By Rob Beirne, Digital Marketer at Wolfgang Digital
Earlier this week, Facebook announced the introduction of clickable, searchable and trendable hashtags. Like every new feature Facebook releases, hashtags will be rolled out gradually. They are following in the footsteps of Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus and, of course, Twitter. It is a move which will streamline branding strategies across the major social
Facebook as a Second Screen
Facebook wants to allow people to get involved in real-time conversations on their platform in a way which has been impossible up to now. Their aim is to be considered as a ‘second screen’ for users to interact with content such as TV shows or new stories. The aim is to become the first port-of-call for people who want to keep up with real-time news and events. It’s a position Twitter has made its own in the last couple of years and it’s going to be a real challenge for Facebook to knock them off their perch.
The ‘Problem’ of Privacy
One clear obstacle which will hinder Facebook’s quest is privacy. This is something which differentiates Facebook from Twitter, where most people have public accounts which can be seen by anyone. Some may say that Twitter has the upper hand here; when someone searches for a hashtag on Twitter, they are likely to see entire conversations. This is in contrast to
Facebook, where users will only be able to see input from users who have made their posts public. With most posts only visible to the user’s friends by default, this is an issue Facebook is going to have to address.
So Facebook users may not see the whole conversation when they search a hashtag; this is not necessarily a bad thing for advertisers. Their content will be more visible and less lost in the mass of information seen on the likes of Twitter. Although advertisers will not be allowed to employ paid ads in the hashtag search results, they are being encouraged by Facebook to use hashtags in their ads across all channels and can still get involved in real-time conversations through the use of hashtags. This means that Facebook will become a more engaging platform for brands. Advertisers can now tap into
Facebook’s huge user base much more easily.
Leveraging Interest Targeting
Another interesting implication of Facebook hashtags is their role in determining people’s interests. Currently, Facebook does this by looking at the Pages a user has liked or followed. People ‘Like’ Pages for a variety of reasons. For example, if a friend creates a Page for their business, you may ‘Like’ it to show support – but you might have no interest in the service they provide.
Status updates are a much stronger indication of a user’s interests, but until now there has been no effective way of categorising their content. By monitoring users’ use of hashtags in status updates or hashtag searches, Facebook will glean a better understanding of user interests. This will allow Facebook to really improve their ability to accurately determine
someone’s interests. This in turn affords advertisers a much better chance of showing an ad to the most relevant user.
The Humble Hashtag
The humble hashtag has permeated into popular culture. With the vast reach of Facebook, this is a trend that we see continuing. Twitter has been incredibly successful as it facilitates real-time, public conversations among masses of people. Now that Facebook is jumping on the hashtag bandwagon, advertisers have the opportunity to reach more people than ever before. What’s more, they can reach them instantly. It will be very interesting to see how this develops in the next few months. As is often the case with online advertising, those who adapt early and do it well will reap the rewards. Those
who don’t will get left behind.
How do you plan on using Facebook hashtags for your brand?
Dublin City University Business School – free digital marketing mini-conference in the Gallery Theatre in the Helix.
Tomorrow DCU Business School with the DCU LINK Research Centre’s Techspectations Initiative is holding a free digital marketing mini-conference in the Gallery Theatre in the Helix. Techspectations Summer Hospitality & Tourism Digital Marketing Summit is supported by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association of Ireland.
The Summer Summit programme is designed to introduce Irish hospitality professionals to SEO tools and resources, Pay Per Click advertising, Social Media Marketing and more. To coincide with President Obama’s visit to Ireland and #irlday, their theme will focus on marketing Ireland, Irish food and hospitality however the content will have general applicability.
All the details can be found on the Techspectations website.
While I was on leave* the IIA Online Marketing Working Group produced a series of guides to Online Marketing and they are well worth a look for the both the new business owner and the seasoned marketer. The guides are easy to read and to the point and I, for one, have a little refresher course planned.
Here’s a listing of what’s on offer from the Online Marketing Working Group:
- Content is Still King
This article provides you with the fundamental guidelines for writing for the web, enabling you to take control of your company’s online content and communicate your brand more effectively.
- Digital Marketing Strategy & Planning
A framework to help align and structure your digital marketing strategy and planning.
- Tips for eNewsletter Content
A guide to creating and writing great email newsletters.
- Tips for Video Content
How to create compelling & successful videos as part of your digital marketing strategy.
- Web Content Inverted Pyramid
Guidelines for writing for the web.
Check them out now in the Resources section of the IIA website. These resources are member only: if you would like to join and get immediate access to these resources please do!
If you find however that you are the type of learner who needs instruction an upcoming IIA event might be just the ticket for you. On 3 December the IIA in association with Irish Times Training are running Twitter and Facebook for Business. This day long seminar will help you learn how to build the visibility, reputation and profits of your business online using Facebook and Twitter. This seminar takes an in-depth look at case studies of Irish and global businesses using Facebook and Twitter effectively to enhance customer service, attract more business and boost bottom line profits. This seminar is being delivered by Krishna De who regularly shares Facebook tips on her blog.
*By the way I am full time again since Monday so don’t be a stranger!
Have I ever mentioned to you that I love my job here in the IIA? One of the things that I love about it is that I often get to some great events. We recently sponsored IIA Member Company Meetingbooker.com’s Hotel Website Marketing Conference and I would definitely count this as among the best that I attended this year. The speakers were all good and varied but mostly I thought it was very clear that they had done their research about the audience and were aware of the issues and processes effecting the hotel industry’s day to day work.
I live tweeted the event and hope that I shared some of the nuggets. However MeetingsBooker.com have made the slides not only from this conference but their other conferences in 2009 available via Slideshare.