Can you remember when the hashtag symbol (#) was known as the “pound” symbol? These days, the only time you hear mention of the pound sign is when you are entering your PIN number to pay your cell phone bill.
As you may know, Twitter was the first social network to make the hashtag famous. Today, they are used across many major social networks, including Facebook.
What Does ‘Hashtag’ Mean?
Hashtags are keyword phrases, spelled out without spaces, with the pound symbol (#) in front of it. For example, #ChocolateLovers and #MondayMotivation are both popular hashtags.
The beauty of hashtags is that you can put them anywhere in your social media posts. You could choose to start your post with a hashtag or end it with a number of relevant ones.
Your chosen hashtags tie together public conversations from all different users creating a single stream. You will be able to find this by searching for the specific hashtag.
What Makes Hashtags So Great?
Hashtags are a fantastic way for brands and individuals to make their latest social posts more visible and encourage a higher level of engagement. One of the most important uses of hashtags is updating groups of like-minded online users, on certain topics in real time.
Below are some examples of the things that hashtags unite conversations around:
- Events or conferences, like #Prince or #LNG18
- Holidays or celebrations, like #LabourDay or #HappyNewYears
- Popular hashtags, like #MotivationMonday or #TGIF
- General interest topics, like #LindtLovers or #PerthConcerts
- Disasters or emergencies
It is important to use hashtags sparingly, and only when they actually add value. Loading your social posts with hashtags isn’t always the answer. The last thing you want to do is confuse, frustrate and annoy your audience.
How Hashtags Work on Facebook
The main objective of a Facebook hashtag is to tie the conversations of different users together into one stream. It is important to note that unlike Twitter and Instagram, where the majority of users have public accounts and whose posts are seen by anyone, a high percentage of Facebook’s users and their posts are private. As you can imagine, this means that even if individual users create hashtags, they aren’t actually searchable. What does this mean? The hashtags that you are able to search for on Facebook tend to be published by brands, publishers and influencers, rather than individuals.
- Top: This is a stream of Facebook posts using a particular hashtag that has seen the most engagement on Facebook.
- Latest: This is a stream of public Facebook posts using a specific hashtag, usually by brands, publishers or influencers.
- Photos: This is a stream of public Facebook posts using a hashtag that has photos in them.
- Videos: This is a stream of public Facebook posts all using the same hashtag that links to videos.
- Pages: These are pages on Facebook that are officially associated with a specific hashtag.
- People: These are people on Facebook with a name officially associated with one hashtag.
- Places: These are places in the world with a name officially associated with one hashtag.
- Groups: These are groups with a name officially associated with a hashtag.
- Apps: These are Facebook apps with a name officially associated with a hashtag.
- Events: These are Facebook events with a name officially associated with a hashtag.
How to Use Hashtags on Facebook
Using a hashtag on Facebook is very simple; all you need to do is publish a post to your timeline or a page that includes the hashtag. Remember, this can be anywhere on the post.
Don’t forget to make your post public if you want people, other than your friends, to find it. To make your post public, simply click on the button on the right of ‘Post’ and select ‘Public’ from the dropdown menu.
How to Find Hashtags on Facebook
If you already know which hashtag you want, there are two ways to search for it: a simple Google search, or by physically typing it directly into the URL itself.
Looking for popular hashtags from scratch? The best place to find them is the trending topics bar. You can find this on the left-hand side of your home screen.