It was only a matter of time. Twitter was the first to use them; LinkedIn, Google+, and nearly every other social media outlet soon followed suit, and now Facebook has jumped aboard the #hashtags bandwagon as well.
Hashtags should be a part of your social media plan. If you’re already using them in your Twitter and LinkedIn posts, the transition should be easy and smooth for you. Just add the same hashtags.
Never used hashtags? It’s easy.
Think of hashtags as keywords. They provide a way to connect you with others who are talking about that same topic. For instance, if you are writing about the Pittsburgh Marathon, at the end or in the middle of your post, add #PittsburghMarathon (i.e. Great workout today—ran ten miles. Preparing for next year’s #PittsburghMarathon.) Writing about the #Steelers, #Penguins, or #Pirates? I think you get the point. Once you tag a word or phrase with a hashtag, it automatically becomes a clickable link. So you can click on that hashtag to see a feed of posts by others who are talking about the same topic on Facebook.
It’s available on both your profile page and your business page. While this feature is not available on mobile devices yet, you still want to include hashtags in any posts made on your smartphone since it will convert to work on a laptop or desktop.
Hashtags will make it easier for you to search out potential new contacts and pages by typing in certain hashtags. Looking for caregivers in the Pittsburgh area? Type in #caregivers and #Pittsburgh to see who comes up in a search result.
Concerned about your privacy? No need to be. If you have your personal profile set that only your friends will see your posts—they will still be the only ones who can see your hashtagged posts.
When using hashtags, don’t overdo it. Sure some people get creative and will create hashtags around any phrase—just look at any Twitter feed to see some very interesting uses of hashtags. Be sure to be strategic when using hashtags from your business page. Think about who you are trying to reach and the type of keywords they might be using to potentially come across your page.
According to Facebook, “you can also include your hashtags in Facebook advertising. Any hashtags that you use on other platforms that are connected to your Facebook page will be automatically clickable and searchable on Facebook.”
Check out the hashtags feature today and let us know what you think! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share them with our readers in the next issue.
Daniel Casciato is a full-time freelance writer from Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to writing for Western Pennsylvania Healthcare News and Pittsburgh Healthcare Report, he’s also a social media coach. For more information, visit www.danielcasciato.com, follow him on Twitter @danielcasciato, or friend him on Facebook (facebook.com/danielcasciato).