Hashtags and Facebook
Using hashtags for your Facebook posts is becoming really important. But you have to make sure you are using them in the right way. I have been using hashtags for years on Facebook, in this blog I share my tops tips to help your posts get a better reach using hashtags.

Hashtags and Facebook

As the title of this blog suggests, we’re going to be delving into the lesser-known world of Facebook hashtags.

When we think of social media hashtags, we immediately think of Twitter and Instagram where hashtags rule. Sadly, we don’t always think to use hashtags in Facebook – I’m here to tell you why you should!

This is an illustration of a young girl standing next to a large black hashtag she is wearing a green top and black leggings looking very relaxed, as she has her hashtags sorted for her Facebook social media posts.

What is a hashtag?

In simple terms a hashtag is where the # symbol precedes a word, or a connection of words (without spaces or punctuation marks).

They are used to help people find things that they want to buy or want to learn about, and more. It’s commonplace for Twitter and Instagram users to search for something with a hashtag to then be shown a plethora of posts to satisfy their search.

Why should I use hashtags on Facebook?

In simple terms a hashtag is where the # symbol precedes a word, or a connection of words (without spaces or punctuation marks).

They are used to help people find things that they want to buy or want to learn about, and more. It’s commonplace for Twitter and Instagram users to search for something with a hashtag to then be shown a plethora of posts to satisfy their search.

Why should I use hashtags on Facebook?

As I mentioned before, Facebook owns Instagram and is keen to integrate both platforms. I predict that Facebook hashtags in 2021 is going to trend! They are such a powerful tool to use on Facebook because:

Not many Facebook business pages use hashtags so you’re already one step ahead!

  • They help people find you.
  • They increase the visibility of your posts.
  • Even your old posts will get found and potentially liked and commented on bringing them back to life once more.
  • They are a valuable link to the type of content you post about on Facebook.
  • If your competitors use them, you definitely need to get on board with them. Remember that their potential clients are your potential clients too.

The structure of a hashtag Facebook

A good place to start is to think back to when you created content for your website. What keywords and key phrases did you come up with to help potential customers find your website using a Google search? Facebook hashtags work on the same principle; you want to think of what your customer would search for to find you.

Now think about the type of content you produce. To simplify this, let’s take a look at my business for example. I post about social media tips, so it makes complete sense for me to use #SocialMediaTips.

Did you see what I did there? I started each word with a capital letter. This makes it so much easier for someone with sight loss to understand if they use voice tech to help them read a social media post. The capital letters space out the words, otherwise a few words will be read as one word.

Some top hashtag tips are:

  • Never put a space between words (if you use more than one word).
  • I recommend using up to four words maximum.
  • Don’t use punctuation.
  • I’d recommend three hashtags in a Facebook post. Over five, and your reach has been shown to reduce.
  • Incorporate the hashtags into the body of the post. Don’t list them at the end. Inline hashtags tend to outperform the ones left hanging at the bottom!
  • Consider using your location as a hashtag too if you’re a local business.

Social media platforms recognise the end of a hashtag when there is a space or a punctuation mark.

What type of hashtag to use: Facebook hashtags explained

Don’t fall into trap of using over popular hashtags, things like #ThrowbackThursday or #FeelGoodFriday. They are so commonly used that your posts will drown in the volume of other posts that have used them. Plus, it’ll make it almost impossible for a potential client to find you.  

Mix things up by using popular hashtags and more bespoke ones. As I mentioned earlier, I use #SocialMediaTips a lot, but I also use my own strapline which is #GetSocial and every now and again I’ll use a more popular one like #Facebook.

Things to be aware of

I wouldn’t recommend using hashtags on your personal Facebook profile, but if you want to, make sure to set the post to public. It won’t get seen otherwise.

If you use hashtags in your Facebook Group remember that if it is set to private, then only those in the community can find a post.

Facebook tips

Coming up with a bespoke hashtag has so many benefits. In fact, this is how hashtags came to be. An organisation was hosting an event just for its customers and to make it easy for them to keep sight of all relevant posts, they were told to follow a hashtag.

BUT, if you do come up with your own hashtag PLEASE research it. Even some of the most innocent hashtags can be associated with organisations or events that aren’t always savoury!

How do hashtags on Facebook work?

Great question, let’s take a look shall we?

New to Facebook is the dedicated hashtag page – I’m really excited about this. It’s a great place that acts like a central hub for your specific hashtag searches.

