#Hashtags on Facebook: Should You Use Them?

Facebook Hashtags

Hashtags have become ubiquitous on social media. They are an essential part of the language of the internet. Hashtags categorize disparate conversations and comments. They can convey sarcasm or humor, can be poignant or crass. They enable search and discovery. But they have a time and a place, and that’s on Instagram and Twitter. On Facebook, marketers should just say no to #hashtags.

Function

On Facebook, if you click on a hashtag, you’ll be essentially performing a search of all publicly available posts and your friends’ and groups’ posts that use that hashtag.

After a hashtag search, you’ll see a feed that includes: top posts, posts from your friends and groups and finally public post.

The Statistics

Let’s get right down to it. Facebook posts without hashtags do better than those that have hashtags.

[bctt tweet=”Facebook posts without hashtags do better than those that have hashtags.”]

Hashtags debuted on Facebook way back in 2013. EdgeRank Checker (now SocialBaker) found that there was no viral reach advantage to using hashtags on Facebook. In fact, posts without hashtags over-performed those with hashtags.

The same story continues with average engagement per fan. The addition of hashtags actually drives down fan engagement.

Facebook Hashtags Decrease Reach and Engagement

For Strategic Use Only

Using hashtags on Facebook can work in very limited cases.

The best use case for hashtags on Facebook for marketers is to use hashtags as part of your campaign branding. For example, REI’s current marketing campaign tagline is Every Trail Connects or #everytrailconnects. The brand is using this hashtag to communicate the branding message across social media and to allow opportunities for their fans to engage with the campaign.

Brand Use of Facebook Hashtags

One case in which hashtags are useful on Facebook is when the hashtag is part of the language needed for the post. Another could be the use of a hashtag that is intimately connected with the topic.

Key Takeaways

  • Hashtags on Facebook function as search shortcuts.
  • Facebook posts without hashtags do better than those that have hashtags. This is true of both viral reach and average engagement.
  • Using hashtags on Facebook can work in very limited cases. The best use case is to use hashtags as an expression of your campaign tagline.

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