The Complete Guide To Event Hashtags


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The Complete Guide To Event Hashtags

  1. 1. 1 TheCompleteGuide ToEvent#Hashtags Brought to you with love by Bizzabo
  2. 2. Hashtags are a phenomenon that have developed through social media, in particular Twitter. What once was simply “the pound sign” has become a way of life in the digital world - a way to break through the noise and connect with others in an exchange of ideas, opinions, and commentary. Hashtags have managed to pervade almost every aspect of modern society - from pop culture to corpo- rate meetings. So, what exactly is a hashtag? Twitter has a straightforward definition of their own: “The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.” Though this definition serves to describe hashtags in their simplest form, the approaches and situations in which they can be used are seemingly endless. For event organizers, the hashtag has become an extremely useful resource for easy sharing and event tracking. The “#” symbol allows you to create a conversation around a theme, event, or topic. | 646-517-1135 | WHAT IS A HASHTAG? (tweet this)
  3. 3. | 646-517-1135 | HOW TO CHOOSE “THE ONE”THERE ARE THREE KEY ELEMENTS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING YOUR EVENT HASHTAG: # FIRST, keep it short and clear. If you want users to adopt and include your hashtag in their tweets, make it easy and convenient for them to do so. Also, for matters of convenience, your hashtag should be easy to spell and remember. Easily misspelled hashtags will result in tweets spread over several different hashtags, which will only increase your workload and decrease your influence. # SECOND, your hashtag should be relevant and unique. The hashtag should be as similar as possible to the event’s name or topic. However, you don’t want to choose a hashtag that’s already heavily used - the tweets around your event will be lost in the clutter. For example, for an event called New York Start- ups Marathon 2014, it would be unwise to select #startup as your hashtag. As we wrote these words, a search for #startup resulted in 1,314 tweets from the last 24 hours alone. A more useful hashtag would be #SM2014 or #StartupsMarathon14, which will ensure your event’s tweets won’t get lost in the clutter. # THIRD, be thoughtful when selecting your event’s hashtag. It may seem obvious, but not every event name or topic will sound good or make sense as a hashtag. For example, the Susan Boyle album party- #susanalbumparty may be misinterpreted. It’s also a good practice to make sure that the hashtag doesn’t coincidentally form a word in another language, which could result in two very different streams colliding. For more best practices on choosing a hashtag see our blog. TIP - When making your hashtag, just remember - R.U.S.S …Relevant, Unique, Short & Sweet! (tweet this)
  4. 4. | 646-517-1135 | PUT YOUR HASHTAG IN ACTION Your hashtag means nothing if people are not aware of it. Promoting your event hashtag is a key success factor. Here is a suggested list of where successful organizers have promoted their hashtag: • Make it visible on your event website • Have it present on marketing materials and event invitations • Display it in the event’s mobile app • Publicize it on all your social networks • Project it during speaker presentations • Print it on place cards, dessert decorations, and anything eye-catching - let creativity flow! The hashtag will not only be a way to get attendees to engage with the event, but to get attendees to engage with each other. Publicizing should be done as early as possible. Hashtags are a user-generated feature of Twitter, so without taking a proactive approach you might find yourself on the reacting side. In addition, using the hashtag frequently can incite pre-event conversations, which creates buzz, excitement and spreads the word about your event. Fun hashtags like #tbt (throw back Thursday) can be great ways to get your guests engaging with the event and have become a staple in the social media realm. Take a great pic of the keynote speaker having fun, add a #tbt, and your event hashtag on the end and entice your guests to engage post-event.
