At this point, pretty much everyone has heard of hashtags. As an event planner, chances are you’ve seen them at other events, or maybe even had to come up with one for your own. What may be less understood are dos-and-don’ts of creating your event hashtag, plus how best to utilize them.

Why bother?

Social media usage continues to grow, and the usages will only multiply. When the Pew Research Center began to track social media use in 2005, just 5 percent of Americans were using any platform at all. By the end of 2016, that number was nearly 14 times greater, and the bulk of the remaining were people 65-and-above. With that many people involved with social media, the best way for users to cut through clutter and find your event is effective use of hashtags. Users can click or search your hashtags to find all posts, photos, and videos pertinent to that hashtag. In addition, during and after the event, it will allow you to find posts by your attendees. This could include great photo or video content you could use, and allow you to monitor what your attendees thought of the event. Remember the hashtag!

Few tips to keep in mind

The biggest challenge to create successful hashtags is to find simple and memorable ‘tags’. Abbreviate long event names for efficiency. You don’t so many characters that it takes up valuable Twitter real estate! Many organizations already associate with an acronym, so it’s easy to come up with short and memorable hashtags. After the ideas start to flow, check to see how easy the hashtag is to type into your phone. Less is more! Search different platforms to see if any other uses for that hashtag already exist. If too highly used, you diminish the hashtag’s value. For example, if the Nebraska Bankers Association were to use #NBA2018 for their ’18 conference, posts are bound to get lost with abundantly more references to the National Basketball Association.

Get your hashtag started

Post pre-event content relevant to your event along with the hashtag. Spread your content reach and include widely used complementary tags. For example, the fictitious Kansas Bigfoot Association uses hashtag #KBA2017 to promote an opening reception for an annual conference that also features wine tasting. Be sure to include the hashtag in any conference materials and pre-conference e-blasts. Another easy way to build traction, ask coworkers or your most engaged attendees to share posts on their own social media platforms. There you have it: #Hashtag101!

If you have any questions about any of these ideas I encourage you to reach out to me or check out one of the additional resources below. Written by Luke Wiggins, Meetings & Conventions Sales Manager, Visit Rogers. 479-619-3191 Luke@RogersLowell.com 

How to create hashtag to build engagement at your next event

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