How to Use a Hashtag for Your Meeting or Event

I spoke at a lot of events in September (over 12), and one of the top questions that I get is about hashtags – what they are, how to use them and how they work.  So it seemed like a good blog post…..

What is a hashtag or Tag or #

A hashtag is simply a way to denote the theme of a conversation.  For example, when I speak at PubCon, conference attendees use #pubcon to denote a tweet from the event.  This allows conference organizers to follow conversations about the event, or attendees (or those who couldn’t make it) to share their stories.

Essentially a # or hashtag is a way for people to tag the event that they are tweeting about.  While hashtags originated and are most commonly used on Twitter, they may be used on other social media sites, like Instagram.

How do I use a hashtag?

To use a hashtag in a Tweet you simply include it in your tweet.  For example, I may tweet “Avinash from Google just said that social media is 10% about the tools and 90% about the people #SESSF”.

Simple… you just include it in your post.

Why Would I Use a Hashtag for My Event

A hashtag allows you to track conversations from your event, engage with participants and can build awareness for the event overall.  Take the Tweet example I gave you above, if I hadn’t included #SESSF people wouldn’t have known where I was…. If I use a hashtag repeatedly, some of my followers will ask me what it is, and look for other Tweets from the conference.

It can be a great way to build brand awareness for your conference or event and by publicizing and promoting it you may also encourage and remind people to Tweet.

It also allows people to meet others who are at the conference, or follow event updates.

 How do I create a hashtag for my event?

There isn’t a hashtag registry, and permission isn’t required to start using one.  You simply choose a hashtag and publicize it.  The key is to make sure that before and during the conference people know what the hashtag is so that they use it.  Include it in all communications and on the cover of your show-book if you have one.

A good hashtag should be:

  • Short
  • Simple
  • Easy to remember and type
  • Not used by anyone else
  • Refer to how people refer to your event
  • Be the most obvious choice
  • Not include the year (why bother?)

Remember, Tweets are only 140 characters… the shorter and easier your # is to remember, the more likely people will use it.