Are Hashtags Working On Facebook? Study Says, Not Quite

July 30, 2013
After Facebook introduced hashtags on its own platform to counter rival social media site Twitter, the results were not entirely what executives hoped for. According to research by Simply Measured, 20 percent of posts relating to top brands on Facebook feature hashtags. However, engagement did not seem to improve much. Even though hashtags have shown to be very useful in increasing social media engagement as a whole, people on Facebook are not truly becoming more aware of available brands and companies since these were incorporated on the platform. There are big differences between Facebook and Twitter which can explain why the former is not getting as many results based on hashtags. First, Facebook users are more visually appealed so they engage in content based on photos primarily and not text. Twitter users tend to read text more, considering the 140-character limit provided. Many companies creating their own pages on Facebook also prohibit users from posting on their wall. Engagement drops when people cannot interact with businesses in this manner. On Twitter, companies get to create approachable personalities that bring executives and the brand closer to customers. Clients can communicate with marketers on the same level. The goal for companies on Facebook is to keep target customers engaged by consistently including hashtags and creating avenues where people can easily discuss related issues. Focusing on status updates, there are reasons why some posts do not receive much engagement. The update may be very short to grab attention or it may have been lingering for a long time. Posting regularly will help improve visibility and ultimately lead to added engagement. On Facebook, brands that post photos and videos are deemed most interesting and get engage the most users. The strategy can be used concurrently with hashtags to let people discover more about companies.

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