Twitter Hashtag Essentials: Popular Keyword Ideas for Writers and Readers

Updated on February 25, 2019
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Lovelli has been on Twitter since 2009. You can follow her at @lovellifuad, leave a like, retweet, add her to your lists, or just say hi.

Do: create your own branded hashtags and use them across your social media accounts.
Do: create your own branded hashtags and use them across your social media accounts.

The hashtag can be an incredible resource on social media. It helps people discover your content and can connect you with like-minded people and industry experts. Therefore, writers need to know more than how to slap one random hashtag at the end of a tweet.

In this hub, we’ll look at some of the trending hashtags on Twitter and how to use them. We’ll look at lists of popular hashtags and figure out some sort of a strategy to implement them. In addition, you should learn how to do hashtag research and measure your results.

Hashtags for Writers – the Basics

First appearing in a tweet in August, 2007, hashtags are now being used widely across major social networks – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and blogs. As social media use has taken off over the years, so has the use of hashtags. In fact, the term itself was officially made a part of the Oxford dictionary in 2010 and the Scrabble dictionary in 2014.

What are they for?

Hashtags are the labels you put on your content and more. Anyone who does a hashtag search could find your public tweet if you add a pound sign (#) with your keyword on it. In short, it increases your post’s visibility. To many, this means readability.

People who browse the social media sift through tweets that are not relevant to them with the help of these guys. There’s only so many tweets out there. Your readers want to get to the latest news or read about their favourite brand, learn about a product, discover tips and expert advice on certain topics.

Uses of hashtags

  • Indexing emotions. It’s a way to express yourself and emphasize on personality. How do you feel when you’re writing that tweet? Ex: #sarcasm #vague #ohnohedidnt.
  • Brand recognition and branded hashtags. Use keywords that identify a particular brand, such as #Ferrari, #Goodreads. Or you’ll use ones created specifically for a brand. For example, McDonald’s tagline #ImLovinIt and that line from Coca Cola’s campaign, #ShareACoke. Some are reserved for certain events, like #Hacktoberfest, #SXSW, #NaNoWriMo, and its tribute #NaNoGenMo.
  • Holidays and celebrations. These hashtags are reserved for special days, like #WorldPizzaDay, #NationalSuperHeroDay, and #TrickOrTreat for Halloween.
  • Recommendations. You’ll find plenty of tweets providing book recommendations, identified by #BestRead, #GreatReads, and #MustRead or asking for recommendations with #WhatToRead.
  • Connecting with like-minded people. Look out for chats and keywords that point to certain genres with keywords such as #KidLit, #MemoirChat, or #IndieAuthors. You’ll find communities of authors and readers with hashtags like #SciFiWriters, #PoetryCommunity, #SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators) or through statements like #PoetryIsNotDead.
  • Topics that pertain to your readers. General popular culture topics and general interest topics are common hashtags. Think #GameOfThrones and breaking news events.
  • Finding the experts. Some examples are #AskAgent, #PubTip, and #PromoTip.
  • Call outs. Editors and publications use hashtags to ask for their followers to contribute to a story with certain keywords in their response. NPR did this with #RaceOnTech; New York Times searched for snowstorm reports with #NYTsnow. These can be time-based, like using #ShakeOut for posts related to earthquake drills.

Do: Look for fresh hashtags. This is #GoodDrunk from Dublin.
Do: Look for fresh hashtags. This is #GoodDrunk from Dublin. | Source

Hashtags: Expectation vs Reality

The engagement we’re looking to foster are clicks, retweets, favourites, and replies. Twitter has this trends section it compiles based on location. And sometimes you’ll find a hashtag on that list. With enough momentum, a hashtag becomes a trend in certain countries, depending on where your location is set.

But just because it’s trending doesn’t mean that you should squeeze it into an unrelated tweet. One, this might come off as annoying and could even get you banned from certain social media platforms. Two, recent research studies show that if you use more than the recommended hashtags on a single tweet, the number of engagement goes down with each hashtag you add.

