A year ago, I wrote a post called 6 Facebook Mistakes that Make You Look Dumb. One of the mistakes I listed was using hashtags in Facebook when not cross posting from Twitter. Now that Facebook supports hashtags, this is no longer an issue.
With that said, there are still things you might want to keep in mind when using hashtags.
First, the most important thing to remember is that hashtags make it easy for people to track posts that have the same topic. This way you can jump in on a conversation even if these people are not your “friends”. It’s a great way to reach out to other people outside your Facebook circle.
It’s also a way to get the latest information about the topics you follow.
Usually, I use hashtags when I want to know how people think of a movie or game that I just finished. I also use it to follow video game releases. When I was obsessed with playing Tell Tale’s The Walking Dead, I couldn’t wait to play the next episode. So, I constantly checked tweets of other people under the hashtag #thewalkingdeadgame.
Now, in Facebook, you’re not limited to a 140-character post. So, sometimes people can get overboard with using hashtags.
To help you use hashtags effectively, here are some quick tips:
1. Always place hashtags after your message or post.
Hashtags do not replace writing actual sentences. As always, grammar rules still apply. Putting hashtags in every other word within your sentence can create a lot of confusion. Since hashtags don’t have spaces in between words, your friends might find it hard to make sense of your post.
The second one is a lot easier to read, right?
Just remember: Your post is for people, while using hashtags is for the “system”.
2. Do not put spaces and punctuations in between words after the hash sign.
I’ve seen quite a few hashtags recently where people put space in between words. When this happens, only the first word will be considered as the actual hashtag. The rest of the phrase will be recognized by the system as normal words.
So, if you want to make sure that your post gets categorized under the hashtags you’ve intended, double check the spacing.
3. Limit hashtags to three.
Everyone hates spammers. Using more than three hashtags make you look like one. So, as much as possible, limit your hashtags up to three. You can add more if you’ve written a long post.
A good rule is that your post must be longer than the hashtags.
This brings me to the next point…
4. Do not post with just a bunch of hashtags.
Some of our friends own businesses and use Facebook as a promotion. Of course, we have nothing against these friends.
But if someone shares a photo accompanied by a hundred hashtags, this is where it starts to get annoying. This is like approaching a friend and just saying taglines to her face without any intention of starting a conversation.
Although Facebook can be used as a promotional tool, at the end of the day, the goal is still to share something meaningful or at least something that makes sense to your friends.
5. Use common words or short phrases.
If you use very long phrases and weird words, it is very unlikely that other people will use the same hashtag.
I know I’m exaggerating here, but I’ve always wanted to use the word supercali (oh you know the rest)…:)
So, as much as possible, use common words and phrases. It’s a lot more fun when you can see what other people has to say.
Do you use hashtags in Facebook? Or have you seen friends doing some of the things I’ve listed above?
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