15 Twitter and Instagram #Hashtags for Connecting with Readers

Anyone who has used social media for a while will be familiar with #hashtags and their purpose. Nevertheless, just in case someone new to social media is reading this, here is a brief overview.

Hashtags are a way for users to highlight content as being relevant to defined topics, themes, events, conversations, etc. In effect a hashtag is the equivalent of a keyword that people use in descriptions of their product or service. Hashtags always commence with the # sign. This is immediately followed, without any space, gap, or punctuation, by the defining text. Where the text comprises more than one word, these must be strung together, again without any space, gap, or punctuation. Unless this is done the systems that monitor hashtags will not be able to read the full content. They will only recognise the #and immediately following text. For example: #authorevent will be read in its entirety and therefore indicate the content is related to exactly that: an author event. However, if the hashtag is written as #author event, only the #author part will be recognised. Consequently, though the content will be identified as relevant to authors it will not serve the user’s intent to draw attention to some event.

Hashtags are also a means by which anyone interested in a specific topic, subject, theme, etc., may locate content relevant to it and where they may also find people with similar interests. Hashtags first came into use in 2007 and have since grown exponentially in popularity. Further information may be found in the previous Hashtags (#) article.

Though initially introduced for use with Twitter tweets, where they remain very popular, most social media sites have since adopted the facility, some to a greater extent than others. Twitter and Instagram users remain the most prolific users of hashtags consequently, the decision was made to concentrate on those two for this article. Consideration will be given to expanding the reach, if there is subsequent demand for insights into the use of hashtags with other social media platforms.

Some may ask why this discourse only focuses on 15 hashtags? The majority of articles relating to hashtags tend to simply provide a little background followed by endless lists of tags without any further insight. This does not really assist potential users of the tags. The intent here and in subsequent similar articles is to provide some general observations with respect to each of the named hashtags, thereby enabling the user to make a more considered decision.

As the title implies, this article focuses upon a few hashtags authors may use to connect with readers. It is proposed, over time, to publish additional articles related to various different authoring hashtag styles e.g. for connecting with fellow authors and writers; for connecting with self-publishing authors; for marketing books, etc.

One thing to always remember is the purpose of hashtags: to assist people (in this case primarily readers) in finding what they are looking for e.g. their next read in a genre they enjoy; writing insights; connecting with likeminded people; engaging with authors they enjoy, etc.

Regrettably, many authors abuse the hashtag facility by utilising inappropriate ones in an attempt to boost their self-promotional tweets and posts. To provide the information below, many #hashtags were examined and many had to be discarded because of this inappropriate use. Users (authors in this instance) should bear in mind a major constituent of social media is: to build relationships; to share meaningful content ; to engage in a positive manner; to relevantly contribute; etc. Of course, provided it is minimal within non-promotional hashtags, the occasional mention by an author of their own work may be acceptable but they should keep in mind, doing so may in fact put people off, especially if the content is not relevant to the hashtag. Constant advice is for people to remain on topic when contributing to a discussion.

Now to the primary subject of this article. The following should be noted before perusing the table below:

Hashtag choice: Many hashtags have been examined. The aim is to provide fifteen relevant and usable options authors may utilise for connecting with readers. With the existence of hundreds, probably thousands, of hashtags it is not easy to find the most relevant but it is hoped the ones listed will assist those reading this article to achieve their aim.

General observations: These are based upon casual examination of a selection of tweets and Instagram posts which utilise the tag.

Popularity: The popularity of a hashtag has been determined through general observation and a few statistics encountered. The writer in unable to guarantee complete accuracy of the rating. Some of the tags listed below are top level under which users may also discover sub tags that may be more appropriate to purpose.

Reader chat: Readers sharing about their lives; books read or waiting to be read; reading experiences; and some miscellaneous insights or thoughts. Other similar identifiers are equally general and hopefully self-explanatory.

Gender: Though the percentage breaks appear similar for all the hashtags it is not so in all instances.

Age range: Again, the split may appear similar throughout, however, there are marked differences in some instances.