Trending topics on the Twitterverse

A Buddy Media study suggests using keywords that people use when they’re searching for a particular topic. Tweets with relevant hashtags had two times more engagement and 55% more retweets than those without. Mention discovered these hashtags were the most popular in 2017: #giveaway #quote #win #marketing #travel. Meanwhile, HubSpot listed these out of the 25 best hashtags to get likes: #photography #happybirthday #internationalwomensday #pets #friends #piday #funny #contest and #tuesdaymotivation.

Twitter initially recommends using no more than three in one tweet, but later suggests just two. A Buffer report on social blog shows that using more than two hashtags causes engagement to drop by 17%.

Don't be a 'hashtag abuser'

While you don’t want to be wasting your time online, you’ll find it useful to be aware of the following types of hashtags abuse and refrain from committing one:

  • Hashtag stuffing: Using too many hashtags in one single tweet.
  • Full sentence hashtag: This isn’t how it works. You shouldn’t hashtag an entire sentence.
  • Every event hashtagger: Labelling every single thing you do with keywords like #breathing, #walking, #cooking, #sleeping, and other unrelated events.
  • Hashtag spamming: Don’t use the pound sign with every word in a tweet.
  • Unrelated hashtag: Mismatching the content of your tweet and the hashtags you’re using. This won’t help you get the attention you deserve.
  • Spelled hashtag: Don’t spell out the k-e-y-w-o-r-d like this. Use a pound sign like everyone else.

Stick to Your Hashtag Strategy

Yes, you can create a hashtag if you cannot find one. However, I don’t recommend this for every single hashtag you use, unless you’ve got a small business and you need to launch your products, promote your brands, manage online contests, or create sponsored events – usually on a larger scale.

It’s hard to tell if your brand new hashtags are going to be popular. Just like any other products, you’ll want to promote these guys in order to get people to use them. So your best hashtag strategy is to stick to using relevant hashtags in your tweets and monitoring your results.

Don't: Randomly assign an unrelated hashtag to your tweet.
Don't: Randomly assign an unrelated hashtag to your tweet. | Source

The rule of thumb is 80/20 – 80% for informing, educating, and entertaining your audience, and the remaining 20% to promote your work. You can already maintain a balanced online presence if you do this consistently. Now all you need to do is keep your list of generic hashtags in check. You’ll also want to keep a list of specific hashtags to use when talking about your work.

Useful Twitter hashtags to improve visibility

According to HubSpot, an analysis of millions of tweets found some hashtags on Twitter with a 1,065% increase in engagement. In general, these popular hashtag searches increase tweet impressions, leading to more likes, more replies, more retweets. They also found that tweets with hashtags that provide insight into the content (ex: #photography, #pets) were performing well.

Below is a generic list of days-of-the-week hashtags and hashtags holidays that you can keep and use to categorize your tweets.

Generic Hashtags for Every Day of the Week

Days Hashtags
#MondayMotivation #MondayMorning, #MCM, #ManCrushMonday, #MondayFunday, #MusicMonday, #MondayMemories, #MountainMonday, #MindfulMonday, #MeowMonday, #MarketingMonday, #ManicMonday, #ManicureMonday, #MondayBlues
#TuesdayMotivation, #TeaserTues, #PoetTues, #TravelTuesday, #TuesdayThoughts, #TuesdayTreat, #TransformationTuesday or #tt, #TipTuesday, #TravelTuesday, #GoodNewsTues, #TrendyTuesday, #TopicTuesday, #TuesdayShoesday, #TuesdayTreat, #TuneTuesday or #TuesdayTunesDay, #TongueOutTuesday or #TOT, #TakeMeBackTuesday or #TimehopTuesday
#WriterWednesday, #WednesdayWisdom, #WellnessWednesday, #HealthyHumpDay or #WednesdayWorkout, #WomanCrushWeds, #HumpDay, #WisdomWednesday, #WayBackWednesday, #WoofWednesday, #WineWednesday
#ThursdayThoughts, #ThrowbackThursday, #TBT, #ThankfulThursday, #Thursdate, #ThursdayThoughts, #ThinkPositiveThursday, #ThirstyThursday, #ThursdayVibes
#FollowFriday, #FridayReads,#FlashbackFriday, #FridayFeeling, #StoryFriday, #FF or #FeatureFriday, #FBF or #FlashbackFriday, #FridayFunday, #FreebieFriday, #FunnyFriday, #FearlessFriday, #FridayReads, #FoodieFriday, #FridayNight, #ShabbatShalom, #FeelGoodFriday, #Friyay, #FridayVibes, #FridayFeeling, #TGIF
#SaturdayShoutout, #SaturdayMorning, #Caturday, #SaturdaySwag, #SocialSaturday, #ShoutoutSaturday, #SalesSaturday, #SaturdaySpecial, #SaturdaySale, #SaturdayStyle, #SaturdaySweets, #SaturdayNight
#SS, #SelfieSunday, #SundayFunday, #SundayRead, #StartupSunday, #SpotlightSunday, #SelfcareSunday, #SundaySweets #SundaySweat, #SundaySpecial, #SundaySale

