Hashtags are a very innovative way for communities on twitter to communicate on specific topics. The usage of the service is quite simple, where should a member of twitter desire to open up a topic for discussion or sharing, one would simply type ‘#topic’ and post it as a tweet. All the user’s followers would then be able to see the tweet and respond on it, including the ‘#topic’ in their responses. The ‘topic’ can only be one hundred and forty character’s long, including symbols, punctuations and white spaces. So what is all that for if members can simply tweet each other and expect a response? That is where hashtags make the distinction from normal conversations, they make the conversations with similar tags visible upon a search on the ‘topic’, for example, if I was driving across the golden gate bridge and witnessed a terrible accident, my twitter update would be something line “Terrible accident on golden gate bridge, one car hanging over bridge railing, two feared dead #goldengateaccident”. My twitter followers would then respond with relevant questions, while others who witnessed the same incident comment on the rescue efforts and so on. Should the incident draw the public’s attention, the hashtag will ‘go viral’ and get significant online attention. Now, let’s see how to use hashtags on twitter for events or conferences.
How to use the service for Events and Conferences
First of all, let’s say you have a conference on the importance of incorporating online research for high schools. The first step is to search for catchy and intuitive words to use for your hashtags, for example ‘#modernresearch’.
There is no guarantee that the keyword you searched is unique, so it’s always a good idea to search it on twitter to find out whether someone else has it. If it is in use, try some other catchy words, try and make them short and unique, like the inclusion of symbols.
Encourage all conference participants to follow your twitter handle, and once you have established a reasonable quorum, post the introductory tweet with the hashtag included, for example, “Hey guys, thanks for all your help, the conference for Online Research in High Schools in Ready to Roll, feedback on #modernresearch”.
Encourage the conference participants to post updates on twitter on all matters relating to the conference. If you want to include participants who will be reading up on the conference outcome, ask them to follow the conference live on twitter, which will mean that you have to post updates as they happen during the event.
Another way on how to use hashtags on twitter to add value to the event is to show the tweets live at the conference presentation, which can be accomplished using a computer with an internet connection, and a projected screen. You can use features on certain websites to prevent hashtag hijacking during the event.
Some of these website present products are like projectify, visible_tweets, refiner, tweetbeam and twitterful. Hashtags have become very useful way thanks to the latest communication technology. Businesses are now adapting this technology to communicate with their clients.