How #hashtag savvy are you?
You may have seen the recent viral #Hashtag video in which Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake parody society’s over- and improper-use of hashtags, and it’s likely that you fall into one of two categories: you either think the video is funny because you understand hashtags or you don’t.
If you didn’t think it was funny, #Don’tworry. #It’sOK. #Dodgeisheretohelp.
Here are a few things to get you up to speed on using hashtags. For those of you who are already hashtracking, hopefully you’ll learn something new.
Hashtags are used on social media platforms as a way to categorize the information being posted. When you use a hashtag, you’re adding your information to the conversation about that particular topic, and contrary to popular belief, hashtags aren’t just an afterthought to the main content of a social media post. #Wehaveapoint. #Wecantstop. #Wewontstop.
Hashtags are useful for several PR and marketing strategies. They can be helpful for building thought leadership on a certain topic. If you’re regularly Tweeting about ICD-10 updates, why not include #ICD10 in your tweet? Those who monitor #ICD10 will start to notice you’re an expert if you use it with valuable content frequently. Journalists and editors also follow and use hashtags, and what better way to get in front of them? #Classic.
Hashtags are also a great way to get exposure during a tradeshow, and you can learn more about special events, education sessions, booth locations and even prize giveaways. For instance, if you search #MGMA13 on Twitter, you can get a sampling of what was going on during the recent show. #Whodoesn’tloveprizes?
Hashtags are used quite frequently for real-time conversations and are a great way to connect with people you may not otherwise chat with. For example, a recent Tweetchat leveraged the #HITchicks hashtag for women in healthcare to discuss everything from women’s advancement in the healthcare c-suite to the value of having mentors. Joining these is yet another way to build thought leadership position on a certain topic. #Duh.
People also use hashtags as support groups to discuss medical tips and provide resources and encouragement for each other. Just search #BCAM—one of the many hashtags in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is in full swing. #Thinkpink.
Lastly, groups like The Healthcare Hashtag Project have created a resource for all things healthcare and hashtags. They’ve logged more than 3,000 different hashtags in the healthcare space. Here’s a sampling of the hashtags we regularly follow—what others have you found helpful? What other ways do you use hashtags? #Doyougetitnow?