Will hashtags catch on Facebook?

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For some time people have been using Hashtags in their tweets to tag and categorise their messages. Some even use the hashtags as a command telling Facebook to pull their tweets through to their Facebook page. Hashtags have even become popular culture as word-smiths and creative's use clever lingual relationships to create games with hashtags that go viral over night.

For example, "My dog threw up during the Emmys and now I have to clean it up. Why couldn't it have been during the commercials?! #firstworldproblems"

There really is no other way to provide satirical humour or witty context to tweets other than hashtags.

For the most hashtags are a simple way to tag your tweets and search for content or people based on a common interest on Twitter

When it comes to Facebook though hashtags are not common place, rarely seen except if the publisher has auto posted twitter content to their Facebook page.  In some quarters I remember hashtags being almost outlawed on Facebook.

But a meeting last week created a lightbulb moment for me. More frequently we're seeing hashtags used as branding (especially for events), a sort of social media identification, a code people can use to easily participate in conversations and connect with people.

However most social networkers use Facebook, so maybe Hashtags are not the right cool. Facebook is tricky at the best of times to monitor for brand mentions. So having to give your audience two tags or instructions to help you monitor activity and to unite fans with that platform is too confusing.

So I went home and tested a bunch of different social analytics and listening tools to see if we could pick up hashtags posted on Facebook.

Hashtags are a branding lightbulb for social marketers. They create a single unified connector with the audience, sure on Facebook hashtags don't create search feeds but  they are a visual identifier. When you see a friends post with the hashtag you instantly recognise what its about and are motivated to comment and engage.

Hashtags can also be used as tags on blog posts, news articles, photos, videos, podcasts.

Reporting on campaigns is mission critical for any social media or marketing manager these days so there's a smart idea you could use to connect all your conversations and fans together online.

Hashtags help brands engage with fans easily across digital media and social networks