The power of social media – Post 5 of 12

advertising, Art, Design, Lifestyle, Patreon By Jul 13, 2023 No Comments

PART 5 – How to effectively use relevant hashtags.

First, let’s talk about what Hashtags are in regard to social media. Hashtags on social media are a way to categorize and organize content. They are created by placing the pound or hash symbol (#) in front of a word or phrase without spaces. For example, #booktok or #authorsofinsta.

When you include a hashtag in a post or comment on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook, it becomes a clickable link that leads to a page displaying all other posts that have used the same hashtag. This allows users to discover and explore content related to a specific topic or theme. This also means that YOUR posts will be visible to people who have organically clicked on other authors’ posts.

Here’s a short breakdown of how hashtags work on social media:

  • Categorization: Hashtags categorize content and make it easier to find. By including relevant hashtags in your posts, you can connect your content to a specific topic or community.
  • Discovery: When users click on a hashtag, they are directed to a page displaying all posts that have used the same hashtag. This helps users discover new content and explore different perspectives on a topic.
  • Trending topics: Social media platforms often feature trending hashtags, which are popular and widely used hashtags at a given time. These trending hashtags can be related to current events, holidays, or viral topics. They provide an opportunity for users to join conversations and engage with a broader audience.
  • Community engagement: Hashtags allow users to connect with others who share similar interests or passions. By using a specific hashtag, you can participate in conversations and engage with a community of like-minded individuals.
  • Branding and campaigns: Hashtags are commonly used in marketing and advertising campaigns. Brands create unique hashtags to promote their products or events, encourage user-generated content, and track the reach and engagement of their campaigns.

When using hashtags, it’s important to consider a few best practices:

  • Keep them relevant: Use hashtags that are related to the content you’re sharing to reach the right audience.
  • Use popular and niche hashtags: A combination of popular and niche hashtags can help you reach a wider or more targeted audience.
  • Limit the number: Using too many hashtags can make your post appear spammy or cluttered. It’s generally recommended to use a few relevant hashtags rather than overloading your post with them.
  • Research before use: Before using a hashtag, check its meaning and context to ensure it aligns with your content and doesn’t have any unintended associations.

Overall, hashtags play a crucial role in social media by allowing users to discover, categorize, and engage with content based on their interests. They help build communities, increase visibility, and facilitate discussions on various topics.

Try incorporating hashtags into images as well. It adds a nice dimension to traditional hashtag use. Though people won’t be able to click on an interactive link, you can always add it to the comments or description.

Ok, so now that we know what Hashtags are and how they work (a very basic run down – but you get the idea), all we need to do is work out HOW to apply them to your socials to get the best response.

Here’s a small plan for how authors like YOU can effectively leverage hashtags.

