Twitter is a conglomerate of things; it is a powerful networking tool, a way to experiment with writing micro-novels, and a delightful place full of wonder and distraction. Whether your goal is to network, increase your follower count, or just to make your feed better, there are plenty of online tools and hashtags that you can use.
Jazzing Up Your Posts
The thing about Twitter is that it’s so in-the-moment; it’s essential to have a sparkling profile at all times, with lots of new and exciting content, or passerbys might wonder if you still exist. There are plenty of tools online for curating content, scheduling your posts, and for making them stand out.
It’s a myth that curating content is the hard part. The internet is such a huge playground, and there are plenty of wonderful articles, apps, sites, videos and other things (some you might not even realise exist) to explore and share with your audience. Tools like Feedly and Bloglovin’ help you to keep track of all of your favourite blogs and topics, and keeping accounts with sites like YouTube and Tumblr can help you to track the other things people are doing on those topics.
Apps like Pocket and Instapaper make it really, really easy to save links—both to read later, and to Tweet, should it take your fancy. Buffer (which has a free option) is my scheduling tool of choice, and it even has some analytics built in. Other scheduling options include Hootsuite and Social Oomph.
Online tools can be useful for identifying who and what (at least according to what computers think) are the major influencers and hashtags are in your field. Don’t rely on these alone, but they’re fun to explore, and can help you to get a comprehensive view of your niche.
Klear is an easy and free tool to identify influencers in any niche, for both Twitter and Instagram. The paid version lets you track hashtags, and monitor your own brand. EpicBeat analyses influencers, hashtags and posts on each topic, showing you who’s doing well and why. BuzzSumo is another great tool for analysing both influencers and content.
Assessing and Increasing Your Influence
It’s hard to figure out how well you’re doing with this whole social media thing, especially when it feels like you’re just making things up as you go along. Klout gives you a score between 1-100 on your social media engagement and influence. By using its browser extension, you can see the Klout scores on every profile, and gauge where you fit. Klout also has great growth-tracking tools.
Other tools that can be helpful for increasing your engagement and following include Tweriod, which is a tool that figures out when your followers are most likely to be online, and then syncs up to Buffer to ensure that your posts go out at the best time. Twitonomy gives you a comprehensive view of your profile, your followers, your engagement and your growth.
Hashtags for Writers
Hashtags are a great way to find other writers, potential readers and communities around the genre of books you write or love. Tracking and participating in these tags can help you make friends and networks and promote your writing. Make sure to look at each tag before using it so you know that your tweet fits in the tag (noting that some tags are used more for conversation, while others are used more for promotion), and not to use too many tags in one tweet.
Publishing, Agents and Industry
- #MSWL – This is the hashtag lots of agents use to describe their ‘manuscript wishlist’. This is a great way to find agents that might want to pick up what you’re putting down.
- #tenqueries – Every once in a while, an agent will use this tag to comment on ten queries and why they’re requesting more or rejecting each submission. This is an interesting insight into the industry.
- #AskAgent, #AskEditor, #AskPub, #AskAuthor – These hashtags can be used for asking people in the industry questions, and for reading the answers to questions other people have asked for you.
- #Publishing – Great for tracking what’s going on in the publishing world, and for learning who’s who.
- #Writing – The general tag, full of banter, articles, quotes, etc. Not everything here is relevant, but a lot of good content finds its way here.
- #AmWriting, #AmEditing – Here, people share their writing adventures (and misadventures!), and encourage each other. This is a great way to find writing buddies.
- #WriteChat – A tag designed for all kinds of writers to chat.
- #1k1h – This hashtag is a challenge to write 1000 words in an hour! Use this to join sprints with other writers.
- #SpilledInk – Here, people share bits of what they have written. Usually, it’s small pieces of prose that they are particularly proud of.
- #WriterWednesday, #WW – Every Wednesday, Twitter-ers use this tag to share something writer-related.
- #NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month is a challenge where writers all over the world attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. The official month is November, and the spin offs, ‘Camp NaNoWriMo’, take place in April and July, but there is some activity in this tag all year round.
Readers and Book Lovers
- #FridayReads – People on Twitter love sharing what they’re planning to read on the weekend! This is a fun hashtag – a great way to find friends and people who might be interested in your book.
- #AmReading – This is where bookworms share what they are reading, with quotes, pictures or opinions.
- #BookHaul – This tag is used when someone buys a bunch of books and they want to share their haul! This can range from 2 to as many books as you can fit into a photo or video.
- #GreatReads, #MustRead – Here, people share books they really enjoyed or ones which have made it onto their favourites.
- #BookTube – BookTube is the YouTube vlogging community for books and reading! It’s very active (especially for YA readers), and this tag is an easy to see who and what is trending.
- #BookWorm, #BookWormProblems
Form and Genre-Specific Hashtags
- Children’s and Middle Grade – #KidLit, #KidLitChat, #MGLit, #MiddleGrade
- Crime – #CrimeWriter, #CrimeNovel, #CrimeFic, #Mystery
- Fantasy – #Fantasy, #DarkFantasy, #UrbanFantasy, #HighFantasy, #Paranormal
- Historical Fiction – #HistFic
- Literary Fiction – #LitFic, #Literature
- Nonfiction – #Nonfiction, #MemoirChat,
- Poetry – #Poetry, #PoetryMonth (April), #MicroPoem and #140Poem (for poems the size of a tweet), #SpilledInk (not always poetry, but often)
- Thriller and Horror – #HorrorFic, #Mystery, #Thriller
- Women’s Fiction and Romance – #WomensFiction, #RomanceWriter, #RomanceWriting, #RomanticSuspense, #Erotica
- Science Fiction – #ScienceFiction, #SciFiChat, #SciFiSunday
- Screenwriting/Playwriting – #ScriptChat
- Short Stories – #ShortStory, #FlashFiction, #Drabble
- Young Adult – #YA, #YALit
Are there any other writerly (or readerly) Twitter tools or hashtags you use? Leave them in the comments below!