It’s no secret we’re living in a socially connected world and since the mid-2000s, the #hashtag has played a large role in this. The hashtag, also known as the pound sign, is a symbol that you put in front of words or phrases for searchability across social media platforms.
The term “hashtag” was first coined by blogger Steve Boyd in 2007 and then adopted heavily by Twitter in 2009. Twitter encouraged users to put the pound symbol in front of words or phrases which allowed these to be hyperlinked and searched across the platform. Out of 74 million tweets, 10% of these have at least one hashtag. But hashtags aren’t just for Twitter! They’ve been adopted by many other social platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, Reddit, and more.
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In communication terms, the hashtag is the focus of your social media post. It’s the point you’re trying to make. In technical terms, it is a metadata label that groups social posts and communications together for easy search on a specific topic. If you frequently plan or produce events, we sure hope you’re using hashtags! Especially one that is unique, created by you, and specific to your event. A quick tip: try to keep your unique hashtag under 20 characters.
If you’re not yet using them, keep reading for 5 reasons why you should promote your event with unique hashtags.
1. Build a community around your event before it starts
Build a community around your event before it even begins. With a unique hashtag, you can encourage people that are attending your event to post about it on social media prior to the date. You can also post about it on social media prior to the date to get the community and conversation rolling.
2. Increase the social searchability of your event
The point of a hashtag is to encourage social searching. Think of a hashtag as another marketing channel in which you can promote your event. Hashtags aren’t just searching on Twitter. They are also searchable on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This means your hashtag can be used cross-platform for optimum social search.
3. Encourage social engagement at your event
Give people a reason to get social! Promoting a unique hashtag will encourage people to post about your event. Try to make your unique hashtag visible on other event marketing materials and tactics. Consider adding your hashtag to your ticket confirmation email (which you can personalize if you’re using TicketPeak!).
4. Gather user-generated content from your event
If you produce frequent events you know how valuable posting consistently on social media is. If you use a unique hashtag, this is a super easy way for you to gather UGC (or user-generated content) from your events to help promote your future events. Just remember to ask users if you can share their photo before doing so!
5. Measure your ROI with hashtag tracking tools
Report on your ROI with a hashtag tracking tool. There are plenty of free tools that you can use to track just how many social posts your hashtag was in. You can also dive deeper into analytics by tracking your hashtag reach, impressions, location, and even similar topics and hashtags for future events.
Have you used a unique hashtag before to promote your event? If so, what was your experience? Feel free to let us know in the comments below, we’d love to read your take on hashtags.
TicketPeak is an online ticketing software for frequent event producers. We believe that ticketing for events should be low-cost and easy to use. To learn more about what we do, request a demo here or check out our product features.