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Tips on Selecting an Event Hashtag

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By Gayathri Kher |January 20, 2014

Twitter_logo_blueYou can find the usage of hashtags on every social network now a days, and more than likely, your attendees and members are already using them in some way or another. Hashtags play an important role in social media marketing, but in this post we will focus just on how best to select a hashtag for your events.

Short and Sweet

Remember Twitter’s 140-character limit includes hashtags. So be sure to choose a tag that is short and sweet. Use acronyms and year references to keep the hashtag relevant and easy to remember.

Keep it Unique

Making it official is a also a good idea as hashtags catch on quick. Be sure to do a quick search for the hashtag on Twitter and Google. This will prevent usage of a hashtag that has already been taken, but also guards against irrelevant content from being associated with your event. This of course does not guarantee that another group will not use it…. mostly due to the fact that they skipped this important step.

For eg: we selected NGS2014 as the official hashtag for the NGS 2014 Family History Conference, after making sure it was not already taken. Now, we have another group that is using this hashtag. Their event is a month before ours and we are still 5 months away. So we are seriously considering changing our hashtag to #NGS2014GEN before we release the mobile app, that usually ensures that the hashtag will go viral.

Any thoughts or comments on how you have remedied a similar situation?

Make it official

Hashtags are  user-generated and what makes it trending is the adoption by the attendees. This can sometimes lead to confusion. As several hashtags begin circulating for an event, tweets about the event become disjointed and difficult to follow. Once you decide on a hashtag, make it public and official – promote the hashtag on your event website, brochures, and on your own official Twitter account to encourage attendees to adopt usage.

Start early and promote usage

Make the hashtag official, include it in your Social Media Policy, and get the word out. Simplest way is to include the hashtag to tweets about your event. Start tweeting early, attendees will catch on and use the tag during the event. If you have an event app, be sure to have a twitter feed highlighting the hashtag.

Gayathri Kher
Tips on Selecting an Event Hashtag

Gayathri is co-founder and President of fusionSpan, a technology consulting firm focused on serving the comprehensive needs of small staff Non-Profit associations. She has extensive experience in evaluating current IT infrastructure for small-staff associations and assisting them in implementing solutions that are scalable based on future needs. Prior to co-founding fusionSpan, Gayathri headed up the Information Technology department at the National Genealogical Society and also worked at the Association of American Geographers.

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