5 Rules for Creating the Perfect Event Hashtag
While recently working on a social media campaign for a large technology event, we developed a set of hashtag recommendations to help boost their social media success. Follow these 5 rules for getting the most out of your event hashtag.
1. Name it. When selecting a hashtag, make sure it’s …
- Relevant – Your hashtag should be related to your event. Use either the event name, the topic of the event, or an abbreviation that is easy to remember.
- Unique – It’s important to pick a hashtag that isn’t currently being used. A quick search will let you know if your hashtag is already being used for a different purpose. And do not use one that may be easily confused with another.
- Concise – The trend for event hashtags is to abbreviate the name of the event and then add the year (i.e. #CES2017). A shorter hashtag like this is easy to remember and allows for additional character space on platforms like Twitter. Also, a shorter hashtag prevents retweets from being cut off.
2. Brand it. Whether on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, using the same hashtag for all content related to your event will create a branded hashtag. It also provides a clear way to track social activity across all social platforms. This may take time, but consistency is the key. Use the same branded hashtag across all platforms, because once the branding becomes clear it will be easier for others to follow activities surrounding the event.
3. Promote it. Once you have created your branded hashtag, you then have to communicate and promote it consistently. The hashtag should be visible on event signage, posters, presentations, websites, and your social channels. Encourage speakers and sponsors to use the hashtag for their own social activity as well as event attendees when they share their thoughts before, during, and after the event.
4. Use it contextually. Common practice is to add hashtags to the end of a social message. The more efficient and professional manner, however, is to use them contextually, like this example for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
Using the hashtag contextually uses fewer characters, allows for additional content, and also makes the hashtag part of the conversation.
5. Track it. Despite the effort to promote and encourage everyone to use a designated hashtag for your event, it is inevitable that someone will add their own twist. Keep an eye out and make sure to engage those who may be using the hashtag incorrectly. For example, New York City is currently preparing for its annual fashion week event, officially called “Mercedes Benz Fashion Week,” and uses the hashtag “#MBFW.” Yet there are many people using the hashtag “#NYFW.” In order to keep up with what is being said about the event on social channels, you need to monitor all hashtags that refer to your event.
Branding and using a hashtag effectively for your event is just one aspect of running a successful social media campaign. And as simple as it seems, having a clearly branded and effectively used hashtag will escalate your social presence.