Marketing your events - for obvious reasons - has always played a key role in an events success. Hey, if you didn't market your event then how on earth would people know about it?
However, now that social media is such a major player in an events marketing mix one of the first things you should think about at the planning stage is your event's very own hashtag.
For those who don't know what a hashtag is in very simple terms it is a keyword or acronym which features in all tweets, updates and posts relating to a specific subject. When prefixed with the hash or number sign (#) social networks such as twitter, instagram, facebook, etc turn the keyword into a clickable link/search term Most likely you will have seen them feature at the start of TV shows, such as #XFactor for example. For more info on hashtag check out my good friend Alicia Cowan's blog post on hashtag 101.
But for now back to events, so you get the idea about hashtags but why are they important for events?
Studies of top brands have shown that a tweet or update that contains a hashtag receives more engagement when compared to a standard update, retweet or @reply. Event more engagement is found with an update feature both a hashtag AND then a hyperlink...just think, that link could direct people to your event webpage.
The very nature of social media is about sharing so when it comes to your event your audience and guests will get a whole lot more if you provide them with the means to share. Promote your events hashtag EVERYWHERE in your social media channels, website, invites, all marketing material and throughout your event to ensure maximum exposure. Your audience will click on the hashtags, find out who else is talking about your event and share their own thoughts.
For Creating A Story
When you and your delegates use your event's hashtag they are contributing to the online story of your event. This story is delivered the second someone clicks on the hashtag, grouping all the tweets and updates together creating a timeline of the event for the user to read through. A great online (and free) tool to use following the event is Storify, this tool pulls finds all tweets, updates and posts that feature your hashtag across multiple social media platforms and displays them in an attractive timeline which you can then share as well...everything from every platform in one place.
So for the next event that you have coming up, give it a hashtag, people are going to be talking about your event on social media even anyway so provide them with the means to group their discussion, share their thoughts and create your event story for you.