Millions of small businesses are trying to increase the reaches they have in their local areas, and many do so by getting more heavily involved in social media. Now, a new feature on the world’s largest social network may allow them to be even more successful in these efforts.
Facebook recently took a page out of Twitter’s book and began allowing users to include clickable hashtags in their posts, and this can be a great way for small business owners to make themselves more noticeable within their communities, according to a report from Business 2 Community. For example, if a user clicks on the hashtag for one’s town name, they will be able to see all posts including that hashtag, which could include those made by small businesses located there.
Of course, for owners themselves, perfecting the ways in which they will use these hashtags might take some getting used to, the report said. The first step to making sure posts are still legible but effective is to limit hashtag use to just two or three at the most on every post. While it might be tempting to use more than that, it can clutter up a posting and make it more difficult to categorize.
It’s also important to know when and what to hashtag, the report said. During big cultural events or holidays, it might be wise to find out what the hashtag everyone else seems to be using and use that to promote one’s products or services. Companies might even be able to draw in business by offering discounts through these postings.
However, it’s also important to note that hashtags can also be used in the opposite direction, the report said. Keeping close tabs on what consumers are posting under specific messages, and determining whether those might present an opportunity to connect with a potential customer. It’s important, though, that companies do not seem too opportunistic in doing so, as this may only serve to turn off the people they are trying to target.
Owners looking to increase the size of their companies may also be putting themselves in a position in which they will face increased small business insurance costs. Expansion can lead to more expensive workers’ compensation or general liability insurance bills, and these will need to be planned for carefully as part of any expansion efforts.