It is my pleasure to introduce you to Ann Smarty. Ann is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann’s expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project, MyBlogGuest.com.
Since writing our books is only one part of our role as writers today, I’m thrilled Ann has agreed to help us all out with using social media to extend our reach.
Utilizing Twitter Hashtags
Before you start reading this article, you need to check out Kathy’s post “Using Twitter Strategically: Itâ€™s All About Making Meaningful Connections” because it discusses the initial stage of utilizing Twitter for book marketing.
This article is taking you to further steps in this direction: Utilizing Twitter hashtags.
I want to take you back a decade. Hashtags were around, but far from the phenomenon they are today. The main service to use them was IRC, which incorporated hashtags for chat groups. While this had its fans, it was not until Twitter launched and began to use them to sort posts in 2007 that the idea really began to take off.
Now, they are everywhere. Instagram, Flickr, and even Facebook are now using it. People add them to posts where there is no technical value as a way to add a secondary context or emotion. Some people – bizarrely – even use them in daily conversations. It is more than a fad; it is a cultural benchmark.
Whether these are personal or professional, creative or technical, the hashtag remains the tool of choice for pushing it into the mainstream consciousness.
If you have been thinking of using the same idea, here are a handful of ways you can make hashtags work for you and your ebook.
Make Good Use of Book-Related Hashtags
How to use popular hashtags below:
1. Monitor hashtags
I am using Tweetdeck to monitor hashtags because it has handy columns and some cool features. I use “Popup alerts” always “On” because it lets me stay up-to-date while still working:
This post explains the process well.
Using a hashtag for a relevant update lets you reach an additional audience of people who are monitoring that tag (see #1 above).
Besides, you can interact with people in the same niche. For example, you can quickly answer a question, congratulate, say hi – and thus build a meaningful connection.
Here are seven hashtags for self-published authors.
One of the best ways to get noticed is by other writers in the community. Offering little tips on writing, especially if you are prolific, is a great start. From discussing ways to improve your ebook formatting, to advice on how to write when not in the mood, you can offer a lot to others in your field. This is a popular hashtag that is used frequently by authors looking for inspiration, or tricks of the trade.
This is a chat for freelance writers, which doesn’t immediately make you a self-published author. But it is still a useful place to discuss common topics with others in the trade. Quite often, ghostwriters will appear in this chat that work in the fiction world. It is held the last Wednesday of every month at 10 AM PST. In April and May it is aimed at bloggers, but the rest of the month is general freelancing and writing.
Want to teach others how to get published? Want to learn yourself? Just looking to improve your results, having already published in the past? This is an incredibly helpful hashtag that is being used more and more these days.
This one is incredibly general. I would suggest using it more for promotion, along with other hashtags related to your already published work. Otherwise, it just leads to endless posts from people promoting their own ebooks. Most of which is spam. If used correctly, this is a fantastic tag. But you have to get creative.
Created by Johanna Harness, this is an ongoing hashtag that covers a conversation that’s been running since 2009. Many, many writers, some using pen names, others under their own names, take advantage of this tag. Pretty much anything related to life and work as a writer are the focus. You aren’t expected to keep up with what has been going on, but instead jump in whenever you can.
Another highly useful hashtag, you can learn a lot about self publication here from people who have already done it. Or use it to create a conversation to really discuss it.
Planning on participating in November’s novel writing month? Connect with others who are doing the same!
Create Your Own: Brand The Hashtag
The first step is choosing your hashtag, and branding it as your own. The tag should, ideally, have the name of your ebook in it. However, this isn’t an absolute must. You can get creative and use anything that is related to the book. For example, it could be about the topic of the book, the name of a city it is centered in, one of the characters, an organization that plays a central story in the plot, etc. The point is to attach it to your brand so it is immediately recognizable.
Start Hyping It Up
Start using the hashtag to promote early on. That means getting others to start talking about it, as well. Talk about it as often as possible, without getting too redundant. Find ways to mention it creatively. Start giving out copies for free in advance of the release to influencers who will be willing to post tweets about it with the hashtag. Link to reviews of the book with the hashtag, and anything else that builds the fire and makes it spread.
Here’s a cool example: Lord Alan Sugar came up with an interesting approach towards making his ebook The Way I See It launch a hit. He invited Twitter followers to use #thewayiseeit hashtag to tweet their rants. Who doesn’t love to tweet rants??? That’s how the branded hashtag becomes a trend!
Multiply Your Platforms
As mentioned before, hashtags are used on all sorts of platforms these days. Try using multiple sites, and take advantage of what they have to offer for features. For example, post some instagram photos about the book, or something on Pinterest with hashtags. Start taking advantage of Facebook’s adoption of the tag. Put it on photos and share those around blogs. Even use media itself as a platform, such as creating videos and infographics with the hashtag on them and in the descriptions.
Twitter Chats: Make It A Buzzword
Ann Smarty is the founder of MyBlogGuest, the community of bloggers who understand the value of high-quality guest blogging. MyBlogGuest offers lots of free features for publishers including plugin for WordPress, Articles Requests, free editing,etc.
Thank you Ann for offering us specific guidelines for using Twitter hashtags and for showing us how they can help us market our books.
How about you? Do you have any ideas for using hashtags to launch and market an ebook?
We’d love to hear from you. Please leave your comments and questions below~
Monday, 3/10/14: “Does Your Memoir Title Pack a Punch?”