Here’s how you use hashtags to promote events, store sales, conferences and other exciting happenings:
#1: Come up with a good hashtag and display it all around
Hashtagged comments or photos show up on a search for that particular hashtag, allowing you to find, view, and display comments and pictures about or from your event! Isn’t that exciting? Come up with a good hashtag like #ACMEdanceparty (this example is advertising the company – ACME in this case + event name – dance party).
Now, display that hashtag all around and ask folks at the ACMEdanceparty to hashtag their posts or pics on social media with the #ACMEdanceparty label. While revving up for the big event, use this hashtag to generate the buzz, discussion and excitement about the upcoming event. Make sure the hashtag you come up with is on EVERYTHING! Put it on all of the event ads and posters.
- The hashtag should be highly visible on your event website. If your ‘target audience’ needs further instructions, brief them on the value of using the hashtag when sharing and posting about your event. Young ‘audiences’ will understand – more mature and less tech-saavy folks might need a little coaching.
- When you promote the party to potential attendees, include the hashtag so people are able to find others who are tweeting, discussing and posting pics about your conference on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- Event posters, slides, tshirts and invitations should have the hashtag visible so attendees can immediately identify how to tweet about your event and connect with others through social media.
- Encourage event promoters, presenters and attendees to mention the hashtag at the beginning of presentations and respond to tweets or posts to create interaction and sharing before and after the event.
- Establish an incentive like a contest or award to the most successful or abundant social media sharer. Offer them a prize or reward for getting the word out about your event in the social media realm. It will be easy to keep track of their posts because they have the hashtag for sorting and identification!
While talking up your event on your website, consider your target audience. If they are not so technical, show the hashtag and offer instructions on using the hashtag near the social media buttons and feeds on your website so that they’ll understand the importance of incorporating a hashtag in their own posts. Make sure your website links to social media platforms and that the info on those platforms drives traffic back to your website for the event details. You’ll be able to find event photos using the hashtag and display those on your website’s photo gallery or with a feed from Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.
#3: Have a Social Media TEAM
While attendees at your event are posting on various social media channels, it is up to you and your event team to be responsive to them. Having a few dedicated people to manage the social media channels, especially as they may be getting more attention than usual, is very important. If someone is using the hashtag to ask a question, you want to ensure you respond as quickly as possible. Depending on the size of your event, assign staff or volunteers whose only job during the party or event is to respond to social media comments and questions.
Put a person in charge of monitoring and responding to social media in the days before and after the event as well. Make folks want to be there, or wish they had been there! They can follow along if absent, and they’ll be encouraged to show up next time. Some events go all out and incorporate a full-on Social Media Command Post into their event, complete with a roomful of geeks at monitors looking like a NASA control center. Another supercool addition to a party or event is a special section designated for social sharing, complete with a backdrop featuring the hashtag in large print as a reminder to use it, and lounge seating where folks can stop, post, and monitor their social threads. Entice the guests to visit the social media ‘lounge’ for a special refreshment or to shake hands with a local celebrity positioned at this point. Creating a place like this will help them slow down, take a moment to post or tweet about their experience, and capture GREAT selfies.
#4 Get Creative
Tweet, post or show sound bytes and ask entertainers or speakers or presenters to show video or sound bytes before the event to help promote it, hashtagged with your special tag. Participating in social at events is about getting in touch with your fans and followers to encourage them to attend your event in the future. Zoom in on the details and ask friends to share. Use your creativity and appeal to all of the senses – visual and sound. Talk about the many facets as you plan the event from food to decor. Get feedback and talk up the prep work using social media to make everyone feel involved. They’ll want to show up! Once they are there, encourage them to help by posting photos with the event hashtag.
#5: Use Social Media as a Way for Attendees to Engage During the Event
At many events, parties, and/or conferences, attendees want to ask questions and find out more about the information or entertainment showcased at the event, but there isn’t always an appropriate time or means. Use social media to encourage interaction and sharing, and to answer questions. You can even take a moment during the event to view a live Twitter feed and respond to tweeted comments and questions! Live interaction with a Twitter feed is a new form of entertainment. Haven’t you noticed that tv news shows, talk shows, and sports events are doing it? Why not make it part of the presentation at your event?
Now that social media is such a big part of everyone’s daily lives, attendees will LOVE interacting via social media platforms at your next event. If you’re the host and event planner, it is your job to make it easy for attendees to use social media. We hope this advice is enough to get you started!
How Can WE Help?
At Masterpiece Web Designs, we’ll help you craft a website that makes it easy for you to promote events, blog, and display feeds of social media on your site. A website that interfaces with social media gets a lot of views – social media platforms can drive a lot of traffic to your site, and get people to sign up to attend events. Using hashtags is key to being able to monitor, trace, find, organize and respond to all the great things folks are tweeting and posting about your event.
Hashtags are cool! Don’t forget, hashtags should be short, concise, and easy to remember – also directly related to your organizations name and the event name in the case of using a hashtag to promote an event.