Why Your Event Hashtag Is Not Enough

Find out how geofencing can help you capture all the social chatter from your event.

Ampsy’s keyword tool allows users to drill down on specific keywords or phrases to see what people are talking about within a geofenced area and how they are feeling around that particular keyword or phrase.
Ampsy’s keyword tool allows users to drill down on specific keywords or phrases to see what people are talking about within a geofenced area and how they are feeling around that particular keyword or phrase.
Photo: Courtesy of Ampsy

Social media strategy is now an integral part of event production. Whether that event is a trade show, conference, festival, or fund-raiser, hosts and sponsors know that it’s important to understand what is being said and shared by attendees on social networks.

The typical way planners monitor these conversations is by creating, promoting, and tracking a hashtag for the event or brand. Jeremy Gocke launched Ampsy in 2014 to capture and analyze hashtag campaigns for brands, events, and destinations. But after more than a year of doing that for clients such as Jimmy Kimmel Live and Guns N' Roses, Gocke says he and his team realized that often fans were either misspelling or not using the event hashtag and brand handle.

“We went back and analyzed more than a thousand campaigns and found that anywhere from 40 to 80 percent of the content was missing the brand’s hashtag or handle. That’s a significant amount of content that’s falling into the abyss,” Gocke says.

That finding led Gocke to shift Ampsy’s focus to geofencing—turning it into a hyperlocal social aggregation analytics platform. Now planners and hosts can use the system to create a geofence, a virtual boundary, around their venue or event location, and the system can identify and analyze all posts on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, and several other platforms that are being made from within that area.

“We are also able to surface trending keywords within the geofenced area, which is helpful because fans are creating their own hashtags and a lot of times these organic hashtags are trending higher than the brand’s official hashtag,” he says.

Ampsy uses IBM Watson Personality Insights to provide a deeper understanding of people talking about the event or brand. The dashboard ranks those who are posting by their social reach and also provides a look at their historical social posts. “It’s a great way to segment your fan base,” Gocke says.

Of course, hashtags still provide the easiest way for attendees and non-attendees to follow and participate in social conversations about an event.

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