Let the Force of the #Hashtag Be with You!


Hello Cyber Marketing World. By this time, you’ve noticed hashtag happiness on social media as posters put the pound sign (#) in front of words or phrases to designate a specific topic—and noted that phrases are usually combined as one loooooooong word before the # sign. Do your readers an eyeball favor and use upper and lower case with each word so they will have a clue as to where you are going with your shout out.

Here’s the NO-NO: don’t put the # sign between every other word in a tweet or update. #Don’t #be #that #person. Learn how to hashtag properly, and take advantage of a powerful social media strategy.

#UnderstandTheHashtag (note the upper and lower case use)

It’s not complicated and best to know the purpose of a hashtag before you can get how to use it. Twitter created the hashtag evolution as a way to organize and search content. Now you will find common usage of the hashtag on Facebook, Google+, Google, and other social media platforms. The hashtag is the way to manage and monitor digital content—it’s how “trending” topics are quickly identified and then reshared.

For publicity and news hounds, it’s the “go to” way to find out what’s happening and who is posting. If you are in the stream, you may just be contacted as a source.


Everyone using social media should be using hashtags if you want to be more discoverable! Big brands build hashtags to create and monitor a conversation surrounding a specific topic and their product and/or company name. Individuals use hashtags to either take part in a larger conversation or begin a conversation of their own. I use #AuthorU and #ShortBook often in my postings (along with @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd when I’m referring specifically to my Twitter streams).


You can monitor a hashtag in the search option of Twitter or you can visit sites like Hashtagify.me and check out what’s being talked about, the top influencers, and even usage patterns. Twitter has a specific account that monitors conversations and all things hashtags. Find it at for @hashtag.

#BasicRules of a Hashtag


When getting started with using hashtags for your own purposes, consider these essential rules:

  • Always use the # before your chosen keyword(s).
  • Hashtag can be used within a sentence or tagged on at the end.
    Essential #tips for #SelfPub #authors-listen to podcast:
    Essential tips for selfpub authors-listen to podcast: #tips #selfpub #authors
  • Do not use punctuation or spaces in hashtags. If there are numerous keywords in a hashtag, #PutTheAllTogether in one fluid phrase.
  • Never put characters immediately before the #. For example, it wouldn’t be: author#newbook. Instead, you’d write: #AuthorNewBook
  • Use letters and numbers—don’t go solo with just numbers alone. Using all numbers like #1 will not generate a positive search but #No1InPublishing will.
  • Keep it SHORT! Avoid stringing a lot of words into one hashtag when possible. Use key words that will bring attention from the search engine gods.

Today’s author needs social media marketing. Hashtags create the ideal portal to bring attention to who and what you are doing.




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Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 34 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #34 was published this summer: The CrowdFunding Guide for Authors & Writers. Get your copy.

Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2015, the dates are August 27-29th.  Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at bit.ly/PublishingShow .

Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.


header-logo1.pngAuthor U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join AuthorU.org today.

 If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen.