In our previous post, we explained the potential benefits of using twitter hashtags to promote and monitor the social buzz around an event. Good intentions are always commendable, yet insufficient for perfect execution. Choosing a lengthy, irrelevant, or overpopulated hashtag could eliminate all the previously discussed benefits of a great hashtag. So, here are simple rules of thumb for selecting a hashtag that will maximize your potential exposure, reach and monitoring:
Short and “Spellable” – Since tweets are limited to 140 characters, each letter counts. If you want users to adopt and include your hashtag in their tweets, make it easy and convenient for them to do so. Using initials is a great way to shrink your hashtag while preserving its meaning. Also, in matters of convenience, your hashtag should be easy to spell and remember, especially if you have foreign crowd. Choosing a hashtag like #entrepreneurship will probably result with tweets spread over five different hashtags, with you having to work 5 times as hard for 1/5 of influence.
Relevant and Unique – Your hashtag should balance two important qualities; first, the hashtag should be as similar as possible to the event’s name or topic (yet very short!). However, you don’t want to choose a hashtag that’s already heavily used – the tweets around your event will be lost in the clutter. For example, for an event called New-York Startups Marathon 2012, it will be unwise to select #startup as your hashtag. As these letters were written, a search for #startup resulted in 1314 tweets from the last 24 hours alone, with the top 3 being –
Look forward to meeting PR professionals who are looking for a change and ready to work with a #startup. Anyone in Delhi? Plz RT
Keeping a #startup on track requires perspective, confidence and balance http://ow.ly/aXGnm
#Startup idea: a filter that digitally removes Charlyne Yi from every episode of House.
As you can see, choosing an already used hashtag will result in mixing your attendees’ tweets with completely irrelevant tweets and twitterers, de-emphasizing your hashtag and reducing its potential benefits. Thus, after selecting a short, easy to spell and relevant hashtag for your event, it’s imperative to check its usability. If the hashtag is overpopulated, make small adjustments.
Publicize early – Announce the hashtag publicly, and leverage every social media channel you use to do so; use your Twitter and Facebook accounts, Bizzabo event profile, event website, emails to attendees or any other platform you have adopted. The publication should be done as early as possible so a different, “bad” hashtag isn’t employed without your involvement. Hashtags are a user-generated feature of twitter, so without taking a proactive approach you might find yourself on the reacting side. In addition, using the hashtag frequently can incite pre-event conversations, which creates buzz, excitement and spreads the word about your event.
By following these simple rules you’ll ensure that your hashtag will capitalize on the extraordinary benefits of social media – unbelievable spread, reach and influence. All it takes from you is a proactive and clever approach. #GoodLuck ;-)