by Tammy Finch
Facebook Hashtag, are you using it?
If you are a Facebook user, you may have noticed an increase in the hashtags this month. In June, Facebook announced any phrase with the # (hashtag or pound sign) would become clickable. Who cares, right? Twitter has always done that as well as Google+.
Let's look at this closer. The hashtag allows you to follow conversations or make up your own phrases even when people aren't connected to you. Now, including a hashtag in your post will make you more easily found by others whether you are connected or not. This little symbol can make your conversations much more public OR help you search for certain discussions. For instance, one of my social media clients is having trouble finding good employees. I've posted job opportunities before but this time we used the # and said #JobsinPeoria after introducing a new position for the company. Clicking on or searching that phrase will bring you to all the conversations talking about jobs in Peoria.
Facebook used to focus on friends and likes but with this new item, business or people can be more discoverable, making it possible for anyone to converse with everyone. You can bet those #BlackHawks fans were using the hashtag this past week talking about their team and a great win! Social media's whole basis is conversations so using the hashtag simply makes sense.
Business can love it because they can get their name out in front of a lot more potential clients. As long as they are using the phrases as keywords that make sense. For instance #wegotheextramileforyou is not going to make sense to many people and no one is searching for that. However, #Coffee, #HelpinPeoria, or #WomensConference can be a better option. Overdoing it is annoying also. Having too many hashtags in your post just looks messy. Keep it simple!
Users can search for certain hashtags to find out what's happening around them. So use that hashtag when searching for #Peoria to find out what people are talking about. A quick search this morning told me about the weather, a show coming up this weekend, some cool pictures of the city, information about Peoria being the All American City, a few jobs, and much more. Keep in mind, I am not connected with any of these people or business pages, we are just interested in the same conversation.
I hope this sheds some light on ways you can use social media to connect with others. Connecting by interest, location, or events is now easy with a simple search.