How To Amplify Your Event With The Right Hashtag

Choosing a suitable hashtag is essential for any large event, whether you’re active on social media or not (although you should be!). It takes thought, careful consideration and a dedicated effort to promote the hashtag before, during and after the event.

hashtag_world

A good hashtag will group everything together, helping your event to cross-over from the material world into cyberspace, creating a lasting legacy that you can curate in the years to come to show the world just how fantastic it was. And your events *are* fantastic, right?

 

Here are eight tips on best practice for hashtag usage at events.

Before The Event

1 – Do Your Research

Before choosing a hashtag, be sure to do your research. A good hashtag should be short, to preserve valuable characters, and memorable. You should also check to make sure that your hashtag isn’t already being used – generic terms will be cluttered and difficult to break through, and you want all (or at least 95%) of the tweets that use the hashtag to relate to your event.

Bad: #MicrosoftNewProductLaunch / #Launch

Good: #MSLaunch

2 – Promote On All Collateral

Once you’ve decided upon your hashtag, start using it in your tweets so that early adopters will see your existing tweets before they use the hashtag. Otherwise, you run the risk of people incorrectly assuming that no-one is using the hashtag and not bothering to include it in their future tweets. You’ll also want to make sure that it’s included on all of the collateral for the event, from e-shots and press releases to direct mail, posters and even the tickets.

If you avoid this crucial step, or carry it out half-heartedly, it will be difficult to gain traction and you might find that your perfect hashtag is left unused while people invent their own tags, scattering the information and making it harder for you to track your hashtag’s success.

During The Event

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3 – Monitor the Hashtag

Have a social media team in place on the day to monitor the hashtag, retweeting the best messages and offering support to those with questions. Depending upon how big the event is, and how much is going on, you may need multiple people to take control of the Twitter feed. In these circumstances, agree in advance who will be responding to queries, and separate the live-tweeting duties between the other team members. You should aim to have at least one team member monitoring the hashtag at all times to offer support and encouragement and to foster interactivity.

4 – Use it Everywhere

Make sure you plaster the hashtag everywhere, from speakers’ slides to goodie bags, event programmes and any mobile app that you might be using. Think outside the box and include your hashtag anywhere you can, and ensure that it’s included in any speaker sessions or announcements that are made.

5 – Consider Using a Tweetstream

At some events, you’ll see screens scattered around that display a live-stream of the most recent tweets to include the hashtag. While this can be a risk, as you never know when a negative or offensive tweet might appear, it can also be incredibly rewarding. Including these visual representations of what’s happening online can encourage people to participate in the conversation and engender a sense of community.

Just make sure that somebody, somewhere, is monitoring the hashtag – you might find that people start posting defamatory or unrelated tweets purely to see whether they appear in the Tweetstream. In these circumstances, most tweetstream providers will allow you to blacklist individual users so that their tweets no longer appear. Good providers will also automatically censor profanity.

6 – Offer Unique Rewards to People Who Use The Official Hashtag

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To encourage usage of your hashtag, promise additional rewards to people who use it in their social media posts. At regular intervals, choose a random user of the hashtag to win a prize, whether it’s extra swag, a meet and greet opportunity or a free drink. These random acts of kindness will quickly result in a positive buzz around the hashtag, and ultimately they’ll make the event more memorable for the lucky few who are chosen.

After The Event

7 – Use an Aggregator

You can use an aggregation tool like Storify to collect different types of media across the web and to embed it on to your website. Storify can also notify the sources, and best of all, it’s completely free! Using an aggregation tool helps you to expose all of the content that was shared during your event and to present it after the fact in an intriguing mix between a case study and a blog post.

8 – Analyse the Sentiment

Finally, after the dust has died down and the event is over, consider analysing the sentiment of the tweets that accompanied the hashtag to see what people really thought. Although there are expensive tools out there that can assist you to carry out sentiment analysis, from Radian 6 to Sysomos, you can do it on the cheap using tools like SocialMention and advanced Twitter search to get a good idea of whether the tweets surrounding the event were predominantly negative, neutral or positive.

Cybranding’s hashtag intelligence software will also allow you to pinpoint key influencers and contributors, and you can easily compare your own hashtag to that of a competitor. Better yet, you can isolate the negative tweets, find out what the problem was and aim to improve it for next time!

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Conclusion

Choosing and deploying a hashtag for an event isn’t as simple as plucking something out of the air, tweeting about it a couple of times, and leaving it to make its mark. Like all social endeavours, it takes careful planning and nurturing to develop, but the results are infinitely more rewarding.

Have you used hashtags for your events? How successful were they? Let us know with a comment!

Author Bio

Dane Cobain is a social media specialist for UK-based creative agency fst the Group. He’s also a gadget-lover and tech fanatic, as well as an internet addict.

Top Languages For Twitter Hashtags

Hashtagify.me has just become an even more powerful free tool for all those interested in Twitter hashtags. In addition to finding the top related hashtags and the top influencers for each hashtag, now you can also find which are the top languages used with it.

