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It’s Time to Shift Your Facebook Hashtag Campaign to Google+

Posted @ 12:55 pm by The SolutionSetter | Category: Community & Social Media, Digital Marketing, Search, SEO & SEM | 0 Comments

When Facebook finally decided to include hashtags, marketers went crazy with predictions about how it was going to revolutionize branding. About two months later, folks started backpedaling. And now five months in, people are calling Facebook hashtags the worst idea to hit social media since the Red Cross let a drunk intern take over its Twitter feed. In fact, things have gone so poorly with Facebook hashtags that some are even sounding the death knell for hashtags altogether (an idea helped along by that SNL spoof). According to one recent study, Facebook hashtags actually make your post less likely to go viral.

There are a few key things working against Facebook hashtags, starting with the fact that the platform avoided them for so long. While it was busy not enabling hashtags, Facebook also conditioned its users to passively receive information via the News Feed, rather than seek it out. Then there’s the fact that Facebook adheres much more closely to the official definition of the word “social.” It’s about people and person-to-person interactions, far more so than Twitter. And the few hundred people the average person is connected to on Facebook tend to be people they actually know, which makes a hashtag the Facebook equivalent of air quotes.

Meanwhile, Google is banking on hashtags as the feature that may finally make Google+ relevant. The search engine quietly rolled out hashtag support for Google search a month or so ago, but only for Google +. Here’s what happens now when you search for a hashtag on Google (the Google+ results show up in the right-hand column):

Will search-relevant hashtags be enough to get people using Google+ ? Maybe. At the very least, they could turn the beleaguered social media network into a content portal of sorts. In either case, marketers should probably go ahead and shift their Facebook hashtag campaigns over to Google+ now. And for what it’s worth, the things still work best on Twitter.

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