Tag! You’re It!

By Jenna Clarke

This morning in the office, we started off the day by deciding on the official Emerson Stage Twitter hashtags for the 2011-2012 season. As you can see, it was a very long and arduous process…

And here are the winners, folks –

  • Cloud Nine – #Cloud9ES
  • The Hallway Plays, Paraffin – #ParaffinES
  • The Hallway Plays, Nursing – #NursingES
  • Robin Hood – #RobinHoodES
  • She Loves Me – #LovesMeES
  • X Dance – #XDanceES
  • Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 – #Twilight92ES
  • NewFest – #NewFestES
  • Cafe Variations – #CafeVarES

Some of you reading out there (like my mother – Hi, Mom!) may still be scratching your heads. Asking yourself questions like, “What are hashtags? Why are they useful? How do you choose them?”.

Well, hashtags are a tool used on Twitter to create keywords or topics within the Twitter community. This way, if you add a hashtag to your tweet, it will be grouped with all other tweets using that hashtag. Users can search for specific hashtags to find tweets that are under that category or if they see a hashtag that interests them, they can click it directly within that tweet to link to all tweets that include this tag.

So, in our business, if someone tweets something like, “Just saw #Cloud9ES at Emerson – what a fantastic production!” that tweet would automatically be added to a group of tweets that are listed under the hashtag “#Cloud9ES”. Now, if someone else sees that tweet and wants to know more about the production, they can click or search that hashtag and chances are they will find a tweet from Emerson Stage that says something along the lines of “Come see #Cloud9ES at the Semel Theater Oct 20-23! Visit emerson.edu/emersonstage for info and tickets!” It’s a wonderful new way to use Twitter for marketing, and more importantly, for audience engagement.

How do we come up with these hashtags? Well, when we begin brainstorming, we are looking for a clear and concise way to communicate the name of the show in as few characters as possible. So, we take a title, for example, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 and we need to make a short version that will still clearly define the show as the tweet topic. For this show, we decided on #Twilight92ES because it communicates the name of the show (while still keeping it separate from any tweets about vampires and Stephanie Meyer…) and also an “ES” on the end, to give all of our hashtags that matching “Emerson Stage” brand at the end. And at only 13 characters (hash included), it’s a pretty solid hashtag – still leaving you with 127 characters in your tweet to talk about the show!

Alright, Twitter community, let’s get tagging!

Find Emerson Stage on Twitter – @emstage