Hashtags are a string of words led by a # symbol that centralize social media posts around a certain topic.
Hashtags are used to join conversations surrounding all kinds of topics such as popular television shows, political elections, special events or health awareness causes. Adding the # symbol to the beginning of a string of words on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, enables a clickable link to form. The hashtag link leads to an aggregated feed of related posts using the same hashtag.
Including hashtags in your social media strategy can benefit your practice’s online presence by increasing the engagement and visibility of your posts.
Hashtags can help increase engagement with your posts. Social media users want to be part of the larger conversation, especially about topics they care about. Since hashtags help add to the discussion, users are more inclined to interact with them. Tweets with hashtags have double the engagement rate than tweets without. 92 percent of tweets with hashtags get clicked on, and 78 percent of tweets with hashtags get retweeted.
Additionally, hashtags help to expand your reach to like-minded users who are looking for posts about your subject or category. A hashtag will add your post to the public feed of other posts using the same hashtag. This increases visibility by giving your post the potential to be shown to people who would not otherwise see it.
A few things to remember when using a hashtag:
- Hashtags cannot have spaces or special characters – the link will break at these points
- Hashtags are not case-sensitive, but adding capitalization can make them easier to read
- A hashtag is most effective if it is concise, conversational and unique
- You can create your own hashtags around a specific topic or event, or use popular hashtags to join other conversations
- Research your hashtag before you use it to make sure it is not already being used by another marketing campaign or a competitor – type your hashtag in the search fields on Facebook or Twitter to see what is already out there
- Make sure to keep your hashtags consistent between social media platforms
- Use hashtags sparingly – they don’t have to be in every post
- Only include hashtags in a post that are relevant to the post topic
Here are some popular healthcare hashtags to help you get started:
When used correctly, hashtags can help your online marketing strategy and spread awareness about your practice.