Facebook Now Supports Hashtags
Back in May of 2012, we wrote how hashtags increase event awareness and spur social tickets sales. But at the time, the now famous symbol wasn't supported by the biggest fish in the social sea - Facebook. That all change today when Facebook announces it will make hashtags part of everyone's Timeline. Facebook support for hashtags makes their use by venue owners all the more important. Here's why....
Hashtags = Event Awareness & Social Ticket Sales
Just a few hours ago, the big announcement came from Facebook that hashtags, made popular on Twitter and Google+, will now be in everyone's timeline. Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg hinted that the company would add hashtag support at the All Things D conference later this month. Sandberg feels that supporting hashtags will make it easier for Facebook users - all one billion of them - to find new things that interest them.
Facebook support for hashtags represents the final piece of a puzzle that originally began way back in 2007 when Chris Messina originally proposed the concept to his friends.
Twitter was the first major platform to support (i.e. make them clickable and binding all tweets containing the hashtag together programmatically) and others soon followed. In recent years, all the major TV networks have been displaying hashtags on the screen during their broadcasts, something that has proven to increase Nielsen ratings and thus advertising revenue.
The wider implications of Facebook supporting hashtags is that a single subject matter can be discussed across Facebook without the tangled web of social connections. One need not "friend" or "follow" a specific person or product Page in order to participate in a hashtag. By design, hashtags are a frictionless method that bind everyone's social graphs together.
Columnist John Herrman says that hashtags in Facebook will "fundamentally change what it means to post on Facebook, and test users’ comfort in the process."
Of course long-time readers of this blog already know of the importance of using hashtags, originally explained here back in May of 2012. In 'OMG Hashtags IRL' parts One & Two the value of using an official hashtag for your event was made quite clear...
Hashtags increase event awareness and spur additional ticket sales through sharing.
Now with Facebook supporting hashtags, the value of hashtags has increased a thousand fold.
When choosing a hashtag for your event, avoid using generic, common words like "#Festival" or "#Tour" as they lack distinction. Hashtags work best when they are short, clever and unique.
They also serve as a localization tool helping those in your market area discover your event. For example, the nickname for the city of Baltimore Maryland is "Bmore", and "#bmore" is a very popular hashtag with area residents. A hashtag's popularity can be thought of as a "watch list" of sorts, since millions of people are viewing a live stream of information about "#bmore" on their phones and computers at any given moment. Research shows one of the most popular ways to discover events is by viewing the live stream of city name hashtags. Try finding your city's nickname ("#ATX" for Austin, Texas) and see how many people are using it.
If your event is a live performance of a rock band at a nightclub in Baltimore, then add "#[band name]" and "#Bmore" hashtags to your Facebook post announcing the show. That way, a vastly larger audience will be aware of your event, far beyond those with whom you are directly connected to via the traditional "like" and "friend" binders. With the vastly larger event awareness provided by a hashtag, your event will enjoy the opportunity for additional ticket sales it normally wouldn't.
Does your venue have 1,000 social connections with ticket buyers past and present? Great. Using the right hashtag can enable an additional 1,000,000 social connections....for free.
Sell Tickets On Facebook With ThunderTix
ThunderTix offers your event the ability to sell tickets directly on your Facebook Page, right where the conversation is already occurring. And now with the new support for hashtags, the potential audience for tickets sales on your Facebook Page is much, much larger.
Now is the time to switch to ThunderTix and start selling directly inside Facebook!