How to support your Inbound Marketing strategy with hashtag contests

Randi Jensen
Randi Jensen
These days, it’s hard to separate online marketing strategies from what happens in the physical, offline world. The truth is they are parallel worlds; it’s important to understand the relationship between the two, and each sphere should reinforce and feed into the other.

One example of this are hashtag contests. Companies are using these more and more in events as a way of involving and dynamizing attendees, and generating greater engagement.

Preparing an event entails a lot of organizational and logistical effort, so don’t waste all that hard work. Make the most of the opportunity to build up your brand’s digital image and strengthen engagement with your community. You will attract new followers to your social media networks while simultaneously promoting your event.

The first thing you should do is define a short, easy-to-remember and friendly hashtag for your event. When publicizing your event, make sure to encourage your community to use the hashtag before, during and after the event.

Don’t forget to include the hashtag in the merchandising and printed material that you’re planning to sell or give away during the event. Place it everywhere you can. This will make sure that attendees remember it. Here’s an example of a contest in which the hashtag #FabricOfPeople was used:


How to make the most of hashtag contests in your offline events?

Here are our tips for ensuring that your event is a success online as well as offline:

  1. If you want your community to generate updates on the event, and talk about it on social media during the day, you need to work with them: your brand should be active across its social networks, commenting on the day’s progress and using the hashtag at all times. You can even share data on the number of tweets, Instagram posts, etc. that include the hashtag.
  2. Use the venue’s screens to display all the updates posted with the hashtag during the day. Attendees will be more motivated to post updates if they know they will see them on the screen.
  3. Ask speakers and exhibitors to join in by posting selfies to show they’re participating in the event, or by commenting on the talks or demonstrations of their colleagues. Always using the hashtag of the event to link the updates to the event.
  4. You could also encourage attendees to submit their questions to speakers via Twitter. Again, make sure they do so using the event hashtag. Their questions can be displayed on a screen so that the other attendees can see them.
  5. If your event has sponsors, ask them to share updates containing the hashtag on social media.
  6. Finally – and most importantly for your Inbound Marketing strategy – organize a contest for attendees to encourage them to use the event hashtag. Participants could enter via Twitter or Instagram, and their entries could be texts, videos or images of the event – always accompanied by the hashtag.

All content generated via the hashtag can be displayed in a full-screen gallery in real time. To encourage participation, reward attendees for joining in. This will ensure that the event has a more significant digital impact.

As you can see, it’s important to make the most of every opportunity to get to know your potential customers, while also providing them with an entertaining experience. If they’ve signed up to attend one of your events it’s because they’re interested in what you have to offer. Don’t miss out on the chance to learn more about the motivations of each and every one of them.