Michael Haskins

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


My friend and fellow writer, Ian Walkley, recently gave me a great lesson about getting the most out of Twitter. I thought I'd share it with you. Maybe I'm the only one not aware of the 'hashtags' but I doubt it.

by Ian Walkley

Using hashtags on Twitter can be a way of broadening the reach of your message. They are used by people searching for offers, or others with similar interests. But which hashtags work and which don't? And how should they be used in a tweet?

 I recently saw a tweet with #kindle #amazon #borrow #free #thriller #today #news and five other hashtags that would identify the tweeter. It was a little over the top. Tweeting courtesy suggests you should not use more than three hashtags in a tweet, but in any case sometimes excessive self-promotion works against your offer. Let's say you want to post the availability of an ebook for free. Are you better to use #ebook, or #ebooks; #freeebooks or #free#books? Or some other combination, perhaps #free, #amazon, and #ebook?

You can check out the potential usefulness of each hashtag at http://hashtags.org/ which provides a graph of use over the last seven days and a list of those using it recently.

Now perhaps we might consider #free. Less specific, less targeted, but about fifty times the number of users as #ebooks. This is quite a high percentage, although it looks small, because many tweeters still don't use hashtags. Using several hashtags together can be powerful.   Try a few different words or subject headings and see what works for you.

Ian Walkley is the author of No Remorse. His website is http://www.ianwalkley.com

1 comment:

Kelly Robinson said...

Not only am I familiar with hashtags, I've recently heard a lot of young people using them in actual speech lately! (As in saying the word "hashtag" followed by a phrase. Ex: "Jason dumped me, hashtag mylifesucks.")

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