For those of you who have followed me from the beginning, you know I am not the biggest fan of Twitter. I have found a way to use it to hone my brevity and tighten my prose a little, but even so it and I don’t always get along. All this said, I have learned a number of tricks since I started. I wish I could say I have been smart enough to use them regularly, but at least I know them! So for those of you who started late in the game of tweeting as I did, I hope this posting will come to help you.
Let me start with a few basics that I pretty much never use. Because I had no reason to seek out these tools, it took me an embarrassingly long time to realize they even existed. First is the obvious direct message that goes just to the person in question. @name where you use the twitter handle of whoever you are directing it at. In my case, you would be typing @DXLogan. A more cunning version of this is one which allows your followers to see it. If you add a period at the front, it will then show to anyone who is watching your tweets. How is that useful? Well if it is not something particularly personal or private, it lets others follow what you are doing and that can be a point of interest.
As a writer, this is especially helpful if you thank a person who has commented on your work or mentioned you in some way. Avoid retweeting as this is no different from self-promotion and can easily get annoying over time. For that matter, try to offer slightly different things on twitter and Facebook. Promote your work of course, but offer commentary about longer topics in Facebook and share your thoughts or interesting tweets in twitter. 1 promotion for every 10 other things is a good spread.
And with all of that out of the way, let’s talk about hastags. Dear god these things are endless. Interestingly enough though, there are a large number of them dedicated to being a writer. A lot of them explain themselves well enough, though a few will need to have a bit of clarity added. I will give a few categories below and list out some of the more common writing related hastags.
- #wip (work in progress)
Chats (As I understand it, these are discussions that happen at certain set times, but I haven’t really looked into it well enough to determine how those times are agreed upon.)
- #kidlitchat (children’s literature)
- #yalitchat (young adult literature)
- #vss (very short story, aka: ultra flash fiction)
- #webfic (web fiction)
- #weblit (web literature)
- #askagent (Agent Q&A offers)
- #fridayflash (flash fiction on a Friday)
- #nanowrimo (National novel writing month)
- #pubtip (tips for publication)
So you might have noticed I don’t actually use a number of these that apply to things I do. Most notably #fridayflash. When I am posting, the last thing on my mind tends to be the million hashtag options. Still, it might serve you well to remember these exist and use them to your advantage.