If you’re like me, the number of hours spent on Facebook each day is alarming. Whether it’s for work or personal use, my phone is attached to my hand looking at content. For us constant users, Facebook has been sending notifications about using hashtags to increase reach and adding info about looking at more posts about certain hashtags. But why? I thought Facebook didn’t like hashtags; are things changing? Silly question, I know. Things are always changing in social media land!
In 2013, hashtags were first introduced to Facebook to stay in line with companies like Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest. Instagram, a Facebook owned company, has thrived using them as a way to connect common thoughts and interests, but it never really took off for the parent company. So why the interest now, and will it actually do something in 2021?
Why Use Facebook Hashtags in 2021?
One huge difference between 2013 and 2021 is COVID-19. People are more isolated in recent months and, though restrictions vary from state to state, the general rules are stay six feet from other people, don’t gather in large crowds, wear masks over your nose and mouth and wash/sanitize your hands at every opportunity. This doesn’t leave many options to shop in person, attend festivals or conventions or even visit family and friends you used to see on a regular basis.
More than one in three adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic and, as we continue on through the months, numbers aren’t getting better. We want to feel connected to others; we want human interaction. Weirdly enough, hashtags can help. Searching #shopsmall on Facebook will connect you to more than 397,000 people who are posting about it. Just like its original purpose, Facebook is still there to connect people with commonality.
Faebook Privacy Settings
One big aspect of Facebook that could deter the proper tracking of hashtags is the current privacy settings. Right now, you can choose from several options ranging from allowing anyone on or off Facebook to see your content to just yourself. You can make your content hidden to specific people and everything in between. Whereas, on Instagram, if you start to follow a hashtag, you can see the content from anyone with a public profile on Instagram who used the tag, not just your friends. This is an issue for Facebook because 100,000 people could be using a tag, but only 80,000 of them have open privacy settings. You’re skewing the data, making something look more or less popular.
Should I Be Adding Hashtags?
There is some research saying people will stray away from posts from businesses with hashtags, and others that say the opposite. There is no clear answer for this question yet. Some brands will choose to ignore them while others will embrace. Do what you feel comfortable with and, as more data becomes available, you can change accordingly.
As of November 2020, most large companies aren’t jumping on this bandwagon, but the same cannot be said for your smaller, more local companies. Large baby clothing companies like Carter’s and Garanimals haven’t started using them, but companies like Clara Jane & Jax in Arkansas and Grace 2 Impress in Texas have been using them consistently for a while. Does this mean things will begin to shift in 2021? I’m not sure, but I do know I found two new companies to support while shopping for my nieces and nephew.
Rooted Web’s knowledgeable marketing team can help you figure out what is best for your marketing strategy. Give us a call and see how we can help you stand out in 2021!
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