Add hashtags to your social media posts

Among the best ways to increase your social media visibility is to use hashtags. This involves adding a pound sign (aka as a crosshatch or a tic-tac-toe sign) before a keyword in your post or adding the sign/keyword at the end it.

For example, two hashtags are used in this tweet:

Suffering from #writersblock? Self-doubt about your talent? #writing

Just about every major social media site allows hashtags (sometimes simply referred to as tags) in their posts.

Hashtags offer a way for others on that social media site to search for keywords. Suppose while on Twitter someone wants to locate tweets about writers block. That can be done by typing #writersblock into the search space or by clicking on that hashtag if used in another post. So long as you use the hashtag, your post will show up in their search. This increases the chances of someone purchasing your book, heading to your blog, or retweeting/sharing you. In this sense, hashtags are a way to better reach your target audience.

Hashtags do work. Twitter states that posts with hashtags are 55 percent more likely to be retweeted than those without. Most social media report that posts with hashtags receive more hits, more shares, and more comments.

Before using hashtags, you’ll need to determine which ones work best for your book. That usually can be done typing “top hashtags for (topic of your book)” into a search engine. You’ll probably come across an article or blog entry in which someone (usually another author!) has already done the research for you and made such a list. Barring that, simply scan through the mini-profiles of your followers/friends and list what hashtags they’re using and that best apply to your tweets/posts.