Hashtags are a brilliant way to promote events and encourage participants to engage in conversation surrounding your event. Event coordinators need to keep in mind that it is important to build momentum before the event. It is also then crucial to maintain that hype during and after the event to maximise overall results.
If you want to make the most out of the conversation, you need to be ahead of the curve. Here are some tips on how to utilise hashtags in your event marketing plan.
Before the Event
1. Create Buzz
Ever noticed how far in advance movie previews come out before the actual movie is released? Well, there is a method to the madness – it is all about building anticipation and generating buzz.
They start by giving you a taste and then months go by and they feed you little bits of information here and there, all to build up anticipation before premier night. This is exactly what you should be doing for your event – building the excitement.
How do you go about this the right way? Easy! Configure a timeline and start spoon feeding small “bites” to your audience. A dedicated social media manager should be in charge of this, but if you don’t have a dedicated social specialist, a marketing coordinator can be just as helpful.
2. Decide on an Event Hashtag
If you want people to hear about your event and join in on the conversation, you’re going to need to introduce a hashtag that is dedicated and unique to the event. Be creative and use your brand or event name in the hashtag to keep it as relevant and focused as possible.
Having a unique, short and memorable hashtag will enable participants and those interested in your brand to talk about the upcoming event, which further builds excitement, anticipation and overall engagement.
NOTE: Before finalising your hashtag, be sure to research it and make sure that it isn’t being used by a competitor, or is being used in a manner that you don’t want to associate your brand with.
3. Market your Event Hashtag
Once you have confirmed your hashtag, you will want to plaster it everywhere. Include it in all of your marketing material, such as:
- Name badges
- Email signatures
- Social media covers
- Video content
You can also embed your Twitter feed into your website homepage, so people who visit you online will know what the latest conversation on social media is.
To further your hashtag marketing tactics, incorporate social sharing buttons during the online event registration process. This will make it easier for attendees to share the event with their friends.
4. Run Competitions and Offer Freebies
The best way to attract more people to your social media profiles and website is to run a competition or offer incentives such as giveaways. Competitions are a great way to extend the reach of your event’s overall promotional campaign.
It can be as simple as “Win 2 Free tickets to this month’s advance screening of ________ by telling your friend’s to use the hashtag #__________”. This type of promotion is user-friendly and will extend your hashtag’s reach for free.
During the Event
1. Assign Someone to Manage your Social Accounts & Mentions During the Event
During the event, it is crucial to keep the conversation going. Have an assigned social media manager or team post tweets, do retweets, stream video live to Facebook, upload photos, repost attendees photos on Instagram and basically act as the ambassador of the event.
Don’t forget to add your hashtag to all posts and updates that you push out across all social media platforms.
2. Have the Host Mention the Event Hashtag
Attendees will be using social media to get updates and to communicate with other participants in a live environment, so have the host of the event mention the hashtag to further spread the word and encourage people to use it.
After the Event
Post event is just as important as the pre-event. Take full advantage of the success of your event with some of these suggestions:
- Retweet tweets from attendees and thank them for attending
- Publish event highlights and images of key moments – encourage people to tag themselves and their friends in the photos
- Post recap videos, blogs and infographics to reiterate the information provided at the event
- Share the slides from the speaker’s presentations
The content created by your audience during your event is priceless. Don’t let it go to waste. Find out how you can integrate user-generated content into your future marketing.
There are so many effective practices that you can use to increase anticipation and engagement for your event across social media. The key is to plan ahead and incorporate a social media strategy into your event planning early on. Social media is a great tool for generating buzz and having your audience (as well as a potential audience) talk not only about your event, but also your brand and/or the product/s and service/s on offer.