Friday, 16 January 2015

Curling and the All Powerful #Hashtag

We've all wondered at some point what the big deal is about Twitter. Why to I need to care about being on Twitter, and why is it relevant to me?

For curling organizations, it's vitally important to have a strong presence on social media, and Twitter is one of the key platforms to be using.

The simplest use of Twitter is to feed out news and information from your organization to a set list of followers, such as stories on upcoming events, scores and results from ongoing events, and information that your membership can follow.

One powerful application that is often overlooked about Twitter is using it to generate interest and inform people who are NOT already your followers. This is where HASHTAGS come into play. You've seen them before, the words with the pound (#) or hash symbol in front of them and they're used to identify different topics.

Take for example, you're a curling club trying to attract new members for your Learn to Curl night. Every town/city/region has a hashtag that's sort of a community forum and this is where you really need to be targeting your message.  Tag the tweet with your community's hashtag and everyone who follows that topic will now see your message.

This is where it gets tricky, you may need to do some research on what the best hashtag for your community might be. For example, a lot cities use their airport code as a Twitter handle.

This should be done for all curling events, each time your club has some interesting news and especially when you're trying to attract new followers and/or interest in your organization. So this winter when the Brier is in Calgary (#yyc), the Scotties in Moose Jaw (#CityMJ) or the Worlds in #Halifax, you should be adding the hashtag to the tweet to get the word out! While it's a small dent in exposure for the event to do it, by calling on your participants and fans to be using the hashtags as well, you'll gain mass exposure as #curling invades another community!

Share the hashtag love and people who might not otherwise have found out, will be made aware of  your club, or your event going on in the city. If you're a curling club, for your next bonspiel, put a sign on the table with your important hashtags (and your club's Twitter handle) that your guests should be sharing. Every little bit helps and if we can come together as a community, we'll help share this great game!