Among the many uses for hashtags on Facebook, which the social network introduced last month, Alon Alroy, founder of event application Bizzabo, believes dedicated hashtags are essential for events. Alroy shared his tips on how to best use Facebook hashtags to promote events with AllFacebook.
Relevant: Make sure the hashtag is related to your event and will be easy to remember, as well as to spell. If the event is using a mobile app or platform like Bizzabo, it can be helpful to have the hashtag stream directly in the app so users can join right in.
Unique: It’s important to pick a hashtag that’s not currently being used or that can have many different audiences. Choosing the hashtag #tech for a conference called Tech Startup Conference 2013 can (and will) result in 20-plus irrelevant tweets per minute. Instead, using a hashtag such as #TSC13 will allow the event tweet stream to be highly targeted with a very low possibility of getting off-topic tweets or users.
Short and sweet: Concise hashtags are not only easier to remember, but they give event attendees more character space when sharing on Twitter (although there’s no limit on Facebook). If your event has a longer name like “Social Media Marketing World 2013,” turn it into #SMMW13.
Well thought-out: Not every event name or topic will sound good as a hashtag (case in point: the Susan Boyle album party — #susanalbumparty). It’s also a good practice to make sure that the hashtag doesn’t coincidentally form a word in another language, which could result in two very different streams colliding.
Now that you have your hashtag, make sure people use it.
Promote away: Your hashtag won’t mean anything if nobody uses it. Promote the hashtag by having it everywhere — your event website, marketing materials, advertisements, dedicated emails, the event’s mobile app, social networks, newsletters, and every other channel used to reach attendees.
Listen: The hashtag will not only be a way to get attendees to engage with the event, but to get attendees to engage with each other. You’ll be able to track the conversations and not only get good feedback, but possibly even address some of the top topics and issues discussed online in the conferences’ content itself.
Get creative: Hashtags are still a new tool, so don’t be afraid to experiment. You can offer discounts, create contests, or broadcast curated streams.
Readers: Have you started using hashtags on Facebook?
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.