid twitter user I love hashtags. I even sometimes use hashtags in texts and emails (cue the eye rolls). So when Facebook started to allow hashtags to be clickable, my heart skipped a beat – Oh the excitement!

For Facebook users who are unfamiliar with hashtags, or even Twitter users looking to use them more effectively, here are some tips for you:

Facebook Hashtag Basics:
What are hashtags?

Hashtags organize posts and content based that tag. Here is an example, using the hashtag #hashtag!

Hashtags are highlighted in blue and when you click on them you will see a stream of everyone who has used that specific hashtag.

Super easy. Right? Indeed. Now here are 3 simple rules for Facebook Hashtags that you should be doing right now:

1: The Good
Hashtags are searchable, just like on twitter. Increase visibility by using popular or trending hashtags in your posts.

Pro Tip: Are hashtags good for brands? Yes! Brands can benefit from using strategic hashtags to become more visible. Picking hashtags that are relevant to your brand as well as trending hashtags. For example: The University of Oklahoma does it right. They use the hashtags #TransformationTuesday and #BoomerSooner.

2: The Bad
Facebook rolls out features over time to groups of people, so it wasn’t until this weekend that I was finally able to see how to use hashtags on Facebook. One of my concerns was how hashtag search was going to affect the big privacy issue. When Facebook launched emoticons, my privacy settings were changed to public without my knowledge. It was one of the first things I checked when I was finally able to use hashtags. And sure enough, my Facebook privacy settings were again changed without my knowledge. Thanks, Facebook! If privacy is a concern for you, then change your settings now! Or just don’t use hashtags.

Pro Tip: Click through relevant hashtags to see what people are saying about you, your business or your industry. It might be relevant and you might be able to learn valuable information this way. You might even be able to find people looking for the very service or product you provide. Reaching out directly to these people could result in sales. Just be careful not to be creepy ;)

3. The Annoying
Now that hashtags have arrived, plan on seeing them all over you timeline. People will start to overload their posts with hashtags, which can become very annoying.

Pro Tip: What about brands? One thing that brands should remember is to not over use hashtags or makes them too long. Perfect example of hashtag overload; Akron-Canton Airport. There is so much BLUE going on here you don’t know where too click (and don’t even get me started on using super long URLs). Keep hashtag usage to a minimum; only use two at most. This goes for Twitter too people. Over use of hashtags are annoying!

In the wonderful, ever changing, world is that is the internet and Social Media, I am excited to see where hashtags on Facebook takes brands and to see how these basic practices evolve. I suspect advertising options based on hashtag usage will be coming down the pipe at some point as well. So we will see how Facebook Hashtags affect brands and if they stick around. As we’ve learned from Pinterest, these things don’t always stick around.

How have you been using Hashtags and do you like them? Sound off in our comments! And as always check Lead To Conversion out online. #WeAreHereToHelp :)