How will you use Facebook hashtags?

This week Facebook rolled out clickable hashtags – the ability to search conversations on Facebook and become part of a wider public discussion. Much like Twitter.

At the moment the service is not available to everyone and, like all of Facebook’s features, people will have the ability to set the privacy of their hashtags to Friends, Friends of Friends, Public and Custom.

So what does it mean for charities? 

As this is a new feature for Facebook, many charities are choosing to see how others will use it before jumping in themselves. Here is an example of how the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) are using hashtags for their Syria campaign:


Although it is early days for Facebook, hashtags are nothing new. However, I think Facebook hashtags will be highly useful for:

Integrating campaigns – a hashtag is part and parcel of the marketing mix in any campaign. Now, instead of being used just for Twitter and Instagram, you’ll be able to monitor, track and engage with people using that hashtag on Facebook. Facebook adverts for your campaign could include the hashtag, helping to spread your campaign further.

Social TV- think about Paul O’Grady’s For the love of dogs (#pogdogs) for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home on ITV. How many people tweet while they watch the show? Thousands!
According to Thinkbox in a 2012 report, 31% of people have chatted about TV shows or adverts in a second screen but this rose to 56% for 16 to 24 year olds. Now, those people who are not on Twitter will be able to take part in social TV conversations on Facebook. Of course this brings up resource issues (headaches) for charities already struggling with monitoring conversations on Twitter alone.

Targeting – using hashtags will enable you to better target your audience and make it easier for your audience to discover you and your services.

Trending – we all know how Facebook loves to change their Edgerank algorithm (how Facebook calculates where and what posts will show up on your news feed) and just when you think you have it sussed, they change it again…
I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before you will be able to pay for hashtags to trend, much in the way you can pay to promote tweets on Twitter. This will help ensure that your content will show up on your target audience’s news feed.

Have you tested Facebook hashtags yet?

Why great teams fly like geese

The below blog post was written by Rochelle Dancel, founding member of Bats in Belfries, and it struck such a chord with me that I just had to share it with you (with her permission of course!).

It is such a fantastic, simple analogy that will really help you to define which role you currently play in your team. For success to happen everyone needs to play their part – whether you are the goose leading to the geese on the outside supporting the rest of the team. The key is that the team needs to be adaptable and be willing to shift the roles to play to people’s strengths so that success can be achieved.

As Rochelle says,’I have yet to meet or be in a team where this analogy didn’t work or couldn’t be applied’.

I do wonder though how many Managers have the willingness to use this method….because I’ve certainly not been in a team where this has been applied….


I made this analogy in passing today, and I don’t think I explained it very well, so I thought I’d blog it instead.

I should disclaim this first by saying that I don’t genuinely know how and why geese fly in a v formation; however, this is how it was described to me years ago and, when applied to teams, the analogy stuck with me, so here it is:

It may seem like the goose leading the v is the most important, but actually, in order for the geese to get to where they need to go, each goose has to play its part.

The job of the goose at the front is to cut the wind for everyone else. Because of this, they have the most difficult job, flying into the wind.

The geese behind are really loud as it’s their job to make as much noise as possible to support the goose at the front.

The goose at the front will inevitably get tired, so will drop back into the formation and let another goose move forward to take their place, and then the rest of the geese will support the new leader goose. Likewise, the geese that fly to the extreme of the formation will also get tired, so they need to move to the middle of the formation where it is easier, and other geese will take their place.

By now, you should’ve gotten this analogy.

I often think of one of my old teams in this way. My boss at the time told us that it was her job to help remove the obstacles that were stopping us from doing our jobs effectively, because no one did our jobs better than we did. Equally, we worked very hard to make sure that she could report positively on the department’s performance, recognising that, apart from being super lucky to have such a manager, if she looked good, we all looked good together.

The goose that needs to be in front isn’t always the most senior
Given shifting priorities and organisational focus, the person best suited to leading a particular project needs to be out in front – and the rest of the team needs to support them. Priorities – and their project leaders – may change, but supporting the person in front is to everyone’s benefit.

The goose in front needs to be strong to get the rest of the flock to the destination
If you’re out in front but you need support, or you need a break, don’t be afraid to say so, and support someone else in coming forward.

The geese in the middle may be called upon to lead
Make sure you’re ready, in case you need to step up. Equally, the flock needs to ensure that the people in the middle of the team are trained and capable of moving up when the time comes.

Don’t forget the geese on the outside
In every team there are people that sit on the fringes of the core for any number of reasons: they work different hours, they have a skillset that no one else understands or they have a workplan that isn’t as integrated as everyone else’s. They need support too, so be sure to pull them in closer every once in a while.

If the flock stays in formation, the flock arrives together
Success for the whole team only happens if everyone plays their part.

I have yet to meet or be in a team where this analogy didn’t work or couldn’t be applied.

Happy flying!

*artwork by Penny Parker