No doubt you have come across #hashtags through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. So what’s the big deal?
They are powerful tools to help spread the news about your event. Here’s why.
A Searchable Link
Hashtags turn any word or group of words into a searchable link. Using a hashtag and getting others to as well helps you to be found by those interested in your specific hashtag.
Connect participants with your event and with each other
Always define at least one “official” hashtag for your event. From a participant view, a defined hashtag is an invitation to connect with other participants who shared the experience. As a bonus, if the official race accounts and sponsors like, comment, or retweet their posts, those participants are rewarded beyond their medal.
My partners and I at BKB co-own an event called the Liberty Run 4 Mile. Our hashtags are #libertyRun4Mile and #LetFreedomRun. These are good hashtags for us because they are specific to our event. We use them on all our social media posts, and encourage participants and those we engage with to use it as well.
See your event as the participants do
For us, clicking on our hashtag after an event gives us a chance to interact with participants who may not be followers, to see how the event was experienced through their eyes, and give a few shout outs, retweets or likes.
Effectively using Hashtags can mean a buzz for your event, and it allows you to see (by searching on the tag) if your posts and campaigns are effective.
Choosing a hashtag
How do you choose a hashtag anyway? Well, probably experiment a little because every event is different. Think of a few general hashtags (#running) to help you get found, and a few specific hashtags (#Lonnie5k), to narrow down news on your events, and see what happens.
As an example, our charity event, The Great Candy Run, uses #willywonka #candyland and #candy. Now you get the obvious tie- in, but those words are searched on a bunch, so anyone that might start searching on “candy” can come into contact with your event and then engage with it. This is so powerful because you can use large more popular keywords and ride on the coattails for building more of a fan base.
Break through the NOISE
A very specific hashtag can also be used as a “keyword” that can help you break through the noise, and get noticed. One way to do this is to use keywords that others are searching on and that are relatable to your event as a way to be found and build up your followers.
Add some fun
For the fun side of things, hashtags can be used to add tone and voice (in a fun way) to your posts. I often talk about our event The Great Candy Run. We may post that is national chocolate day and use the hashtags, “#YouHadMeAtChocolate #DidSomeoneSayChocolate. You can see how this added part might get attention and adds some humor tone. If others repost and use it, I have a searchable link to see how my post is engaging others.
Another example from my announcing work. My name may not be well-known, but people know Ryan Seacrest, so if I use hashtag #RyanSeacrest #NextRyanSeacrest (okay I can dream), anyone that searches for him may come into contact with me and see I do hosting/announcing as well and might become a fan and/or client.
So make sure to use some hashtags in your event promotion. They play an important role in engaging with your potential participants, and marketing of your event.
Want more info? Here’s a great piece by Hootsuite on using hashtags on Social Media Platforms
HalSports partners with organizations at all stages of event planning: from defining a concept, to promotion, to emergency preparedness to race timing and announcing. If you have questions, drop us a line. We love nothing more than to talk endurance events.