Hashtags can serve a lot of roles on Twitter and other social media platforms — whether it’s the punchline to a joke or a way to track a favorite sports team. But it’s also a great way to create hype about an upcoming event or program, and retailers can make use of them to both get people talking and boost attendance. This excerpt from an article by Social Media Specialist Kristen Curtiss at Social Media Today explains how:
As a business owner, you may be putting on all kinds of events to show your expertise and acquire new clients or customers! It’s time to use hashtags to increase awareness and the visibility of your events.
By including a hashtag in your promotions, commentary, and post-event thank yous, you’re not only pulling a conversation together, but you’re also making it easy for people to find photos and attendee interactions with your event.
How do I choose a hashtag?
Your event hashtag should be:
- Unique: Search Twitter for the hashtag you have in mind. If it has been used recently, you will need to rethink it. If not, have at it!
·Short: Remember, on Twitter you only have 140 characters to use. Because that’s where most of the conversation will be taking place, you need to make sure to keep your hashtag short.
Related: Your hashtag should reflect your event. Ex: Small Business Week (#SBW2013) or the World Cup (#WorldCup).
Memorable: You want your attendees to use this hashtag when they are talking about your event. This means that you want them to be able to remember what hashtag is associated with the event, without them having to try and find it every time they want to talk about your event.
How will anyone know about my hashtag?
Similar to any other marketing campaign, if you do not properly promote it no one will know it exists. The same goes for your new hashtag.
Your hashtag should be everywhere! But let’s break it down a little more:
Before your event:
Build awareness: Your hashtag should be included in all social promotions of your event.
Listen: Track your hashtag on social sites so you can thank people who use your hashtag when mentioning that they’ll be attending your event (or better yet, promoting your event for you).
Be visible: Make sure to include your event hashtag on your registration page, informing attendees to “Join the Conversation.”
During your event
Create conversations: Use a program like tweetbeam.com (that’s my favorite) to project the conversation on a screen. This will entice others to join the conversation during your event.
Invite: Have any and all of your speakers announce the hashtag and point out your tweetbeam stream.
- Join in: Make sure to engage with your attendees who are using the hashtag. Retweet them and ask questions. Just make sure you’re not too invasive. This is not the place for you to advertise your business.
How have you used hashtags to promote an event? Let us know in the comments!