How’s Your #Hashtag Game?

By: Jennifer Lovett

Social media is about interaction, networking and engagement. If you authentically engage with other users of a hashtag, you’ll create a genuine experience online. That experience is why people are on the platform in the first place.

The great marketer Seth Godin repeatedly says, “People don’t buy products. They buy experiences.”

Think about Jeep owners. Rugged, athletic, outdoorsy. They’re part of a club.

The Hashtag Game

Patagonia. Subaru. There is almost a cult following for brands like these.

While I’m not advocating you build a cult and head to South America, I am definitely telling you that creating an experience with you, a real person, is important to potential readers. Readers buy from people they know or think they know. The most common place for people to do that is on social media. That’s where hashtags come in.

Hashtags are basically categories for posts.

If you click on a hashtag you see in Tweet or Instagram Post, the system will take you to every tweet or post that includes that hashtag. It’s a nice way to categorize topics, and it makes it easier to find information. That’s the basics.

But another reason to use hashtags is to help build your following.

  • Reach like-minded folks.
    • You’ll want to use hashtags in your posts is to reach like-minded users and hopefully bring them into your author brand online space.
    • If you’re looking for readers of paranormal romance, then you’ll want to scroll through all the posts or tweets with the #paranormalromance hashtag.
  • Engage with them.
    • Once you see what those readers or writers are posting, you can like, comment or share their posts, or even follow them. These actions encourage that person to do the same for you.
  • Help folks find you.
    • You’ll want to use hashtags as well, so people can find you. If you write #westerns, then use that hashtag to put yourself in front of readers of westerns.
    • Make sure whatever you post is interesting and reflects your brand.
  • Another very cool reason to use hashtags is to connect with publishing industry professionals. #MSWL is Manuscript Wish List. This is when literary agents post exactly what stories they are looking for.

But don’t be a stalker.

One thing you’d probably not want to do is overuse a hashtag.

On Twitter, don’t use more than 3 hashtags. I really encourage only 2 and put them at the end of your tweet, so it doesn’t clutter the tweet and make it harder to read.

On Instagram, one or two in the original caption is best. Then, put up to 30 in first comment. Yes, 30.

So you don’t come across as a relentless stalker of a particular hashtag, I recommend you create five to seven different lists of hashtags that you can rotate.

To help you do that, I’ve compiled a list of hashtags most common for readers and writers at the end of this post.

Make it easier on everybody.

Hashtags just make life a little easier on social media. Platforms are just so crowded with posts or pics, vids, tweets and other stuff, using hashtags is a way to help break through the noise. For you and for your reader.

Genre
#Mystery
#Romance
#RomanceNovel
#RomanceBooks
#Fantasy
#Thriller
#Spy Thriller
#Erotica
#Paranormal
#RomanticSuspense
#CozyMystery
#UrbanFantasy
#WomensFiction
#YA
#YALit
#YoungAdult
#YoungAdultBooks
#YAFantasy
#Classicbooks
#SweetRomance
#SciFi
#Suspense
#Western
#Military

Publishing|
#AskAgent
#AskAuthor
#AskEditor
#BookMarketing
#Publishing
#SelfPub
#MSWL – manuscript wish list

Books and Reading
#AmReading
#Books
#BooksAreLife
#BookCommunity
#Bookgram
#BookNerd
#BookNerdigan
#BookPassion
#BookRecommendation
#BookReview
#BookQuotes
#Bookworms
#Bookster
#Bookstagrammer
#Bookstagram
#Bookclub
#Booksofinsta
#BookWorm
#CurrentlyReading
#Shelfie
#Fiction
#GreatReads
#IndieThursday
#InstaBook
#InstaRead
#MustRead
#ReadersOfInstagram
#WhatToRead
#Library
#TotalBookNerd

Self-Publishing
#Allie
#Amazon
#eBook
#BookBuzz
#eReaders
#ePubChat
#iPad
#Kindle
#KindleBargain
#Kobo
#KPD (Kindle Publishing Direct)
#Nook
#D2D (Draft 2 Digital)
#SmashWords

Promo
#99c
#AuthorRT
#BookGiveaway
#BookMarketing
#FollowFriday
#FreeReads
#Novelines (to quote your own work)
#FreeBook
#FridayReads
#TeaserTues

Writing Process or Community
#1K1H
#AmWriting
#AmEditingAuthor
#AuthorsofIg
#AuthorsLife
#CopyWriting
#Creativity
#Editing
#IndieAuthor
#Poetry
#RomanceWriter
#StoryStarter
#WIP
#WordAThon
#WordCount
#WriteChat
#WriteGoal
#WriteMotivation
#WriteTip
#WriterLife
#WritersLife
#Writing
#WritingBlitz
#WritingCommunity
#WriterCommunity
#WritersCommunity
#WritersofInstagram
#WritersofIg
#WriterofInstagram
#WritersCommunityofIg
#WritersNetwork
#WriteYourHeartOut
#WritersUnite
#WritersofTwitter


Jennifer Lovett Herbranson

Jennifer Lovett is the founder of Writer Nation, a podcast and Facebook group dedicated to helping writers market their work. With 17 years communications experience, she regularly writes on social media, internet marketing and face-to-face publicity.
She currently lives in South Korea and travels around Asia for fun.
You can find her on her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest: @jennylovett