Are Twitter Hashtags Useful?

I signed up for my first Twitter account almost five years ago while attending a technology conference. A few of my colleagues were really excited so I decided to join too. After all, I work in educational technology so I should be jumping on the bandwagon, right? My first hashtag was #ttix. At the time I had no idea what hashtags, back channels, or lists meant. I think I only made a few tweets and stopped.

Fast forward to November 2012. I decided to start using my Twitter account again as I was getting ready to start my online writing presence. I found it very hard to navigate the millions of tweets that would post steadily all day long. I was having information overload. I don’t know about you but I was frustrated with Twitter. I couldn’t see how I could make it useful for me. I read lots of articles on how Twitter could help me with my writing and bring followers to my website. To tell you the truth I was overwhelmed. I am sure I was making more mistakes than anything.

I finally realized that the #hashtag was my friend. I have no idea why it hadn’t dawned on me before. I could find a lot of what I was looking for and suddenly Twitter was useful to me. I could find out information on conferences, what editors and agents were looking for, new books to read, etc. I could search for others out there with my same interests and connect with them. Twitter was for me. Now some of you may be laughing right now because you saw this right off the bat. I needed more time to process what it was going to do for me.

As a writer I’ve been using certain hashtags to help myself find information online and to share what I post with the community. Here is the list of hashtags I use. One word of advice that I’ve seen in most places is that you don’t want to overuse them. Don’t use more than 3 hashtags per tweet.

#MondayBlogs
#TellMeTuesday
#TTT (Top Tuesday)
#WW (Writer Wednesday)
#IndieThursday
#FF (Friday Follow)
#FridayReads
#Writechat
#LitChat
#AskAgent
#AskAuthor
#AskEditor
#WritingTip
#AmWriting
#AmReading
#AmEditing
#BookLook
#YALitChat
#WIP
#WordCount

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I found several sites with lists of hashtags for writers. Here is one called 100 Twitter Hashtags for Writers to check out.

How are you using hashtags?

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4 Responses

  1. It’s funny–your story is so much like my own! I saw Courtney Summers (a Canadian author) raving about it, signed up and….totally didn’t get it. Of course this was when Twitter just opened it’s doors, so most tweets really were about what a person ate for lunch, etc.

    I am so glad I went back, though. It is such a great way to connect with people and share information. LOVE it!

    Angela

  2. Alison says:

    So I have been avoiding Twitter, not knowing how to best use it to be a help instead of being a time-drain. This helps to see how to focus it. -Thanks.
    I may have to venture in and try it out.

    • R.K. Grow says:

      I agree with you that it does seem like a time-drain but the hashtag is our friend. I had to learn that. You can also create a list and put those you follow into a particular list and then you only need to check that instead of your endless stream of tweet updates.

  3. Luke says:

    #Micropoetry is a collective term for a variety of different forms of short poetry. As a poetic artform, it doesn’t really have any rules. Although it does consists of certain forms of short poetry with fixed rules such as haiku, tanka, senryu and gogyohka.

    Poets do sometimes label their work with hashtags to help. But as there are so many forms/styles of micropoetry, and with the limited twitter space, tags can vary wildly and sometimes poems are not tagged at all. This makes discovering poetry on twitter quite a task.

    I’ve made a hashtag guide for twitter poets, with descriptions of hashtags andexamples from twitter.

    http://micropoetry.com/twitter-micropoetry

    I hope you find this interesting?

    Luke

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