Twitter didn’t invent hashtags. Social media doesn’t lay claim to own them. If you’re one of those people who believe hashtags should still be referred to as the number sign, have ruined language, or should only be used in music, then move along.
This article isn’t for you. You’re not my demographic. I’m here to help authors learn how to market their books.
However, if you’d like to learn more about how to use hashtags in social media to increase visibility and connections, read on…
In our recent #BookMarketingChat (join us every Wednesday, 6pm pst/9pm est), our guest, the very patient Ben Sailer from CoSchedule (a site I LOVE — their blog is the bomb), reviewed the proper use of hashtags across all social media channels. If you missed our chat, I encourage you to review our Storify summary here.
I contacted Ben after reading his stellar hashtag article on the CoSchedule blog where he reviewed in great detail:
and asked him to be my guest on #BookMarketingChat last week and it was great! If you missed it, again, take a look at the Storify summary, linked above.
So, back to the blog post he wrote: it’s a pretty exhaustive look, with lots of data, charts and graphs, which the geek in me loves! However, many authors told me they are still confused by the article and even the chat, so I wanted to break it down into some basics here for you.
According to CoSchedule, [share ]hashtags are a great way to connect with others and boost engagement[/share]:
Stick to one or two hashtags per post since that tends to grow engagement on your content by 21%. When you start using 3 or more hashtags per message, you lower engagement by almost 17%.
Hashtags started on Twitter, where they are still the most popular, but are now used and accepted across all social media channels. The benefits of using hashtags are many:
Usually, less is more (except Instagram), but here’s a great guide:
Well, a few ways. I recommend you:
That’s really the trick, isn’t it? Social media is huge, and finding hashtags that are relevant to you is a wonderful way to focus your content, and find and follow others with similar interests. But how do you find them?
CoSchedule offers up four great sites that do this for you!
The four sites, which you explore on your own to discover more (or read about on the CoSchedule blog), are:
Finally, if you want to also do a quick search on whatever channel you’re on, just type in the Search box and see what comes up! It’s easy.
I love hashtags, but caution you to use them judiciously (unless you’re on Instagram — they love them).
Here, in no particular order, are my Do’s and Don’ts:
Pretty basic, but keep in mind:
If there are letters or numbers before the hashtag, it will break it before it even starts. So if your hashtag is 123#abc, abc won’t link to a hashtag.
If the hashtag is made up entirely of numbers, the hashtag will not hyperlink. But if you include letters with your numbers, the hashtag will work correctly. So #12345 won’t work. but #123abc will.
(I’m pretty sure even my brain is bleeding after that one.)
So now that I’ve spent the last two days writing this post, I hope you feel super edumacated about hashtags. If you have questions, ask Ben. I’m tired.
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All content © 2018 by BadRedhead Media aka Rachel Thompson, author, unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.
Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.
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