This post continues a series of answering social media questions gathered at this year’s BK Authors Co-Op Book Marketing event. You can read Part One and Part Two.

Now, for today’s questions.

What’s a hashtag?! What do you do with it? 

Hashtags provide a way of searching and gathering relevant information on social media channels. You can search for tweets (or other social media updates) using a hashtag. In fact, I recommend setting up columns on Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to monitor hashtags relevant to your business or book.

You can add also add hashtags to your tweets to potentially expand your audience. You can create and use a hashtag for an event or topic, in hopes that others will use and search the tweets associated with that hashtag.

Unfortunately, hashtags are overused at times. People fill tweets with hashtags and make them unreadable or difficult to decipher. People use them #tobecute. And although Facebook recently added hashtag functionality, it’s difficult to see how hashtags on Facebook will be useful.

How do I get around the 2,000 limit for following on Twitter? 

If you are seeking to grow your Twitter account, you may encounter a limit to growth when you seek to follow more than 2,000 accounts. Patience, grasshopper! Try to keep your ratio of following to followers close by unfollowing accounts as needed. A close ratio will enable you to follow more accounts and help you exceed the 2,000 barrier. The best way to gather followers is to regularly share great content. Focus on that and you’ll soon see your account grow past the 2,000 mark.

How do you link up your social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)? 

I don’t recommend sharing identical content across multiple social media channels simultaneously. Each channel has its own personality and sensibility, and sharing the same content in the exact same way by linking accounts is not the most effective way to leverage each channel. Instead, share content in the way that best fits each channel, experimenting with what your audience enjoys and responds to on each channel. Connect with people across several channels to deepen your connections. LinkedIn content skews toward the professional. Facebook is more personal and homey. Twitter requires short, concise updates. Google+ allows for deeper conversation and longer reflections. Rather than look for short cuts, choose the right channel for each message and conversation.

Tell me something! How would you answer these questions? What wisdom would you add?

photo credit Jason A. Howie