By Christine B Whittemore
As you countdown to Coverings 2016, consider adding one new social element to your mix: hashtags. More specifically, #Coverings2016. (If you’re already in the know, then add your tips to this article. That’s the fun part about being social. Learning from and sharing with others.)
Hashtagging with #Coverings2016 means creating more awareness for your business, participating in the considerable social energy that Coverings generates before, during and after the show, not to mention that you’ll gain perspective on what at the show has captured people’s tile-related interest and imagination.
What is a #hashtag?
Hashtags represent a means for organizing and making sense of social content. They are a tool for filtering through content to find or discover updates and content relevant to you. Hashtags first appeared in 2007 on Twitter. Since then, they have evolved considerably; not only are hashtags clickable but they are also relevant to other social networks.
Hashtags consist of the # symbol combined with another word – example, #Coverings2016. Note that there’s no space in between any of the elements.
Hashtags work best on Twitter and Instagram for search and discoverability. They work on Google Plus as a way to tag what your update is about. Although hashtags work on Facebook, they aren’t yet that effective for discovering content.
The most enthusiastic use of hashtags is on Instagram where users can add up to 30 hashtags to help with discovery. From a business perspective, three hashtags tend to be optimal on Instagram so the reader can actually absorb what the hashtag stands for. On Twitter, using more than two hashtags is considered spammy.
Which networks to monitor/subscribe to before/during/after Coverings2016?
Before Coverings, create your accounts and practice a bit on your laptop as well as your mobile device using the relevant social network app. Monitor Twitter for mentions of #Coverings2016 by creating a #Coverings2016 Twitter search stream to track mentions. Start following people and practice interacting.
Do the same with Instagram. Become comfortable sharing visual content using your mobile device. Explore other hashtags to include in your updates; start following people and practice engaging with them. Figure out how to use a recipe from IFTTT (If this, then that – https://ifttt.com/) to connect your Instagram account to your Twitter account.
Observe what you find intriguing and do the same. Amplify what they post, be courteous and interact with them. What’s wonderful is that you’ll start to connect with people attending Coverings. You’ll learn about happenings at the show, including a Twitter Chat and an Insiders’ Twitter tour of the show. More on both below.
During the show, I recommend being ready to post updates to Twitter and Instagram. Twitter for fast moving updates and Instagram for fresh, visual, mobile perspectives that are 100% on target for insights from Coverings. Use both via your mobile device. Be ready to share pictures and interesting highlights from conversations and education sessions, the Social Lounge, of beautiful tile, of progress in the Installation Showcase…
After the show, continue to interact with those you connected with over #Coverings2016. Share helpful updates. Recap your images and observations in a blog article. When you publish, be sure to share links to your article on your social networks and include the #Coverings2016 hashtag. And, since you are tracking that hashtag, be sure to help others amplify their content.
Bonus – Twitter Tour on 4/18 at 3pm CST
On Monday, April 18 at 3:00 pm Central time, you can join Coverings Industry Ambassador, Alena Capra, for a curated, behind-the-scenes tour of the show. This is an interactive tour which begins at the Social Media Lounge and includes top social media participants who will share insights via Twitter throughout the tour.
Alena will offer you an insider’s look at the Coverings’ pavilions—Ceramics of Italy, Tile of Spain and Tile Council of North America. Here, too, you can follow along with @Coverings using the hashtag #Coverings2016.
Bonus – Twitter Chat on 4/20 at 1pm CST
I love Twitter chats. They are intense, fast-paced, friendly and informative. When you participate, you include the hashtag for the chat in your updates (there are tools that make this automatic). If you’re looking to connect with like-minded professionals about a topic you care intensely about, try a Twitter chat.
A terrific chat to check out is #KBTribeChat (i.e., kitchen and bath tribe chat) which takes place every Wednesday from 2pm to 3pm EST. During Coverings 2016, you can experience a live version of #KBTribeChat on Wednesday April 20th at 1pm Central time at the Crossville Tile booth. The topic is tile and the hashtags to use are #KBTribeChat and #Coverings2016.
You are now all set to get hashtagging with #Coverings 2016! See you there!
For more information on how you can leverage #Coverings2016 with image-based social media platforms, please join Arpi Nalbandian from Tileometry and me as we discuss Online Visual Success with Houzz, Instagram and Pinterest in the Social Media Lounge, Booth #4031. Our session is scheduled for April 18, 10:45am to 12:15pm. Register now to attend!
You can learn more about my co-presenter in Tileometry’s Arpi Nalbandian Talks Social Networking for Business.
Until then, you can connect with me via my website SimpleMarketingNow.com and blogs:
Flooring The Consumer – www.simplemarketingnow.com/blog/flooring-the-consumer
Content Talks Business – www.simplemarketingnow.com/content-talks-business-blog
The Social Flooring Index – www.simplemarketingnow.com/blog/social-flooring-index-blog