How Business Leader got #BLA17 trending on Twitter

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Jeremy Vine hosted #BLA17 at Ashton Gate

Business Leader recently hosted its fifth annual awards evening, which rewards outstanding businesses and business leaders across the South West.

For the team at Business Leader the event’s visibility was key and to achieve their highly-ambitious goal of becoming a trending hashtag on twitter there needed to be a detailed and concise plan.

Below is our own ‘How to’ guide on getting your hashtag trending on Twitter.

Pre-event

Prior to the event it is important to establish a recognisable hashtag and ‘base’ tweets – these enable twitter to later recognise the hashtag when it begins trending within your business’ following.

When preparing for the Business Leader Awards, press releases announced each category’s finalists and each company was supplied with an image to tweet and was encouraged to post about their news online using the #BLA17 hashtag.

Before the Awards

In the days before the awards, the Business Leader team also sent emails to attendees, sponsors, judges, and guests, inviting them to ‘get involved with the #BLA17 hashtag’.

Similarly, employees of Business Leader Magazine – most of whom attended the event – were sent emails asking them to use #BLA17 on twitter in order to increase the event’s social media presence.

When trying to establish a hashtag and get it trending it is important to use different media to avoid twitter categorising your tweets as spam and to encourage interactions (users clicking on tweets).

The Business Leader twitter account shared gifs, as well as images of the evening’s programmes and tickets in preparation for the event.

Verified accounts

Similarly, verified regional accounts were tagged in several of the Business Leader Magazine’s tweets and this helped to increase regional interaction along with promoted tweets, which can target a select group of users.

Finally, a countdown to an event can be a great way to establish base tweets. This proved very effective in the case of the Business Leader awards, with finalists and guests also participating in the countdown.

Throughout the evening

To begin trending, a twitter hashtag must have a lot of tweets in a very short space of time. The number of tweets needed depends on the time of day and, on average, after 6pm it will take 1700 tweets for a hashtag to reach the UK’s top 10. To increase their chances of trending businesses should also aim to get 500 tweets within the first hour.

On the day of the awards and throughout the evening the magazine’s twitter account actively interacted with tweets using the #BLA17 hashtag, liking, retweeting, and commenting on them as well as tagging the relevant people in their own tweets and photos.

Scheduled tweets also proved useful on the evening of the Business Leader awards and the team ensured that the winners of each category were posted online at the same time as they collected the award itself.

At the venue, #BLA17 also appeared in the corner of all images and graphics being displayed on screens around the room and, for the guest who interacted the most with the #BLA17 hashtag, a bespoke Business Leader package was up for grabs.

This prize included a free half-page advert in the next South West edition of the magazine as well as a feature on the website.

By the end of the evening the #BLA17 hashtag had received over 3.2 million impressions and was the second highest trending hashtag in the UK.

After the event

The benefits of getting your business event trending on twitter do not end when the evening does.

When contacting sponsors and asking them if they’d like to invest in your next event, a trending hashtag on twitter can help you to close the deal.

Sponsors will be delighted to hear about how many people engaged with the event online and may have seen their business’ branding because of this.

By letting sponsors know that your hashtag was trending on twitter, you are demonstrating your company’s strategic thinking and your engagement with social media, on top of proving the popularity of your event.

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