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How do you make the best use of your conference hashtag?

For the past several years, events have been using event hashtags to varying degrees of success. Did you know that tweets with hashtags receive double the engagement compared to tweets without them? (click to tweet) These tips are about making the most of your conference hashtag.

Understanding the History

Place the pound symbol at the beginning of a keyword phrase, omit any spacing, and you’ve got a hashtag (ex. #EventMarketing). Hashtags were invented in the late 1990s, but since 2007 they have been used for live reactions and updates for everything from events (#IMPC2016) to holidays (#NationalBrownieDay) and even disasters (#JeSuisCharlie).

Are hashtags exclusive to Twitter?

No! The hashtag feature is designed to organize and classify messages and conversations on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google search, and more. When you create and promote an event hashtag, online chatter about your event is effectively confined in a measurable and engaging matter.

Make your event hashtag unique and short

An event hashtag needs to be planned out early, and as such you should consider it a part of your marketing mix. Firstly, a good event hashtag is unique. Make sure it’s not already in use or easily confused with an existing one! You can do this by searching for your potential hashtag on Twitter, or with a search tool like Hashatit and Hashtracking. Secondly, it needs to be short to avoid eating up characters from your 140 character limit on Twitter.

Use event related hashtags

When marketing your event on social media, it’s useful to know which other hashtags are commonly used by your industry. Related hashtags can expose your messages to more of your target audience. A tool like Hashtagify can quickly give you ideas for related hashtags and inform you of how popular they are.

Strategize and promote your event hashtag early

One of the biggest issues regarding event hashtags is that participants forget to use them or come up with their own event hashtag if the official one is not known ahead of time. The importance of publicizing your hashtag cannot be stressed enough to avoid multiple improvised hashtags during your event! It can be prominently featured on virtually all your event promotions. You can start building momentum, and buzz for your event early on! Use the hashtag as much as possible in the days leading up to your event, and be creative about it!

Manage it live

It’s important to always monitor the activity surrounding the hashtag, including during pre and post-event periods, but expect to spend even more time managing it while the event is taking place! If time is an issue, consider using a social media scheduler like Hootsuite or Buffer that will send out posts at the times you specify beforehand. This way you’ll have more time to devote to live tweeting, the topic of a previous sensov/ take/two newsletter.

Don’t just stop there

The event may be over, but we believe event marketing efforts should not end with the event. Extend thank-yous to all participants after the event, and continue monitoring and engaging. Share pictures and thoughts from the event, stay in touch with participants and keep conversations going. Of course, the other great thing to do post-event, when things have quietened, is to track and measure engagement. Knowing what worked and what didn’t is key to success in future events; that’s why we love analytics!

Tweets From Our Community:

 

Tools for assisting in the creation of your event hashtag:

https://www.hashtags.org/
This free site displays the trending hashtags in a variety of industries, and allows you to input your own to view usage statistics.

http://keyhole.co/
This tool allows you see even richer stats on hashtags of interest in real time. Top posts, reach, impressions, location, demographics, and influencers are shown in their report!

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