Do’s and Don’ts of Hashtags

For those of you unfamiliar with the hashtag system, hashtags are sorting links represented by a hashtag (#) symbol before a word or phrase.

 

Hashtags are used to group content about common topics into clickable links that make searching and navigating subjects easier. They can be used to link up with like minded people and interests. Hashtags are also useful for following trends in your industry and staying relevant by participating in related topic discussions.

 

Listed below are the main sites that currently support hashtags. Each site has slight differences with how they use hashtags so do some research on how each site you choose is using the hashtag system.

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Vine

Google+

Tumblr

Pinterest

 

Here are some quick tips to make the most out of hashtags.

 

Don’ts

Don’t use long drawn out hashtags, for example #DontUseLongDrawnOutHashtags. Try to stay short, concise and to the point but not too general either (see below).

 

Don’t be too general. The more specific you are with your hashtag and the content, the more relevant and easy it will be for users to connect with you. For example using #HorrorBook rather than simply #book will narrow down the search significantly for users searching that topic.

 

Don’t use punctuation or spaces. They are not supported by the hashtag system. When you add punctuation or a space to a hashtag, the hashtag simply stops where the punctuation or space is added. If you want to add multiple words to your hashtag you can string the words together and differentiate them by capitalizing the first letter of each word like this #CapitalizeMe.

 

Don’t use more than three hashtags per post if you can avoid it. We are all guilty of hashtag stacking, but the industry standard is generally around 3 although it may differ a little from platform to platform.

 

 

Do’s

Do be obvious. Pick a hashtag that is easy for others to think of, remember, spell and relate to the topic.

 

Do pick a hashtag to use consistently when you post content that represents you as an author/brand or the book/project you are trying to promote. When choosing a hashtag make sure you check to see if it is already in use and research any unintentional alternate meanings of the hashtag. If the hashtag of your choice is not already in use, register your hashtag at Hashtags.org. Use your chosen hashtag whenever you post content in order to build a presence on social media and to group your content together.

 

Do search for tending hashtags that are related to writing, reading, books, your genre and more on the platform you are using and on Hashtags.org. This is a great, free tool to stay relevant and efficient in your industry with hashtags.

 

Do participate! Take part in the discussions. Interact with other users around relevant topics by commenting on other posts and by posting original content.

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