  5. 5. 1 Facebook Hashtags Aren’t Very Effective, Study Says, Social Times 2 The Simple Science of Engagement for Twitter, Revenue Caffeine | 646-517-1135 | FINDING THE REAL #VALUE Event organizers and participants use Hashtags in order to filter event-related tweets. It creates a virtual space where everyone is only talking about topics related to your event. In fact, a study from SocialTimes1 states, “70 percent of brands saw retweets increase with the use of hashtags.” (tweet this) Hashtags are searchable and clickable, which allows users to track upcoming trends, discover and spread discussions about the event, and share content with attendees. This is a great way to organize buzz around an event and track topics that are trending. According to a study on Twitter engagement2 , tweets that contain hashtags gain 2x more engage- ment. (tweet this) The power and ubiquity of the hashtag has grown and is now used across multiple platforms includ- ing Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
  6. 6. | 646-517-1135 | TOOLS FOR OPTIMIZING HASHTAGS This is a simple, user-friendly way to customize your feeds, but keep in mind these timelines have a few setbacks - they’re not in chronological order (when created with Tweetdeck) and all time- lines are completely accessible to the public. This means they are available for embedding by anyone. Unfortunately, at times your Twitter hashtag may be problematic. For example, the LAUNCH Festi- val’s hashtag (#LAUNCH) can be taken over with tweets from teens hyped up about their “bottle rocket #launch”. Not to worry- Twitter’s custom timeline feature allows anyone to customize a Twitter feed. Specific, timely, and relevant tweets can now be curated to stay on track with your event. Each custom Twitter Timeline gets its own URL, and is also easily embeddable on any webpage. Wondering how to use this great tool? There are two main options: 1. Create Custom Timelines with Tweetdeck - Using Tweetdeck, a free tool for managing lists, time- lines and events all in one place, you can create a timeline by manually dragging and dropping tweets into your new custom timeline. 2. Automated process with Twitter APIs - This is a new development, still in its beta stage, but can be used to create your timeline with an automated process.
  7. 7. | 646-517-1135 | HashtagtopiaHASHTAGS ACROSS NETWORKS Though there’s obviously much to be gained through the use of Twitter hashtags, hashtags on Facebook have gotten mixed reviews. According to SocialTimes3 ,EdgeRank analyzed 35,000 posts from 500 business pages over a month. The find- ings were surprising. Not only did these hashtags make no pos- itive impact, they actually reduced the reach of the post. Using your hashtag via Facebook can still be questionable and not nearly as effective as other networks. On the flip side, others believe there can be real value to be gained using Facebook hashtags4 . Some aversion to the use of hashtags on this platform is a lack of understanding or knowl- edge. Facebook was one of the last to adopt the hashtag, and it looks misplaced to see hashtags trending on posts and status updates for this platform. Unlike Facebook, a more intimate platform, Twitter operates as a thought stream, leaving users uninhibited to discuss topics with strangers, but Facebook con- nections are with friends, co-workers, and family members, making the need for a trending topic to spark conversation unnecessary. Using this ability to network within your tight-knit community by complementing your posts with a hashtag, can reach a more human element of hashtagging. Hashtags on Instagram are an excellent way to increase your visibility and be discovered by likeminded parties. In contrast to Facebook and Twitter, the results of using hashtags on Insta- gram not only generate increased interaction, but also break the “hashtag rules” of other social media channels. Data collected by Buffer5 opposes the notion that the maximum number of hashtags used should be 2, instead it was proven that the more hashtags on a post, the more interactions produced. Having more hashtags not only creates more interactions, but allows your post to be discoverable in multiple places in the search window. However, don’t get too carried away! The use of hashtags on Instagram, Twitter, and potentially Facebook, are great ways to get your attendees engaged with the event. It is up to you as the event organizer to harness its full potential. Use it across all platforms to optimize engagement and bring together an active event community. 3 Facebook Hashtags Aren’t Very Effective, Study Says, Social Times 4 Using Hashtags on Facebook, r3socialmedia 5 8 Surprising New Instagram Statistics to Get the Most out of the Picture Social Network, Buffer
  8. 8. | 646-517-1135 | Conclusion As other social media platforms continue to adopt hashtags, the value of implementing them into your social media campaign will be essential to attracting people to the conference and measuring the suc- cess of an event. Harnessing the power of social throughout your event and smartly implementing a hashtag can add a whole new layer of social engagement to your event's experience, as well as create thriving channels of open communication and discussion.
  9. 9. Here at Bizzabo, we strive to be the leading social and digital networking platform for conferences. Contact us now for a walk-through of the app & online platform, and for more information on why we've been the app at 3,000+ events and counting. Brought to you with love by Bizzabo. Let's get in touch! 646-517-1135 Ready to mobilize and socialize your event? We'd love to talk to you! Visit our website for more information! Click Here