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Are Hashtags Effective on Facebook? Here are Three Ways You Can Use Them to Serve Your Small Business.

Are Hashtags Effective on Facebook? Here are Three Ways You Can Use Them to Serve Your Small Business.

You might be wondering as a marketer whether or not you should utilize hashtags in your Facebook marketing strategy. As with any marketing tactic, it is imperative that you put yourself in the mindset of your target audience and cultivate a realistic understanding of their behavior. How might the viewer be impacted by the hashtag? What behavior, if any, would result?

As with many social media trends, marketers get tempted jump on the band wagon before completely accessing how it will benefit their brand. Not everything from a marketing standpoint, will be applicable to your business goals so be sure to align your objectives with your specific marketing tactics.

Loading up your Facebook posts with hashtags without a clear understanding of how they may or may not impact you is careless, especially if it can actually hurt your reach. Research has shown than posts decrease in reach in correlation with a greater number of hashtags used.

Let’s consider how your Facebook followers and post viewers might utilize the hashtags in your post. Social media users generally search a particular hashtag to learn more about topics they care about. Ask yourself how the use of hashtags in your Facebook post will benefit your viewer.

If you can figure out a way to legitimately and authentically tie in your brand’s message with a trending topic, Facebook hashtags can work for you. In many cases, if you are a small brand, this could be a challenge.

Having a clear cut objective with your hashtag use however, could be beneficial to your promotional and marketing goals. Here are 3 ways using hashtags could be beneficial for your small business:

  1. You are running a contest or promotion and you want to house submissions.

Let’s say you want the community to submit their best local nature pictures for a contest. Creating a uniquely branded hashtag that encompasses the name of your area and the particular contest, and then requiring entrants to include the hashtag would be an appropriate application.

  1. Supporting a mission or initiative

If you were looking, for example, to support the #shoplocal initiative, using the hashtag  could add to the credibility of your post and loyalty to your brand. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get direct business or sales as a result of using a hashtag such as this but Facebook followers who support and identify with the shop local initiative may be more inclined to do business with you in the future.

  1. Just for fun…

Sometimes the use of fun hashtags can add to the humor of your posts and likeability of your brand. One of the reasons people use Facebook is to be entertained. Using funny hashtags can endear them to you and show your fun side if that is suitable for you.

To recap, apply discernment when considering any marketing tactic such as hashtags to make sure you are utilizing your resources and efforts appropriately.

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