Branding Your Business on Facebook - Using Hashtags
A Beginner's Guide to Improving Online Presence
Every business and organization needs to have a presence on Facebook, but the content needs to reach your target audience. Here are a few tips to expand the reach of your posts.
Creating rich content is the first step. Posting for the sake of posting is truly a waste of time and tends to annoy your page followers. Whatever content you ultimately design to create, be sure to add powerful key words to boost search engine results.
Developing Key Words
There are many online resources (paid and unpaid) to assist in determining what keywords are popular at any given time. These resources add a valuable tool to your online posts but can be expensive and time-consuming. A trick that I advise my clients is to think like your potential customer. Ask yourself: what would a person key into a Google search that will lead them to my page?
It's not an empty question. By thinking like your potential customer, you gain information for the creation of hashtags that will land their search on your page...or at least make your Facebook page a result from their online search.
Naturally, creating hashtags for each of the key words is important. While they can be added at the bottom of a post, it is usually more visually pleasing to include random hashtags within the body of your post. Be sure to avoid adding too many though. Excessive hashtags create the appearance of an advertisement rather than useful content.
Now that a list of keywords or phrases has been made, carefully structure these into the body of your post (or in the alternative, place them several lines at the bottom of your post). Hashtags can be single words, combination words, or complete phrases, but they are always typed together without spacing between words. For ease of reading, I suggest capitalizing the first letter of each new word in a hashtag, no matter how silly it looks. The end product is much more useful and reader-friendly.
Avoid using a hashtag of your business name. Think about it for a second: if the person conducting a search already knows your name, they would not be searching for it on Google. They would go directly to your page. You want to always target those who may not know your business or know that you offer that product/service. Again, think like the person doing the search.
There will be a short list of strategic hashtags that should be used for nearly every post you create. For example, your city and general type of business can be used (e.g. #Lynchburg, #restaurant #lunch) in each post. This helps to create a trend in your area that points to your page.
Strategic hashtags serve other purposes as well. For example, if you own a restaurant and a recent natural disaster has hit your area, you may wish to add #HurricaneFlorence or some other identifying tag to your post. This will draw attention to your page for those searching for businesses that are open in that disaster area. In this example, such a hashtag would logically attract the attention of emergency responders and others looking for restaurants still open for business in that area.
Facebook and Hashtags
There is a lot of confusion about whether Facebook uses hashtags or not. Hashtags included in your content on Facebook can become a general search result (usually shown at the bottom of the Facebook results page). These results will never appear before the people, page, et al results.
Search engines do use the hashtags. Automated search bots scan the internet looking for new content and capture hashtags in their content search. This is the key to expanding the reach of your Facebook content beyond those you have already liked and are following your page. That is the key to achieving daily/weekly/monthly results that far exceed the number of people who actually have liked your page.
Check out my other helpful articles to expand your Facebook presence.