Facebook Training – Hashtags May Work Against You
Hashtags should work to your advantage… but do they?
Back in June, Facebook introduced clickable hashtags. These hashtags function much like their counterparts on Twitter do; when you click on one, it brings up a feed of posts in which people that have used that hashtag. In this Facebook Training tip, we’ll cover some surprising results found in a recent study on how effective hashtags are on Facebook.
Hashtags aren’t improving viral reach
In theory, one would expect Facebook hashtags to increase the viral reach of their posts. Posts including a hashtag will still be seen and shared the same organically among your page fans as ones without a hashtag. But posts featuring a hashtag would include the bonus of coming up when people who weren’t already your fans would see your posts in searches of that hashtag. This should, in turn, generate more exposure and more fans!
Remarkably, a recent study done by EdgeRankChecker (which can be viewed here: http://edgerankchecker.com/blog/2013/09/hashtags-on-facebook-do-nothing-to-help-additional-exposure/) revealed that Hashtags did nothing to increase the viral reach of posts. In fact, posts with hashtags were found to have less of a viral reach than posts without them!
There isn’t a clear explanation for why this would be the case. Hashtags may not be working simply because people aren’t using them on Facebook, but where is the decrease in reach coming from? Perhaps Facebook users (especially ones that don’t use Twitter) simply don’t like posts with hashtags in them, and are less likely to share them with others.
You can test these finding on your own page
While the findings of these studies certainly point to staying away from hashtags on Facebook, there are always exceptions to every rule. If you have been using hashtags and feel they have been helping you, maybe you have stumbled upon some useful or active ones.
Using the new features on Facebook Insights that we covered here, you can actually test for yourself which of your posts are the most and least effective. Use this data to find out if hashtags are working for you!
But if you haven’t even started using hashtags on Facebook yet, this study indicates that you aren’t missing out on much!
Please click through to find more information on how to get started in our proven, Facebook Training curriculum for small business entrepreneurs.