Let’s talk about hashtags today.
A necessary evil for writers trying to market their work, or for bloggers trying to direct traffic to their site.
I’m old enough that I remember the days when this -> # was a number sign, or a pound sign — nothing else.
But NOW, you see that good ole # sign and immediately think HASHTAG. Thanks, Twitter.
I remember when I first made my personal twitter account (which I have since made private because it appeared that I only used it for politics and for a place to post drunk, whoops) years ago, and immediately I was like
OMG. I need as many followers as possible. Must write tweets using AS MANY trending topics as possible!
And for awhile, I was prettty clever in my delivery of said tweets. I’d find ways to weave in like 3 of them into one post, while still being cohesive (and under 140 characters!). And sure enough, people would follow me! I didn’t care who they were or what they tweeted about. They were just making my followers count go up and that’s what I wanted!
So I decided, heck, why not just tweet using ONLY trending topics? I doubt anyone is appreciating my wordiness anyway.
And more followers!
But let’s be real, most of these “followers” still had eggs as a profile picture.
And you don’t take the egg people seriously.
I have a Pavlovian thing that I can’t take you seriously on Twitter until you’ve updated your avatar from the egg.
— Anthony De Rosa (@AntDeRosa) March 20, 2012
When I created the Twitter account for my blog, I realized I needed real followers. People who I actually stood a chance at getting to click on my blog links. Besides that, I wanted to make some new friends with people who shared my interest in writing and reading! I did some preliminary “research” (I truly believe that the word ‘research’ is justifiable here, even if it’s not scientific or important to society haha) to see what hashtags most people were using (simply, #amwriting is loaded!).
Looked to see if there were certain ones that were used on a certain day of the week (#2bitTues and #1lineWed for example).
Hashtags are ultimately an important tool! Using the ones above, I’ve mustered up 400 mostly good followers. Yeah, some I think are bots, and I block anyone advertising that you should “Buy Twitter Followers!” (but really, WHY), but for the most part, these are people who appear to appreciate the theme of my Twitter account and do occasionally click my blog links. I’m still working out the best times to post said links to actually get exposure, but I’ll figure it out eventually.
So far, this has been my most liked Tweet:
— Danielle (@daniellemusings) January 23, 2016
Naturally, during this darn blizzard, #wine and #snowmageddon2016 were pretty popular. To get the exposure you want, using the right hashtags can make all the difference!
NOW. There is a right way to use hashtags, and a wrong way! Let me explain with some pictures —
Please. Dear god, please don’t do this. On any social media. Pick 2 or 3 that are specifically targeted to the audience you’re looking to grab.
But seriously, if I find your post because of one of your tags, but I see that you used ten thousand other ones also, part of me imagines you as some awful spam bot repeating the word “hashtag” with your irritating robotic voice and I just cannot bring myself to like your post.
For real, PLEASE heed my advice. Do. Not. Use. 15. Hashtags. Especially if they’re barely related to your post.
You WILL drive traffic to your picture, tweet, post, whatever. Maybe not quite as much, but enough! There’s a quote about losing weight that it’s better to lose it slow and keep it off, than lose it quick and then gain it all back. This is similar! Gain followers slow who will stick around for more! Versus a quick uptick in followers who will probably unfollow you soon enough. What would you really rather have?
Tell me — #hashtags. How do you feel about them?