When planning an event, it is easy to get overly busy by the clutters of logistics, venue decorations, catering choices, and basically everything listed on your event management software. More than anybody else, an event planner understands that the process of building attendees base needs to have a good head start. Preparation has always been crucial times when an event planner has to make sure that everyone is doing their job and at the same time worry about how well the community or potential attendees are responding to the upcoming event. Instead of relying only on your event registration software to help you spread the words and referral discounts, you can improve the event’s presence on social media by using hashtag tactic.
- Local chapters
Before you choose any hashtag and start using it on Twitter (or any other social media in this case), ask a group of recognizable people to join the campaign. It works best if you have local chapters. Reach the chapter leaders and ask them to use a specific hashtag for pre-event engagement purpose. It is important that everyone uses the same hashtag to promote the event, so it is easier for you to track the progress over time.
- Choosing the hashtag
Although it seems simple, randomly picked hashtag will not be as effective as carefully created one. An ideal hashtag will be the name of the event, but use the following considerations as general rules:
- Short: Twitter limits every post to 140 characters only, so your hashtag should be very short to save space. Minimize usage by omitting spaces and use acronym if possible.
- Related: even when the name of the event is too long for hashtag, you can compensate by using easy-to-remember initials. For example if your event is called Save Our Schools, simply use #SOS2016.
- Unique: let us not forget that Twitter is used by millions, so any hashtag you want use is probably in existence already. Search every hashtag you have in mind, and use it if available.
- Catching: the purpose of keeping the hashtag short is to make it memorable. It is probably similar to making a headline for newspapers, but with more character limitation.
It is even possible to capitalize on your guests by asking them to use the same hashtag. Many (if not most) event organizers simply forget to take advantage of the speaker’s popularity for social media engagement with attendees. It is not difficult to ask the speakers to write a post or even upload video to their Twitter accounts about the upcoming event.
- During the event
Engagement with attendees does not end when the event starts. You can keep it going throughout and even after it is over by keeping the conversation running in social media. The hashtag will stay there, meaning you can still use it to improve your online presence. It is also good method to get valuable feedbacks. Remember that not everyone can afford to join the event due to work, distance, and other difficulties. However, you can engage conversations and participations by keeping the hashtag active during the event. Some event planning software offer integration with social media, allowing you spread the words right from the start.
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