#HashtagTwitter
(General
Observations)

Instagram
(General
Observations)
Gender
(Approximate
Split)
Primary User
Age Range
#bookcommunityPopular
Book sharing.
Reader chat.
Popular
Reader life.
Reader chat.
Book sharing.
F – 66%
M- 34%
TW & INST
18-34
#readingcommunityPopular
Reader book
recommends.
Semi-popular
General reader
and reading chat.
F – 45%
M – 55%
TW – 18-34 +
percentage 35-54
INST – 18-34
#bookishMostly promotion.
Some book sharing.
Popular
Reader chat.
F – 55%
M – 45%
TW & INST
18-34
#mustreadMostly dirt book
marketing with
occasional author
interviews.
Book promotion.
Reading recommends.
Some reader chat.
F – 49%
M – 51%
TW – 18-44
INST – 18-34
#bibliophileReader chat.
Book recommends.
Popular
Reader recommends.
Reader chat.
F – 49%
M – 51%
TW – 18-54
INST – 18-34
#booknerdReader chat.Reader chat.F – 57%
M – 43%
TW – 18-34 +
limited 35-54
INST – 18-34
#booksbooksbooksPopular
Reader recommends.
Popular
Reader recommends
and reviews.
F – 56%
M – 44%
TW – 18-64
INST – 18-34
#bookloversReader chat.
Some reader recommends.
Popular
Reader chat.
F – 52%
M – 48%
TW – 18-44 +
limited 35-54
INST – 18-34
#lovebooksBook recommends.
Reader chat.
Reader life.
Reader chat.
F – 49%
M – 51%
TW – 18-54
INST – 18-34
#bookpicBook chat.General book chat.
Reader life.
TW: F – 100%
INST:
F – 55%
M – 45%
TW – 25-34
INST – 18-34
#readerlifeLimited number
of tweets.

Reader chat.
Reader recommends.
Reader chat.
F – 49%
M – 51%
TW – 25-34
INST – 18-34
#booksaremylifeBook sharing.
Reader chat.
Book reviews.
Reader chat.
TW: M – 100%
INST:
F – 55%
M – 45%
TW – Unclear
INST – 18-34
#bookcrazyBook sharing.Book sharing.TW: Unknown
INST:
F – 55%
M – 45%
TW – Unclear
INST – 18-34
#readmoreReader chat.Book reviews.
Reader chat.
F – 49%
M – 51%
TW – 18-54
INST – 18-34
#fridayreadsBook sharing.Book sharing.
Reader chat.
F – 53%
M – 47%
TW – 18-44
INST – 18-34
#bookreadBook sharing.Book sharing.
Reader chat.
TW: F – 100%
INST:
F – 55%
M – 45%
TW – 18-24
INST – 18-34

Some other things to note:

Professional and experienced advice is to utilise a mix of popular and less popular hashtags. Popular ones will provide broader exposure but at the same time mean the tweet or post may easily get lost among the preponderance of content. Less popular tags will help the tweet or post gain higher profile and therefore, hopefully, greater attention.

There is also the matter of language. In Twitter the language utilised is primarily English whereas with Instagram there is a considerable mixture. This may impact upon how usable a hashtag is for gaining the attention the author seeks.

Anyone may create a hashtag consequently the list of available options is endless. Prior to utilising one users are advised to check it out by entering the tag (with the #) in the respective site’s search bar and examine the tweets and posts that come up.

Related articles, which readers of this may also find helpful:

Hashtags (#)Provides further background and information.

Best Times for Posting on Social MediaProvides a general guide to optimum posting times.


5 thoughts on “15 Twitter and Instagram #Hashtags for Connecting with Readers

  1. Hi Tanya,
    I thought this was very helpful. There are a few common ones I use to the contents of my books, but I didn’t know much about these ones and what kind of community they are. I use #writerscommunity and #books quite a bit I have an instagram account but I think it is set up for automatic posts. I do use Twitter every day, however. Hense, a valuable lesson for me.
    Thanks,
    Amy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for letting me know Amy. So good to get some feedback. I have used Twitter for years and thought it was about time to have a closer look at hashtags and whether they are effective. Many looked at proved not worthy of spending time on. Surprising how many there are. There will be another article soon about hashtags authors may utilise to connect with other authors and why it is a good idea to do so.

      Like

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