It seems like Facebook is always changing something. But this week, they announced that hashtags will be rolling out.
Now, this one is kinda a big deal to people who run Facebook pages, or who are trying to help build a Facebook audience (or make money on Facebook). Here's why.
Hashtags mean discovery
The problem Facebook has is that people pretty much only form connections based on their existing social graph. All your friends love NASCAR? You will get recommend NASCAR pages. You have to work a little bit to get outside your comfort zone and browse content you don't "like", or your friends don't "like". Hashtags – especially broad ones, like #lunch or funny ones like #firstworldproblems, mean that brands and organizations can reach people they normally wouldn't. It's just key to use these type of hashtags with this in mind.
Hashtags mean branding
Take the #NBAfinals hashtag. Just by that hashtag existing, it encourages people to post. It gives them a starting point. And that starting point is the brand. I can't want for creative, branded hashtags like on twitter. I love to think about how great hashtags on Facebook would be for nonprofit campaigns like #Litterati and #IstandWithPlannedParenthood. A hashtag is a little active badge saying “I'm part of this”.
Hashtags are being used anyway
You probably noticed this one. Lots of people seem to think hashtags worked on Facebook all along. Working in social media you notice two things: People like things simple and what people like floats up to the top. Hashtags everywhere is simple. Hashtags on Instagram and not Facebook is confusing and counter-intuitive. And if there is one thing a publicly traded company wants to be to its users, its intuitive.