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Hashtags have only been allowed on Facebook since 2013 and they’ve been somewhat of a mystery since then. Early research indicated that hashtag use on Facebook actually decreased the amount of reach a post got, and ever since then, businesses have been divided about whether they’re a good idea to get into. As the question marks reign, let’s dig a little deeper and discover the truth behind using hashtags on Facebook.

How do hashtags on Facebook work?

While hashtag use on Twitter and Instagram is widely understood, many businesses are left scratching their heads as to what they actually accomplish on Facebook. This platform uses hashtags to group conversations happening between people together. So, while searching for a hashtag on Twitter or Instagram will cause all content utilizing that hashtag to show up, Facebook works a little differently – which means you need to use them properly for best results.

What do hashtags on Facebook do?

Properly used hashtags help your business’ posts to be searchable on Facebook. They’re also a great tool for promoting your business’ campaigns if you create a branded hashtag. Finally, recent research shows that hashtags on Facebook have been known to increase engagement.

Facebook Hashtag Best Practices

Because hashtag use on Facebook is so specific, it’s valuable to know and understand the best practices of it. 

Keep Them Relevant

Don’t use hashtags like #love or #smile just because they’re popular if they have nothing to do with what you’re saying. Do use popular hashtags if they’re relevant to the content you’re sharing, and stick to one or two clear hashtags that people may actually be searching for.

Make One Branded

You may choose to create a branded hashtag for your business or a specific campaign, which is an excellent idea. Keep it short, simple, and remember that it never hurts to get creative:

Less is More

Let’s break it down a little further. Research has shown that Facebook posts with fewer hashtags actually perform better. The overall number of hashtags you use heavily impacts the amount of engagement your posts get:

Here’s why this happens: the more hashtags a post has, the spammier it seems to your followers. It’s much more effective to use one or two strategically thought-out hashtags on your business’ posts. 

Don’t Rely on Hashtags for Reach

Research indicates that hashtag use on Facebook can increase engagement, but not reach. Reach still depends on creating informative and interesting content that your audience will want to engage with.

Bottom Line: Hashtags Help Your Presence

Based on research and Facebook’s platform overall, hashtags effectively boost overall engagement – contrary to popular belief. And, with Facebook’s algorithm constantly changing, any way businesses can effectively establish another point of contact with their audiences gets a solid 10 from us.

Interested in improving your small business’ presence on Facebook? Grab coffee with Caledon Virtual and learn about how we can improve your social media strategy today.