Hashtags!  You see them everywhere.  You see them in your newsfeeds, in the bottom corners of your TV screen and as it turns out, you are going to start seeing that symbol (#) on Facebook too.

Last week Facebook introduced the hashtag into its newsfeed. When a hashtag is included in a Facebook post, clicking on it will open a feed that shows other posts that have been tagged with the same key word or phrase.

With the constant changes in social media, it is not surprising to find yourself asking: “What is a hashtag anyway?”

Well, it’s really simple! A hashtag is basically a search tool that is represented by the number or pound symbol (#).  It’s used to tag a key word or trending topic that is current online or conversations happening right now in your news feed. A hashtag gives the user the ability to reach a broader audience to include in the conversation.

Unknown ObjectThe hashtag was first popularized on Twitter but can now be used on most social networks like Pinterest, Google+InstagramLinkedIn, Tumblr, and Vine.

Facebook plans on slowly making this service available to their users over the next few weeks.  The search bar at the top of the Facebook homepage will allow users to search for hashtags.  Facebook will also tie in to those from other services such as Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter.

Hashtags are both clickable and searchable. For example a search on the topic of basketball may look like this: #NBAFinals or #DwyaneWade. Notice that there are no spaces between the words. A hashtag should be something that is simple and easy to understand but can also just be a fun way to connect with friends and family online.  Some fun hashtags are #NewYorkPizza or #ThingsMyDadSays.  

So, how does this relate to business? By having a hashtag strategy, you can expose your business to a whole new audience.

Hashtags can be used for promotions, campaigns or even events. Hashtags can also be used across multiple social networks as well.

A recent survey conducted by RadiumOne shows that 58% of users use hashtags on a regular basis and 71% of users are doing so from their mobile devices.

What are your thoughts on adding hashtags to your Facebook posts? Do you love it or hate it? We want to know.