November 2018 Holiday Hashtags

Holiday Hashtags
Thursday, Nov 1
Sunday, Nov 4
Thursday, Nov 8
Tuesday, Nov 13
Friday, Nov 16
Saturday, Nov 17
Tuesday, Nov 20
Saturday, Nov 24
#ShopSmall #SmallBusinessSaturday
The November holiday hashtag is taken from Sprout Social's calendar.
Do: Research your hashtags before using them.
Do: Research your hashtags before using them. | Source

Specific Hashtags for Writers (and Readers)

Connecting with authors
#AuthorConfession #AuthorLife
#PBLitChat (picture books only)
#SciFiChat #ScriptChat #SteampunkChat
#WANA (We Are Not Alone Community) #WriteChat #WritingParty #WritersLife
The experience of writing
#10MinNovelists #5amWritersClub
#AmEditing #AmRevising #AmWriting
#Copywriting #CreativeWriting
#EditGoal #Editing
#StoryCrafter #StoryPitch #StorySocial
#WIP #WordCount #WriteFightGIFClub #WriteGoal #Writers #WritersBlock #Writing #WritingAdvice #WritingBlitz #WritingPrompt #WritingSprint #WritingTips #WroteToday
#Bibliophile #BookAddict #BookBuzz #BookGiveaway #BookLovers #Books #BookWorm
#FreeBooks #FreeDownload #FreeReads
#GoodReads #GreatReads
#WeekendReader #WhatToRead
Finding Experts
#AskAgent #AskAuthor #AskEditor
#PromoTip #Publishing #PubTip #PubTip
#SelfPub #SelfPublishing
#WriteTip #WritingMotivation #WritingTips

All of these hashtags can be used on other social media platforms as well – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and blog posts. So if you’re lazy you can just keep a generic list and copy and paste them everywhere, but stick to the hashtag rules for each platform. Occasionally, you also want to include hashtags that are used to correspond to writing challenges, such as these common ones: #1K1H, #PoetryMonth, #WordAThon, and #PoetryRX.

How to Use Hashtags on Twitter

  • No spaces or punctuation, please, or the hashtags won’t work. You need to keep your hashtags short enough to leave room for your content. It’s easier to remember.
  • Use relevant and popular (but unbranded) hashtags. You can check if a keyword is popular by typing the hashtagged keyword into Twitter search. You’ll discover the content and accounts related to your interest. This search mechanism works on other social media platforms as well.
  • Connect with other authors in your niche. With specific keywords, you can join in on the conversations related to your genre and connect with other writers. This will also help your readers get to know you better.
  • Share your milestones. Sold your first copy? Signed your book contract? Got a work translated into Farsi? These accomplishments should be announced.
  • Use book-related hashtags when you’re promoting your work, and inform your readers of any discounts, giveaways, or contests that your publisher might have.
  • Provide insight to your answers and questions. When you post an answer on Twitter, add relevant hashtags, especially if they are useful information other people might be looking for.
  • Be consistent with your hashtags. Use your hashtags properly to increase visibility. They can appear at the beginning, middle, or tail-end of your tweets.
  • Hashtag research. Find the perfect hashtags for your tweets. You can use free online tools or look at accounts that are similar to yours and see what hashtags they are using.

Sources and Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Lovelli Fuad


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