As you’ve likely seen recently, hashtags are now a feature of Facebook – and like Twitter, when you click on hashtags in Facebook, you can see all posts that have the tag included.
But, I’ve noticed lots of concerned posts with people worrying that when they use hashtags in their posts, that it will automatically make their post publicly visible.
So before I go into how you can start using hashtags in your Facebook posts, I want to clear up the privacy confusion.
Hashtags in Facebook do NOT over-ride your visibility settings
When you write your post, you are required to choose your visibility settings. I wrote a blog post previously explaining how to set the visibility, and how the individual settings affect the reach of your posts. If you’ve not yet read this post, please go here to check it out
If you set the visibility of your posts to “Friends Only”, anyone who clicks on the hashtag after seeing it elsewhere, will not see your post unless they are your friend in Facebook
If you use a hashtag in an open Facebook group, your post will be visible to anyone viewing the search results for the hashtag.
However, if you use a hashtag in a post in a private or secret Facebook group, your post will only be visible in searches to other members of the group. It will not be visible to non members.
Any posts made from your Facebook Page are automatically publicly visible, and will be seen by everyone who views the search results for the hashtag.
So you can see… by using hashtags in Facebook page posts, you have a simple but effective way of increasing the reach of your page… and generating exposure to a new, larger audience.
Be strategic about the hashtags you choose.
Just like Twitter, the most effective hashtags are those;
- Relevant to the topic being discussed,
- And in use by many people in a short space of time
The use of hashtags in Facebook hasn’t been widely adopted by users as yet, so for the short term we are unlikely to see the lengthy discussions taking place that you’ll find in Twitter.
However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as for those who are searching for hash tagged posts, they are likely to quickly see every post – unlike Twitter where time usually permits a cursory glance at the results, and many tweets are missed due to the sheer volume.
So why not start including hashtags in your Facebook posts today, and don’t forget to mine (Social Prospecting) the hashtags too – search for hashtags you feel your ideal prospects might be using in their posts, like their page and start building a relationship with them.
Are you using hashtags in your Facebook posts yet? How effective do you believe them to be for your business? Has this blog inspired you to start including hashtags in Facebook posts? Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts
PS Please like and share this post using the hashtag #FacebookTips
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