The Coffey Blog
Choosing the right healthcare hashtags
Hashtags are a powerful tool for healthcare social media. It might seem like these little tags are more fitting for recipes (#bestangelfoodcake) or little known holidays (#chocolateday). But hashtags are actually a great way for your healthcare organization to connect with your community.
What hashtags are and how they work
Hashtags are words or phrases preceded by a hash mark (#). They're used within a social media post. Think of hashtags as a virtual sticky note, letting folks know the topic of the post.
Hashtags help posts become searchable, so they're easier for others to find. If you search for a hashtag, you'll typically find a collection of posts with the same hashtag. This happens in real time.
Where can you use healthcare hashtags?
Hashtags started on Twitter. But now you can use them on a variety of platforms, including:
How to choose the right healthcare hashtags
It's important to use the hashtags that are right for your healthcare organization.
So you'll need to do your research. Look at each social media platform you're using and read the post connected to the tag you're considering. If the tag is being used in unsavory ways, steer clear. But if there's a lively conversation that's related to your work, jump in. Use the tag and get ready to engage with other users. In addition to looking at data within each platform, you can also use tools like RiteTag to research hashtag trends.
Examples of good healthcare hashtags
Below are some ideas that can kick start your healthcare hashtag research.
Healthcare marketing hashtags:
- #BCSM (breast cancer social media)
- #HCMKTG (healthcare marketing)
- #HCSM (healthcare social media)
- #HealthIT (Health information technology)
- #MedEd (medical education)
Health condition hashtags:
Health awareness campaign hashtags:
When and how to create a custom healthcare hashtag
Sometimes an existing hashtag just won't do. You might not find a tag that's right for you, or you might want to do something a little different with your social post that can't be encompassed by an existing tag. Custom hashtags can be great solutions. We've seen them used for:
Branding: Creating your own brand hashtag is a great way to help people learn more about your 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.
Campaigns: These hashtags are for short-term use to help get the word out about a promotion or program. The name of the marketing campaign is usually a good starting point. You'll use campaign hashtags along with your branding hashtag.
No matter which of these two types of hashtags you're creating, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Do your research. Look at several social media channels to see if the tag is already in use and how.
- Avoid hashtags that could be misconstrued.
- Simplify when possible. This is especially true for branding tags—choose a hashtag that's descriptive but succinct.
The best healthcare hashtag advice
Whether you're a hashtag novice or a social media expert, you can always learn from what others folks are doing. Follow healthcare organizations that are doing a great job on social media. Talk to others in the industry to find out what's working for them.
Getting healthcare social media help
Hashtags are vital. But 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 tool. We'd love to give you a demonstration.