#ilovemyhashtags. That’s right; today we are discussing #hashtags for Twitter. I wanted to touch on this topic because I’ve had a few people tell me they didn’t fully understand what #hashtags are or what their purpose is. Thank you so much to those who asked because you helped me decide this week’s blog post.
When I began tweeting last December, I knew nothing about #hashtags. Hell, I didn’t even like Twitter. I had spent my last year on Facebook, updating statuses and what not. The whole Twitterverse was a culture shock. I didn’t know what its purpose was or why I, as an author, needed to utilize it. At one point, I was ready to say forget it and go back to Facebook. I’m glad I didn’t.
Now, you can still find me on Facebook. I enjoy connecting with people there as much as Twitter, but yes, I am a Twitter addict. Most of you reading this already know this, and I love you 🙂
So, getting back to #hashtags, #yeah #igoofftopic #occasionally. ß These are perfect examples of #hashtags. To begin a #hashtag on Twitter, you must add the pound # sign before a word or series of words. Doing so is like putting your tweet in a chat room … okay, more like a mini chat room. Twitter itself is like a gigantic chat room. #Hashtags allow you to set up conversations with others who may share the same interest as you or just to help promote what you are selling. We authors use tweets to promote our book(s) or even our blog(s). Therefore, you should also use #hashtags.
Some of you may already know about more popular #hashtags like #WW for Writer Wednesdays and #FF for Follow Fridays. Many bloggers know about #MentionMonday or #MM as well. My friend and mentor Carolyn McCray, one of the co-founders of The Indie Book Collective, created this #hashtag.
Let’s talk about #MentionMonday (#MM) for a moment. The reason Carolyn started this #hashtag is for bloggers to shout out or mention their blogs to other people who blog or enjoy reading blogs. Many people confuse #MM with #WW or #FF. They are not the same thing. #MentionMonday is not to shout out a list of your followers. That’s what #FF is for. To shout out writer friends or writers you enjoy reading, use #WW.
I will confess, when I first started tweeting, I used #MentionMonday as a shout out #hashtag too. Don’t feel bad if you have. We can’t stop people from doing it, but it was created to mention our blogs. If you participate in #MentionMonday, even if you don’t blog, be kind and retweet (RT) other people who are using the #MentionMonday (#MM) #hashtag. We love getting the word out when we write a new blog.
If you are an author, and you’re either writing, revising, or even promoting your work, using #hastags will benefit you. Most people who are writing use #hashtags such as #writing #amwriting and such. If you click on a #hashtag, you will see a stream full of other tweeps using this same #hashtag. It’s a great way to meet other people who share the same interest as you, or to find genres on books similar to yours or the books you like reading. I’ve been revising my work lately and I’ve been using #amrevising a lot.
If you are promoting your book, be sure to use a #hashtag with your genre in your tweet. #paranormal #romance is a popular one, as is #PNR. #UF is great for urban fantasy. These are just a few examples of using a #hastag to promote your book. You can even save #hashtag searches for later use. If you would like a broader list of popular #hastags, google it.
Of course, not everyone likes #hashtags and those of us who use them excessively have been branded #hashtag abusers #orothercolorfulwords. I’ve even read articles where people recommend you use no more than one or two #hashtags. I say whatever floats your boat. I love #hashtags. Yes, I may abuse them, but they are a great way to sneak in those thoughts playing in the back of your mind. Some tweeps think of them as the little devil that sets on their shoulder, telling them what they are really thinking. These #hashtags make for interesting tweets, in my opinion.
So, love em or hate em, #hashtags are a great way to connect with people and even find other tweeps you haven’t connected with yet. Go out, have fun with them, #beoriginal. Hashtags are a great way to communicate with other tweeps.
I haven’t decided what I’ll be posting next week, but never fear. I will come up with something. If you have any ideas or suggestion, leave me a comment. Also, my lovely people, I have began a newsletter. Please, if you are interested, sign up for it on the sidebar. Thanks for stopping by, everyone.