Who would’ve thought that a single # symbol would redefine the age of viralism by attaching words to it? Hashtags paved a new way to simplify and summarize thoughts in a word or phrase, and instantly link it to similar posts. Thanks to Twitter for further revolutionizing social networking with this special feature. We’ve seen the efficiency and effectiveness as well with other market followers of the digital trend such as Tumblr and Instagram, and many businesses are maximizing their marketing efforts through this ‘symbolic strategy’. In Facebook however, contrary to what most of us would probably expect from the world’s leading social networking platform, ‘hashtagging’ appears to be more of a hazard than an advantage.
Although the symbol has undoubtedly conquered the realm of netizen expression worldwide, Facebook’s mimmicking tactic seems to fall short when it comes to achieving the main goal of expanding reach. If you’re considering Facebook hashtagging as a promotional tool for your business, you might want to give it a second thought. Here are some of the reasons why:
They are less viral.
According to a study made by EdgeRank Checker, posts on Facebook pages (not profiles) with hashtags receive less viral attention than those without. And by less, we mean a huge percentage difference between .80% and 1.30%, with the former being the viral reach of posts with hashtags in them. This indicates that brands and their campaigns would more likely end up with zilch results in their attempts to improve exposure on Facebook if they make use of the sign.
They make less audience participation.
Data also shows that posts with hashtags bear very slim chances of people engaging in them than they would if the posts do not have one. In this case however, the difference is only minimal. Nonetheless, similar results support the negative fact.
They don’t always work.
There are cases wherein hashtags on Facebook are not clickable. It may be caused by typographical errors, or words that are put together and are cramped up in one space. Nonetheless, its functionality plays a vital role in its effectiveness, hence playing a vital role in the studies shown above as well.
Search results are not organized.
Another problem that could clarify the viral impact of Facebook hashtags would be the fact that the results that appear under them cannot be filtered or narrowed down to relevant searches, or results that you are actually looking for. Apart from privacay settings that usually block results, Facebook also has many features that include account or profile sharing, photo sharing, video sharing, and the like. It is more likely to clog the search portal with too many unrelated and even ambiguous links to the topics.
Facebook functions more as a personal network.
Facebook has more to do with connecting with friends, acquaintances, and profile-sharing. Twitter on the other hand acts as a medium where statements are publicized, and can immediately be shared to everyone, by everyone, the same way that Instagram solely fucntions as a public photo-sharing site with just short captions attached to them. Therefore, brands can easily promote in Twitter and Instagram in a sense that linked posts via hashtags make more relevance to each other. Searches under hashtags are also more refined, engagements in the topics are easier to make, and in turn, are more likely to go viral.
The power of social media today has spread like wildfire throughout the globe, and is helping businesses thrive from border to border. And although Facebook still stands tall in the cyber world, its personal touch do not mesh well with the technicalities of the symbol. So when it comes to your business, it would be wise not to put both (Facebook and hashtags) in one sentence, atleast not in the internet marketing game.