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Hashtags: Friends Not Foes

Hashtags: Friends Not Foes 1024 576 Reader Views

Making Hashtag Magic

by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers

Judging from the questions I get in my e-mail box, many people don’t understand hashtags or are just plain annoyed by them.

Yep, they do get overused. But used judiciously, they can help with exposure for whatever you want others to know about.

What many don’t understand is that they can become part of an understandable sentence so they don’t intrude or dominate. Instead of posting a string of hashtags at the beginning or end of a post or (gasp!) merely a list of hashtags with nothing else in sight, pick out a keyword or two in your complete sentence. That simple action lets your precious characters on Twitter do double duty and produces a little exposure magic, too.

#Authors will find my vetted list of accessible #contests at http://howtodoitfrugally.com/contests.htm.

So, both #authors and #contests get read as what they are—words, not interrupters. And certainly not as a whole paragraph of hashtags! Yawn!

A website can help, too. Www.Twubs.com lets you register keywords that point to some of your own branding. You can use Twubs.com to “own” the phrases that you would use in your tweets (and other places) frequently. Twubs gives you a page of your own where you can install your logo, banner, or headshot. It’s a little like Amazon’s profile page. It’s also a little like registering your hashtag or copyrighting your hashtag! And a little like a social network because it collects posts from friends (and strangers, too!) who take to using your hashtags and lists them separately from similar hashtag. That makes them truly focused and lots easier to maneuver that some hashtag lists that overwhelm visitor with sheer numbers.

So far some of mine look like this: #SharingwithWriters (which collects tweets I post about my #SharingwithWriters blog and just when I am in the mood to share tips and other things I think my fellow writers can use. Another is #CarolynHowardJohnson (my name), #TheFrugalBookPromoter (the first multi award-winning book in my HowToDoItFrugally series of books) It works because I have used it to brand that series and—in a sense—who I am. I also use #TheFrugalEditor for posts resourcing the second book in that same series because I also edit.

I also have some registered hashtags that are more general, like #GreatBookReviews and #MovieReviews. I use the latter most often, I think, because I try to do mini Twitter reviews that include things we writers can learn from the particular movie I’m reviewing or—these days—streaming documentaries and Nova segments that are part of my Covid-style entertainment.

Mindy Philips Lawrence, who will write a new iteration of her the “Itty Bitty” column for my #SharingwithWriters newsletter when I revive it, could register an #IttyBitty hashtag. She could then use some of my hashtags or twitter handle (@FrugalBookPromo) to prompt me to retweet her tweets to my 43,000 plus Twitter followers. You can do the same thing! I love retweeting information and links the authors who follow me will find valuable.

Once your hashtag is registered, Twubs.com picks up anyone who uses your registered hashtag and puts it in the stream on your page on the Twubs site!

There are tons of ways you can network with the info that gets collected on your Twubs page. Every single one of the people who have used your registered hashtag have—intentionally or unintentionally—let you know they have an interest similar to your marketing focus. Neat, huh?

When others begin to use your hashtags in their own tweets it expands the exposure of your social networking efforts way, way beyond Twitter’s usual reach.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers including multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter (http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromoIII) and The Frugal Editor (http://bit.ly/FrugalEditorII) and the third in her series, How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically (https://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews). And she her The Great First Impression Book Proposal is now available from Modern History Press is now available in audio. Learn more about all her books from her how-to books for writers and retailers to her poetry at http://howtodoitfrugally.com.

Deeper into the Pond, part of my multi award-winning Celebration Series coauthored with Magdalena Ball, Artwork by Jacquie Schmall

Self-published in the tradition of poets everywhere since the advent of the Gutenberg Press. 

CONNECT WITH CAROLYN HOWARD-JOHNSON

Web site: http://HowToDoItFrugally.com
Blog: http://SharingwithWriters.blogspot.com
Twitter: @FrugalBookPromo
Facebook: http://facebook.com/carolynhowardjohnson

2 comments
  • Carolyn Howard-Johnson

    Thank you for the opportunity to interact with your great community, Reader Views ! have been a fan for a loooong time. As I read this, I think we should all be using hashtags for poetry month. I see that you remembered and included a little about one of my poetry books written with Aussie Magdalena Ball. Thank you! You never miss a beat!

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