Authors, remember when you copy posts between platforms, the hashtags may not mean the same thing or even be relevant.
I am seeing a number of posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that have 30 hashtags, including # AuthorsOfInstagram. That is a sure sign that you created the post for your Instagram audience, and everyone else was an afterthought. (Or worse, perhaps your audience thinks you might not know what you’re doing, or that you’re too lazy to reformat the post for each platform. Gasp!)
You definitely want to re-purpose content, but make sure to reformat the images –square for Instagram, portrait for stories and Pinterest, landscape for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Each platform also has an ideal number of hashtags:
Facebook = 1 -2 (But FB is not hashtag driven, so unless you are in a group with specific hashtag practices, it might not be worth your effort.)
Instagram = up to 30 for posts; however, IG is now recommending 8 – 12 more specific, although the latest analysis shows 20 gets the most reach and 30 gets the best engagement. Same for Reels. The jury is still out for stories, but I’m hiding ~6 in each story just in case.
LinkedIn = 2 – 3
Pinterest is not hashtag driven as it’s a search engine rather than a social media platform, so not needed.
TikTok = as many as you can fit in the character allowance.
Twitter = 2 (Surprise twist! Going over, even with just three tags is having a NEGATIVE impact on post reach and engagement. Use zero, one, or two. No more.)
YouTube = 2 – 3, and they are hyper-linked in both the title and caption, but you may be better off using SEO/keywords and the advanced tools provided in the YT Creator Studio.
Make sure to check on the number of follows or views each hashtag is getting for the platform you use it on. The sweet spot is between 10k – 250k. If you use the most popular tags with millions or billions of views or follows your post will more than likely get lost and no one will see it.
The exception is to create a hashtag of your book title, as that is it’s own convention in the reading and writing communities. # TitleOfYourBook like # ToKillAMockingbird.
I also offer a one-hour Hashtag Strategy workshop. Let me know if that is something you or your local writing organization might be interested in.
Kathryn McClatchy is a digital media strategist helping authors and writing-adjacent businesses grow their ideal audiences to put more books in readers’ hands by coaching, consulting, and offering done-for-you and done-with-you services.
Email Kathryn@UnleashingTheNextChapter.com to discover how UtNC can spread your story and increase your sales.