Hashtags on Facebook - to Ignore or to Exploit
Would Facebook hashtags be any different?
Introduction of Hashtags on Facebook will off course receive mixed reactions. People who love them will applaud and those who hate them, probably would still hate them - even more for appearing on very popular, most likely, their favourite social platform. #FYI_iLoveHashtags
And then there are others, who don't have such strong feelings to spare for mere mortal hashtags. What should they do? Ignore the hashtags? Or exploit the potential? What could be the potential of a feature that is already over used on so many other platforms that it's akin to "beaten to death"??
Ignorance is Not Better
Out of the two options, Ignorance is the one you should reject. Why? Here are some of the reasons that come to this mind. If you find your mind's voice too, feel free to channelize it in comments. #iLoveFeedbacks
Highlight the Crux
When you share posts on your Facebook Timeline, your friends get those in their news feed. Tagged words get a highlight which you could use effectively to highlight the crux of your post - what or who is it about, why you had to write it etc. So now, when the busy bees from your friend list skim through their long, useless news feed carelessly, your highlight can immediately draw their attention. Scrolling might stop if your "crux" look solid enough to hold their interest.
Sort for yourself
Facebook asks you "What's on your mind" all the time! And god knows how many amazingly diverse things your mind is capable of. Sometimes you like to write on the same topic time and again. There is a FB user who has been posting about train reservations and his opinions about a lousy looking ticket booking online system since his last three updates. Now off course he won't go on posting about tickets forever. He might choose his favourite song, his son's latest picture and so on and so forth. And next time when he books a ticket, he wants to know what did he told his Facebook friends last time. Instead of scrolling endlessly and clicking "Load More posts" numerous times, just use the hashtag. In fact, if you click on the hashtag, or type facebook.com/hashtag/
New ways to Express yourself
Apart from typical labels, highlights etc. hashtags have been used for amazing satire and awesome humour. Hashtags indeed give you additional ways to creatively express yourself with allusions and innuendos giving a complete different or extended meaning to your post. Check this out -
"Govt. is serious about stopping corruption #Satire"
Adding the hashtag makes it "satire" and humorous at the same time. Hashtags can provide you extremely powerful means of expression.
Write your own Short Column
You could write your own short column with hash tags on Facebook. The afore mentioned FB user could start using #RowdyReservation for all sharing all his gruesome stories about the online reservation system. Who knows, your short column might get permanent attention reservation in your friends 'crowdy' timeline.
World Beyond your Friend list
There would be lots and lots of people sharing your interests - but you're not connected to them. Well you don't need to be connected to them, just use hashtags, and they might check your post due to the common interest. Don't forget to change the privacy setting of this post to public - off course make sure it doesn't give away any personal information.
Like Twitter Hash tags you can use your hashtags for free promotion - and expect to get people genuinely interested in your product read your posts - making it an effective campaign.
The not so far away Kingdom - Friends of Friends
Some people might be thinking after reading the above section, this can be done on Twitter and there is an already built up "hashtag community" there, so why tag on Facebook? Here is what is different with Facebook tags.
You can change the privacy settings to Friends of Friends, and now your post is not visible publicly, but you have greater audience than your friends - if they happen to be interested in what you've to say, you could get more followers. You could even use "Don't share this with" list to enlist specific people or lists whom you would rather keep in dark about this update. So plan a birthday surprise for Joe with #HappyBirthdayJoe, let all your friends see your posts and post about this, but exclude Joe from knowing your plans. Okay, this might not be an ideal example, but you get the idea.
For the Sensible Haters and Hatred Causers
Why do some people hate hashtags? Easy, 'hatred causers' misuse or rather overuse hashtags. They fill the posts with hashtags. They tag every word - or tag stupidly, or even worse, they start posting just for the sake of saying something, even mundane, about he hashtag. This can off course have the opposite effect, your friends might start to unfollow, or silently ignore your posts.
So don't let your friends hate you, don't get overexcited about hashtags - FB is still FB, don't clutter your friends news feeds with too many posts per day.
Got anything to say? You love/hate hashtag for other reasons? Your opinion matches with above? Or is drastically different? Any feedback at all, use the comment box freely.
© 2013, UV Associates
All rights reserved