Last week, Facebook rolled out the recognition of hashtags (#) on their platform. These have already been in use (overuse in many cases) for years on the Twitter platform, as well as Google +, so it seemed only fitting that Facebook would follow.
Social Media "Hashtags" are meant to be used with a word or phrase which correlates to what you are posting about. The concept behind hashtags is to help increase the visibility of content to others with an interest in that same subject matter. Typically only those who follow you on Twitter or who have you in their circles on Google Plus would see your posts. Through the addition of a hashtag(s) onto certain words in your post, it allows anyone in the network following that subject to see your post/tweet in a stream or search. Conversely, it is a way to also find new followers with similar interests or to strategically look for those to engage with in the community based on themes or subject.
Example: If you are posting about "cupcakes" and are possibly even a subject matter expert , then by leveraging a relevant, thematic hashtag (#cupcakes, #dessert, #foodie) you can now be in front of a much wider audience than those to whom you are already connected. Anybody who follows those hashtags will see your post appear, alongside with anyone else who used the same hashtag.
Although there are no rules on how many hashtags can be included within a single post, my suggestion is to be judicious and follow the "quality versus quantity" mantra.
Just on the heels of this announcement, Facebook made another. Instagram (owned by Facebook) introduced 15 second video clips, referred to as "#InstaVideo". This seemed to come as a follow-up to Twitter's roll-out of Vine, a video sharing app, this past January. With 130 million users each month already using the Instagram app, they have a very strong foothold from which to build. There are some neat features within InstaVideo that we haven't seen with Vine …. Yet. After letting out a few teasers to the public last week, stay tuned for new releases coming soon.
Both companies appear to be investing heavily into video and image sharing. This is not surprising as smart phones and tablets become more powerful, and wireless networks keep getting faster, people are sharing more photos and videos than ever before.
Are you investing in a strategy to leverage digital content like images and video?
…… you should be!