The 4 Requirements for Every Event Hashtag
We’re often asked about the best practices for event hashtaggery. Using a hashtag is an effective way to organize and measure the messages your audience is sharing–but it’s easy to make a fatal mistake. Stick with these guidelines!
1. Your event hashtag must be short.
Twitter restricts posts to 140 characters, and if your event hashtag is too long users will leave it out in order to fit what they need to say. “We made a mess of our event hashtag this year,” says Tracy Robey, who ran the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Rennaissance Society of America. “We were getting feedback that the hashtag was too long, so we had to change it mid-conference.” (It wasn’t the end of the world. In the spirit of learning, Tracy helped come up with a new hashtag, announced it on Twitter, and moved on with the show!)
2. It needs to be unique.
Use the search function in Twitter to make sure your event hashtag isn’t being used by another organization or trending topic. For example, if you’re running the San Francisco Dental Conference, skip the hashtag #SFDC, which is the well-known acronym of an enormous software program that tens of thousands of companies use. Your message will be buried!
3. It needs to be relevant and easy-to-understand.
…Even by someone who isn’t familiar with your event. You’ll have a better chance of reducing confusion and amplifying your message outside your direct in-the-know audience.
Here’s a simple way to test out your event hashtag before releasing it into the wild: ask! Reach out to your Twitter following with options for the event hashtag and ask for feedback. Show it to your friends. Show it to your mom. Does it have any insane, incorrect connotations? Does it make sense? Is it friendly?
4. Everyone needs to know that it exists.
Make the event hashtag available and everpresent.
- Ask your speakers to mention the event hashtag, post it near the entrances to sessions, and pre-load it into the Twitter and Instagram features on your event app.
- Include clickable social media icons and the event hashtag in registration confirmation emails.
- Project a live feed of hashtagged tweets and images at the event.
For more about how to generate and promote your event hashtag the smart way–and how to market your event in many other ways–check out our free downloadable 70-page Guide to Event Planning for Pros. And if you want to get back to basics, we liked this list of basic hashtag tips from Hubspot.