I have been wanting to write this blog for a while now…. The blog title doesn’t really put it strongly enough so here it is again, put in a different way.

If you use hashtags on Facebook, you are actually helping people find your competitors…..

I would say that 80% of the time, when I am looking at a client’s Facebook feed to evaluate what they are doing, they are using hashtags on Facebook. I tell them to stop doing it, immediately…

This issue arises with the growing popularity of Instagram and that little lazy toggle you can turn on when you post, so that your Instagram post also goes onto Facebook. Along will all of the hashtags and mentions. Sounds great doesn’t it, in one go you can post content onto Facebook to. Twitter if you like as well.

It is a bad idea, and here is why

Hashtags are available to be used across all social media networks. They are great for categorising conversations. However this doesn’t mean you should use them. Two hashtags on Twitter is good. You can use 30 hashtags on Instagram (and you should). On Twitter and Instagram posts really benefit from hashtags as it helps your post get in front of more people by showing your posts to people who are browsing any of the hashtags you have used.

“When someone clicks on a hashtag in your Facebook post, almost all of the posts that come up will be business pages using hashtag, and many of them will be your competitors.”

However on Facebook, it doesn’t work in the same way as people’s profiles are generally private. So, even if they used a hashtag, it is unlikely that their posts will come up if someone clicks on a hashtag to see related posts. When someone clicks on a hashtag in your Facebook post, almost all of the posts that come up will be business pages using hashtag, and many of them will be your competitors.

If you are currently using hashtags, have a look. Click on some of your own hashtags and see what comes up? Those results are what your customers are seeing.

The simple solution is to stop automatically linking Instagram to Facebook. Every social network should be treated differently to get the most out of it. If you really must do it, at least go in and edit your Facebook posts and remove the hashtags!

InSynch manage social media campaigns for businesses of all sizes from all sectors – contact us to discuss your requirements.