Hashtags are a great way for people to organize their social media posts. A hashtag, which is a keyword or acronym preceded by a number or pound sign, lets everybody know what your post refers to. Hashtags are particularly useful at events, where people are often tweeting or sharing photos of the activities.
For example, last week I spoke at Morning Show Boot Camp in Atlanta, and I could easily follow everything that the other attendees were saying on social media by searching Twitter for the hashtag #MSBC28.
— Steve Migs (@ImSteveMigs) August 12, 2016
When your radio station hosts a big event, such as a concert or festival, you'll want to set designate a hashtag for it. It's always a good idea to do a quick search on social media first to make sure that the hashtag isn't already in use. For example, this year's Podcast Movement conference used the hashtag #PM16, but some Brits were also using that hashtag to tweet about the election for Prime Minister.
— PodcastWebsites (@podcastwebsites) August 19, 2016
Once you've settled on a hashtag, you'll want to let all of the attendees know that it exists. For example, let's say your station has its Fall Ball concert coming up, and you've decided to use the hashtag #FallBall16. Here's a list of opportunities to promote this hashtag:
- On-Air Production Elements: Use sweepers to promote your hashtag. For example, you can create sweepers to play before songs by the artists performing at the concert with a read that says, “Guess who's going to be at hashtag-fall-ball-16…”
- Promotional Spots: When you run recorded promos for your event, include a mention of the hashtag.
- Live Reads: When you write live read copy for your DJs to promote the event, including giveaways, always add a bullet point mentioning the hashtag.
- Station Website: On all the pages and blogposts on your station's site about the event, include the hashtag. One way to do this is to create a special sidebar that appears on all of the event-related pages with key information, such as the date, time, hashtag, and a link to purchase tickets or get more information.
- Social Media Posts: As you post status updates, tweets, photos, and other social media posts leading up to and during the event, be sure to include the hashtag. Your listeners will follow your example.
- Posters: If your station creates posters or other promotional materials for the event, include the hashtag on them.
- Press Releases: When you send out press releases about the event, include a mention of the hashtag. For example, you could say, “Fans can follow the event on social media using the hashtag #FallBall16.”
- Tickets, Wristbands, and Hand Stamps: Include the hashtag on whatever piece of collateral people use to gain entry to the event.
- Signs: Post signs or banners around the event that include the hashtag. Venue entrances, merchandise tables, and bathrooms are great places to display these.
- On-Stage Announcements: If your air talent introduces bands onstage or makes other announcements during the event, make sure they mention the hashtag.
- Stage Backdrops: If you create a custom backdrop for your event with the station logo, be sure to include the hashtag. If you don't want to create a new backdrop each year, you can use a gobo projector to display the hashtag on the backdrop.
- Live Broadcasts: If your station broadcasts live from the event, make sure the air talent mentions the hashtag every break. For example, “We're broadcasting live from the Acme Pavilion for the Fall Ball. You can follow all the action on social media by using the hashtag ‘FallBall16.'”
- Extra Credit: Airplanes: Hire a skywriter or a plane with an aerial banner for your next outdoor event to put your hashtag in the air.
The more your radio station promotes the event's hashtag to attendees, the easier it will be for the station to find people talking about it on social media. Don't miss any of these opportunities.
I hosted webinar on digital strategies for radio station events. If you'd like more tips like the ones above, check it out:
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