Make them your friend
This article first appeared over at Write Anything
Twitter and its users have matured over its first few years. Businesses, movie stars, multi marketeers, individuals and bloggers alike have embraced this instant feed to thoughts, feelings and promotions. Twitter has evolved its functions in order for users to keep track of trending ideas or conversations and more importantly, a way to search for categories and topics. Writers and bloggers specifically need to be on top of current themes, topics, ideas and trending public opinion; so being able to search and find information quickly and accurately is vital. Compiled here are some basics on hastags and their usage and information which I hope assists your ability to access *useful* links and tweeps rather than wade into the overwhelming onslaught of *stuff* which puts most people off Twitter as the valuable resource it really is.
The Twitter Hashtag is a function in order to keep in touch with a specific group of people. They are a way of categorising a tweet. In other words its a tag or label which you can then go and search twitter on. Generally, a hashtag is used to increase your Twitter visibility, promote an idea, theme or event and should only be used if your Tweet adds value to that specific topic. Hastags allow the individual to group and organise tweets with the ability to enable them to participate in a discussion with the Twitter community in real time. Many Twitter friend finders use hashtags to decide if you are worth following or not.
So why should writers in particular care about hashtags?
If you are promoting the launch of a book; for example, you can request all your friends use a hashtag (like the title of the book) so you get some buzz from the twitter trending term results. This is called a twitter party and is generally held in a short space of time for the maximum effect for the trending topics ratings. After the launch, use that hashtag every event and announcement of that book and you have an instant historical record of what has happened over an extended period of time.
Writer’s groups are using the hashtag as a way of promotion and in staying constant contact with others around the globe. Many groups have sprung up around this little symbol, such as #flashfriday, or #fictionfriday where authors pen a fiction story every Friday and share the link, or #writechat where writers meet virtually and discuss the craft, #writechat meet 3 – 6 pm EST on Sundays as an ongoing interaction between writers.
Some other hashtags which may be helpful or interesting for writers include:
Resources which may be of interest for connectivity, research or information include
#LitChat = Follow book-bloggers, book club members, and book reviewers as they discuss varying topics. Often, by just discussing your point of view, from a writer’s standpoint, you can generate a targeted batch of followers who just might want to read your books/ stories or blog.
#FridayReads = Another book club oriented discussion thread.
#FollowtheReader = Publishing and Marketing professionals dishing on the industry, the future of e-books, what sorts of e-devices are important to which sort of reader, etc.
For those wanting to know what is happening out in twitterland right now , pop over to to Search Twitter to see trending topics. Additionally, for the statistics and data motivated, Hastags is a great research tool when looking at the frequency of a hashtag and its popularity over a period of time.
Hashtags are a handy and potentially powerful tool for writers in research and promotion. With so many distracting topics and links available, they allow an author to stay in the writing loop, find inspiration and promote their work to targeted groups.
Check out this earlier article for some basic information on Twitter for Writers
Do you follow or use particular hashtags which may be of interest or assist other writers?
Image by Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten via Flickr