Six Ways to Make Your Event Hashtag a #Success
Hey man, you can’t just get all willy-nilly with the hashtags, a’right? If you want your event hashtag to take off, you gotta follow the rules.
1. Don’t Procrastinate
With all the major stuff that comes with organizing an event, you might be tempted to prioritize stuff like venue and speakers over your lowly little hashtag. But don’t leave it as an afterthought – your event’s hashtag should be one of the first things you choose, not only for the sake of advance buzz, but because it’s going to be a central part of your event’s design. Merchandise, decor, visuals, staff uniforms – it’s all a potential billboard for your event.
You know what they say: Keep It Simple Stupid. When brainstorming a hashtag, strive to keep it short and sweet. There are two reasons to avoid long, complicated hashtags: first, they’re more likely to be forgotten or misspelled; and second, on a platform like Twitter, where you have a 140-character limit, you don’t want to waste space with a hashtag!
3. Do Your Homework
This is where things get tricky – if you’ve followed the rule above, you’ve come up with a catchy, compact hashtag that folks are sure to remember. Unfortunately, a lot of great minds think alike, which means the shorter and more memorable your hashtag is, the more likely it’s already in use by someone else. After coming up with a few ideas, take to Twitter and do a bit of research about which hashtags are already taken – and conversely, which ones have an established community that you can plug into. Ideally, your hashtag should be unique enough that users won’t confuse it with another event.
4. Go All Out
This is no time to be modest. Crowds are used to glazing over advertising, which means if you want your hashtag to be noticed, you’ll have to put it everywhere. The usual suspects are a good place to start – incorporated into the decor, plastered on the walls, printed on banners and signs – but you can also get more creative with it. Put it on your brochure, on table cars, heck – you can even put it on your staff’s tee shirts. Anything to make sure that if and when a guest is ready to post, the hashtag is right under their noses.
5. Offer Hashtag-Related Rewards
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Even if your hashtag is plastered all you’re your event, that doesn’t mean that attendees will be tweeting it en masse. Add an extra incentive by coming up with rewards for people who send out tweets incorporating the hashtag. That can mean anything from a lucky draw for participants to a Twitter wall, where people can view their own tweets, to hashtag-operated consoles, where – in exchange for a post incorporating the hashtag – attendees are rewarded with mementos.
6. Turn It Into a Photo Opp
One of the best ways to ensure that guests post your hashtag is to turn it into a photo opp. Have an idea for a larger-than-life display? Do you plan to incorporate an interactive wall or technical display with a lot of wow factor? Are you providing a photo booth or pictures with a mascot that people will want to post? Then build them around your hashtag. Even if you fail to engage attendees with the hashtag itself through one of the above strategies, no one can resist posting a quality selfie – and if you do it right, you hashtag will be along for the ride.