Oh, the hashtag! A wonderful, and tiny, little tool that has helped millions spread the word about trends, news, and more. Twitter and Instagram are loyal supporters of the hashtag, but Facebook has just jumped on the #bandwagon. Why? Marketing, brand awareness, and lead generation. Hashtags on Twitter and Instagram bring content to a global level, providing that your information is made public. However, for Facebook, privacy will not be an issue either. Hashtags do not allow your content to be shared automatically if you have the appropriate privacy levels set which means that, in essence, this new feature is not for the casual Facebook conversationalist.
Andy White, contributor for Gigacom says that "The bigger news about hashtags is for brands and advertisers. Companies have been looking for ways to connect to fans outside their sphere of influence, and hashtags should help." Connecting with other similar brands, scoping out competition, and, of course, measuring the efforts of your influence will be easier with the help of the hashtag. Now, results are easy to track, and brands can measure their influence via "likes", comments, and now, with clicks on campaigns.
Specialized campaigning is one of the main goals that brands will be working towards with the roll-out of the Facebook hashtag. Arik Hansen of Entrepreneur explains "this [hashtagging] should help brands looking to accurately track conversations around campaigns down the road, especially those without access to paid monitoring tools." So, for the smaller business, measuring campaign data and user participation just got more accessible, too.
Will the Facebook hashtag be properly used, or greatly abused? Once hashtag permissions are rolled out for the entirety of Facebook users, the influence of this tiny marketing tool may become convoluted, but until then, keep tagging, and if you're not entirely sure how to start using hashtags (on Facebook or otherwise), make sure to review our primer on hashtag use and etiquette. Happy tagging!