If you were to go to Twitter right now and search “#GivingTuesday,” you would see thousands of posts on the subject. This hashtag showcases a collection of people who are participating in the same event as you are, providing you with an easy way to see what others are saying about this global day of giving.
When you create a hashtag for your event, you are empowering your community to do the same.
However, gone are the days where simply entering the number sign before a key word was sufficient in engaging an audience on social media. Today, hashtagging is serious business when planning a marketing campaign. For some, creating an event hashtag is akin to naming their firstborn child; for others – well – their hashtag may never see the light of day.
We don’t want this to happen to you. Here are a few best practices to make sure it doesn’t.
Be relevant and concise
Narrow your focus by implementing a hashtag that reflects your chosen theme. It will also need to be short, sweet, and something that doesn’t utilize too many precious characters on Twitter (your audience has their own things to say about it, too!).
Don’t try to be overly clever or obscure. Instead, create an intuitive hashtag that showcases exactly what you’re doing in the shortest amount of characters and words. We recommend your hashtag be three words or less and around 10 characters in length. If you do choose to use multiple words, don’t forget to capitalize every word, #becausethatmakesit #EasierToRead.
Make it unique
If your hashtag is too general, there may be cross pollination between your campaign and others with your chosen hashtag, which could create confusion. A quick Twitter search will display what you need to know: Are others using your hashtag? If so, we recommend going back to the drawing board.
If your hashtag does appear to be unique and unused, make sure you get a second opinion and ensure that it isn’t too cryptic or challenging to remember. After all, you want your hashtag to be intuitive so that others can use it with minimal effort.
Once you get the green light, then onwards you go!
Can it be used contextually?
You don’t want your hashtag to be tacked onto the end of posts just because it needs to be included somewhere. It’s not an afterthought. It deserves better than that.
Consider how you may use your hashtag contextually within sentences before you implement it. Make it a part of the conversation early on – not just a tagline – and your audience and supporters will follow suit.
Hop on the #GivingTuesday hashtag train!
The founders of #GivingTuesday encourage hashtags that play on their established brand for the event.
For example, this year, University of Missouri is using “#GivingROOSday” for their campaign. This is a fun and clever way for them to harness the #GivingTuesday brand and tailor it to their school. After all, their mascot is a kangaroo, and who could resist that hashtag?
Could your institution implement a unique hashtag that plays on the established #GivingTuesday hashtag branding? If so, consider it as a viable option for your social media strategy!
Use it everywhere, starting now
Don’t minimize the power of the buzz. Test drive your hashtag today, and use it to garner excitement and anticipation for your #GivingTuesday campaign.
Don’t forget to track it to ensure it is gaining momentum and that people are engaging with it (we recommend tracking your tweets through Buffer). You can then update your social media strategy accordingly. Showcasing your hashtag now will allow your audience to familiarize themselves with your cause so that on #GivingTuesday, they will recognize it and feel a sense of connection with your hashtag and initiative.
We cannot wait to see your #GivingTuesday hashtag and how you’ll use it to engage your community to do amazing things for your campus!