Benefits Of Live Hashtag Feeds At Your Next Event

If you have ever organized a mega event, you already have an idea of how much work it entails. You need to figure out how to create an intriguing program, handle the attendee register, and find a suitable location, among other things. Even more importantly, you have to give your attendees a memorable experience. The worst part is going to all that trouble and not getting the engagement you want. Using live hashtag feeds ensures your attendees are fully engaged and don't get bored. In fact, they'll love being an active part of the event. Of course, these hashtag feeds don't just engage people during the event. They also give them something to look back on when the event is over.

Why Use Hashtags?

What's the point in using hashtags? Couldn't attendees just follow your social media handles? They could, but this won't limit posts to just event-related posts. Plus, they'll be missing out on any posts that don't tag your brand directly. Hashtags allow you to gather all related posts from your brand and attendees in a single feed. This hyper-focused feed keeps attendees up to date on what's going on and gives them a way to easily participate in the conversation too. Of course, live hashtag feeds don't have to be made up of a just a single keyword. Each program or day could have its own hashtag. This all depends on how you want to organize content and conversations.

What Makes A Great Event Hashtag?

As you might guess, generic hashtags aren't going to work so well. You need an event-specific hashtag. It's important to note that if you're going to an event with multiple brands/vendors, there will likely be an event hashtag and then you can create your own brand-specific event hashtag. Ask attendees to use both when engaging directly with your brand. Otherwise, if the event is just for your brand and even a special occasion, you only need the one hashtag. In order for people to start using your hashtag, it needs to meet certain criteria, including:
  • Relevant and descriptive - A common strategy is to include your event name, date (can just be the year), or event name + location.
  • Unique - Do proper research to ensure that the hashtag you choose is not already in use for a different purpose. Live hashtag feeds pull all posts with that hashtag, so you don't want posts from another event coming up in your feed.
  • Short - A short hashtag is easier to remember. Most people at your event will probably be using a smartphone, which is not easy to type on. Keeping your hashtag short will make it easier to type.
  • Easy to understand - Using acronyms and abbreviations is a great way to keep your hashtag short. However, make sure the hashtag you settle on is not too complicated that people cannot decrypt it.  Also, if your hashtag is more than one word, consider using capital letters to make it easier to read.
  • Doesn't send the wrong message - Ask others to read over your hashtag before you start using it. While it might sound great to you, make sure it can't be misinterpreted to say something completely different, such as inappropriate words and phrases like these epic hashtag fails.
For a little more in-depth guidance on choosing the perfect, and unique, hashtag for your event, use Sprout Social's guide.

Why Use Live Hashtag Feeds At Your Next Event?

Live hashtag feeds let you gather all posts using your hashtag(s). They're then displayed prominently at your event. Since the posts display in real-time, attendees are able to see the conversation as it's happening without having to stay glued to their devices. Naturally, they'll be using their phones to add to it, though. All you need is a hashtag aggregator tool, like Curator. These tools allow you to customize the entire feed, including branding it to your brand or event. You can customize how the feed looks, how often it refreshes, which hashtags to use, and even which social networks to pull from. In addition to showing a full-screen feed at your event, you can also post the feed on your event's website. Even people who can't attend or who may be attending on another day can keep up with the conversation easily without having to dig through other social media posts. If you're still on the fence, just take a look at the amazing benefits of using live hashtag feeds:

1. Engage Your Audience

Creating and sustaining a high level of interest at your event can be a daunting task. After all, most people think of events and conferences as rather boring. But, your event doesn't have to be this way. No one wants to just sit there doing nothing. Even worse, they don't want to listen to someone drone on for hours while clicking through PowerPoint slides. Instead, live hashtag feeds let your audience become a part of the conversation. They can use Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to ask questions, react to statements, respond to questions you ask, and much more. The best part is they get to read and interact with these posts throughout the entire event. It's not only fun and entertaining, but the more your attendees communicate with you and others, the more they'll take away from the event. A live hashtag feed wall could put your mind at ease. Keep your attendees fully engaged by posing questions to them. Throw out topics for them to discuss. Consider hosting live polls and ensure your speakers all reference and interact with the hashtag feed. This makes it much more engaging. Slido has 85 great ideas for making your event even more exciting. You can implement many of these using your event hashtag.

2. Increase Brand/Event Visibility

Without live hashtag feeds, the only real visibility your event might get on Twitter or other social networks is that the event exists. Odds are, this is coming from event marketing posts or a handful of posts from attendees saying they're attending the event. On the other hand, if you give them a reason to actively post using your event's hashtag, you gain major visibility on social platforms. You could even see your hashtag start to trend throughout the event. Incorporating an online ticketing system with branding control features also boosts visibility by simplifying the registration process and allowing attendees to share their participation across their networks. Everyone who uses the hashtag suddenly exposes your event to all of their followers. They can then start checking out your event and even participating themselves. At the very least, you're reaching a wider audience than ever before.

3. Impress Your Guests

Live hashtag feeds are fun. By creating an engaging hashtag wall at your event, you'll amaze and entertain your attendees. They'll instantly know this isn't going to be a typical boring event. The best part is they'll be impressed that you took the time to make them a part of the event, and not just a guest. They'll get to see pictures of other guests enjoying the event along with reading and interacting with posts. Hashtag feeds give your attendees a way to break the ice and start conversations with each other. You'll notice them gathering around the hashtag wall to discuss what they're reading. Not only are you sparking conversations online, but offline as well.

4. Increase Clients

Live hashtag feeds help your brand to reach more clients. As attendees use your hashtag, they're marketing your brand to their followers too. Just think of the exposure that many brands get just from journalists and publications that attend CES (Consumer Electronics Show) each year. Brands and attendees use #CES (with the current year) to help consumers follow along. The hashtag typically trends throughout the event, which gets consumers excited about new brands and products they might miss out on otherwise.

5. Showcase Your Brand's Image

Another advantage of having a live hashtag feed at your event is that it allows you to display your brand's image. Use the wall to highlight your tone aesthetics as well as your brand values. Be creative while designing your wall. Choose a font style, theme, tweet display style and layout that reflects your brand style. With the many customization options available, you can change the color and layout to go with that of your brand. You should also display your logo on the hashtag feed. Here you can choose to be minimalistic by going for a small logo on the corner of the wall or dramatically display a large banner on the wall.

6. Gain Valuable Marketing Content

You can utilize the user-generated content from live hashtag feeds to use as a social media marketing tool. Doing this shows potential customers that you've established yourself as a reputable brand that already has a loyal following. The best part of all is attendees will give honest reviews of your products. Social proof is critical to boosting your brand's reputation and gaining more customers. In fact, it's one of the most effective marketing tools with 83% of people saying it makes them more likely to buy a product than just general marketing material. You can even display marketing material at your event and encourage attendees to share it if they want. Obviously, you'll want them to use your event hashtags and brand hashtag. By seeing posts from others, and not just your marketing team, people are more likely to trust your brand. It's one of the most cost-effective marketing tools and it makes your event even more engaging.

Why Wait Any Longer?

It's easier than ever to make your events more engaging and fun for your attendees. Live hashtag feeds can go a long way in increasing your brand visibility while keeping your guests informed and entertained. What say you? Have you used live hashtag feeds before? How did your business benefit? Share your experiences with us here.