An event hashtag is a powerful tool to centralize all the online discussions around your event. It brings all online conversations, multimedia and information about your event together. In this article I’ll share some great tips with you on how to choose and use a hashtag for your event or conference.
- The 5 features of an effective hashtag – so you can avoid common pitfalls
- How to choose a hashtag for your event – along with some great event hashtag examples
- How to unleash your hashtag as a powerful marketing tool for your event
Your hashtag connects all your attendees online. A well-chosen and promoted hashtag also increases the online visibility of your event, and excites other Twitter users to join the conversation.
Follow these 3 simple steps and you will create a winning hashtag for your event.
5 Features of an Effective Event Hashtag
So you think you’re all set after adding the prefix “#” to your event name?
There are a few pitfalls to watch out for when brainstorming about hashtag ideas.
What distinguishes an effective event or conference hashtag from a bad one? These are 5 must-have features:
A good event hashtag is unique. Is your hashtag also used by another event? Then people who use your hashtag to check out the online discussion around your event, will get confused. Messages about the other event will create a lot of noise in your feed. You’ll absolutely want to avoid that.
Choose a hashtag that also isn’t too generic. #vintage, for example, is already too popular in general Twitter conversation. That hashtag is a definite no-go for a vintage design event.
Definitely make sure to check the uniqueness of the the hashtags on your brainstorm list, by checking Twitter Search and other major networks.
A hashtag needs to be easy to understand. Would you guess what #vntgevnt15, for example, is about? It might be unique, but too hard to decipher. If attendees even remember it, they will surely type it wrong.
For a vintage design event in 2015, #vintagedesign15 is a better hashtag idea. It is longer, but at least your attendees and their followers on social media will immediately understand what it is about.
Design your hashtag to stick. Because if your attendees can’t remember it, it’s quite useless. What makes a hashtag memorable? It should simply makes sense and be relevant.
Unreadable abbreviations like #vntgdconf? Avoid them, or your attendees will.
4. Short and sweet
In a tweet, every character counts. That’s why the perfect hashtag counts only 8 or less characters. The longer your event hashtag, the fewer characters Twitter users have to comment about your event.
The hashtag #vintagedesignevent2015, for example, takes up 1/6th of the 140 characters of a tweet. Rather go for a shorter option, like #vintagedesign15. It might be longer than the perfect hashtag, but it stays clear and memorable.
5. No bad implications and associations
Can your event hashtag be interpreted in another way? Does it have any bad implications or associations?
No? Check again.
Susan Boyle’s PR team obviously skipped this step. To promote Susan Boyle’s new album event, they came up with this unfortunate hashtag: #susanalbumparty. Susan Album Party, or Su’s Anal Bum Party? Ouch.
How To Choose Your Event Hashtag
Now you know the do’s and don’ts, you’re ready to create a winning hashtag of your own. It’s time to get creative!
Let these 2 examples of successful twitter hashtags inspire you during your brainstorming process to come up with some great event hashtag ideas of your own.
Hashtag example 1: #DewGreenScreen
Mountain Dew – the bright green soda – launched a series of exclusive movie events: #DewGreenScreen. The hashtag isn’t that short, but still a better choice than #MountainDewGreenScreen. More importantly: it is catchy, unique, clear and easy to remember. #DewGreenScreen ticks all the boxes.
Was it effective? Most definitely. Thanks to a well chosen hashtag and a Twitter Wall projected on the cinema screens, #DewGreenScreen became a trending topic on Twitter.
Example 2: #ADE15
The Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is the world’s biggest yearly festival for electronic music. Every year the festival hashtag changes. #ADE12, #ADE13, #ADE14: all extremely popular.
These hashtags are perfect in their simplicity. They are short, recognizable, and predictable. For a conference with a short name like ADE, adding the year to the hashtag is an easy way to make it unique.
Unleash Your Event Hashtag as a Marketing Tool
Now you know how to choose a powerful hashtag, it’s time for the last step. Unleash your hashtag!
A good hashtag offers lots of possibilities. You can use it as a marketing tool before, during and after your event.
1. Before the event
Create your hashtag as soon as possible. It’s never too early to get the social buzz going. Promote your hashtag and include it on all your promotional materials and communications: invitations, event flyers, business cards, etc. Make sure you don’t miss any opportunity to draw attention to it.
2. During the event
Use the hashtag to create conversations. During your event, you can ask the speakers to mention it. Reminding your visitors of the hashtag and asking to share their experiences and thoughts is definitely a good idea. You can also stimulate the conversation by being active on Twitter yourself. Reply, respond and retweet, to connect with your guests.
Of course, a live hashtag feed can also stimulate your guests to tweet about your event.
Want to collect all posts on social media with your hashtag? Be sure to register your event hashtag and create a social media homepage for your event.
3. After the event
The hashtag allows you to keep the conversation going. Make a plan to keep on networking, and stay connected with your followers. Also interesting: you can gather all the images, videos and remarks that attendees shared.
As you can see, hashtags are an event planners best friend! How do you make sure you get the most out of your hashtag? Share your ideas below!