Using Twitter #hashtags at Your Charity Auction

First, if you don't understand Twitter, grab an 18-30 year old to walk you through this post.  It took me while to really understand this concept too.  Bottom line is it's being utilized at Charity Auctions more every day. It's a great way to market your events and keep your Social Media updated and fresh.

It's a simple thing really, you create a #hashtag for your Charity Auction and then tell everyone about it.  That's it.  Seriously.  Those who "get" Twitter, will handle the rest.  It's like a dog whistle for the cool kids.  Here's how it works.

When you start planning your event, create a hashtag that represents your event.  It can literally be anything you want.  I recommend keeping it short and memorable (Twitter allows 280 characters per tweet) and your hashtag counts against that number.   It could be #MarchForBabies #SaveTheWhales #AwesomeSchoolGala #FallFete #BlueShoeAuction  There are no real restrictions, but also no way to "lock down" a hash tag, so check if anyone else is using it as well. 

Then start telling everyone.  Use it in email blasts, newsletters, use it on Facebook, Instagram and add it to reservation confirmations.  Put it on your website and of course POST IT AT YOUR EVENT!  Put it on tables, your big video screens and on your silent auction tables. Also announce it occasionally during the event.

Think of your hastag as creating a Virtual Club House for your guests.  It's basically saying...If you are interested in this event, we are having a conversation at "this location".

People using Twitter can/will add to the conversation at anytime. 

I know this is like reading Greek for many of you, but give it a try.  It's free and pretty harmless. 

A typical hashtag thread may look something like this:  

Original Tweet from Org:  Last chance to get your tickets to Friday's Brown Eyed Furry Little Critter Auction.  Get tickets today at insertyourwebsite.com/buytickets #FurryLittleCritterGala #SaveTheCritters

Tweet from Guest 1: Can't wait to try the new menu from @chefBoyardee at #FurryLittleCritterGala this Friday.

Tweet from Guest 2: Heads up @auctionboy the next auction item is that AWESOME trip to Spain you wanted (insert link to Spain Trip on Website) #FurryLittleCritterGala

Tweet from Guest 4: Just met my favorite Chef @ChefExtrodenaire  at #SaveTheCritters  #FurryLittleCritterGala Look at me! http://instagram.com/p/RTfWVCICBJ/ 

Tweet #2 from Org: Can't make it to this years #FurryLittleCritterGala  Make a $25 donation at insertyourwebsite.com/donatetoday

The common thread here is everyone uses the same Twitter Hashtag, #FurryLittleCritterGala, so anyone in The World could follow along with what's happening in regards to your event.

Quick Notes:

- Make sure nobody else is using the same #hashtag 

- Keep it short and memorable

- Many #hashtags have a short life span.  That's fine.  But it's becoming more common to "own" a hashtag as best you can by repeatedly using it.

- Remind guests at Check in "We're using hashtag #FurryLittleCritterGala tonight if you are Following us on Twitter."  A sign or two will also help spread the word.

- Your "Followers" can post links, photos, comments.  Twitter users will know what to do.

- It's all free, so give it a try!

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