In 2009, Twitter adopted the use of the pound sign (#) to hyperlink keywords and create groups of ideas. Since then, hashtags have taken off, and the use of the simple sign skyrocketed beyond social media messages. Today, event planners big and small take the time to plan out a full hashtag branding strategy before an event as a way to optimize content and drive engagement. These days, the hashtag is no longer confined to the 140 character tweet, and when used correctly, will show increased interaction across all social media channels. To create buzz of your own, follow these 4 rules for getting the most out of your hashtag campaign:
• Make sure to keep it short and simple: Keep your hashtag to the point. Social media posts are meant to be short, and you don’t want to waste characters with a lengthy hashtag.
• Make sure it’s relevant: The hashtag must be related to your event. You can use the event name, the subject of the event, or even an abbreviation of the event title and year.
• Make it unique: When creating your hashtag, brainstorm a number of ideas then search each individually to make sure it hasn’t been used in the past. Try to avoid using a hashtag that might easily be confused with another, or you run the risk of losing some important and useful UGC.
• Using the same hashtag across all platforms is the best and easiest way to brand your hashtag and build awareness. This will also help you to track users and content later on.
• Branding the hashtag as your own will help make it memorable. Make sure the hashtag is as visible as possible in order to encourage event-goers to take part in the campaign.
• Use your hashtag on all relevant social media posts and on all promotional marketing materials.
Use It Consistently
• Use your hashtag at every opportunity: the end of a social message, your campaign banner, email marketing material. Utilize all these platforms to consistently get your message out and maximize the exposure and success of your campaign.
• Your hashtag should reflect your event. Keep the hashtag to the point, and make sure to pick one that you are comfortable sticking with throughout the campaign.
• The most efficient way to use your hashtag is to include it in your posts, rather than throwing it in and the end of your caption. This will also help create conversation around your campaign, as people will see you continuously talking about it.
• Finally, you’ll want to keep an eye on how other people are using your hashtag. No matter how well you make sure to brand and promote your campaign, there will be participants who add their own twist when it comes to your event.
• Keep up with the conversation on social media. Monitoring conversations will make you aware of what users are talking about on social so you can create a campaign around popular topics.