Last week Facebook released their newest feature, Facebook hashtags. The introduction of hashtags to Facebook is a game changer for businesses who use Facebook, especially those who have experienced slow growth on Facebook when compared to other social platforms like Twitter. Facebook has always been a place where people could connect to people or businesses they already know. But the addition of hashtags allows people to use Facebook more like Twitter, to discover new friends and businesses (like yours!). Using hashtags is a way to assign a topic to a post to make it more discoverable by putting a # sign before a word. This turns the word into a clickable link, and when people click on or search the hashtag, they can find other posts about the same topic. Even though Facebook just released this feature, the concept was originally started by Twitter, and has since been adopted by other social media platforms including Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram.
Using hashtags in conjunction with your video strategy will make your videos more discoverable, resulting in more views and engagement. Here's a few tips on using Facebook hashtags with your videos:
Place hashtags at the end of your post instead of replacing words. Since you don't have a character limit like on Twitter, you can put them at the end so that they don't disrupt the readability of your post.
Don't use too many hashtags. Three is plenty.
Think local. If you are a local business, use your city as a hashtag (#orlando, #orlandofl) to attract people who live in your area. Using a number such as a zipcode as a hashtag doesn't work on Facebook yet, but since other social media platforms do recognize numbers in hashtags, Facebook will probably catch up at some point.
Be specific. Use specific words that relate to your video as Facebook hashtags. For example, don't use a general hashtag like #video by itself, because it will immediately get swallowed up in a sea of other mentions of that same hashtag. Instead, use a hashtag that describes the video topic. For example, if you're a gym posting a video on tips to improve your workout, you could include a hashtag like #fitnesstips.
Be relevant. Don't use hashtags that have nothing to do with your video just to piggyback on a popular trend. If you can logically connect your content to a popular hashtag then do so, but if you can't you'll just end up looking like spam, and you won't attract quality leads anyway.
Check the hashtag before you use it. You might think of a specific, relevant hashtag that describes your video perfectly, but if no one is using it or searching it, then it defeats the purpose. Go to Facebook search and type in the hashtag you want to use. If no one is using it, try to type in a few alternatives until you find one that other people are using. Since hashtags are so new to Facebook and few people are using them yet, you might want to double check on Twitter to see what hashtags are popular there.
Use hashtags for timely events or trends. Just like on Twitter, there are different hashtags that are very popular for a short period of time because they surround events. If your video relates to a trending topic, include the Facebook hashtag for it. For example, if you can relate your content to the NBA finals series, include the #NBAfinals hashtag.
Create your own branded hashtag. If you have a catchy slogan or want to start a Facebook chat series, create a unique hashtag that no one else is using, but that relates to your content. Then, use it on your videos and encourage your fans to use the hashtag when they are talking about the topic. If it catches on, people will use and search the hashtag, and all roads will lead back to your brand.
The thing to remember is that hashtags will make your videos more discoverable. So experiment with them, use them consistently, and track the results to keep improving.
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