Languages for #paris

As the Twitter audience continues to become more and more global, it is important to know which hashtags are relevant to which language speakers. Hashtagify.me already allowed you to explore 12,499,159 hashtags (and counting); now you can also find out if they are used by the language community you’re interested into.

To get this new data, just go to hashtagify.me, search your hashtag, and open the “Languages” tab. Enjoy!

Tracking Hashtags By Language

photo credit: zinjixmaggir via photopin cc

Since we released our Hashtag Intelligence tool, the most requested addition has been the possibility to track tweets for an hashtag only for a given language. This is helpful both for hashtags which have different meanings in different languages, and for common hashtags where you only want to focus on users for a given language.

Today we’re glad to announce that this feature has been added to CyBranding Hashtag Intelligence. When you choose to track an hashtag, you can now choose to filter only tweets that are written in a given language. If you do so, trends, influencers and correlations will be computed considering only tweets that use that hashtag AND are classified by Twitter as written in the chosen language.

One caveat though: If a tweet doesn’t contain any word that allows Twitter to recognize the language, that tweet will be excluded from the analysis.

If you’re interested in getting intelligence about an hashtag only for one language, you can try hashtag intelligence now.

Introducing CyBranding Hashtag Intelligence

After many months of hard work, we just published the first public beta version of CyBranding Hashtag Intelligence – together with a renewed, always free hashtagify.me

Why this new tool? Because we wanted to go beyond the limitations of the free 1% sampling of all tweets that Twitter gives away. Because we wanted to give you a more detailed, more timely, more insightful analysis of your own hashtags.

If you want to know what this is all about, please take a look at our 3 minutes intro video. And let us know what you think!

Cyrillic, Arabic, Chinese and all non-Latin hashtags are welcome!

Image credit: techinasia.com

It’s been a pretty long time since the last update to hashtagify.me, but things are going to change soon. For now, we are glad to announce that since yesterday hashtagify.me works correctly with all non-Latin alphabet hashtags.

The data for those tags has already been collecting for some time, so the coverage should be pretty good. If you want to explore hashtags in any non-Latin alphabet, now you can have your fun.

Bigger changes are going to follow soon. Stay tuned!

Blog movements

Over time, I started using this blog to post more about technical and start-up related subjects than about hashtagify.me specifically. This was a little confusing, so I decided to split the blog in two: Here I will only post about hashtagify, while I’ll publish all my technical and personal posts on my new blog danmaz74.me

If you came here looking for a specific post and don’t find it, try looking there!

Hashtags on Google Plus too!

As pointed out by Chris Messina, the “inventor of Twitter hashtags” (rather, the one who pushed for their adoption on Twitter, which is no little feat), Google just rolled out hashtags autocompleting on Google Plus, thus giving their official support for hashtags there.

This is very good news, because hashtags are a really easy way to tell what your posts are about. And because hashtagify.me could add Google Plus hashtags data too in the future… would you like that?

Hashtagify Pro private beta

Lately I’ve been hard at work on Hashtagify Pro, a new tool that lets you track a specific campaign or subject (not limited to hashtags) on Twitter and analyze which influencers are impacting it and how.

Today is a big day: We are ready to start a private beta!

You can go to pro.hashtagify.me and take a look at the new website, where you can also find a Demo/Tour that shows the kind of analysis you can do with Hashtagify Pro.

If what you see interests you, you can apply for a free beta account using the link in the home page. Beta accounts will be activated as soon as there are free resources on the server.

We’re also very interested in your feedback: Comments, glitches, ideas, suggestions. Hashtagify Pro is still in evolution and your suggestions now can have an important impact.

So, let us know what you think!

PS: Hashtagify Pro works best with a recent browser. IE only works with version 9.

Bootstrapping hashtagify pro: How I doubled my workweek productivity

Creating a startup while working a full time job has its pros and cons. Among the pros, you don’t have to use a lot of your time minding your investors (or looking for them), and you can devote your energies to just make the best possible product. Among the cons, progress is slower and it is very difficult to be productive on workdays, when you already spend 8 hours or more on your day job.

But a week ago I read a comment on HN (edit: thanks to raju in the comments for pointing me to the exact link) that inspired me to rethink how I’m organizing myself , and with one simple change I doubled my productivity on workdays. How? Instead of working on hashtagify at nights, after getting home from my day job, I’m starting my day two hours earlier, and doing 2 hours of programming in the morning, before going to work.

I’m usually a night person, and have always been very productive at nights, since when I was just a student. But after eight hours of work, it is difficult to have that kind of focus that you need to program, and the two (or two and a half) hours in the morning have been much more productive than the equivalent time in the evening.

After coming home I still do some lighter work, and don’t go to bed without having scheduled a task to do the next morning; this way when I wake up I don’t have to think what to do and I can be immediately productive.

So, the bottom line is that work on hashtagify pro is proceeding very well: now I’m making as much progress during the workweek as I usually make during weekends, while before I only made major progress outside workdays. This means that soon enough I’ll be able to release the first beta. Stay tuned!