Hashtags on Facebook Can Make You Look Silly


Hashtags on Facebook Can Make You Look Silly

The other day I saw a Facebook Page status update that really made me wonder what the person was thinking. The status update went something like this (though I have changed it a bit so the writer doesn’t “unfriend” me) – #fabulous #weather for an #afternoon #function! #functioncompanyname helped with the #finishing #touches on two #today. #fabulousfunctions #localregion.

It is hard to know where to start on this post and reminds me of the early days of search engine optimisation (SEO) where a person would stuff the page full of keywords and the engines would dutifully pull them up. Do you remember web pages and meta tags like this, “Our Super-Duper SEO company will guarantee to get you on the first page of  all search engines  with our keyword tools and key-phrase enhanced meta tags. We submit your website to 1,000’s of search engines and build reliable back-links …” and on and on it went. The search engines got smarter and learned how to dismiss this rubbish but stuffing of keywords still pops up its ugly head – as we can see in the phrase above. 

There is a huge difference between a Twitter update and a Facebook status update. They are written to often different audiences for different purposes. Why a business would have their Twitter update post automatically to their Facebook Business Page is beyond me. You post to Twitter a number of times per day and that seems like a real good way to lose your Facebook followers who will soon feel like they are being spammed to death.

The hashtag is an effective way within Twitter to group ideas BUT the Tweet itself still has to be compelling to the reader! A well written Tweet captures the readers attention and directs them to an article, website or landing page.

For example you might write something like this for your Twitter account,” http://bit.ly/15YwRKt What if we were to start a conversation instead #inboundmarketing #SEO ” 

Here we have combined an effective key phrase that directs you to an article and makes use of hashtags for anyone searching within Twitter.

Facebook however is an entirely different post –   We all know that social media is vital to promoting products and services. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, Pinterest, YouTube and so on, all provide different methods of delivering our message. The question is, are we doing it effectively? Are we just throwing up words on a page for people to read and then moving on to the next post by someone else, or are we grabbing the attention of the reader and beckoning them to be involved? Quite often I see social media being used by businesses as a form of advertising similar to print, TV, or radio. While this does get the message out on the web, it puts the ‘article’ in a box. It is closed.  What if we were to start a conversation instead?  https://www.facebook.com/otrwebsol

Social Media is important and is critical to SEO as well as and just as importantly as creating an ongoing relationship with your customers. Sure they have to find you but then they need to be compelled to interact with you as well. Contact OTR Web for an evaluation of your online marketing.

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Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.