5 Clever Practices for Using Hashtags in Your Event Marketing Strategy
Back in 2007, when Twitter first introduced the hashtag, most people simply took it to be the pound symbol on their telephone. Oh how it has evolved since then. Today you can spot a hashtag in just about every post on any social media platform out there. Why are they so popular? Hashtags create a way to organize, archive and share social media conversations as they relate to events, trending topics, products, businesses, etc. So, if you have an event coming up and you want a public space available for online discussion, coming up with a relevant hashtag can give you, attendees and interested parties a way to mark social posts and generate conversation. Take your social media connections to the next level by incorporating hashtags that increase your impact.
1. Create Hashtags by the Handfuls
Start out planning your event by creating a group of hashtags that utilize relevant SEO keywords and phrases. You can use various programs to determine what is trending in the world of hashtags:
Add trending hashtags into your group of hashtags only when it’s appropriate for your event. Never spam hashtags by simply tagging them on your posts at random for the sake of being popularized. A good number of hashtags for a campaign ranges from 5 to 15 depending on the size of your event.
2. Don’t Rehash Hashtags
When creating new hashtags just for an event, think outside the box. An example of this is #Iwouldratherhaveamoose. While not a literal meaning, this was used to refer to Sarah Palin running for US President during her campaign, and it was effective because it was so zany — people were driven to become part of the conversation. Avoid boring hashtags and look for ways to catch people’s attention with your tags. Also, make your hashtags relevant to your event in some way, whether sarcastically or in truth.
3. Make an Event Announcement a Guessing Game
According to Forbes, one of the best ways to make a hashtag go viral on social media is to make it into a contest. Rather than splashing the name of an upcoming event you are hosting everywhere on your stream of social media profiles, create a game. Get all of your followers on board to try and guess what, when, where and why the event is taking place. Hashtags might include:
- #guesstheevent, #epicevent, #epicannouncement
- #guesswhat, #guesswhen, #guesswhere, #guesswhy
Every time someone guesses a part of the puzzle, spread the message to keep the contest rolling. Give shoutouts to people who guess a correct element and really boost your social media impact. Of course, prizes are the cherry on top of any contest, so make sure to give away tickets to the event to the lucky guessers.
4. Tell a Story in Hashtags
Esurance shows a great example of how telling a story through hashtags can boost engagement. Create a story that has power, passion and a human connection, and get a discussion going by using hashtags. If the story resonates with users, you can even expect other news outlets, such as radio stations, news stations and blogs, to get in on the sharing action. This will make your campaign spread like wildfire to reach viewers in areas greater than social media alone.
5. Go Local with Hashtags
Whether you are creating a campaign for an event, or you simply want to drum up business, local hashtagging connects you to the people most likely to make the best use of your marketing efforts. Add local hashtags including the city, region, chamber of commerce or area business organizations to your group of hashtags. This allows individuals interested in going local to have the opportunity to discover you in an organic way, which has a great staying power.
Increase Your Exposure
Using hashtags for your events increases exposure across all social media channels. Given that everyone from tweens to senior citizens is going online these days, incorporating this method into your online marketing offers the greatest way to enhance your social media impact. Hashtags can help your event get discovered if they become viral and take the Internet by storm. Plus, they can make your event something that’s talked about before, during and after it occurs to maximize its effectiveness.