How to Choose a Hashtag for Your Event: Ten Tips
Choosing a hashtag is one of the first things you need to do when planning social media for your event. Getting this right will set you up for success especially if you want your event hashtag to trend. Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect hashtag for your event.
For events, choose a short, memorable, descriptive and branded hashtag.Click To Tweet
- Keep it short. Short is easy to remember and easy to use given a 140 character limit. The usual recommended length of six characters is often impractical so try to keep your hashtag to 10 characters or less.
- Choose a memorable hashtag. This will maximise use and will help when one event attendee asks another what the hashtag is. Choosing a real word close to the name of your event will make your hashtag memorable.
- Be Descriptive. Choosing a descriptive hashtag will help it reach the relevant audience. Don’t use an acronym as a hashtag. While you may know what the acronym means people that come across it on Twitter may not, and you can therefore miss the opportunity to engage a new audience. Avoid a hashtag that can be easily misspelled or misread or you may find that attendees end up using variations of your hashtag.
- For events, choose a branded hashtag. Using a branded hashtag helps to establish it as the official event hashtag and helps the awareness of your brand and event but if you have multiple hashtags for different aspects of the event they don’t all need to be branded.
- Go Evergreen. If your event repeats monthly or annually, use an evergreen hashtag, e.g. #SageSummit rather than #SageSummit15 as you can then use this throughout the year and through multiple versions of the event and you will want to do this as you use it for pre, during and post event activity.
- Check if your hashtag is already in use. Before selecting a hashtag check if it is already in use by doing a Twitter search. If it is already in use, pick something else or your event will get lost in the noise of the other activity.
- Think multi-channel. Hashtags are not just for Twitter. They are also very popular on Facebook and Instagram so also search for the hashtag on these channels and don’t forget to use and measure your event hashtag across these channels (if they are part of your event channel plan) to ensure you are engaging your audience on their preferred channel.
- Decide how many hashtags you need. Tweets with only one hashtag are 69% more likely to get retweets than those with two hashtags so don’t over-do it with hashtags on Twitter. If your event is very big you could use more than one hashtag for different parts of your event. While the main hashtag can be used in all event tweets, other hashtags can be used to further segment your Twitter content. At Dreamforce 2015 Salesforce used various hashtags. #DF15 and #Dreamforce were the main hashtags for the event and were used in most tweets. #roadtoDF15 was used for pre event content, #devzone was used for the developer zone and #dfgives was used when publishing content about their activities associated with Dreamforce Foundation. This divides the conversation among multiple hashtags, reducing the likeness that any of the individual hashtags will trend but you have to balance other objectives with the aspiration to trend. In this example the Dreamforce event is so big that the main hashtag will likely always trend.
- Look to your community. Remember that your community can also create hashtags that can take off at the event. If this happens embrace them but also continue to use your main event hashtag. Use social listening to identify the hashtags that your audience use and use these hashtags when tweeting about the event, especially in the pre event stage. This will ensure your event reaches a wider, but very relevant audience. During the event use just your event hashtag with the odd tweet using hashtags popular among your audience, but relevant to the content of your tweets.
- Keep it relevant. Don’t publish content not connected to the event on the event hashtag. Although this is tempting as it will help you gain visibility for that content to the event audience, it makes things challenging when you try to measure the success of your social activity for the event as it is ‘polluted’ by all of the non-event content and you also risk annoying your audience who search the hashtag to find the latest information about the event only to be confronted by lots of less relevant content.
Now that you have your event hashtag you need to ensure it is used by your audience. Use these tips to improve your event hashtag use.
For more tips and advice on Social Media For Events buy Trending: The Complete Guide to Social Media for Events.