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More events than not need a hashtag in 2016, 2017 and likely for many years to come. Event organizers can use the hashtag to make announcements and share information on Twitter and Instagram. Attendees can share their thoughts and observations.
But what makes a good event hashtag?
The easier it is to remember the better. Some acronym hashtags work and some – usually ones that are longer – don’t. Short phrases are good, too. Either way, make sure they are under 8-10 characters. You wouldn’t want to hog too much Tweet space with the hashtag.
Should the hashtag include the year?
In general, I would advice to not update the year in the hashtag every year. Pick one hashtag and use that over and over. Why is the year important anyway? It just eats up four more characters that could be used for other words.
Also, I’ve been invited to speak at an events planner conference in Barcelona, Spain, in November 2016 and they asked me to talk about how to keep an event’s content going year around. One way to do that is by keeping the hashtag around and not date it. Keep it going by:
- By sharing ongoing, new and related content.
- Maybe do Twitter chats from time to time – which is what the Content Marketing World conference does with its #cmworld hashtag.
- Do live video events and use the hashtag.
Of course, using a year in a hashtag wouldn’t make sense when these strategies are implemented.
Changing the hashtag yearly also cuts metrics apart. There are services out there – like Hashtracking – that allow you to measure impressions and people reached by a hashtag. Keeping the same hashtag keeps all these metrics attached to one versus many hashtags for an ongoing yearly conference.
Where should I promote my event hashtag?
Everywhere. Promote it in off-line materials, promote it online and also on your website. That’s another reason why you wouldn’t want to change the year in a hashtag every year. It would be a lot of updating every year.
Then participate in the use of the hashtag. Hashtags take off when others as well as your own organization participate in them. Encourage other people to share their stories and thoughts on whatever your topic is. Consider embedding the conversation on your website, using tools like Tagboard.com or similar.
How do I pick an event hashtag?
I would recommend to not make it too market-y and more around a cause or ongoing topic of the event. Keep it short and go to Twitter and Instagram to see if others have used it. If others have that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t use it. You just want to make sure the conversations don’t interfere with each other. Sometimes people haven’t used a hashtag in months and it’s okay to now use it for something new.
Event hashtag conclusion
Hashtags can extend events into the digital space. That means attendees can converse during sessions and build relationships. It also means that the event gets amplified online and reaches even more people. Some of them might attend next year.
But don’t assume that people will just use the hashtag. Encourage it and participate yourself as well. Keep it going and build a community.