Have you heard? Facebook is now incorporating hashtags. I have to admit I first wasn’t a fan of hashtags. Hashtags were for other social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and not for Facebook. I’m here to say I was wrong and hashtags belong on Facebook too!

Do you know what hashtags are? If not, you are not alone. A hashtag is the pound symbol “#”. Think of hashtags as categories. In a book store the self-help books are together, the cooking books are together, cats are in another section and business books are all together. Hashtags are simply categories that you can click on. For example, if my hashtag was #CleaningTips, I could click on it and it would show me a stream of cleaning tips. I’m able to view all the social media messages that have included #CleaningTips in their posts. I’m able to view not just hashtags from where I live, but from all over the world.

One important rule about hashtags you should know…Less is more. Always! No more than two-three hashtags should be used in a post/update. Over using hashtags is considered spam and looks amateurish.

WRONG: #This #is #not #the #way #to #use #hashtags

CORRECT: Wearing a seatbelt can save lives in a #CarAccident. #BeSafe

A hashtag can be made using one keyword or multiple words or phrase. Try to make is short as possible so it’s easy to remember and easy to spell.

There is no space between “#” and the word(s) you are hashtagging. While it’s not mandatory, it’s acceptable and somewhat easier to read if you capitalize the first letter of each word. For example, #SocialMediaTips.

To search for hashtags on Facebook type the hashtag in the search bar and then click on the yellow icon for that particular hashtag.

Anyone who may have used hashtags on Facebook before they were implemented is in luck. All older hashtags are retroactive….which means your hashtags are now part of the search results.

Don’t use hashtags when commenting on other people’s business pages unless it is relevant and adds value to the conversation.

Each hashtag on Facebook has a unique URL. This is interesting as you could put that URL on other social media platforms and when they click on it, it brings them to that particular hashtag stream on Facebook. Imagine if you were launching a new product. You could invite everyone to click on the hashtag’s unique URL in Facebook and all your social media messages on Facebook about your new product was right there. All in one spot. Under one hashtag.

Use the same hashtag to build momentum and consistency across other social media platforms too, such as Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

You can start your own hashtag at any time. It’s easy to do. In your post use the “#” symbol followed by your keyword or phrase. For example, you are a pet supplier and you are starting to promote your new product line of dog toys called Squeaky Toys For Life. You create your post as normal then add the hashtag you would like to use. “Our new product line of dog toys are not only #EnvironmentallyFriendly, they are durable and your dog will only want #SqueakyToysForLife.”

Not only is the hashtag #EnvironmentallyFriendly clickable but #SqueakyToysForLife is now clickable too. Someone could click on that and see information about Squeaky Toys For Life.

Facebook understands privacy. If you use a hashtag on your personal page and that particular post is set “friends only” that means only friends can see the post. When you click on that hashtag only your friends will be allowed to see that post in the hashtag search results.

Who knows where the world of hashtags will take us. But I’m guessing, you’re going to see a lot of them.

I would love to hear from you. Does your business has its own unique hashtag?

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