Facebook announced the start of Hashtags on their social network site, as Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest have done.  Hashtags are used to search specific topics of interest. You can now improve content to a post or show that it is part of a common topic. As Facebook states, “Hashtags are just the first step to help people more easily discover what others are saying about a specific topic and participate in public conversations.”

 

How to #hashtag

 

Brainstorm 3-5 keywords as your hashtag focus. Find out what the majority of people are searching for and terms that have low competition in order to heighten your company’s relative rankings. Hashtags should remain consistent throughout all social media networks. They should be top-of-mind keywords related to what people are currently searching. For example, if you own an Italian restaurant in Houston, Texas with amazing lasagna you might enter: #Italian #Houston #lasagna.

 

If There Is a Will There Is A Way

 

Big brands are already well established online and receive positive reactions from their Facebook supporters. What about small businesses? What are the deciding factors in small business’ success using hashtags on social media sites? More importantly, why should your small business spend valuable time posting hashtags on Facebook?

 

Prove It

 

An impressive example of the enormous success of hashtags is The White House. President Obama launched “What does #40dollars mean to you?” in 2011 when the payroll tax cut was about to expire. The tremendous reaction of the public assisted in securing a two-month extension to the cuts. In February 2012, the movement was rejuvenated and produced enough public backing to secure the cuts for the rest of 2012.

 

Open to Interpretation

 

Hashtags can assist you in discovering what people think about a specific topic. This will benefit your business by allowing you to uncover more about consumers’ interests and how you can relate your products and services to them.