Judging from questions I get in my inbox, many people don’t understand Twitter hashtags. Maybe they are just plain annoyed by them, but they can be useful in your book marketing.
Yes, Twitter hashtags do get over used, but used judiciously, they can help expand the exposure of whatever it is you want others to know about.
What many people don’t understand is that Twitter hastags can become part of a normal – or at least understandable – sentence so they don’t intrude or dominate. Use them something like this: #Authors can find #writingcontests on Twitter.
So both #authors and #writingcontests get read as what they are: words, not interrupters. And certainly not as a whole sentence or paragraph of hashtags! Yawn!
A relatively new resource, Twubs.com, can help. Twubs lets you register keywords that point to some of your own branding. You can use Twubs.com to “own” the phrases you want to regularly use in your tweets (and other places). Twubs gives you a page of your own which you can brand with your logo, banner, or headshot. It’s a little like a profile page. It’s also a little like registering or copyrighting a Twitter hashtag – and it’s free.
One of mine is #SharingwithWriters (which collects tweets I post about my #SharingwithWriters newsletter and my blog by the same name. It also brands the broader concept of my interest in helping other writers. Other Twitter hashtags I’ve included are #CarolynHowardJohnson (my name) and #TheFrugalBookPromoter (the first multi award-winning book in my HowToDoItFrugally series of books). These all work because I’ve used these phrases to brand that series and – in a sense – myself in the publishing industry. I also use #TheFrugalEditor for posts relating to the second book in the HowToDoItFrugally series to promote my work as an editor.
I’ve also registered hashtags that are more general, like #GreatBookReviews and #MovieReviews. I use the latter most often, I think, because I try to do 140-character Twitter reviews that include things we writers can learn from the particular movie I’m reviewing.
Mindy Philips Lawrence, who does the regular “Itty Bitty” column for my #SharingwithWriters newsletter, could register an #IttyBitty hashtag. She could then use some of my Twitter hashtags or Twitter handle (@FrugalBookPromo) to prompt me to retweet her tweets to my 30,000 plus Twitter followers. You can do the same thing! I love retweeting information and links authors will find valuable.
Once your Twitter hashtags are 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 Twitter hashtags in their own tweets, it expands the exposure of your social networking efforts way, way beyond Twitter’s usual reach.
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