You may be seeing several Pages use hashtags in their Facebook status updates, and wondering why they’re doing that in your Newsfeed. And again, what are hashtags, anyway? Think of hashtags as keywords on topics, groups, events, and how people can use them to keep track of what is going on within that conversational topic. The hashtag first originated on Twitter, and now has spread to several social networks such as Instagram, Vine, Facebook, Pinterest, and others. 

So why is Facebook so interested in you using hashtags on their social network? It all comes down to SEO (search engine optimization) and monetization from Facebook advertising. So the more brands that use a specific keyword, like say, #Facebook, then that hashtag would rank higher in search engines like Google. Also, if you use a hashtag, then brands running advertisements could target you in the Newsfeed to promote a product or a service. 

The use of hashtags isn’t just limited to brands and Facebook fans. You can use them for your nonprofit just like the major brands do when it comes to your fundraising and online advocacy campaigns. If your online campaigns are going viral quickly with that hashtag, then you can use online advertising to help spread the popularity of your campaign by targeting the Facebook users that are using your hashtag in their Newsfeed posts, shares, and comments. 

To make hashtags work for your nonprofit, you should keep in mind these two simple rules:

  1. Use The Right Keywords! 

Don’t use a mishmash of keywords just because they’re popular, or are currently trending in the Newsfeed. They have to be relevant to what you’re posting. Always keep the hashtags concise too, like a maximum of two hashtags per post. 

2. Brand Your Own Hashtag

When you’re running a campaign, you should come up with a short, simple hashtag for it so that people can follow what your nonprofit is doing around that campaign. The shorter it is, the much more likely that people are going to use it, unlike #whatthey’regoingtodo with a longer hashtag.

When you’re using hashtags right, you should be seeing more Reach on your Facebook posts, and a greater engagement score. And your fans will be able to follow what your nonprofit is doing around that hashtag. 

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