Posted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.
HOW TO CAPITALISE ON TWITTER HASHTAGS FOR AUTHORS
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
WHAT IS A TWITTER HASHTAG?
A Twitter hashtag is literally placing the symbol # in front of a word or phrase.
Example: Wishful Wedding 5 Star Review: by Reader’s Favorite. LGBTQ #Kidlit about #Equality! via @PigeonholeBooks #lovewins
WHY DO WE USE HASHTAGS?
A hashtag is used to categorise information and make it easier for readers to find specific topics they may be interested in. It groups together the same data so tweeps (people who use Twitter), can filter whatever they may be looking for.
Therefore, should you be interested in #kidlit (children’s literature), enter this in the search field and all tweets with the hashtag will appear. You can further filter your search through top tweets, live tweets, accounts, photos and videos.
It is important to note that using hashtags in your Twitter bio is also particularly useful as this will aid in the search for actual accounts. I have therefore added #kidlit hashtag in my bio.
HOW DO WE USE HASHTAGS?
As a tweet only has 140 characters, it creates a challenge when trying to convey a lot of information in a very precise manner.
Therefore, hashtags are great when it is used as part of the sentence. In the example above, I was trying to convey that my book, Wishful Wedding, is a LGBTQ children’s book about equality. This way, I maximised my tweet and yet was able to tell the world what my book was about in 3 short words.
Stand-alone hashtags are often used at the end of a tweet. In this case I added #lovewins, which was a hashtag that denoted the legalisation of same-sex marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court. This way, should anyone be searching #lovewins, my tweet would have appeared and I would have been able to inform fellow tweeps about my book’s 5 star review.
On the left hand side of your Twitter page, you will notice what is trending on Twitter at that given moment. At present, #AskPOTUS, The White House on Twitter, has $58,600 tweets with this hashtag. Should this be relevant to you and you are able to tie it into your tweet, add the hashtag. Jump on the bandwagon! One can always find creative ways to incorporate trending topics into your tweets
WHAT NOT TO DO
- Don’t add a hashtag for the sake of adding one if it doesn’t contribute to the message
- Don’t overuse hashtags as the tweet will become hard to read and can come across as spamming
- Try not to #makethehashtagtoolong
- In a single tweet, don’t have more hashtags than words
- Don’t have spaces or punctuation in the words preceding the hashtag as it will break the link
- #Don’t #hashtag #every #single #word #in #the #sentence
Isn’t it amazing how one simple # symbol can make such a big impact?