Oftentimes when new clients reach out to us for our social media management expertise, they tell us that their business posts content daily on Facebook, yet their posts seem to garner almost no engagement. This is such a common issue that can stem from multiple reasons. Algorithms, poor content strategy, and not having a specific target audience can lead to low engagement on Facebook, but one of the latest main culprits is the improper use of hashtags.
Sure, you've heard that hashtags are the magical ingredient to creating successful content on social media, right? Well, yes- in a sense. Hashtags are very useful and helpful on specific platforms, like Instagram and Twitter. While Facebook has attempted to grow hashtag usage on their platform, using hashtags poorly could be hurting your content rather than helping it.
Use Keywords- Not Hashtags
Think about the way you use Facebook. If you're like most people, you probably open up Facebook, scroll through the newsfeed, like and comment on posts in your newsfeed, possibly post something on your own profile, check any pages or groups you manage, and then log off. Facebook doesn't cultivate the practice of clicking on hashtags to explore new content. This behavior is mostly practiced on other platforms including Instagram and Twitter. When you search for content on Facebook are you specifically searching for hashtags? Probably not. You're searching for key words, with no "hashtag" symbol attached. That's why it's important to make sure your brand's posts on Facebook are rich with key words! People will find your content by searching these terms and phrases, not by searching for the hashtag version of that term.
Use Only 1-2 Hashtags
According to a study done by Social Bakers, using more hashtags on Facebook will lead to less engagement. Even going from two hashtags to three hashtags could significantly impact the performance of your post. Choose one or two specific hashtags to use in your posts and leave out the rest.
Avoid Spam Hashtags
If you use Instagram often, you probably see lots of simple hashtags being used like the words "cute" or "summer", but will these types of spam hashtags garner any engagement on Facebook? The short answer is no, absolutely not. Bots and fake accounts may look for these spam hashtags and occasionally like your post, but they will also most likely leave a spam comment telling you to visit their unrelated website. Rather than using widespread hashtags, choose ones that are very specific. For example, if you are visiting the Seattle Strawberry Festival, then use the official event hashtag (it may be something like #SeattleStrawberryFest), not something widespread like #strawberry or #festival. More specific hashtags will spark the attention of people who will actually be interested in your content.
Focus Your Time on Stronger Content
Rather than spending on your time brainstorming on the best hashtags to use on Facebook, spend your time coming up with a stronger content strategy. Take advantage of your time and resources to come up with cohesive brand campaigns, share other user content, engage with your followers, and always stay up to date with the evolution of these social platforms.
If you're going to use hashtags the right way on Facebook, then go for it. If you only plan on overloading your posts with #hashtags as #every other #word, it's better just to leave them out altogether. If you need help creating your brand's Facebook strategy, get in touch with us today. We would love to chat with you about how we can take your brand to new heights!