Curating Content with Hashtags

What do you get when you cross social media, video, and some running?  You get great, instantaneous coverage of the world's steepest 5K.  And, it's easier than you think to curate coverage of your event using hashtags. 

As with the example of Hell on Hills, the event website included a hashtag for the event: #GetHorned.  Anyone visiting the site was therefore aware that if they tagged their social media content with #GetHorned, it would be easily searchable.  In the days leading up to the event, organizers and runners also utilized #HillYeah, #HillYa, and #RaceDay, making photos, videos, and tweets easily searchable.  

From pictures of runners to pictures by runners, event content was provided by more than just the organizers and volunteers operating the event.  Imagine your event content effectively doubling or tripling because you aren't limited to what you and your employees are able to put out there - because of time limits and point of access.  

We have seen similar results in helping another client with their twitter coverage of events.  By listing the event hashtags on their Twitter page, utilizing the same event hashtags in their tweets, and promoting use of the hashtag by attendees for each discussion, the company(ies) involved with the event can follow tweets and analyze which items are garnering the most discussion.  

It is important however, to do some homework when deciding which hashtag to use for your event.  Here are some quick tips:

  • If your event is a local part of a national (or world) event, consider adding a location marker to distinguish "your" tweets from "their" tweets.  EXAMPLE: #Podcamp vs. #PodcampPGH 
  • If you are considering using a hashtag, run a quick search to see who else has used the hashtag and how long ago they may have used it.  One of our clients does an event called Super Indy.  But, if they try to use the hashtag #SI, it can be confused with Sports Illustrated, and the results when trying to analyze the impact of the hashtag can be skewed.  If the hashtag hasn't had any use in a couple years however, you should be safe using it for your campaign.
  • Use a short hashtag.  Twitter limits what you have to say to 140 characters.  If your hashtag occupies half that character count, it limits the character space for you to get your message out there.  You don't need to use #supercalifragilisticexpialidocious if you're promoting Mary Poppins.  Using #MaryPoppins is much shorter and makes more sense.
  • Speaking of #supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, make sure your hashtag is easy to spell - to the extent you can.  If your audience is misspelling your hashtag, you're not going to see those results when you run your analysis.


Missy Sorg