In the age of social media and constant online sharing, there’s no such thing as an event without a hashtag. Without one, you can bet attendees will create their own. As the event producer, you have the opportunity to lead the conversation by establishing a hashtag that communicates your message. By doing so, you’ll also drive social conversation to a single place, where you can easily monitor chatter and interact with attendees. So, now the question becomes: What makes a great event hashtag? Here are a few a tips and tricks:
1. Make it unique and clever
You’ll want to distinguish your event and easily track relevant posts, so don’t use a hashtag that people are already using for something else. Run a quick search for your hashtag on the social media platforms you’re planning to use. You don’t want your posts to cause confusion or get buried in unrelated content. That said, there are times you’ll want to jump on a trending hashtag to join a conversation – by including a trending hashtag along with your unique event hashtag – but the main hashtag for your event should be original. That way, event attendees can search for other posts using the hashtag and extend the conversation.
2. Make it clear
The purpose of your event should be obvious. Avoid acronyms, unless they are well-known.
4. Keep it short and easy to spell
People won’t take the time to type out your hashtag if it’s too long – and if they’re tweeting, they won’t want to waste the characters. If the hashtag is difficult to spell, you risk people getting it wrong – and you’ll end up having to search for all the potential variations when tracking social posts later.
5. Brand it
You’re missing an opportunity for your brand if you create a successful hashtag that doesn’t mention the brand. Depending on the event and what people are posting, the hashtag may be the brand’s only chance at being mentioned. Including the brand name in the hashtag also helps people recognize that it’s the official event hashtag.
6. Promote it
You have to tell people about your hashtag if you want them to use it. Post signage at the event itself, and include the hashtag in all of your communications – before, during and after the event. You can also incentivize attendees to use your hashtag: feature a live hashtag feed onscreen during the event, tell people the brand may repost their content if they use the hashtag, or run a contest or giveaway that attendees can enter by posting with the hashtag.