Facebook’s advertising platform has, in the past, primarily been a
demographic targeting based platform. Google AdWords allowed you to
target people very specifically based on their psychology in the
moment, while Facebook allowed you to get your ad in front of huge
scales of people based on their demographics. However, generally
Facebook ads have not been a great place to get highly targeting,
high ROI traffic.
That could change with Facebook’s hashtag targeting. Now, instead
of targeting primarily by demographics, you can target my interest
much more accurately.
How Interest Targeting Used to Work
Interest targeting used to be primarily based on the pages you
liked. If you liked a page named “Photography, ” Facebook could
accurately guess that you’re interested in photography pages.
However, if you were a photographer and you had a photography
website – But you never liked pages related to photography –
Facebook would never know you were interested in photography.
That’s why Facebook’s interest based targeting has historically not
been too attractive. That’s all changed now with Facebook’s new
hashtag targeting system.
Now Facebook can read the general trends of your status updates and
use it to intelligently predict what your interests are. If you
regularly post about going to yoga for instance, Facebook will know
you’re interested in yoga. However, this inference-based interest
is denoted differently than interests in the past.
Introducing the Hashtag System
Facebook still allows you to target by the old system. Interests in
the old system are denoted with just the interest. For instance,
yoga is denoted as “yoga. ” These new inference-based interests are
denoted with a hashtag, as in “#yoga”.
You’ll find that the #yoga hashtag will always get more traffic
than the non-hashtag version. That’s because the number of people
who like the page as compared to the number of people who Facebook
likes a topic is always going to favor the latter.
One common comparison is that Facebook’s old targeting is like
AdWords’ “exact match” targeting. You’re only showing your ads to
people you really really know like that topic. On the other hand,
the hashtag targeting is a bit more like broad or phrase match.
You’re targeting people who you think are interested in your
How to Use This New Tool
Generally you can expect a lower CTR and a lower conversion rate
from people who you’re targeting with hashtag keywords. However,
you’ll be able to get a much higher volume of traffic.
If you’re in an industry that has a lot of traffic, you might want
to start your targeting with the no hashtag keyword to see what
kind of CTR and conversion rates you can aspire to. Once you have
that data, you can expand your targeting to include the hashtag
keywords to get more traffic.
If you’re in a very niche industry, you might want to go straight
for the hashtag traffic. The hashtag keywords now allow very
targeted products to be viable on Facebook, rather than just Google
Get used to bidding with this hashtag feature. It’s a powerful
addition to the Facebook advertising platform.