Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal announced that Facebook is working on adding hashtags into their services. If you are unfamiliar with the hashtag (#), it made its debut on the social media scene via Twitter in July of 2009, emphasized itself in 2010 with the intro of “Trending Topics”, and now makes common appearances in communities such as Instagram, Tumblr, and Google+ to group conversations.
What Facebook Hashtags Will Do
Your marketing team and social media managers should be cheering from the rooftops for the Facebook adoption of the hashtag, as the #opportunities are great.
Hashtags can help get your business out there and discovered by the right people. Being savvy with your hashtag use can help you penetrate conversation threads of interest to your business’ targeted demographic(s); helping you to most effectively segment your message.
This inclusion will offer you the opportunity to more effectively track your targeted audience and analyze the trends resonating in your customer’s mindset. This will reduce the effort required to follow your customers’ social activities and allow you an easy view of the latest trends and opinions relevant to your market.
By giving your customers a hashtag in your posts, it encourages them to use it in their own statuses. This could lead to convenient observation of the complete product/service experience life-cycle. The translation of consumer interactions not only into Facebook statuses, but photos and videos as well will highlight your brand and potentially open the door for greater reach and the possibility of viral exposure.
Though there is no replacement for conventional market research, hashtagging on Facebook will hugely impact the world of your researchers. The ability to track feedback from your customers without having to directly solicit it can be game changing. As it stands right now, a brand’s fans have to directly interact with the company page. Hashtags will empower your customers with the freedom to tell the world about their impression of your products/services.
Offering your customers and clients this power will not only help you uncover areas that are in need of improvement, it will also help you to capture their words for testimonials which can then be used to entice prospective clients to take the plunge.
Overall, it looks like Facebook hashtags will enhance the lives of marketers by easily allowing them the ability to track what’s “in” and avoid what’s “out”. But keep in mind, there is a point where it can become too much of a good thing… Be sure you don’t become too hashtag slaphappy. Spamming is never attractive to a consumer. Key practices to keep in mind when using hashtags: be specific, be relevant, and be observant.
Interested some additional tips on understanding and using hashtags social networks such Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram? Click here for tips to help you hash out hashtags.