Facebook Unveils #Hashtag Strategies for Advertisers

Written on
Jun 17, 2013 
Richard L. Tso  |

ADOTAS — After months of speculation, Facebook has finally announced that it will be incorporating hashtags onto the world’s largest social network. Hashtags have become widely popular on other social sites like Twitter and Instagram, providing a way for people to categorize and search for their social shares across the web.

As Adweek reported, Facebook issued the following statement: “If you are already using hashtags in an advertising campaign through other channels, you can amplify these campaigns by including your hashtags in Facebook advertising … Any hashtags that you use on other platforms that are connected to your Facebook page will be automatically clickable and searchable on Facebook.”

Each day, over 18 billion items are shared across the open web and 4.75 billion are shared on Facebook, with people uploading photos, links, videos and sharing information at a staggering rate. Many of these conversations are related to brands.

The advertising implications for hashtags are significant: Brands can not only use them in television commercials and print campaigns, they can also use hashtags to identify conversations that are happening about their brands. Also, through using hashtag targeting platforms, advertisers can search for consumers who are using particular brand-relevant hashtags and then target these same users with display ads online.

According to a recent survey conducted by programmatic ad company RadiumOne, 58 percent of respondents said they use hashtags on a regular basis, and 71 percent of regular hashtag users do so from their mobile devices. With 51 percent saying they would share hashtags more often if they knew advertisers awarded discounts for doing so, the report points to an opportunity for marketers to incorporate hashtags into their strategy.

During the Super Bowl, Hyundai used hashtag targeting campaigns on Twitter to drive continued video views after its commercials aired. 70 percent of consumers who clicked on its ad ended up watching the full advertisement from beginning to end, pointing to the influence hashtags can have on viewing.

Facebook said it has already made hashtags available to selected consumers and businesses and intends to widen availability in the coming weeks. Additionally, Facebook explained parts of its larger goals — in terms of the marketing community — with the following:

“Like other Facebook marketing tools, hashtags allow you to join and drive the conversations happening about your business. We recommend you search for and view real-time public conversations and test strategies to drive those conversations using hashtags. Hashtags do not impact your distribution or engagement in News Feed on either desktop or mobile. We recommend you continue to focus on your existing campaigns to drive your most important business objectives. Hashtags are a first step in surfacing relevant and important public conversations. Over time, our goal is to build out additional functionality for marketers including trending hashtags and new insights so that you can better understand how hashtags fit into your overall Facebook advertising strategies and drive your business objectives.”

Richard L. Tso is a reporter for Adotas and an avid writer covering the intersection of technology and advertising, fashion and music. With over 12 years of experience in the Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations industries, Richard has held executive positions at global agencies and technology companies and is founder of the interactive communications firm Pseudosound Consulting LLC. A classical cellist and painter, he believes that sometimes sound carries more weight than words. He is a graduate of Stanford University.

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