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A Tale of Two Cities: The Power of Hashtags

HashtagLast month, two big events happened in my professional world: DigitalNow, a conference for association professionals, in Nashville and AICPA governing Council’s spring 2014 meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz.  I wanted to actively participate in both events, but how could I be in two places at the same time? Introducing…the hashtag.

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is an online search term, most widely used on Twitter, which allows users to follow activity around certain topics. 

According to Rebecca Hiscott on Mashable, “… hashtags — those short links proceeded by the pound sign (#) — may seem confusing and unnecessary. But they are integral to the way we communicate online, and it’s important to know how to use them. On Twitter, the pound sign (or hash) turns any word or group of words that directly follow it into a searchable link. This allows you to organize content and track discussion topics based on those keywords.”

By following and participating on the hashtags for each of those events, #DigiNow and #AICPAGC14, I was able to keep up with updates and engage with attendees at both. This allowed me to really get the full flavor of what was happening, because attendees shared their favorite quotes, new ideas, key takeaways and pictures of memorable moments on Twitter.

The Pre and Post Conference Scoop

The power of hashtags isn’t limited to the few days the conference is running. Most hashtags have activity weeks before the conference starts. This allows attendees to connect with each other, speakers and exhibitors beforehand. Plus, activity often lasts long after attendees have returned home. Continuing to share take-aways and resources is great way to stay in contact with all the new people you met.

Join the Conversation

Are you interested in giving hashtags a try? Check out this list of hashtags for some AICPA summer conferences.   Conference Hashtags

, Senior Manager, Social Business and Member Engagement, American Institute of CPAs.

Hashtag image via Shutterstock

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