Facebook just announced the rolling out of their newest feature: hashtags. While hashtags are not a new concept in the world of social media, their functionality on Facebook should be something exciting for brands – and in particular for sports teams.
It’s Already Intuitive
Sports fans that love to converse about their teams and chat about live games on social media are already familiar with how to use hashtags thanks to Twitter (you know, the people who invented the hashtag).
There are so many social media channels out there using hashtags right now, hopping on the bandwagon is a no brainer. Hashtags are a great way to organize conversations about a certain topic and join a much bigger conversation surrounding an event or an issue.
How Facebook Hashtags Work
Want to join the conversation? Use the hashtag in a post and BAM you’re in. Want to see what people are saying? Search the hashtag in Facebook’s graph search or click on it in your newsfeed and you’ll be taken to a feed of people and pages using the hashtag. It’s that simple, which is why hashtags have spread from Twitter to Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Google+ and now Facebook.
Take it Easy
Sports teams may want to ease into using hashtags at first for a few reasons:
- You need to make sure you’re using the right hashtags
- People who may not be familiar with how hashtags work
- Posts with lots of hashtags in them are hard to read and confusing for people unfamiliar with hashtags
It might take a few weeks for fans to catch on, but using hashtags that are easy to understand and using them consistently will help.
Hashtags to Start Using
Take some cues from Twitter and try incorporating these types of hashtags into your posts to get fans into the hang of it.
- Your team name (#TexasRangers)
- Your team nickname (#Spurs)
- #GO[team name] (#GORays)
- A hashtag for a big game or series (#NBAFinals)
- You could also take a cue from your Twitter feed and use some hashtags your raving sports fans are using. For example, #RedSoxNation.
- You should also consider using a hashtag for your most popular players – especially if they are currently generating a lot of buzz.
Whatever you decide to use, be consistent about it and do your research. You may even want to put a post up that explains how hashtags work.
Why are Hashtags Awesome?
This will only help foster bigger, more open conversations surrounding your team on a platform that most people are already using. Granted, users still maintain their privacy when using hashtags (which means that you can only see public posts that use the hashtag). But that’s ok – even if you can’t see what everyone is saying, that mechanism for creating and organizing chatter around your team is still there. Trust me, people will use it.
So here’s the question: What hashtags on Facebook will you be using and how will you use them?
Like SportsNetworker on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @SportsNetworker. Use #SportsBiz to connect to us and other sports business professionals, and comment below with other hashtags you’ll start using.