We have been hearing rumors that Facebook would launch hashtag functionality for quite some time and on Wednesday, Greg Lindley announced the integration of clickable hashtag on the conversation stream. The feature is currently in roll out stage.
The hashtags at Facebook similar to other services such as Pinterest, Instagram,Twitter & tumblr which allows users to add context to their discussions to indicate that they are part of a large discussion or topic. With Facebook on its mission to improve search results to move users from using Google, it would help users discover and engage even more. As the announcement reads :
“During primetime television alone, there are between 88 and 100 million Americans engaged on Facebook – roughly a Super Bowl-sized audience every single night. The recent “Red Wedding” episode of Game of Thrones, received over 1.5 million mentions on Facebook, representing a significant portion of the 5.2 million people who watched the show. And this year’s Oscars buzz reached an all-time high on Facebook with over 66.5 million interactions, including likes, comments, and posts.”
Definitely couldn’t agree no more that : “To date, there has not been a simple way to see the larger view of what’s happening or what people are talking about.”
Some “Awesome” functionality of hashtag include:
- Search for specific hashtags via the Facebook search bar
- Click on hashtags that originate from other services, like Instagram
- Create new posts from within the hashtag feed and search results
- Add hashtags to Facebook ads you’re running
Such new functionality brings in new adrenalin into digital marketers trying to increase reach and engagement with their target audience.
Monitor Conversations : Brands can research what are the topics their target audience is talking
about with the function of hashtag . Based on the feed of the conversations the posts can be tailored to contribute and participate in the discussions. Yeah you could do the same on Twitter, but transferring the same practices on Facebook wouldn’t do any harm I believe.
Consider the #WWDC that took place on Monday. Apple was able to get feed about the people reactions about the various new products launched and the updates to iOS7 in a single interface with an addition of filters and keywords searches.
Customer Service: With great power, comes great responsibility!! Consumers would voice their experiences using the brand hashtag and that can be discovered easily by the brands. Servicing and addressing those complains can create brand ambassadors providing great stories which can help brands gain even more customers. By using topic related hashtag or even problem related hashtag brands can invite people to contact them for assistance.
Organize Hashtag Contests: Ask your audiences to share their story related to a certain topic related to your brand. It can be as simple as #MyDadIsBest or #DadSays, the best comments or stories win and the brand wins a large number of audiences.
Hashtags on Facebook campaigns : Advertising campaigns on Facebook can be amplified with the use of hashtags, provide the same hashtag is used on other digital media channels as well. A new functionality is like a new asset for a company such as Facebook and . I am sure the geeks at Facebook are coding the “Hashtag Ads “functionality as I write. It would help brands reach out to relevant audiences who are talking about a relevant topic or hashtag.
Hashtag Hijacking : Before jump starting on a hashtag campaign, please conduct a detailed analysis of the consumer sentiment. Remember the great McDonald’s fiasco of #McDStories ?McDonald’s launched #McDStories as a way to share fun stories about people’s experience at McDonald’s. What McDonald’s didn’t foresee was people sharing negative stories about the McDonald’s brand, and that’s exactly what happened. Anyone who searched for “McDStories” immediately saw thousands of tweets similar to the one below, which described awful experiences users had with McDonald’s.
Best wishes on your digital media marketing ventures!!