As you scroll through your Facebook news feed this week, you might notice something different at the end of your friend’s status — hashtags. If you are already familiar with social networking services and websites like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter, then the integration of hashtags should be no surprise. For the rest of us, a hashtag is a word or phrase prefixed with the “#” symbol that becomes a clickable link when used. This clickable link will become a search term for a specific topic. For example, try typing a number sign in front of “Sandusky” or “RollTribe” in the Facebook search bar. Facebook will recognize the number sign and automatically turn “#Sandusky” or “#RollTribe” into a search term that becomes a clickable link on your personal timeline or page. Hashtags help people find posts about topics they are interested in. Ultimately, hashtags allow you to become part of a wider conversation.
I bet you’re ready to head over to Facebook to start exploring how hashtags work for yourself. Before you go, here are a couple things to keep in mind:
- Hashtags work on personal profile posts, fan page posts, group posts, event posts and all comments.
- As with all personal profile features on Facebook, privacy settings prevail. This means that if you post a private (friends-only, only me or a customized audience) post with hashtags, then they are private and visible to friends only, only you, or only to the specific audience you've selected for the post.
- Page posts are public by default. So, every page post with a specific hashtag will show up in the feed of posts for that specific hashtag. This is a great way to interact with your fans online!
- Don't #spam #with #hashtags. Hashtag etiquette is still evolving so I recommend tagging sparingly, and with careful discretion.
For my Small Business owners reading this post — Happy National Small Business Week! To help celebrate here’s a link to download, customize and print FREE Facebook marketing posters, http://bit.ly/11lkmFR. You can modify these images by adding your custom Facebook URL before sending the posters to the printer.
What to learn more about hashtags and Facebook? Join me next Tuesday, June 25, at 2 p.m. at the library for our Facebook Part II class. In this class we’ll learn how to upload photos, review the Timeline and status updates and walk through security and privacy settings.