If youâ€™re ‘old school’ and prefer the typical â€˜word of mouthâ€™ way of spreading news or finding out information then maybe you should stop and have a quick read.
I know that social media and networking may seem a little daunting and the idea of throwing yourself into the unknown is a little scary but bear in mind â€“ the beauty that is the hashtag. #TimeToConnect. Okay, so I may have just slipped that in for the sake of it but I want to show you how youâ€™re no more than a button away from connecting with anyone around the world through one tiny symbol.
You know when youâ€™re sat struggling deciding on what to wear for a night out? Or when youâ€™re wondering what happened on your favourite TV show last night but donâ€™t have time to catch up? Well all you need to do is open up the dreaded Twitter or Instagram and use the ‘#’ with the name of the show, or just simply #outfits and there you go. A whole world of new ideas, or information on something youâ€™ve missed. Similarly, and arguably most importantly for authors, if youâ€™re wanting to spread the word of your blog post or anything to do with your own writing â€“ use the hashtag.
This can cause some confusion. For example, if you have written a blog on baking a cake, you would obviously be inclined to use #cake, #baking and so on. But, imagine how many people have â€˜hashtaggedâ€™ that – and so you will just blend in and sadly disappear in the galaxy that is the Internet. One way around this is to use obscure hashtags so they are less used and therefore your specific post is easier to find. Although this then enables people to find you easier (which is what you want!), youâ€™re then in the danger zone of people not actually searching for your hashtag as you have strayed away from the generic and popular ones.
Similarly, it has been found that the fewer hashtags you use, the more hits you will get. So stick to a specific hashtag, but base it around one that will get a lot of traffic e.g. #cake versus #carrotcake (I’m just sticking to the cake theme from earlier!). This way, you will still gain the people searching for cakes, however you will slightly narrow yours down, therefore placing yourself in a more likely position to be found.
In short, as long as you make them relevant and try to stick to something short and sweet, I would definitely advise the use of them. After all â€“ they are #useful!
Written by Shannon McGinty