  1. Research Popular and Relevant Hashtags: Start by researching popular and relevant hashtags in your niche or genre. Look for hashtags that are commonly used by your target audience or trending within the writing and book community. Explore social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter to discover popular hashtags related to your content. Use search features, explore related posts, and pay attention to hashtags used by influential authors or book-related accounts. For more information on knowing your Target Audience, read post 1 of this series.
  2. Be Specific and Targeted: While broad hashtags like #books or #writing may reach a large audience, they can also be highly competitive, making it difficult for your content to stand out. Instead, focus on more specific and targeted hashtags that relate directly to your book, genre, or writing style. Consider using hashtags like #romancereads, #bookstagrammers, or #amwritingfantasy. These targeted hashtags will help you reach an audience that is more likely to be interested in your specific content.
  3. Mix Popular and Niche Hashtags: Strike a balance between using popular hashtags with high engagement and niche hashtags that cater specifically to your target audience. Popular hashtags can expose your content to a larger audience, potentially increasing your reach and visibility. However, they also tend to have high competition. Pairing them with niche hashtags allows you to connect with a more engaged and targeted community. This combination broadens your exposure while ensuring your content reaches those most likely to be interested in your work.
  4. Create Branded Hashtags: Consider creating a unique branded hashtag for your author brand or a specific book campaign. Branded hashtags help build brand identity and make it easier for your followers to find and engage with your content. Incorporate your branded hashtag in your bio and promotional materials, and encourage your readers to use it when sharing their experiences with your books. This not only promotes your brand but also encourages user-generated content and fosters a sense of community among your readers.
  5. Use Hashtags Strategically in Posts: Integrate hashtags organically within your post captions or comments. Avoid using too many hashtags, as it can make your content appear spammy or cluttered. Instead, choose a few relevant and meaningful hashtags that accurately represent the content of your post. You can place hashtags at the end of your caption or intersperse them throughout the text. Additionally, consider using location-specific hashtags if it aligns with your content or if you’re targeting a specific audience in a particular location.
  6. Engage with Hashtag Communities: Explore and engage with existing hashtag communities related to your genre or writing niche. Like, comment, and share posts from others using the same hashtags, and participate in discussions or conversations surrounding those topics. Engaging with the community helps you build connections with fellow authors and readers, increases your visibility, and attracts attention to your own content. By actively participating, you can establish yourself as an active member of the community and gain exposure to potential readers.
  7. Monitor Hashtag Performance: Keep track of how your posts perform with different hashtags. Observe which hashtags generate higher engagement, reach, or interaction. Utilize the analytics and insights provided by social media platforms to gain insights into which hashtags are driving the most exposure and interaction. This data can help you refine your hashtag strategy over time and focus on the ones that yield the best results for increasing your social media exposure.

By incorporating relevant hashtags into your social media posts, you increase your visibility, expand your reach, and attract a wider audience of readers and book enthusiasts. Strategic use of hashtags allows you to tap into existing communities, connect with like-minded individuals, and increase the chances of your content being discovered by those interested in your genre or niche.

Enter keywords or topics related to your genre, such as “young adult fantasy,” in the Facebook search bar.

Here is a real-world example of targeted Hashtag usage on Facebook.

Finding trending hashtags on Facebook can be a bit challenging since Facebook does not provide a specific feature to discover trending hashtags like other platforms such as Twitter or Instagram. Let’s imagine you’re an author of young adult fantasy novels, and you’re looking to find trending hashtags on Facebook to increase the visibility and page reads for your author page.

Here are a few strategies you can use to find relevant and popular hashtags on Facebook:

  • Explore Facebook’s Trending Topics: Visit the Facebook homepage or the Explore section and look for the “Trending” section. This section highlights popular and trending topics, including hashtags, that are currently generating significant engagement and discussion on the platform. While the trending section may not exclusively focus on hashtags, it can give you insights into what topics are currently popular and allow you to identify relevant hashtags associated with those topics.

    You notice that one of the trending topics is “Fantasy Book Recommendations.” While Facebook may not explicitly display hashtags, you can identify relevant hashtags associated with this trending topic by observing the discussions, comments, or posts related to it. In this case, you may discover hashtags like #FantasyBooks, #BookRecommendations, or #YAReads, which are currently generating engagement on the platform.

  • Utilize the Facebook Search Bar: Enter relevant keywords or topics related to your genre, book, or target audience in the Facebook search bar. Facebook will display a list of relevant posts, pages, groups, and hashtags related to your search query. Pay attention to the suggested hashtags and explore their usage in posts and discussions. This can give you an idea of popular hashtags in your niche that are currently generating engagement on the platform.

    Enter keywords or topics related to your genre, such as “young adult fantasy,” in the Facebook search bar. Facebook will display a list of relevant posts, pages, groups, and hashtags associated with your search query. Scan through the suggested hashtags and explore their usage in posts and discussions. You might come across popular hashtags like #YAfantasy, #MagicWorlds, or #AdventureReads that are commonly used by readers and authors in the young adult fantasy genre.

  • Research Popular Pages and Groups in Your Niche: Identify popular Facebook pages and groups that cater to your target audience or focus on topics similar to your genre. Explore their posts and discussions to see if they frequently use specific hashtags. Take note of the hashtags that generate significant engagement and align with your content. By observing the content shared by established and influential pages and groups, you can gain insights into popular hashtags relevant to your niche.

