Hashtags. Not the nicest of words is it? Let’s get over that unfortunate fact and use them correctly regardless.
## In case you’re not sure what the heck bejeez I’m talking about, tweets containing a “#” followed by a word or phrase is called a “hashtag.”
Hashtags are important in the vast Twitter sea because they make your tweets more visible. How? They help categorize the onslaught of messages being pumped out by acting as searchable tags and keywords.
You can make one up, OR (highly recommended!) you can use one that’s already out “there”.##
(Image courtesy of builditz.com)
Tip! Be sure not to include any spaces anywhere otherwise the hashtag won’t work. For example #bookmarketing does not work if you type #book marketing or # bookmarketing.
Here’s something to keep in mind. You should not be sending out a tweet unless it has AT LEAST ONE HASHTAG in it.
More #’s = Increased connection by plugging into conversations already happening on your topic, with people that you most probably want to network with/ your target audience.
When you use a hashtag, that phrase becomes a link and is searchable by other users. By using a third party software (such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck) OR by going to http://twitter.com/#!/search/, then you can then keep track of all the conversations happening with this particular hashtag. Here’s an example – It’s Mother’s Day, at least here in the US. So if I want to join the Mother’s Day conversation, I would say something and then add #HappyMothersDay to the end of it.
As for the best hashtags for writing and authors, you shouldn’t have to guess or make them up. I recommend using common ones otherwise your message won’t travel as far as no-one will be tracking them. There are already several hashtags that you can use to connect with fellow writers or readers. Here’s a nifty list:
Top Twitter Hashtags for Writers & Authors:
- #amwriting and #amediting – I’ve heard these particular hashtags referred to as a virtual “watercooler for writers” and I couldn’t agree more! Highly used and shared, these are a must for writers. Both are Twitter “chat” hashtags that anyone can join at anytime and have become so popular, they’ve even spawned a web community over at www.amwriting.org.
- ##ww/#writerwednesday – I like this one because it really helps authors/writers promote their work as well as giving shout-outs to fellow writers.
- #writetip/#writingtip – Need some help with your writing? These are resourceful hashtags offering plenty of tips and tricks – perfect for novice and aspiring writers.
- #writingprompt – We’ve all been stuck staring at a blank screen, unsure of what to write or how to get our creative juices flowing. #writingprompt offers tons of great writing prompts to help break your writer’s block.
- #bookgiveaway – I am a HUGE fan of book giveaways. #bookgiveaway is a great way to let people know you are running one and where they can find it.
- #mywana – Based on the title for Kristen Lamb’s great book We Are Not Alone! #mywana is for all of Kristen’s followers, her Tribe, her community. Who really are an awesome, supportive bunch that you should join!
- #indie – Indie authors are often supportive of each other, so it’s a good one to use.
- #selfpub – Great for self publishing tips, news, advice.
- #fridayreads – This is to let people know what book you are currently reading. A great opportunity to support your fellow authors on Twitter and get the word out about their books.
- #nanowrimo – The hashtag for National Novel Writing Month which takes place every November.
- #samplesunday – A chance for writers to link to an excerpt from their book or WIP
- #teasertuesday – A favorite line or paragraph, or a link to a blogpost containing them, from your book or current manuscript.
Tip: Want to take your tweet’s even further? I highly recommend checking out Tweet Reach. This site is an invaluable one-stop-shop for all things “#.” Here, you can search for a particular url, Twitter name or phrase, analyze tweets that match your search and (and this is my favorite), see how far your tweet went into the universe.
Any writing hashtags you would add to the list? Or are there any that you see but aren’t sure what they are? Leave a comment!
Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!
Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.