While the pound sign has lived on your phone dial for decades, the hashtag as we know it was created by Twitter in 2007. Hashtags group certain keywords or phrases, allowing people to follow and engage with topics they’re interested in. Using a hashtag consistently can help you boost the online conversation around your event — and ultimately, your ticket sales.
Here’s how you can use hashtags before, during, and after your event:
Before your event
Come up with a hashtag that’s short, unique, and easy-to-understand. Once you land on an idea, stick with it! Consistency is key. (Need more help creating your event hashtag? Flip to page 2 of our new guide to writing social copy that sells tickets — we’ve got you covered!)
Use your hashtag across all of your social accounts leading up to your event. (Pssst…Not sure which social networks use hashtags? They are: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Vine, and Pinterest.)
If you post anything relevant to your upcoming event, include your hashtag! Add it to all of your social account bios as well. And don’t stop there — promote your hashtag on all your other communication channels. These include your event website, promotional emails, print materials, and more.
Make sure all of the key players involved in your event know your hashtag. Think: speakers, artists, or sponsors. Encourage them to use it whenever they post something about your event on social. This way, you’ll be able to engage their audiences and extend your promotional reach.
During your event
Make sure your hashtag is visible at your event so your guests know to use it. Include it in handouts and display it on screens throughout your venue. Better yet? Give people incentive to use your hashtag and share your event on social. This could mean setting up a photo booth branded with your hashtag, or creating a photo competition where the best photo using your hashtag wins a prize.
Consider displaying user-generated content — whether they’re tweets, photos, or videos — that use your hashtag onsite. This rewards your social sharers and encourages more attendees to post. You can even take this content and share it on your other social accounts to engage with people who couldn’t make it to your event.
And remember: if you’re posting or live tweeting during your event, include your hashtag in every post.
After your event
After the big day, use your hashtag to keep the conversation going and build excitement for next year.
Ask attendees to share their favorite moments from your event, using your hashtag in their posts. Collect all of the posts related to your hashtag and select your favorite content. Re-share it on your social networks, use it in email recaps, and add it to your event website. Event-goers love to know what to expect when they’re deciding whether or not to go to an event. So the more photos and videos you include on your site (particularly ones showing your guests having a great time), the higher your chances of landing a ticket sale.