Using Hashtags to Promote Events
Hashtags -- simple words or phrases (without spaces) preceded by the hash or pound sign (#) -- effectively reaching new and existing audiences. Let's discuss how to use hashtags to promote events through social media and sell more tickets.
Hashtags are a way of categorizing content around themes. These themes create easy-to-follow links for social media users to find related information. Any word or group of words works to create your own hashtag. Commonly used by arts organizations, musicians and other events, knowing how to use hashtags to promote events helps spread the word to new customers about what's happening in the future or what's happened in the past for those businesses. The "#" symbol combines with any term to form a hashtag that becomes "clickable". Let's look at a few examples.
Here in Austin, we're known for our live music scene. A few common hashtags that help fans find events include #AustinMusic on Twitter and #austinlivemusic on Instagram. Click on any of these examples to see a sample of posts and images "tagged" with the given hashtag. Notice how most of these posts almost always include related tags. These related tags will link to similar or complementary content. This concept can help your event be found by new potential customers as we'll explain.
Hashtags Around Themed Events
Every event venue should know how to use hashtags to promote events and sell more tickets. When deciding on which hashtags to use, there are two areas to consider. First, you want to raise awareness to those that are unfamiliar with your event or venue. Do a search in your favorite social media sites to find similar phrases that might lead a new customer to your event. For example, continuing with the Austin theme, you might try #thingstodoaustin or #holidayeventsaustin to see similar events. Examine the hashtags of competing or complementary events to see if you can co-opt them for your use.
Perform a hashtag search by theme coupled with your geographic location. This is another way to find associated event types and hone in on the customers that are in your area. It can also help you reach visitors to your area who use social media to discover things going on during their stay.
Use Hashtags to be Found Through Other Events
Can you capitalize on a nearby event? Zilker Park in Austin has it's annual #trailoflights each December drawing tens of thousands to the area. By adding a well-known and related event hashtag to your own social content, users following the original hashtag might enjoy your events, too.
Hashtags for Your Specific Event
Before your event is published, it's time to decide on a custom hashtag. These should be short, memorable and if possible, catchy. Catchy phrases can have social media users happily spreading the hashtag to their own followers.
If yours is an annual event, you can use both a base tag and one that appends the year to highlight what is new this year. In fact, adding the year or other identifier to your hashtag can help potential customers play with the year to see what has changed, who attended and what they have to look forward to this year.
Add Your Locale to Your Hashtag
Regardless of your chosen hashtags, remember that they serve as a localization tool helping those in your market area discover your event. For example, the nickname for the city of Baltimore Maryland is “Bmore”, and "#bmore” is a very popular hashtag with area residents. A hashtag’s popularity can be thought of as a “watch list”, since millions of people are viewing a live stream of information about “#bmore” at any moment. This is a popular way to discover events, so be sure to include your area's locale in your own hashtags.
Use Multiple Hashtags to Increase Opportunities
As pointed out earlier, most creators of social media content use multiple complementary hashtags that allows potential customers to drill down on a theme. Take advantage of multiple tags to reach more users by honing in on these subsets. For example, a fan of a local band might routinely perform a hashtag search to see upcoming shows and be willing to travel to attend your event. Use the band's hashtag in your own promotions to reach them. Likewise, fans of #hamilton or #broadway might find your own #musical when you create your post with powerful, crowd-reaching tags.
Spread the Conversation
Social media is about engagement with your users, and one way to propel the conversation forward is to invite users to use your hashtags in their own posts. ThunderTix allows full HTML in event descriptions so be sure to include linked hashtags that let's customer see posts about #yourvenue or #yourevent and continue to spread the word. You can also use HTML to create links directly to your own social media accounts. Try to use three hashtags to link to each of the three primary social media platforms -- Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Consider adding a contest for free event tickets with a random drawing for customers who shared your hashtag. You can separate drawings for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to further promote events. Advertise these in each of your accounts, then send coupons or gift cards directly from ThunderTix to the winners.
ThunderTix's post-event email (with optional survey) is another easy way to continue social sharing after the event has passed. Ask attendees to share pictures with your hashtag, so their posts appear in your stream. You might even give your most loyal users their own coupon codes to share to let everybody engage in #winning! (And of course, you'll want to provide real automated rewards through ThunderTix's built in loyalty program!)
How to Use Hashtags to Promote Events Raise Event Awareness
Every venue has their own followers on social media or even local publications. But how do you reach potential new fans outside your social circle and grow your own follower base? Without hashtags, a person has to be a "fan" or "like" your Facebook Page to see event announcements. But with hashtags, your event can be discovered by ticket buyers far outside your immediate "friends circle" or geographic area . In the end, hashtags are a fantastic method to tap into the "network effect". (Read more about how to sell event tickets through Facebook with the ThunderTix integration.
Understanding how to use hashtags to promote events represents a powerful way to reach new audiences both locally and beyond your geographic area. Harnessing hashtag reach gives you one more method to #SellMoreTickets.
Become a ThunderTix member today and take advantage of all the marketing tools we offer. Our expert customer success managers will help you come up with your own unique hashtag to help you promote your events successfully.