Catch up Gallus! We are all using event hashtags!
Well yes we are all using #tags. I know this but I also know this blog will be useful for everyone and this is why. I recently attended an event industry event and the organiser’s first tweet using a hashtag associated with the event was the evening before the event started. So yes they did have a hashtag but were they using it properly? And I am sure you have seen similar events.
Here are a few tips on getting the most out of an event hashtag and how hashtags can add value to the organiser, the attendees and the exhibitors.
So here’s my check list – top tips for event organisers when using an event #tag:
1. Do a simple search on your proposed hashtag. The last thing you want to do is to have a tag that is already being used by another organisation. For a quick and dirty search you can use the search function on Twitter but that is not fool-proof. Twitter only holds tweets for a couple of weeks so you might not find all of the associated hashtags because they have not been very popular. Instead use something like twubs.com to ensure that the tag is yours alone.
2. While you are there it is worth considering if you want to ‘own’ the hashtag. You can do this by registering it on twubs.com
3. The shorter the hashtag the better. This is an example of a pretty bad hashtag, in fact it is my ‘personal worst’ – a 25 character tag from an event I came across this year #lfsconveyancingconference. First class!
4. You have to promote your event hashtags as widely as possible. Place it on all of your other social media platforms, in your emails and on any printed material. You basically can’t over use it or promote it too early.
5. A hashtag is not just for the duration of the ‘physical’ event. Your hashtag should never really stop being used on Twitter. There will be (you would hope) a massive spike in the week or so before and week after your event but it is worth thinking about how you use your hashtag to engage with your audience before and after your event. You also have to build that into your Content Marketing Strategy.
6. Some of your audience will be new to Twitter and they may not know what a hashtag is. So make sure you consider some messaging that explains to attendees what the hashtag is and what it is for. Explain why it is a great idea for them to use it. If you are struggling with this messaging contact us and we may be able to help out.
7. The more people that use your hashtag the wider the reach of your content and the more likely you are to inform people of the quality of your event. There is no free content led promotional tool quite as powerful as a highly followed hashtag. If potential attendees see what a great event you have (via the tease of the hashtag) they are likely to attend the physical event.
8. Use the event hashtag to extend the non-content messaging from your event. For your sponsors and your exhibitors a very lively and engaging hashtag will take their message outside the confines of the event venue and add value for their involvement.
9. The focused use of the hashtag for most organisations is on the day of the event and yes this is indeed the peak of the use of the #tag. But even here you have to ensure you are making the most of it. Engaged events now have a “Social Media Operator” taking control of all of the messaging channels on the day. This is a role that can add a lot of value to your event: so consider it.
10. As well as the “Social Media Operator” you have to ensure you have some resource dedicated to help get the content out as widely as possible. Don’t just rely on the attendees but think about how your staff are engaging with Twitter during the event.
Your event #tag is your gateway to a wider community who will be interested in the content at your event. That community is made up of individuals who could be next years attendees. By following the tips above you will increase the chances of those individuals turning into paying delegates.[iphorm id=”8″ name=”Events in 2013 (duplicate)”]