So Facebook followed existing social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google Plus and introduced the hashtag. While the surge of online media is discussing how this happens to be an interesting phenomenon, we try to list down what it means for your online strategy. Here are a few pointers to explain what factors the new feature might effect:
- Similarity: This has been said time and again, but I reiterate – it is not wise to have your Twitter feed show up on Facebook and Facebook posts appear as links on Twitter. Why? Because the two happen to have different structures and different needs. There happens to be nothing common between the two except for the fact that they are social networking websites. Or at least that was the case until now. With hashtags now on Facebook, at least one common element exists.
- Virality: We all know that social media is built for virality. Things go viral unexpectedly when on the online social world. A lot of marketing strategy aims at that concept. A lot of brands have used hashtags to create viral campaigns on Twitter using hashtags. With the concept now also on the largest social media community, the reach for that virality is even greater. When you now put up a hoarding saying #MyDreamSmartphone a greater number of people know what it means.
- Shares: A lot of websites incorporate hashtags when you chose to ‘share’ something from their website. That happened to Twitter, might extend to Facebook as well. One search of the hashtag and you might get to know who shared what.
- Support: A lot of people link their Instagram and Twitter accounts with Facebook. Half of the time all those hashtags popping up in my timeline seemed almost bizarre. You never know Instagram might add an #instagram hashtag onto all posts shared on Twitter.
- Advertising: When advertising on Facebook, we get to choose a set of demographics. If hashtags become an option to look at as well, then brands might be targeting people based on the kind of hashtags they use in their posts. The hashtag might just be a determining factor for the ‘interests’ list.
- Trends: Although a lot of people talk about a lot of things on Facebook, mostly we have no clue what is being talked about the most. Platforms such as Google Plus and Twitter are based on trends. Somehow it seems that after hashtags that is the apt step for Facebook. Since our content is now anyhow becoming a part of the search might as well channelize the data to notice ‘trends’ and see what is ‘trending’ on the social media platform.
- The ‘Public’ factor: It’s a fact that there happen to be more public profiles on Twitter than on Facebook. Facebook is relatively closed in terms of privacy. I might be using hashtags but most of the posts might not be visible to the public eye.
- Retweet v/s Share: An RT gets the entire content of the tweet shared again and often with a comment. Remember that you don’t have to type the entire thing again. This is now how a share works. You do not recreate the content.