Own the Hashtag, Own the Conversation
I recently headlined at Baylor University’s “Diadeloso” – An all day on campus event for students and families in the Waco, TX area. The event brought together over 20,000 people from the community. One thing you’ll immediately notice whenever a group of 20 somethings get together is that someone is always on their cell phone: Tweeting, sharing, posting and hashtagging! I was surprised to find out at an event of this scale that there was no official hashtag. As I browsed tweets in the area I found attendees using a variety of hashtags including: #Dia2014, #Diadeloso, #BaylorDia14, #Dia14 The result is a mixture of relevant and irrelevant posts; #Dia2014 pointed to an event with a similar name somewhere else in the country. The lesson is rather simple if you don’t decide on your own hashtag, your audience will decide for you. This can lead to a number of problems:
- No centralized place for conversation
- Conversations become difficult to track
- Reduces your ability to engage with your attendees (and for them to engage with one another)
Own the Hashtag, So you can Own the Conversation.
It’s pretty simple… Before your event do the following:
- Research to see if others are already using your desired hashtag – This will allow you to avoid excess noise and guarantee a more focused conversation.
- Decide on your hashtag – It should be easy to remember (and spell)
- Share you hashtag before, during, and after the event
Be sure to include your hashtag on the event registration page, in invitation emails, and on social media outlets prior to the event. Then display it prominently on signage throughout the event. Not only will this encourage conversation, but it ensures that all the conversations are happening in the same place! Ultimately making it easier to measure, track, and engage with your audience.