In our blog post How to (Really) Use Hashtags, we discussed what hashtags are, what they are used for and the types of hashtags. The first and most important rule of using hashtags is relevance.
Here, we will discuss how the usage of hashtags differs in the three major social media platforms: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and how this knowledge can help in marketing for self-published books.
01. Using Hashtags on Twitter
On Twitter, hashtags play the important role of helping you organize and sort out your tweets. As an author marketing your book, you can use Twitter hashtags as an easy way to discover people who would be interested in the content you create. By using relevant hashtags in the proper context, you can build a small community of enthusiastic readers and create a buzz around your books.
Engage in popular twitter hashtags
From your Twitter Search page, you can easily find the trending hashtags in your region and discover what people are talking about. You can then use these trending hashtags to promote your book—if it is relevant to your book. Most marketers fail to do their research on Twitter trending hashtags, incorporating those hashtags to their brand promotion, and end up getting a lot of backlash from the Twitter community.
Make sure you don’t take sensitive issues to your advantage. You can use harmless but relevant trending hashtags like #NaNoWriMo2021 for your book marketing.
Celebrate relevant holidays and events
In order to correctly use Twitter and establish a following, you need to stay active. You need to engage with other Twitter users and start discussions. Use Twitter hashtags to celebrate important events and occasions, even holidays—and make it fun whenever possible. If your main character is a huge fan of shawarma, you can tweet something interesting on October 15th with the hashtag #NationalShawarmaDay.
Avoid using too many hashtags in one tweet
As much as you want to be discovered, you should also avoid appearing spammy and suspicious. Avoid using too many hashtags in a single tweet. According to Sendible, engagement drops by 17% when there are 3 or more hashtags in a single tweet.
02. Using Hashtags on Instagram
Instagram gives users the option of following hashtags that they like, and popular posts tagged with these hashtags will come up on their Instagram feed. Instagram hashtags are the most effective way of increasing brand awareness within the platform, as more users rely on hashtags to discover good content.
Incorporate multiple hashtags into your post captions
While it is best to use a maximum of 2 to 3 hashtags on Twitter, you are encouraged to use a lot more hashtags on Instagram, as long as they are relevant. This would maximize the reach and engagement of your posts, being discoverable by users across the world. But if you think using many hashtags in your post caption makes it look cluttered and disorganized, you can type those hashtags in the comments section of your post.
Keep track of Instagram hashtag analytics
Instagram hashtag analytics gives you useful insights as to how your posts are affected by the use of hashtags. While it helps you get an idea on how the reach of your posts vary, it also gives you only the general impact of all the hashtags incorporated within your post. In order to get more specific data, you can use a third-party like Later’s Hashtag Analytics, which gives you the impact of each hashtag you’ve used.
Include your brand hashtag in your Instagram bio
Instagram now allows you to include clickable hashtags in your bio, just link website links. If you’re using a brand-specific hashtag, make sure you introduce it to your followers by including it in your bio, where they can click to see the posts relevant to it.
03. Using Hashtags on Facebook
Much like on Twitter and Instagram, in order to incorporate hashtags into your Facebook posts, simply start typing the most important keywords after the ‘#’ sign, and Facebook will suggest trending hashtags that are similar to it. Using hashtags on Facebook is also a way of categorizing your post for search engines, making it more discoverable by your target audience.
Use branded or industry-specific hashtags
Join in the ongoing conversations by including branded and trending hashtags that are relevant to you. While hashtags on Facebook have not caught on like in other social media platforms, they will still make a significant impact on your posts.
“I recommend industry specific hashtags and creating your own if they will be relevant to your audience,” says Peg Fitzpatrik, co-author of The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users.
Using brand-specific hashtags—which you create yourself—will also help people identify you across many social media platforms.
Limit the number of hashtags
Unlike on Instagram, limit the number of hashtags used on Facebook. Use a maximum of 2-3 hashtags in each post, and make sure they are the most relevant ones, instead of spamming your followers with a bunch of useless tags. Also remember to keep your hashtags to the end of your post, instead of replacing many words within the text of your post with hashtags.
Sharika Hafeez is a nerd, and she’s proud of it. Growing up, she fell in love with books and writing, and is currently following her undergraduate degree (for some mysterious reasons) in Physics. She likes procrastinating by watching the stars with a steaming cup of tea, composing poetry in her head.