Are hashtags still relevant?
5 quick tips to create a healthcare hashtag strategy
In a word, yes. If used correctly and with intention, hashtags are still useful and can boost your social media engagement. Understanding how to use hashtags to target a wider audience can help your organization connect with your healthcare consumers.
Let’s take a look at how they work and how a hashtag strategy can strengthen your social media presence.
A hashtag is simply a word or phrase preceded by the # symbol. They are used not only to categorize social media content and make it discoverable by users, but to increase engagement, get more followers, and expand your reach and brand awareness.
If you search for a hashtag, you'll typically find a real-time collection of posts with the same hashtag. Using hashtags makes your social media posts more visible in that conversation, which can lead to greater engagement through likes, shares, comments and new followers. Let’s say you are promoting Breast Cancer Awareness Month. By including #BCSM (for “breast cancer social media”), your post will be grouped with others using that same hashtag. In addition, people who follow that hashtag could see your post in their feed even if they don’t follow you. It’s a great way to show support for social issues and build brand awareness.
Why you need a hashtag strategy
A hashtag strategy will ensure you approach your use of hashtags with intention. And a mindfully created strategy will help you plan your content ahead of time.
Consider the following tips when creating your hashtag strategy:
- Research popular healthcare hashtags. Look at each social media platform you use and read the posts connected to the tag you are considering. Make sure that the way the tag is used aligns with your brand. Use tools like RiteTag or me to research hashtag trends. And follow leaders in your industry that share your target audience to find out what's working for them.
- Develop a brand hashtag. Creating your own brand hashtag is a great way to help people learn more about your healthcare organization. Think of it like the corporate signature on an email—you'll use it on all your social media posts and it will help brand that communication. It should be unique to your organization and geared toward long-term use. This tag might be your organization name or tagline.
- Combine popular hashtags with more specific niche interest hashtags. Popular hashtags have a wider reach but more competition. They allow you to be a part of a larger conversation. Niche interest hashtags are likely to be seen by readers looking for specific content and can help you stand out to an audience that is most relevant to your content. Use a less-is-more approach. Too many hashtags can make your post look spammy and annoying.
- Build a community. Give your healthcare consumers a reason to use your hashtag. Audiences respond better when they get something out of the relationship, so offer a prize or incentive when they use your hashtag.
- Don’t forget your metrics. Check your metrics regularly to see how well your hashtag strategy is performing. Some of the top metrics that can help you determine the success of a hashtag are:
Pro tip: To keep readers focused on a well-written caption, you can “hide” your Instagram hashtags. After ending your caption with a period, hit Return one or more times and enter your hashtags. Instagram hides captions after three lines, so your hashtags won’t be visible unless your followers tap the “More” option or read comments in your post.
When it comes to your company’s social media marketing, hashtags are pretty much an essential part of your content strategy. And social media success relies on exceptional content. Coffey can help with that. Our Coffey Social tool puts engaging social content at your fingertips. And scheduling is a snap. Contact us to find out more about this helpful tool. We’d love to give you a free, no-commitment demonstration.