#Hashtags   OK so you may have noticed on Facebook people using hashtags and been wondering, what is all that about? I get asked quite often if you should use hashtags or not on Facebook. Many people will be familiar with hashtags as they are widely used on other platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. They are now appearing on Facebook but still not widely used. If you use Twitter, then you know that hashtags are a great way of searching for a topic. A hashtag is a tool that allows you to use the function # directly in front of a term. This term can be one that is already being used or one that you have created yourself. Facebook introduced hashtags some time ago with varying degrees of adoption and therefore perceived success. Here are some things you should consider with hashtags.

  1. Hashtags are a great way to promote a public event
  2. Every hashtag has its own URL. This means when you type in the hashtag ie #socialmedia – every single post that used this hashtag will appear. This includes posts from business pages and personal profiles. Every single hashtag becomes a clickable link that takes the user to a newsfeed that is full of posts that contain the hashtag they just clicked on.
  3. Hashtags are a really convenient way to organise events, conversations or topics.

Hashtags offer you the opportunity to reach people outside of your audience because your posts that use hashtags will start appearing in the URLs where this hashtag is used. There is a concern about privacy when you use hashtags but there are a few things that should put your mind at ease when it comes to your personal privacy and the use of hashtags. Now I suggest that you use hashtags on both your business page and your personal profile but do not panic. There are some important considerations that you need to be aware of and these should alleviate your fears around privacy when using hashtags on your personal page. Similar to all other personal profile settings, your Facebook privacy settings will prevail regardless of how you use hashtags. This means if you publish a post on your profile and publish it to friends only but use a hashtag, the hashtag will still be clickable and open in a new URL containing all posts with that hashtag but importantly, only your friends will be able to see your post. Remember, if you create a post that is public, everyone can see and if you create a post that is private i.e. set to friends only, then regardless of hashtag usage, these settings will prevail. If you use a hashtag in a private group, then the hashtag will be clickable but the post will only be available to be viewed by members of that group. In next week’s newsletter, we will look at how you should use hashtags but for your homework this week, I would love you to search using the hashtag function. Try some searches that are relevant to your industry. If you are unsure, check out some words that I use regularly #FacebookTips #FacebookTraining Enter these in the search line on Facebook and see what comes.