Back in early years of Facebook, hashtags were an effective and relevant means of gaining more reach on your posts. However, in recent years, less and less brands, businesses, and marketers have been using hashtags due to the seeming decline in their effectiveness for organic posts. These days, hashtags seem to have a more relevant place in social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.
Recent developments suggest that while Facebook isn’t aggressively pushing users to use hashtags, there are still some sneaky, telltale signs that Facebook is continuing to develop hashtags on the platform.
When was the last time you tried to search a hashtag to try and find posts around a certain topic? If you have recently, chances are that you’ve spotted the new, cleaner, and simpler Facebook hashtag feed.
The Facebook hashtag feed pretty much resembles Instagram in many ways, showing you the most recent and most engaging posts that populate that hashtag.
If you manage one or two Facebook Pages, you’ve probably received a notification or two from Facebook suggesting that: “You can improve your reach by adding hashtags to your posts”.
This quiet suggestion is an indication that Facebook still believes that placing hashtags inside your posts will yield bigger and better reach.
And whether or not you see a huge uplift in your engagement and reach, one thing for sure about hashtags is that they help you better index your content. If you want to go back and review some of your posts on a specific topic, hashtags can help you keep track of those pieces of content.
Naturally, the best place to include those hashtags would be directly in your posts. But the truth is that you’re not limited to putting them in your posts. You can include hashtags in the comments section, as well as in your video descriptions.
When it comes to placement, the obvious choice would be to include your hashtags at the bottom of the post, as that’s where many users are used to seeing them. However don’t limit yourself to just placing them at the bottom, especially if you’re working on creating a library of content around a certain topic.
If you want to create a three-part series of videos on a particular topic, one good way to index all those posts for easy reference is with a unique hashtag place at the start of your post or above the fold (which is about 3-4 lines from the top). In this case, hashtags become a very useful tool for leading your audience to dive deeper into your Facebook content.
There are several apps and services that can index and gather data on hashtags. However, the easiest and simplest way to find relevant hashtags is to head to Instagram, Facebook’s other social media platform, and do your research there.
A simple search of general hashtags like #motivation, #socialmediamarketing or #marketingtips will reveal a series of other hashtags and the volume of posts that populate them. This in itself, is already an indicator of what hashtags might also work over on Facebook.
On Instagram you’re limited to only 30 hashtags. The good news about Facebook is that there is no limit to the number of hashtags that you can use. The only limit you have is the number of characters that you can use in a post, which is around 63,000 characters.
Of course, that’s not to say that you should fill your posts with a massive amount of hashtags. Chances are, that will only make you look bad and desperate. Rather, it’s best to be strategic about this.
One way to go about choosing what hashtags and how many hashtags to use is to think about how you want to brand your business. That said, you can add hashtags that reflect your industry like #socialmediamarketing or #googleadsexpert, hashtags that are specific to your business like #DisruptDigital or #Disruptors, and some brand and universally popular hashtags like #hustle, #ThrowbackThursday, or #keepcalmand.
As for how many hashtags you should use, research (like those done by SproutSocial) has shown that less is more. According to SproutSocial’s data, maximum engagement was achieved when only one hashtag was used, and engagement starts trickling away after 6 hashtags, and then picks up again a tiny bit with posts with 10 hashtags.
So are you ready to start using hashtags on Facebook again? After all, when you really think about it, there are barely any downsides to begin indexing your content with hashtags, and much more benefits once you start using them again.