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Why “hashtag” should be part of your vocabulary if you plan events or conferences…


I am utterly stunned at the level of backchannel conference discussions occurring on Twitter nowadays (for conferences on nearly any topic…not just web). I am even more stunned as to how many organizations have no idea about it.

Here’s how you can get started:

  • Step 1 is to create something called a hashtag for your event – usually preceded with a number sign (e.g. #marcom2008). If you don’t officially suggest a hashtag, someone else will likely create one for you (hence the word “backchannel”).
  • Step 2 is to use Twitter Search to follow it. You can then do neat things with the rss feed like display your hashtag in a widget on your website.

Try following these (the first two are occurring right now or just ending so there are fresh updates every second):

  • Social Media For Government Conference (#ALI)
  • Web 2.0 Expo (#w2e)
  • Interactive Advertising Bureau Conference ( #IABC)
  • Democratic National Convention (#DNC)
  • Republican National Convention (#RNC)

Leveraging this backchannel properly can give you much more presence (and buzz!) than your website, even if only a handful of people use it. Each post is like an entire targeted web page in terms of SEO. For more info, have a look at this blog post on Twitter I wrote last week. Have fun!

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