Ever since Facebook adopted the hashtag search function that Twitter introduced over 4 years ago, many small businesses and webmasters have been trying to figure out if it actually will assist your businesses social media campaign. Are Facebook users searching with hashtags or even clicking on them to see more similar results? The results found by EdgeRank Checker will certainly shock you.
EdgeRank Checker was interested to see if hashtags actually assist small business improve their viral reach and customer engagement. They studied over 500 business pages; some that used hashtags, some that didn’t, and the results were startling.
Companies that used no hashtags at all in their social media campaigns saw a much higher viral reach and a slightly higher engagement per fan. Not only is this worrisome to business owners who expected hashtags to improve their social media campaign, but this also raises the question of why? Why are fans not engaging in posts with hashtags? My first assumption that comes to mind is that Facebook fans feel like hashtags are used more for promotional reasons and it make deter people from engaging.
EdgeRank Checker took this study a step further and evaluated the use of hashtags on Twitter. They performed the study based on retweets per follower, which is comparable to Facebook’s viral reach. The numbers they found supported the idea of hashtagging, stating that 70% of companies that used hashtags so an increase in retweets.
My advice to business owners is to not panic, yet. Facebook hashtagging has only been around for 2 months and it might take a little while for the results to fully take shape and give us an idea of how well hashtagging works. If a full year passes and researches are finding the same info and trends, then I would begin to be concerned about using hashtag on my company page. A suggestion for your social media campaign would be to think of a unique hashtag that relates to your company and use that hashtag on, not just Facebook, but all of your social media posts. Also, research what people are hashtagging and searching for. If absolutely no one is using that hashtag, it may not be a good idea to use it. Perform a few searches in the Facebook search function and you can find good information on what users are searching for.
By Mike Fedotowsky