Using social media to connect with family and friends has never been easier. You can make Facebook events for family reunions, you can share fun articles with family members on Twitter and you can use Instagram to document precious moments. One thing that is picking up popularity is the concept of creating a unique hashtag for a life event (wedding, reunion, family functions, etc…).

Recently I had a wedding and we chose to use the hashtag “#shayneblairwed” for all posts related to the wedding. What we did leading up to the wedding was let people know what our hashtag was via our website, emails, verbally and by using it. We had handouts at the wedding so we made sure that we included that hashtag on that handout. We managed to have a handful of social media savvy friends use the hashtag for multiple posts during the stagette, wedding ceremony and during the wedding reception. If creating your own hashtag is something that you want to dabble in, here are a few steps to take to ensure that your life event hashtag is a success.

How to Choose the Perfect Unique Hashtag

The best social media platform to use this hashtag on is Instagram but it can also be used on Twitter and Facebook. What you want to do it come up with something fun and creative. If it’s a family reunion you can choose hashtags that have to do with your last name. For example, I would choose something along the lines of #KaplansUnite or #ReunionoftheKaplanCrew. If it’s a hashtag for a wedding, you can hybrid the last names or come up with something fun and catchy. Ours was #shayneblairwed but my cousin’s hashtag was #legallybrauned (which is super brilliant and inspired by the movie Legally Blonde and their last name, which is Braun).

You want to make sure that no one else is using that hashtag so open up Instagram, click on the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the screen, type in the desired hashtag in the search bar and select the “tag” option below the search bar. If zero searches come up, the desired hashtag isn’t used by anyone else which means it’s a great idea for you to use it. If you see other posts with that hashtag, I suggest coming up with a different hashtag.

Promoting the Hashtag

Once you find the perfect hashtag, don’t forget to let people know to use it. You can circulate the hashtag on any invitation you send out, via email, via social media post plus it’s suggested to have the hashtag on a sign or handout at the event.

Once the Event is Over

After the event, you will now have curated social media posts from multiple people which allow you to experience the event from multiple points of view. People will post during the event but will still continue to post a few days after the event. So, give the social media feed a few days to fill out. Note that if someone has a private social media account that you will need to be connected to them in order to see their posts. If you are not connected, you will not see their posts. Having a unique hashtag for a life event is fun and a great way to get your friends and family involved and a part of the event.

This article was originally published in the October/November issue of Winnipeg Parent Newsmagazine.