By Natalie Bright

Twitter is the birthplace of the hashtag. Jack Dorsey (@jack) sent the first tweet on March 21, 2006:

“just setting up my twttr”

Dorsey and his business associates were searching for a way to text on their cell phones, and the word “Twitter” defined exactly what they hoped to achieve.

Twitter has since evolved into an invaluable social media tool for communication and information sharing. The hashtag, pound sign (#) followed by short subject links, has become a way to organize that information.

Today Twitter boasts 200 million users with 140 million daily tweets. It’s an active social media gathering place.

For writers, you can include your tweet as part of the community or group conversation by using hashtags. Your tweet will the become a part of the online chat and is now a searchable link.

For example, tag you might tag posts with:


#kidlit (the genre you write)

#readromance (to link to readers or your genre)




For researchers, discover and follow specific subjects, and find information you need by searching hashtags specific to your needs or genre.

I see a lot of hashtags with broad appeal that are popular and trending, but why not boost your tweets on a local level? Within your city, state, or a tri-state area, you can connect with new fans of your work by using specific hashtags. Spark a conversation, or perhaps build relationships that can turn into a business venture down the line. Do this by using hashtags for local public places, the city names, or topics specific to your book.

To learn more about which hashtags are currently trending and are the most popular, go the and where they also offer analytics for your business.

One of the consistently popular hasgtags on the list: #DWTS and yes, I am a fan. I enjoy watching Dancing with the Stars and reading everybody’s tweets during commercial breaks.

Social media doesn’t have to be stressful. It can be fun work and a great way to build your writing platform.

Tweet me @natNKB – what are some of your favorite hashtags?



Since opening an Instagram account, I’ve become fascinated by the power of the hashtags.

Hashtags are words preceded by the pound symbol (without spaces). These key words or phrases categorize posts. For example I use #TexasPanhandle on every one of my Instragram pictures. Through the use these key words and phrases, you can follow anything of interest including places, people, hobbies, food, fashion, special interest groups, companies, TV shows, movies, etc.

The birthplace of the hashtag symbol first happened on Twitter. Discussions became trackable and content can be organized using hashtags. Twitter hashtags allows for “trends”, or specific topics in conversation that you’d like to follow or become engaged by posting comments.

So how can writers benefit from using hashtags?

Create hashtags for your book titles, character names, author events, or use key topics that relate to your books when you post something.

Social media sites such as Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine utilize hashtags to maximize shareability. Popular hashtags will help you pick up followers who are interested in the same things, and will help you discover new accounts. So what’s popular or trending now, you might ask. Go to to find out.

Follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram! Links are located on the home page of my website at

#havefun #write