Real Examples Of How NOT To Use Facebook Hashtags!

By on June 17, 2013

I hate to say it, but there is a war going on right now between Facebook users, and Facebook marketers. On the one hand you have the chance to use hashtags to get new fans and interactions. On the other, you have tons of marketers abusing the heck out of this new opportunity. Here’s how to not be one of these spam marketers.

The Hashtag Rules
To Live By:


Rule #1: Hashtags Are NOT Word Substitutes

#If #you #hashtag #every #word #your #fans #will #hate #you.

  • Words that are not KEYWORDS are not hashtags (eg: a, and, the, other, with etc)
  • You should at any time, only use 1-3 hashtags in your post. This is because search should not dominate your post tone or style, or it will make you a spammer.

Rule #2: Hashtags Are Better At The End

Truly, using the odd #hashtag in your Facebook post is fine. It’s when you start using a few in your post where things get #confusing. The human eye is drawn to color, so many of your #Facebookfans will only see your hashtags, and not your message.

If you use too many #hashtags in your Facebook updates, they will be all your fans will see. And therein lies the danger. People on #Facebook don’t really like hashtags. If you overuse them, you will lose lots and lots of fans. #Hashtagfail

Instead stick to one or two max in your update, and the rest can go below your post, as stand-alone search-indexing tools.

Rule #3: Facebook Hashtags Are Not Twitter Hashtags

Whereas Twitter users use hashtags to explain a mood, or an afterthought – this will take time to work on Facebook, if it ever works at all. For now, using these are nonsensical, and they defeat the entire purpose of using hashtags in the first place. #Uselesshashtags4thewin!

Make sure that your hashtags are always simple, basic, and never contain more than 2 words or concepts. #Facebook is great, #Facebookmarketing is also awesome, but #Facebookmarketingisalldarageyo is dumb, confusing and no-one will use it.

Rule #4: Hashtags Need To Be Somewhat Personalized!

It’s nice to always use 3 major hashtags to get people to visit your pages, but ultimately one of these hashtags should be one of your content marketing assets that you use in most of your posts. That way, a fan can click on this hashtag at any time, and see posts that are uniquely yours, which makes browsing them easier for super-fans and researchers.

If you sell cars for example, #BobsCarLot could be your asset hashtag. Then you are at perfectly at liberty to use 3 other hashtags for descriptive purposes in search. But for the fans that want to see only your posts, the hashtag is waiting to be clicked!

Rule #5: Pick a Hashtag and Stick With It

I’m not the only one that finds hashtag ‘synonym’ users a total #irritation #annoyance #frustration #nuisance #bane #bother. If it doesn’t fit into normal language, then you’re doing it WRONG. Pick the most applicable and widely used hashtag, and use it. Don’t think that covering your post with 10 versions of the same word is going to help you gain fans.

Anyone that knows anything about Facebook marketing will tell you that if it doesn’t read well, then it doesn’t belong on your post. Research is key to finding and adopting the most suitable hashtags for use. People that don’t research, use synonyms.

Avoid these terrible hashtag mistakes and your fans will appreciate HOW you have introduced them to using hashtags. Flood them with poor practices, and you can say goodbye to a large percentage of your following. The hate is great with lots of users right now, and they don’t have the patience for any more hashtag shenanigans.

Have you made any of these Facebook hashtag mistakes yet?

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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