Transmediation and the #Hashtag. 6 Tips to Improve Your Event Marketing

A few years ago we understood the #Hashtag as a symbol that signified a number. It has come a long way. Today it populates many of our Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter and Tumblr posts; and it’s not just restricted to these channels. It has evolved into probably the most prolific symbol being used on the web today and acts as a reference point for related content.

EMB_image_Transmediation and the #Hashtag. 6 Tips to Improve Your Event Marketing

What is Transmediation?

The #Hashtag draws attention to both conceptual and factual references that can be expressed in one or a group of words. Its success in creating a universally recognizable and immediate reference point in any type of textual format is a huge advantage to event marketers. But why?

It’s about transmediation. This is the process whereby we can create multi-content reference points across various mediums using one reference to collect all the information about a specific topic. These content touch points in all sorts of traditional and digital marketing collateral need the tag to provide intertextuality – the relationship between differing mediums but all the content collected under one tag. It creates a utilitarian symbol that transcends the social media landscape into other communicative realms. This is especially important at a time when multi-trillions of bytes of time sensitive and easily available information can be easily sifted through by merely using a simple symbol.

Search engines are now geared up to search for tags. All the information in the digital space and beyond that has been referenced by a tag is now at your fingertips. But how does this help when marketing your event? Here are some #growthhack tips that can be applied to get more visibility, sign ups and sell more tickets to your event.

Designing Your Tag

Before you start the promotion process for your event you should design your tag. Your tag design is crucial. The reasons for this are that the tag needs to be an identifier for your attendees to create interest, be easily recognisable and differentiated from other tags that are out there; and be a useful tool for both attendees and yourself as a point of reference.

Using the name of an event works, but in some cases where you have a very long name – it gets time consuming for someone to type out a long name and check spelling along the way to get it right. If you can abbreviate but still get your message across then you are on to a winner. Consider that many people post on the move, so try to avoid underscores and other symbols that require key pad changes. Keep it as simple as possible whilst making sure your message is clear.

Complimentary Tags

When adding tags to your posts you can use multiple reference points to get a greater reach. This is common practice and you can align your event with the different interest groups and social media users you consider to be related to your attendee profile. Using wide ranging tags like #eventprofs can pay dividends, but a more specialised segmentation tag such as #eventtech or #eventplanning will be more successful in reaching the right audience.

Searchability and SEO Optimisation

Finding information by searching for specific hashtags has become a new form of communication. We all know that we have to place keywords that refer to an event or a business into metatags that are embedded in a website. This allows search engine ‘crawlers’ (the algorithms that search out keywords and group content together under a particular keyword) to identify similar content more easily.

If you add the hashtag symbol to your keywords, when a tag is searched for the rankings and results will find content with a social bias. This is useful for attendees to see all the content that refers to an event or for the event marketer to see who else has contributed content. But don’t leave this at just metatags. Search engines also look for keywords in blogs and other web content so add your tag to increase search engine rankings. Adding tags also allows you to drive long-term, steady referral traffic back to your web site.

Tags as Promotional Tools

You’ve got a new tag and you want to start using it to promote the event. Where do you start? The first place is to populate the tag feed with the relevant information on your event. As you have designed a unique tag, so should you design some unique content to go with it to entice sharing. So if someone wonders what that hashtag is all about and they search – there’s your content that’s going to encourage sign ups and sales. You can go one-step further.

There are applications out there that use gamification techniques that allow users to enter competitions using an event tag. For pre, during and post event you can create a ‘buzz’ or a series of ‘buzzes’ that incentivises your attendees to get involved and share your tag.

Trending Tags

If you want to reach a wider audience than just your fans and followers then use a trending tag in your content updates. Remember that trends come and go very quickly within minutes or hours. You need to be timely. Posting to tags that have already trended won’t get the massive reach you wanted. However do not spam trending tags that are unrelated to your event.

You can actually get your Twitter account suspended using ‘black hat’ techniques. But there are tools to make your life easier to spot trends.

Transmediate!

Right from the get go you should know what marketing channels you are going to deploy your content on. It’s common today to pick a combination of both digital and traditional or just digital. Not much out there for traditional only anymore!

When creating your content – whether it’s a TV advertisement, a magazine article, social media visuals or anything else – make sure your tag is appearing everywhere. Pass it along by word of mouth too. This is how you are going to create a critical mass of connectivity in and between the various marketing mediums you use to promote your event.

In Conclusion

Creating a hashtag is quite a simple process, but it relies on planning. Just as you create a marketing plan for your event, you should also create your tag plan as part of that strategy.

This is going to benefit your event, and benefit your attendees in terms of them seeing a content feed on something they are buying or have bought into. And importantly your event is left with a digital legacy in cyber space.

About The Author
James Morgan
James Morgan is Co-Founder of Event Tech Lab and a lecturer at the University of Westminster. He has been producing events and brand strategies since 1989 and is passionate about educating the event professionals of the future.
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Julius Solaris
Editor, Julius Solaris

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