Gone are the days when people would have to research or study focus groups to understand current trends. But thanks to social media, we can instantly know the shifts of public opinion and public interest every second. Nothing is better than Twitter to learn this. I believe many celebrities and ordinary people will have a difficult time even imagining how they got by when Twitter was not around. Behind all that is the simple yet an amazing feature: the hashtag. It is hard to imagine the rise of Twitter if it were not for Hashtags.
A simple tweet by any user can be followed by one or multiple hashtags. A hashtag is followed by a word, which in essence focuses the main idea of the conversation. Most TV shows and live events use twitter hashtags to boost their online presence, which brings us to our topic.
How can you promote any event on Twitter?
First is popularity, which twitter measures in terms of the number of followers. When you tweet, all your followers receive the tweet via a feed. They can then enter the conversation by using your hashtag or retweet your post to their followers. The power of Hashtag does not end there. You can advertise your hashtag anywhere – online and offline. Any person with a twitter account can join in your conversion with your hashtag. When lots of users are talking about a topic, it is said to be trending on twitter. Below, we will highlight the basic steps to popularize and excite an event using hashtags. We assume that any reader who is reading this already has a twitter account and at least some followers.
Create a Buzz, Intiate and Promote a Hashtag
This step is actually not as hard as it sounds. Suppose you are planning a convention on International Dance Day and you want people around your city to come. You start by initiating a conversation e.g. “International Dance Day @convention center, 27 July 6pm, master classes #dancedayboston”. Then ask your local friends to join in. This is a decent start. You can boost this by actually contacting local dance studios or clubs and promote your hashtag via posters or leaflets or social media. Once the buzz gets going, you can safely assume that the hashtag has been initiated.
Keep Your Event Alive
This is perhaps the biggest task, and a little bit harder. This needs innovation and creativity on your part, and there are no fixed rules to achieve this goal. However, the goal is clear, keep the buzz alive. You will need to keep the interest of the online audience alive, by keeping content fresh and exciting. The following examples might be easier to understand.
Let us say you have created a buzz about an upcoming event. Now you promote the fact that a certain celebrity is going to attend the event. A sample tweet might look like “Renowned Dancer and Choreographer @waderobson is attending #dancedayboston, passes available at convention center.” This helps all people who are following @waderobson to know the event is happening. Another trick might be to get a celebrity to do a live Q&A session by joining the hashtag. You can promote this as “Live Q&A with @waderobson regarding #internationaldanceday, join the conversation by #dancedayboston.” This brings a lot traffic to your conversation for a little time investment on your part. You need to create more and more ways and remember to keep it fresh. Also, you can apply some incentives for people, e.g. “Join the conversation #dancedayboston and win 5 free passes.” Turn it into a contest, but remember to make a way for the winners to get the tickets. You must follow through on promises. You can also poll your follows, such as “Who would you like to teach at dance day? @waderobson or @shanesparks join conversation #dancedayboston”. The number of ways to attract traffic are unlimited and if you do it right, your event will promote like fire.
The Event Is Never Really Over … on Twitter
You have promoted your event well, used hashtags and many people have come. Don’t let the buzz die yet. An idea here is assign someone to monitor a giant TV screen and tweet about the event all day. Ask people attending the event to tweet about it live. Maybe throw in an incentive for lucky winners who puts out the most tweets.
Either way, let the world know that you have created a great event they missed out. The closing event tweets can ask questions such as, “Did you enjoy dance day at convention center? #dancedayboston?” Create envy and keep the buzz alive as long as you can.
This is not an exact science. Timing and presentation play a great part in the success of the campaign. There is no formula to go viral, but it is obviously certain that if you do go viral; you will create a buzz, and be hugely popular.
Hashtags are not exclusive to twitter. Instagram also uses it. Oh, and facebook is getting on hashtag bandwagon too. What are some of your ideas about promoting on social media? Do you like using hashtags? Should other social media outlets use hashtags too? Tell us what you think below.