    Identify popular Facebook pages and groups that focus on young adult fantasy literature or cater to your target audience. Look for pages of renowned authors, influential book bloggers, or dedicated fan groups. Analyze their posts and discussions to identify hashtags frequently used in their content. For instance, you may find hashtags like #BookishCommunity, #FantasyLovers, or #YABookClub that consistently generate engagement and are relevant to your niche.

  • Analyze Competitor Pages: Look at the pages of authors or publishers in your genre who have a significant following and engagement. Analyze their posts to see if they use hashtags consistently and which ones they use. While you should never copy or imitate their content, this exercise can help you identify hashtags that resonate with the audience interested in your genre and potentially contribute to increasing your page reads.

    Examine the pages of successful authors or publishers in the young adult fantasy genre who have a significant following and engagement on Facebook. Analyze their posts to see if they use hashtags consistently and take note of the ones they incorporate. While you should never copy or imitate their content, this exercise can provide insights into popular hashtags that resonate with your target audience. For example, you might discover hashtags like #MagicAdventures, #StrongHeroines, or #EpicFantasy that are commonly used in the genre and could help increase your page reads.

  • Use External Tools: Although Facebook itself doesn’t provide a dedicated feature for trending hashtags, you can utilize third-party tools or websites that track popular hashtags across social media platforms. These tools often provide insights into trending hashtags on Facebook as well. Tools like Hashtagify, RiteTag, or BestHashtags can help you discover relevant hashtags and analyze their popularity and engagement levels across various social media platforms, including Facebook.

    For instance, you might find that hashtags like #YABookstagram, #FantasyFriday, or #NewReleaseAlert are currently trending among Facebook users interested in young adult fantasy literature.

Remember to choose hashtags that are relevant to your content, genre, and target audience. By leveraging these strategies, you can find trending hashtags on Facebook that are relevant to your genre and target audience. Adjust your hashtag strategy accordingly to maximize your reach and connect with a wider audience on Facebook.

Here are some tips for Hashtag usage on Instagram.

Finding trending hashtags on Instagram can be instrumental in increasing book sales. Here’s how you can discover relevant and popular hashtags to boost your book sales on Instagram:

  • Make the most of Instagram’s Explore Page: Instagram’s Explore page is a great starting point for finding trending hashtags. It showcases popular and trending posts, accounts, and hashtags tailored to your interests and activity. Browse through the content on the Explore page and pay attention to the hashtags used in posts related to books, literature, or your genre. Instagram often highlights trending hashtags in this section, providing you with valuable insights.
  • Utilize the Instagram Search Bar: Use the search bar on Instagram to find hashtags related to your book, genre, or target audience. Type in relevant keywords or phrases, such as “book recommendations,” “fantasy novels,” or “YA fiction,” and Instagram will display a list of relevant hashtags. Explore the posts and discussions associated with these hashtags to gauge their popularity and engagement levels.
  • Observe Influential Authors and Bookstagrammers: Identify popular authors and influential bookstagrammers in your genre. These accounts often use hashtags strategically to reach their target audience and generate engagement. Study their posts and note the hashtags they consistently employ. Pay attention to the hashtags that receive high engagement, such as likes, comments, and shares. Incorporate these hashtags into your own posts to increase your book’s visibility among their followers and like-minded readers.
  • Follow Book-related Hashtags: Follow and engage with hashtags that are relevant to your book and genre. By following these hashtags, you can stay updated on the latest posts and discussions within your niche. Engage with posts using these hashtags by liking, commenting, and sharing them. This allows you to build connections with fellow readers, potential book buyers, and industry influencers, increasing the visibility of your book and potentially leading to more sales.
  • Analyze Competitor and Industry Accounts: Look at the Instagram accounts of authors, publishers, or bookstores in your genre who are successfully selling books. Analyze their posts to identify the hashtags they use and the ones that generate high levels of engagement. While it’s important to develop your unique content strategy, analyzing successful accounts can provide insights into popular hashtags and content trends within your industry.
  • Use Hashtag Research Tools: Take advantage of third-party tools and websites dedicated to hashtag research on Instagram. These tools can help you discover trending hashtags, analyze their popularity, and provide recommendations based on your niche. Some popular hashtag research tools include Hashtagify, All Hashtag, and Ingramer. These tools can provide valuable insights into the performance and relevance of hashtags, allowing you to make informed decisions when selecting the right ones for your book sales campaign.
  • Monitor Hashtag Performance: Continuously monitor the performance of the hashtags you use in your posts. Instagram Insights provides valuable data on how your posts are performing, including the reach, impressions, and engagement generated by specific hashtags. Analyze this data to identify which hashtags are driving the most interaction and book sales. Adjust your hashtag strategy accordingly by focusing on the ones that are proving to be the most effective for reaching your target audience and boosting sales.

