Facebook Joined the #Hashtag Trend

Now that Facebook allows you to add a clickable hashtag to your posts, you’re going to see a lot of them in your New Feeds. The hashtag was introduced originally by Twitter. It was essentially created to brand and label updates into categories. If you’ve already been active on Twitter or Instagram, then you’re no stranger to phrases following the pound sign. If you’re new to the concept, check out the Pros & Cons of using hashtags in social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram & more) for your business and as a personal user.

Pro: Organize your Thoughts

If you want to be noticed, join the conversation by adding a hashtag to your posts. This enables social media users to find you even if you’re not in or connected to their networks. Hashtags provide an easier way to tag users at large, and if you notice something trending, you can join in because you already know that people are interested in the subject.

Con: Mistakes Are Easy to Find

Hashtags may not indicate something good. For example, the shooting in an Aurora movie theater lead to the hashtag “#aurora” trending on Twitter. A PR professional for a fashion brand called CelebBoutique jumped on the bandwagon without realizing why the word was trending, and used the tag to advertise a dress style of the same name. Followers replied with outrage, of course. To avoid appearing insensitive or out of touch, research those trending topics. A hashtag make you more visible on social networks, even if the reason for that visibility is a mistake.

Pro: Use Them for Advertising Campaigns

It already happens on Twitter. Advertising and marketing campaigns use hashtags. It’s a good way to get feedback from consumers and see how well your campaign is doing. Those campaigns cannot span multiple networks if people post photos on Instagram and forward them to Twitter or connect their Twitter and Facebook accounts, and this means less effort on your part.

Con: People Can Misuse Your Hashtag

You can’t control how others may use and abuse your tags. Just ask McDonalds. The PR department was forward thinking when it decided to use Twitter for a marketing campaign with the hashtag “#McDStories.” Unfortunately, not all of those responses were positive. In fact, Mcdonalds pulled the campaign within just a few hours!

Pro: Getting Your Business Noticed

Using the hashtag feature for a business helps to get active within the business community while also keeping in touch with other professionals who are also representing the same industry as you

Con: Over Using Hashtags

When you use hashtag symbols in all of your updates or if you are posting too frequently this can be interpreted as spam. When you spam your users and online followers you are more likely to lose them and to see a decrease in your audience.

Sharing with the World

There are many pros and cons to the use of hashtags, as explained above. Some that may be a pro for business could work as a con for personal use. For example say you write #cutebabyclothes, it could work well if you are selling baby clothes and want to reach a large market, but if you use it to describe a picture of your baby that you don’t necessarily want to be shared with strangers, then you will have to think twice before using hashtags in your personal photos.

Do you think that Facebook users will pick up on hashtags the way that fans of Twitter and Instagram have? Or does your News Feeds look the same as it did before Facebook adopted the trend?