» The Inside Scoop on #Hashtags

With the recent launch of #Hashtags on Facebook, questions have started to arise such as, “What are hashtags?” and “Why should we use them on Facebook?” from Facebook users, and Pros like you!

Let’s get started with some #hashtag basics!

What’s a Hashtag?

A hashtag is word or phrase prefixed with the symbol ‘#.’  By adding a # before a certain word or phrase, makes this phrase a click-able link in your status update on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, or post on Google+.

According to Facebook, by having #hashtags in a posted status, Facebook users will be able to connect with others who are talking about the same thing, just by clicking on the hashtag. A popular hashtag may be “#wedding” or a big topic in the news, or event industry. This is an example of yet another way that Facebook is improving the future of personalized search, along with the recent Graph Search announcement!

Here are some Pro tips to remember when using #hashtags in your next Facebook status:

  • Make them short for relevancy and optimized for search-ability, such as #marketing or #weddings
  • Stay away from long phrases such as #SpringWeddingsAreTheBest, very few people will be searching for such a long and specific hashtag
  • Consider sharing the Facebook URL for a hashtag so that followers can join you in the conversation
  • Hashtags are a great way to market and events, services or products so consider using them when announcing your attendance at an upcoming bridal show or networking event
  • Make sure your hashtags are words people would actually search for so you get found
  • A hashtag can be used anywhere in a sentence, not just at the beginning or end
  • Don’t overload your status with too many hashtags, one or two is best
  • Use only relevant #Hastags, if the hashtag does not fit it will not make sense to your audience

To learn more about the recent addition of Facebook #Hashtags, check out our post on the topic! #HappyHashtagging!

» Tech Update: Facebook Launches Hashtags!

Over the past few days, you may have noticed some updates to your Facebook account. While changes to your account and navigation on the leading social site are nothing new, one exciting update, which could have an impact on your business exposure has been unveiled: clickable Facebook hashtags!

Hashtags are increasingly popular throughout social media – and have been fully integrated on most popular sites, including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, but noticeably absent from Facebook… until now.

Hashtags most simply serve as a way to see a larger view on what is happening, what is being discussed, popular topics, and is a way to connect people and businesses with similar interests. Hashtags are very powerful marketing tools, and are easy ways to connect with your interested audience, gain attention quickly and easily share content discovery.

Now,  just as you may tag a recent couple, or your other wedding or event Pros in a Facebook post sharing a recent wedding’s blog post with your network, you can now add a few select, engaging hashtags to describe your post or the event.

For example, a post can read: “ABC Photography had an amazing time capturing the breath-taking, special day of @Joe and @Jane on the Cape! Check out some of our favorite photos and wedding day memories {link to blog post} #Nantucket #BeachWeddings  #ABCPhotography”

Linking to your couple (with their permission), along with any other Pros of note gives added exposure for your post, as it will tag their profiles or business pages. Tag people and businesses with the “@” key, which will link and post to their pages. Using relevant, simple hashtags that describe your post shares your content with the site and allows others looking for similar content to find your post – ultimately sharing your business, content and exposure on a much larger level. Hashtag by typing the “#” key directly before your hashtag (should always be one word with no space – so the simpler the better!). Then, when posted and clicked, these hashtags will show everyone who is publically posting using the same tag, so you can discover others with similar interests.

For some hashtags in action, check out WeddingWireEDU’s recent posts!

Here are some basic Facebook Hashtag functionality details as you get started:

  • The ability to search for specific hashtags via the Facebook search bar at the top of your page
  • The ability to click on hashtags that originate from other services, like Instagram – connecting multiple social sites
  • The ability to create new posts from within the hashtag feed and search results
  • The ability to add hashtags to Facebook ads you’re running

Ready to learn more? Check out this post from Facebook! #HappyHashtagging!

» Use Twitter #Hashtags for Your Business

At WeddingWire, we recommend incorporating social media into your overall business and marketing strategy. One of the top social media sites to develop a professional presence on is Twitter, a micro-blogging site that uses up to 140 character posts (called tweets) to generate information across the web—keeping your message short, sweet, and direct.

Hashtags should be part of your Twitter social media strategy. Hashtags are designated by a number sign (#), and are used to make your tweet’s topic searchable. Adding a relevant hashtag to your tweet will help to ensure that your message reaches your intended audience. For example, if sharing a tip on preparing for the big day, you could add #weddingplanning to your tweet and your message could be found by a couple searching for wedding planning tips or resources.

Get started using hashtags to lead potential clients to your account, which will ultimately generate more followers for your business! We’ve compiled some valuable tips on how to optimize hashtag use when marketing your business on Twitter below, inspired by a recent Mashable post.

Mind your business. Seeking out business-specific hashtags like #smallbiz or #wedding will ensure you are categorized by relevant audiences. To generate even more specific categories for opportunities to interact, try adding in industry specific hashtags like #weddingplanning to access relevant content and connections.

Keep it simple. Don’t create long or complex hashtags, as the terms will get lost in the Twittersphere. Instead, use hashtags that are short and direct in order to receive more search queries.

Put it on the dashboard. If you’re using a dashboard platform to organize your multiple social media accounts, try organizing your accounts by hashtag that most applies to your business. This will allow you to see all tweets according to the topic, and is an easy way to stay in the conversation and share great information, while monitoring the trends.

Follow on Friday! Follow Friday (also referred to as #FF) is a popular Twitter trend. Each Friday is designated as a day to share the people that you recommend to your followers, and gain recognition from your own Twitter friends! It is easy to be part of Follow Friday; simply select an account or several accounts you recommend, tag them by posting an @ before their twitter handle, add any short message about why you recommend them, and include the #FF hashtag!