Here’s how to use hashtags on a Facebook business page. To demonstrate here’s an image of my Social Media Executive page.

Here is a screen grab of my Facebook page, you the top left hand corner you can see a search box. Here you can search for hashtags and any other research terms you might need.
This is a screen grab after entering the term #FacebookTips. The results is, I am proud to say, a Facebook post for my most watch YouTube live.

Where it says, ‘Search Facebook’ in the top left hand corner, this is the place to start your search.

In this example, I’m going to search the popular hashtag #FacebookTips.

This is what the dedicated page looks like and as you can see it fills your screen with posts full of Facebook tips. Oh, and there’s mine at the top too!

Simply scroll down the page to see lots more. You can guarantee that there’ll be a lot of posts because, as you can see, there are 6.9k people using this hashtag (you can find this information immediately below the #FacebookTips heading at the top left).

Currently you can’t follow hashtags like you can on Twitter and Instagram but I’m hoping that Facebook will introduce this valuable feature soon. I have my fingers crossed!

Facebook marketing

As part of your social media marketing strategy you should be keeping an eye on your competitors. And what better way to do this than to see what hashtags they’re using. Using hashtags as part of your marketing strategy is a wonderful way to gain inspiration, find the latest industry news, discover what’s trending and so much more.

Go on, try it – this research is free after all!

Case study: My most popular YouTube video

One of the reasons why the Livestream I presented with Tony from F11 Photography proved so popular was because I used #SocialMediaTips in my Facebook post to promote it.  Lots of people were able to find the post by using this hashtag and many went on to like and comment which massively helped it to reach more viewers.

This is an image of me and Tony from my Youtube live social post on facebook, when you type in #SocialMediaTips this post will be (at the time of publishing this blog) will be the top of the search results. This also happens to be my most watch YouTube live video

Stop your posts from getting lost down your timeline

Another huge reason why you should use hashtags on Facebook is to keep them alive! Without using hashtags your posts will eventually disappear.

But just look at this. Here is my business page again – you can see under the heading, ‘Videos’ that a video I posted back in June 2018 is still getting viewed – in fact, it has attracted over 13k views! This is because people are still finding it when searching for #Facebook which I included in the original post.

Here is another screen grab from my Facebook feed. Here you can see a selfie of me from back in the day of 2018. In this post I have used a very generic term #Facebook. But it has had over 13K views. This is because people are still finding under the #facebook search term from the original post.

How to decide which hashtag to use.

Head to a free online tool from ritetag.com. Although the statistics are based on Twitter and Instagram usage, the information it provides is still extremely useful for Facebook hashtags.

Here is a screen garb of the home page of a really useful website, ritetag. I can highly recommend this website for researching hashtags. Follow the link to get to the page.

You’ll see the search symbol (the magnifying glass) at the top – this is where to pop in the hashtag you want to investigate. Your search will reveal the top trending hashtags associated with your search.

To the right to the pink boxes, you are told how many posts on Twitter contain that hashtag, how many retweets they have had, and how many people have viewed them in the past 24 hours.

I really recommend that you use this tool when researching the right hashtag for your business. A mix of popular and not so popular hashtags is a great combination.

What to do next?

So next time someone asks the question, should I use hashtags on Facebook? The answer is YES. It helps you get found, it’s a great way to do research and gives you inspiration too. In summary:

  • Explore the hashtag function on Facebook.
  • Do your research on hashtags that could work for you.
  • Check out your competitors – what are they using.
  • Identify your perfect hashtags.
  • Use ritetag.com to research these further.
  • Start using them!
  • Monitor them and see which ones perform better than others.

For more top tips for selling on Facebook,  check out my How To Sell Products On Facebook And Instagram Without Paying For Ads blog here:

What’s coming up?

An image of Becs holding a poster. On the poster reads ‘coming up’ in green. Here is a list of what’s coming up.

Next week  on my YouTube live I am talking about consistency and why it is crucial for your social media. To make sure you don’t miss it, subscribe to my Helping You Navigate Social Media YouTube Channel.

My online workshop – Want To Improve Your Facebook Business Page – starts on 23rd March 2021 for four days (one hour every day) where I tell you exactly how to use Facebook for marketing without spending money on advertising. There will be more hashtag talk there too.

Don’t delay booking! 

Bye for now

Becs

Becs Bate
Social Media Consultant, Social Media Executive

#GetSocial

Leave a Reply