Writers. Use #HASHTAGS.

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© David Castillo Dominici

Rudy Dees

Editor @ GoneWithTheWord

Great hashtags help you organize your tweets and increase exposure by providing searchable content for your followers. Hashtags are a great tool to strengthen your social media strategy. 

What are hashtags? 

According to Twitter the symbol #, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. This symbol turns the word or phrase into a link that makes it easier to find and follow a conversation about that topic. Find out if the subject you are tweeting about already exists as a hashtag and join that conversation, or create your own.

How do hashtags work?

Hashtags can appear anywhere in your Tweet—at the beginning, middle, or end. Place the # symbol before a word or phrase (no spaces) in your Tweet to categorize those tweets and make it searchable within the network. When other users click on a hashtag word or phrase Twitter displays all other tweets marked with that hashtag.

Why are hashtags important?

Hashtags that become popular are often Trending topics in your Twitter Timeline. For example, the hashtag #FF (formerly #Follow Friday) was created by Micah Baldwin and has become a weekly tradition where users recommend people that others should follow on Twitter. In fact, use #FF making sure it follows your interests and join the conversation and get your name out there.

#Hashtag tips:

  1. Seek author/writing-specific content. Use Twitter to learn from other writers. For example, many writers such as @NatRusso and @MaryBuckham, use the hashtag #writetips to direct Twitter users to their tips on writing craft.
  2. Keep it simple and consistent. Sometimes the best hashtag is the most obvious one. Use simple and direct hashtags. For example, use #writetips versus the more complicated #tipsonwriting. Long and complicated hashtags are neither search-friendly nor commonly used and thus will be buried quickly.
  3. Don’t #spam #with #hashtags. Don’t over-tag a Tweet. Use no more than two hashtags per Tweet and ensure the hashtag is relevant to the topic. Too many hashtags reads desperate and is a sure way to lose followers.
  4. Create your own hashtag. Be creative. Maximize user engagement. Use hashtags for Twitter chats and engage users to click your embedded links and increase your exposure at the same time. For example, @rickygervais uses the hashtag #Derek to reply to his fans and offer giveaways prior to the airing of his television show.

Hashtags are powerful. When followers see one they know there is an ongoing conversation about a specific topic. Join a conversation or create your own—be heard, create your own exposure, create a buzz (I mean chirp). Use a #hashtag or two in your next Tweet.

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