Remember, it’s essential to strike a balance between popular and niche hashtags to increase the visibility and reach of your book on Instagram. Experiment with different combinations of hashtags, analyze their performance, and refine your strategy over time. By incorporating relevant and trending hashtags effectively, you can amplify your book’s exposure, attract potential buyers, and ultimately boost your book sales on Instagram.

Here’s an example of how a romance author can use hashtags on TikTok to maximize the virality of their posts:

Let’s imagine you’re a romance author promoting your latest contemporary romance novel. Here’s how you can strategically use hashtags:

  • You must include popular romance-related hashtags: Include popular hashtags that are widely used within the romance book community, such as #romancenovels, #bookishromance, or #romancebooks. These hashtags have a large following and can help your content reach a broader audience of romance readers on TikTok.
  • Base this out with genre-specific hashtags: Incorporate hashtags specific to the sub-genre or theme of your romance novel. For example, if your book is a second-chance romance, use hashtags like #secondchanceromance, #rekindledlove, or #forgottenlove. This allows you to target an audience specifically interested in that type of romance story.
  • Change it up with hashtags that examine romantic themes: Utilize hashtags that represent popular romantic themes in your novel. For instance, if your book features an enemies-to-lovers trope, include hashtags like #enemiestolovers, #lovehate, or #fromrivalrytoredemption. These hashtags attract viewers who enjoy those specific themes and increase the likelihood of your content being discovered by the right audience.
  • Create hashtags for specific book titles or series: If you have a published book or a series, create a unique hashtag that represents it. For example, if your book series is called “Love in the City,” use a hashtag like #LoveInTheCitySeries. Encourage readers and fans to use this hashtag when they talk about your book or create related content, allowing you to track and engage with user-generated content.
  • Always try to participate in romance-related challenges: Keep an eye on trending challenges on TikTok and participate in those that are relevant to romance or writing. For example, if there’s a challenge about sharing your favorite romantic scenes from books, join in and incorporate your own book or favorite romance novels. Use the associated challenge hashtag, such as #RomanticSceneChallenge, to connect with a broader audience participating in the challenge.
  • Engage with the romance book community: Like, comment, and share content from other TikTok users within the romance book community. Engage with fellow romance authors, book reviewers, or book clubs by leaving thoughtful comments or participating in discussions. This helps you build connections and attract followers who are interested in romance novels, increasing the visibility of your own content.

  • Consistently research and follow relevant hashtags: Stay up-to-date with popular hashtags within the romance book community on TikTok. Follow hashtags like #BookTokRomance or #RomanceRecommendations to discover trending content and engage with users who share similar interests. This research enables you to stay connected with the community and tailor your content and hashtags to align with current trends.

By implementing these strategies and incorporating relevant hashtags into your TikTok posts, you can increase the visibility of your romance novel-based posts, attract new readers, and engage with a passionate community of romance book enthusiasts on TikTok.

Because there is so much variety out there, I haven’t bothered writing about the most popular hashtags for authors. It completely depends on you, your books, and your brand. I have compiled some great hashtag websites, though. I like these ones, but honestly, if you find anything else, please post a comment to share with our community. After all, sharing is caring.

NOTE: These are just my personal opinions and are meant to be used to help you, not as a definite instruction manual. The opinions or views expressed here are not intended to treat or diagnose issues; nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed professional. Neither Patreon nor I am responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions.

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