How to use Hashtags for Events & Promotions

If you  use Twitter,  you will notice tweets that include a #Hashtag. Twitter users created this as a way to group Twitter messages together based on a particular subject or topic.

Particularly, when you are trying to promote an event such as a conference or award show, this is a great way to engage your event attendees.

If you have a hashtag in mind for your event, you may want to check out:

#tagdef

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On this site you can enter a hashtag and view what it means. You can even submit a hashtag and its definition if you plan to use the hashtag regularly. Remember, if you start promoting the hashtag early, it will increase engagement and build anticipation for your event.

 

Here is a great case study:

Conferences

Many conferences like LeWeb and our very own The Next Web conference , inform attendees what the official hashtag is to make it easier for them as well as virtual attendees to join in the conversation and gather all comments in one spot.

Award Shows

The use of hashtags has also become popular for award shows, like MTV’s VMAs with the original hashtag #ifbiebermetgaga along with #VMA. MTV treated it’s fans to a very cool visualization tool tracking the popularity of different hashtags and keywords during the show. NBC sponsored a special Emmys hashtag named: #imontheemmys. NBC encouraged viewers to tweet about a presenter using the hashtag. Emmy’s host Jimmy Fallon would pick the best tweets to use them for the presenters’ introduction during the show.

I hope this gives you an idea of how to successfully use hashtags before, during and after your events. Although these events went off without a hitch, here is a story about a hashtag campaign that was not so successful:

McDonalds launched a Twitter campaign involving the hashtag #McDStories, asking users to post nostalgic stories about Happy Meals. However, this campaign quickly took a whole different meaning, as users would use the hashtag to share horror experiences and shock tales. From poor work conditions to appalling food quality, McDonald’s campaign turned negative attention back to itself.

 

Great recommendations on how to get the most out of your hashtags:

1. Keep It Brief: When creating a hashtag for your own event, be sure to keep it short and easy to remember. When your attendees use the hashtag in their tweets, remember they are only allotted 140 characters. By keeping the hashtag brief, your audience saves room to include more commentary about your event.

2. Create It Early: It’s important to generate buzz around your topic by introducing your hashtag well before the launch of your event. The hashtag #smsci was created weeks before the webinar was held to promote the event and gain recognition with the audience. Create your hashtag as soon as you conceptualize the event to get the conversation going early.

3. Be Strategic: Remember that you can save time and effort by leveraging the reach of other powerful users. Your hashtag should be engaging enough to organically attract the attention of notable influencers. However, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at your followers and see how you can appeal to those with large followings. Just a few tweets from them can generate the large number of impressions you’re looking to create.

How have you used hashtags with your event? 


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