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Facebook hashtags: are they effective?

hashtagWhen we first heard Facebook was launching hashtags (#) we thought it was ridiculous, but as the weeks passed we slowly found ourselves adding the odd hashtag here and there, and before we knew it we were beginning to get addicted (like we do with all the other social media trends out there).

There is still a lot of controversy over it, even to the point where some of our clients have asked us not to incorporate them into their posts.

So, as we do with all new social media features, we decided to do some research and find out how effective it is for ourselves and our clients…

PR publication, prdaily.com recently published findings from the firm Socialbakers, which suggests hashtags are overused on Facebook and have the potential to damage  brands.

According to the study, which evaluated 200,000 organisational posts, posts that include one or two hashtags receive more interactions than those that include more.

The study found that when brands were posting with three or more hashtags their Likes, comments and shares dramatically dropped.

Social media publication, socialtimes.com published findings from a study by the firm EdgeRank which similarly found engagement and virality dropped significantly when hashtags were used on Facebook posts.

This study analysed 35,000 posts and found the use of hashtags dramatically reduced the reach of posts, unlike the use of hashtags on Twitter that increases retweets by 70%.

If you want your audience to continue interacting with you on Facebook (which of course you do), we recommend keeping hashtags to a minimum.

Try and use hashtags as a search function and a way of tapping into trends – something they’re most successful for.

Don’t overwhelm your audience with hashtags on Facebook, in this case we found less is definitely more.

Related blogs:

Will Facebook continue to dominate social media in 2014? 

7 reasons your Facebook page gets no Likes, shares or comments 

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