Most, if not all social media platforms include hashtags. 
 
The multipurpose wonders are built to build connections and readerships. They can be used to track interests, discuss trending topics and improve organic reach of social media accounts. 
 
It can be hard to organically grow impressions on a social media account; many authors turn to advertisements. Hashtags can offer a free alternative when used correctly, although it is important to avoid overusing them. 
 
Pages can begin to look ‘spammy’ when to many hashtags which can harm reputation and trust. Instagram frowns upon ‘hashtag stuffing’ and penalises accounts which do so. 
 

Grow a Community 


Hashtags can be used to grow a community of dedicated readers and writers. The #WritingCommunity hashtag is used by new writers on Twitter to connect. Questions are asked on the hashtag and advice given. Writers share each other’s content and use the hashtag to constantly network. This is just one example of a growing community through a hashtag. 
 
Find readers through relevant hashtags to your book and join in with conversations. Engage with questions and certify yourself as an expert within the industry/book genre. Use hashtags to communicate with your community the same way you would via message. 
 

Trending Topics 


On Twitter especially, hashtags are often created to do with trending recent events. 
 
Engage with the right trends that are relevant to your author persona and books. Always be keeping an keep an eye out for hashtags relevant to the writing industry. 
 
Supporting hashtags that have a good motive behind them can improve an author’s reputation and spread awareness on important topics. 
 
Disney and Make-a-wish collaborated to form the #Shareyourears campaign on Twitter. Disney encouraged people to take pictures in mickey mouse ears and post with the hashtag. The hashtag quickly trended and gained huge interest from Twitter users. This is just one example of a trending campaign which could have been used in your own book marketing.

#Shareyourears


Create Hashtags 


Creating hashtags reeks many benefits. 
 
They can be used to monitor performance of a book marketing campaign. As the hashtag is used by accounts, your social media presence will grow and potential readers will become more aware of it. 
 
When creating a hashtag try to think of a phrase which people will be willing to include within their own posts. Make it catchy, unique and memorable. Brainstorm some ideas and don’t rush to a decision. Use it in as many as your own posts as possible, this will grow awareness of the hashtag. Share posts where your followers are using your hashtags to encourage other accounts to do the same.

Improve Reach 


Reach on social media is all about how many people see your posts. Although, it is also about being seen by the right people. You can use hashtags to attract a desired audience. 
 
It is hard to improve organic reach of posts but by using precise and relevant hashtags more people will come across your posts. Observe what other people are doing, use similar hashtags to them. 
 
Certain hashtags, such as #writerslift are often scrolled through by book agents in search of a potential successful author. These hashtags are used by writers to promote their work and often improve the reach of author social media accounts. 
 
 
Reach
 

Giveaways and Competitions 


If you want a quick way to boost engagement on social media, use giveaways. 
 
Create a hashtag relevant to your competition for users to share and increase potential participation. Make it in the rules of the competition that they must use your hashtag on a post, perhaps alongside a picture of them holding your book. 
 
You can also use competition hashtags to track entries to your competition and engage with existing participants. A successful competition is all about creating hype and using hashtags is an excellent way to do so. 
 

Track your Hashtag 


When it comes to giveaways or creating hashtags you should use services such as Ritetag (https://ritetag.com/) so you can gauge interest in your hashtags. It is important to monitor engagements on your hashtags so you can see how the reach of your posts is improving.
 
Ritetag


There are three main metrics to analyse when it comes to book marketing with hashtags: mentions, views and followers. 
 
Mentions will increase if you have created an enticing hashtag that users want to engage with. Making sure your hashtag is memorable and easily included at the end of a sentence may increase mentions.
 
Views on your posts should be compared before and after a hashtag campaign so you can judge if it has been successful. The ultimate indicator of a successful campaign would be an increase in followers. An increase in following shows a clear interest from potential readers.  
 

Book Marketing Hashtags


There are many different book marketing hashtags used by authors, some to connect with fellow writers and others with readers.
 
These hashtags are used by the writing community as a central place to ask for advice and share guidance:
 
  • #helpthewriters
  • #amwriting
  • #amediting
  • #WritingCommunity
  • #WritersCafe
  • #writerslife
  • #WriterWednesday

These hashtags are used by writers when they are need of a prompt or push to continue writing:
 
  • #WritingPrompt
  • #StoryStarter
  • #wordcount
  • #writingsprint

These hashtags can be used to pose a question directly to a professional:
 
  • #AskEditor
  • #AskAgent
  • #AskAuthor

When looking to gather fans or writers within a certain book genre, these hashtags can be used:
 
  • #YA
  • #Horror
  • #Kidlit
  • #LitFic
  • #HistFic
  • #Crime
  •  #Thriller
  • #Suspense
  • #DarkFantasy
  • #SciFiChat
  • #ShortReads
  • #flashfiction

If you are looking to network with other writers looking for publication or offer your own advice, use these hashtags:
 
  • #PubTip
  • #SelfPublishing
  • #SelfPub
  • #GetPublished
  • #Publishing

Final Thoughts


Hashtags should be included in any book marketing strategy due to the potential they hold. Reach of posts is one of the hardest aspects of promoting a book on social media and authors often spend a lot of money to increase views. When done correctly, hashtags can offer a cheap alternative to increase organic views.
 
Remember to avoid ‘hashtag stuffing’ with using at most three hashtags per post. Overdoing this can damage your reputation and actually reduce the amount of people who see your content.