Wondering what Fan Page Friday is and what the hell all those annoying #hashtags actually do?

Let me help you out with that.

What Exactly IS FanPage Friday?

hashtag-overuseIt’s a way to share, promote and engage with other Facebook fan pages. I often refer to these as “like-a-thons”.  It’s kind of Facebook’s version of the Follow Friday meme that takes over Twitter every Friday.

There’s not really a right or a wrong way to participate.  But I do encourage you to read over the original “post” so you know how they want you to share on their page.

I wouldn’t necessarily encourage sharing directly on someone’s wall (it rarely, if ever shows up on the public wall).

I would also suggest that you “tag” yourself (@yourfanpagename) and say hello…maybe even tell folks a little about you.  You want to give them a reason to “like” you, remember.

Now About These Hashtags…

A hashtag is nothing more than a # (number or pound sign) with the word or phrase (no spaces between words) immediately following.  They are often used as a way to “search” for things….things you want might want to know more about, people with common interests, etc.

For some, it’s used more like a whimsical or sarcastic blip – #I’mrightyou’rewrong, #bringonthecocktails, #mykidiscuterthanyourkid, etc.  For others, it’s something that’s trending, like a tv show (#grammys) or movie (#manofsteel), or something that’s happening in the news (#election).

And for still others it’s a way to connect with a group of people about shared interests (#selfie, #Mindfulness, #camping, I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this).  Many conferences often use hashtags (#wisdom2.0conf). There’s also such a thing as #tweetchats, but we’ll get more into that another time.

How Will Hashtags Work on Facebook?

FB_fanpage_FridayFor the most part, things will work the same way.  People can tag their posts with a hashtag and when you click on that tag, you’ll be taken to a list of everyone and everyone talking about that same term or phrase.  You can check out the tag #fanpagefriday on Facebook and get a good idea of where things are going.

As for your privacy issues…well, that story remains the same.  Everything depends on YOUR privacy settings.  

If you post only so you friends can see, then only your friends will see your posts.  If you posts so friends of friends can see (how my default settings are set), then your friends and their friends will see your posts. And if you share publicly (or on your FB page – or someone else’s FB page) using the hashtag, then you’ll show up in the searches.

There is definitely some potential here to be had – even if you’re not in business.

I’m thinking a search for #recipes or #glutenfree or #summervacation or #catfriday (or even #Turkey or #Taksim if you’re more politically inclined) might give you tons of ideas of where this could all go.  Test if for yourself.  Think of something you might be inclined to want to find on Facebook (or Twitter for that matter, since that’s where these hashtags all began) and search for it….https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/ADD YOUR WORD OR PHRASE HERE (all in one word)…

Keep in mind, this ability to use hashtags on Facebook is only a couple days old (as of this writing), so not every hashtag will have decent posts.  But I have no doubt that it will get there.

Update: Turns out, according to Facebook Smarty Pants, Mari Smith, the pop up hashtag results (when you click on the actual hashtag) will follow the same algorithm that they use across the board.  Which means the results will either be “in popularity order and/or with social relevance.” 

And like anything else, think before you share.  And have a strategy in place if you’re sharing through your fan page.