Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ten Things to Know About Hashtags



A small sampling of possible hashtags to use when writing.

When using social media it’s important to know all the tools and how to use them. One grossly misused piece of social media. Here are a few tips to getting it right.
1. Know where to use them. Hashtags are compatible with most social media platforms including Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and now Facebook. Always check before using them elsewhere.
2. Don’t use spaces. If your hashtag is multiple words, do not use spaces, this will defeat the purpose of a hashtag. #JustWriteBooks not #Just Write Books.
3. Make them specific. Be fairly specific so you know that the people who find you are really looking for you.
4. Limit yourself to three. Use three or fewer per post. Anymore than that is annoying to your readers.
5. Make your own. This sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t, but especially if you’re announcing a new book, it’s not a bad idea to make one up that is the name of your book.
6. Test the hashtag. A great way to see if the hashtag works is to click through and see what related pieces come up. If it doesn’t really relate to what you’re talking about or is unfocused, try another.
7. Follow the hashtag. If you use the hashtag for an event or special conversation. Make sure to check in on it once in a while in case you need to response to a comment that isn’t directed at you.
9. Make them relevant. Is your hashtag something that people care about? Would what you’re posting about mean something to someone other than you? If not, consider not using it.
10. Put thought into your choices. Don’t use generic words, make sure they mean something to someone who is searching for that hashtag. Remember hashtags are meant to help other people find you.
What hashtag have you invented?

Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Books, a publishing business with the tag line: Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project--building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: jstwrite@jstwrite.com

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