I’ve never been big on using hashtags on Twitter. I find that hashtags confuse novice twitter users and are seldom used correctly. More often than not, they create a spammy, incoherent tweet. How many times have you seen posts like this?
@AmateurTweet Currently #plotting my next #romance #novel. Excited about the new #story. #amwriting
Hashtags are meant to serve as labels or markers so people can connect with other users discussing the same thing. On Oscar night, I always follow #oscars to see what other people are saying about Meryl Streep’s speech or the film that was robbed of Best Picture. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday 4-5pm EST, there’s a Literary Tweet Chat that you can participate in by using the hashtag #litchat. This is a great way to connect with people discussing a similar subject and to build your social media following.
Unsure of how to get started? I’d recommend perusing a few of these helpful websites:
- Hashtags.org allows you to plug in various hashtags and see how often they’re being used, who is using them, and how they’re trending over time. There’s no use tacking on #writing to every post if no one is searching for that hashtag.
- What The Trend offers reports of the top trends and hashtags. Discussing a trending topic increases discoverability and builds your online following.
- Publishing Talk ran an article titled, Ten Twitter Hashtags for Writers. Using these could be helpful in connecting with other writers.
- The Writer’s Guide To Twitter offers a schedule of writing related Tweet Chats. Participating in these conversations increases your discoverability, helps you connect with other writers, and I’ve seldom participated in a Tweet Chat where I didn’t learn something.
As with anything, I recommend watching before posting. Follow #litchat in the afternoon and see how it’s used. During a big event like the Super Bowl or Academy Awards, follow the hashtag and see how it’s used. The last thing you want to do is start posting like @AmateurTweet.