After you’ve come up with your brilliant idea on WHAT you will post about, your next step is to figure out the best ways to make your post visible. But how do you do that? The answer to this for most things is #Hashtags. No longer do we live in a world of living and dying through the SEO of our websites, but rather in making ourselves seen in a sea of information on social media.
Steps for Finding #Hashtags:
1) Steal them from other people’s posts. No, seriously, that’s what 97% of all the tools do. Why pay for a service to find hashtags when you can do the legwork yourself? You probably already follow a few authors or artists on Twitter or Instagram. Look at all their hashtags. Click on them and see what kinds of things pop up or do a search by that hashtag.
For instance, on the computer version of Twitter, if you look at the right-hand side of the webpage there are posts for “trending”. You can easily click on that hashtag and see what posts are in there. I did this when I was trying to find creative ways to get my posts out during my USA Today Bestseller run. Since it was in the middle of a pandemic, I found the #healthyathome hashtag. I used it to get more views on my tweet.
You can do the same inside Instagram…which I find easier on the computer than the app. Type in a term and see what it brings up. You may also notice when you post on IG from your phone it will suggest hashtags and give you the total number of posts using that tag. Click on it, check it out. If it looks like your jam, use it!
2) Use tools. There are some free ones out there that can help you see how popular a tag is. Try https://keywordtool.io/instagram
Tag O’Matic is a great app you can download to your phone and search for tags based on ideas.
3) Come up with your own tags revolving around your own material. For instance, when I had a story in the anthology Dragons Within, I made a hashtag #ScoripionsofJustice which is eventually what I changed the title of the story to! For my personal brand I have #womenweaponsmagic and #womenofgritandsteel. It’s good to have one branding hashtag for all your work that you can use for all your tag lists, especially since Twitter is a harder nut to crack due to the limited characters.
People who try to sell you social media planning in those Facebook ads mainly sell you a calendar full of “ideas”. Very few give you curated, custom content. You don’t need those. Not when you have the internet! You can start filling your daily posts with those fun “Daily Tags”. For instance, I use #MotivationMonday and #WomenWednesday. Don’t buy a planner or some other crazy things unless you’ve seen what you are getting and feel like the tool will be useful to you.