Friday, March 14, 2014

Popular Hashtags and How to Use Them Effectively with Edie Melson 
Hashtags can be a confusing concept, so today I’m sharing a list of popular hashtags and how to use them effectively.

First, lets back up and evaluate the reason we’re all working at building an online presence. We are looking to deepen existing relationships and build new ones. But building new ones can be difficult if the only people we interact with are those we already know, either online or in person.

We can get a little bit of exposure to new folks by our existing connections introducing us, but that’s a time consuming way to go about it.

What if there was a way for someone to search a given social media network by topic and find new, interesting people to interact with? That would be a great way to grow our connections.

THAT, in the simplest of terms, is the purpose of using hashtags.

When you compose a social media update that includes one or two hashtags that summarize the topic, you are giving folks a way to find you.

For example, I’m working on a new series of Steampunk novels. Because of that, targeting a specific type of reader—one who reads Steampunk. I find those readers within the larger group of people who read science fiction (ABA – secular) or speculative fiction (CBA – Christian).

Here’s a sample tweet I might send out, targeted at those specific readers: 

Step-by-step instructions to help you turn a plain top hat into a #Steampunk masterpiece! Via @EdieMelson #Specfic

Let’s break down how I composed this update. I know that the Steampunk community loves to create costumes. So I’m giving them information they’d find useful and interesting.

     I used #Steampunk so that anyone searching Twitter for others who are interested in this genre can find me.
     I also included @EdieMelson, because on Twitter, that is a clickable link that takes them directly to my Twitter page.
     Finally I used #specfic, because that’s the hashtag for speculative fiction to pull in readers who might find this interesting.
     If I was targeting the general market reader, instead of #specfic, I would have used #scifi.

NOTE: Use # (hashtags) to denote a subject, and use @ (at sign) to denote a person or organization. With organizations, you’ll find some that hashtag their names and others use the @ sign.

Twitter isn’t the only social media network that has hashtags. You can use hashtags in the same manner on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.

Hashtag Etiquette
Try to never use more than three hashtags in any one tweet. If you can make it two that’s even better. Otherwise you end up looking like a used car sales man. If you’re trying to reach more groups, schedule multiple tweets, at different times, about the same subject and target your groups two at a time.

Always research your hashtag before you use it. Never assume it’s the correct one. For example, I was targeting military families with tweets about my devotional for military families and I thought #military would be the logical hashtag. No, turns out that hashtag is frequently used by those trying to date someone in the military. Not really the demographic I was trying to reach. The hashtag I wanted was #militaryfamily and #deployment. The best place to research hashtags is also the easiest, just type it into Google or the search engine of your choice.

Now, I’m going to give you an updated list of popular hashtags. 
This list is extensive, but by no means exhaustive
For readers, the most popular hashtag right now is:
For writers, there are two popular hashtags right now:
If you’re editing something:
If you’re quoting a literary agent:


#Christfic Christian fiction
#devo Christian devotion
#devotion Christian devotion


#flashfic flash fiction
#fridayflash  flash fiction on a Friday

#Indiauthor self-publishing
#Indiepub self-publishing
#JesusTweeters from believers
#MBTWriMo My Book Therapy NaNoWriMo 
#MyBookTherapy writing community
#nano national novel writing month
#nanowrimo  national novel writing month







#pubtip  publication tips




#vss   very short story

#webfic  web fiction

#weblit   web literature

#wip   work in progress





#writetip  writing advice


#writingtips  writing advice

All of these should help you find the hashtags best suited to your situation.

I’d love to hear from you now. Twitter is ever-changing and hashtags come and they go. What are some of your favorites? Also, if you still have hashtag questions, post them below in the comments section.

Edie’s an author, freelance writer and editor. She’s the co-director of the Blue RidgeMountains Christian Writers Conference, Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy, and Social Media Director for Southern Writer’s Magazine, as well as the Senior Editor for Novel Rocket. Visit her on her blogTwitter, andFacebook.


Jeanne Takenaka said...

This is great, Edie. :) I still find myself retweeting more than creating original tweets. I haven't quite figured out how to create tweets that get interactions going.

I definitely see the value of using hashtags. I need to establish the habit of doing it on Facebook and Pinterest. :)

GREAT post today!

Edie Melson said...

Jeanne, truthfully I need to do MORE retweeting! It's a matter of balance and I definitely think you're on the right track - Blessings, E

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Wow...that is such a great list of hashtags! I always wonder how they who starts one that takes off and goes viral? Such a fascinating thing, really. Thanks for sharing such great advice!

Allison K Flexer said...

Great post Edie! Any suggestions for Christian NONfiction hashtags? Thanks!

Cholay Amine said...

GREAT post , Thank you !

Mary Vee Storyteller said...

Thanks for the information, Edie. Helpful as always!