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To Hashtag Or Not To Hashtag: Can Using Hashtags On Facebook Really Increase Reach? | Social Media

If you're like me, the thought of adding a hashtag to your Facebook Post seems like the worst idea ever and makes you look like a social media noob. Okay, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic.

I'll admit I occasionally use a hashtag on brand posts for large-scale campaigns, events or when traveling I will throw in the casual #BeachLife at the end of a caption, but are Facebook hashtags really effective?

Do they push the needle? Now Facebook says, yes!

Social Media Today recently reported that Facebook is promoting the use of hashtags in posts. If you have Business Manager you may have seen a prompt encouraging you add a hashtag to your post. I didn't actually receive this notification tip, but I have been served prompts like it in the past.

We all know that Facebook "rewards" users for using in-app features and this looks like it could be another bargaining chip from the social media giant. Now the real question isn't should you or should you not use hashtags, but are they worth it?

"Facebook has seemingly had a love/hate relationship with the hashtag for some time - the platform first added hashtags back in 2013, after they'd first gained momentum on Twitter. But while users could add hashtags to their Facebook posts, very few did, and even fewer searched using tags," according to Social Media Today.

It's been a long determination by those who work in social media and active users that hashtags add no value to your posts. While I may use the occasional hashtag on my Facebook Posts, I never use them to search on Facebook, I reserve hashtag searches for social channels that embrace them in a different way like Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

There are a variety of factors that go into social performance including paid posts, copy, image, and content, while I have yet to do a deep dive into hashtag usage on Facebook, I have been incorporating them more into brand posts and keeping an eye on if they're performing higher than previous posts sans hashtags.

If Facebook is ready to reward posts with hashtags, I'm more than happy to tag away, but have no expectations. In my experience I don't believe hashtags hurt Facebook Posts, if anything they just don't serve a purpose. However, don't be afraid to use them as a topic tie-in at the end of your copy, but word to the wise; don't go overboard! I'm pretty fluid with hashtag usage on Instagram and on Twitter I try to limit my hashtags to three tops. I wouldn't expect your audience to incorporate your hashtags unless you specifically ask them to for a contest or event awareness, but organically might be a stretch as of right now.

As noted in the Social Media Today article, there's no harm in testing it out and seeing what happens - I know I am!

Have you seen an increase in post reach with hashtags on Facebook?

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