Social-media sites such as Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram had been using hashtags for a while. In June, Facebook joined the fray.
As stated in previous articles, an active presence on social media is an essential part of online reputation management. Your business must hold social-media profiles like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn that rank highly on Google search results. It's just the beginning of your brand development; you must also share engaging and relevant content that will boost your public profile and create a positive impression of your brand.
Facebook hashtags are clickable and searchable. They provide users the opportunity to their events, favorite products and services, It also offers people a way to conversation beyond a single post. At first, users will likely overuse Facebook hashtags; but after the initial novelty wears off, this new capability will hold potential value for business marketers and owners.
Facebook hashtags will provide a convenient way in which to monitor what users are talking about on the site. By simply clicking on a Facebook hashtag, all information about the particular subject will be available to view as long as the privacy settings allow it.
Your online reputation may experience ebbs and flows, but you should have a steady foundation in place that includes interesting content. People are more likely to share compelling articles, photos and videos, and now it's much easier to find with the hashtag feature. Several brands have used Facebook’s hashtags to cross-promote a service or product across all social-media channels - Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.
Businesses with optimal social-media strategies learn what their customers need and how to serve them in the best way. Plus, they will have the opportunity to engage with customers even further by using hashtags to mark their status updates, videos and photos.
That last item - photos - is especially important. According to a study performed by analytics firm Simply Measured, photos account for 74 percent of posts from businesses and organizations. Overall, they stimulate 95 percent of total engagement on the social networking site.
Given how the hashtag trend has gained traction on Google+ and Twitter, marketers will likely find the same value on Facebook. Each time that a business posts an article on Facebook, an appropriate hashtag can be added to on the Facebook post. They have now become searchable to current customers, prospective customers and anyone who might be interested in reading about this topic. The goal should be to develop a host of customers who will spread the business's messages to new and unexplored audiences.
For businesses and organizations on Facebook, limiting the activity of their fans could lead to diminished returns on their social-media marketing investment. The Simply Measured study also showed that approximately 30 percent of top brands prohibited users from posting on their Facebook wall. As a result, user engagement was nearly 15 percent less compared to brands that allowed these user posts. Facebook hashtags automatically provide an effective link to your past content online.
Many social-media experts are clamoring for Facebook to follow Twitter's lead and install a list of trending topics that will allow users to more easily search their favorite musicians, movies, restaurants and other subjects of interest. As more businesses and organizations integrate these hashtags into their social campaigns, Facebook will be able to determine if these hashtags have proven to be an effective marketing tactic. The social networking site is counting on users to become more familiar with this feature
The advice is simple: Be aware of what consumers actually see about your business online. After a careful examination, define your business in the social-media world. When people search for your business using hashtags, the information they discover could dramatically shape your online reputation.