Discussions

Hashtags in HealthCare

Posted by Nicole Garger @nicolegarger, Fri, Aug 30 9:33am

Often times hashtags fall by the wayside in health care. Are they less beneficial here? Do we find users actually searching for specific hashtags in the health care industry? The purpose of hashtags is to aggregate content and research topics. Do people misuse hashtags just to use them.

Hashtag strategy, go!

I look at hashtags in 3 groups:

1. Informational ( #obesity, #diabetes)
2. community/conference ( #MCSMN #SoMe )
3. Religous/Social/Political ( ..)

I am a strong user of 1 and 2, but do my best to avoid 3s at all costs – not because I don’t have strong political or social views, but because those views are not part of my “ikigai” ( my mission or pupose).

My other reason for avoiding as much as possible #3? I don’t care how noble or good these social/ political causes are – when they are converted to hashtags it doesn’t take much for them to slip into a mob mentality and a weapon of bullies – and I really hate bullies.

So that’s my personal approach. Organizationally focus on 2, then 1 – but, unless it is clearly part of your written, stated healthcares mission statement, avoid 3.

Anyway, Social Media is a rather new communication technology- we need to think long and hard about some of its compon nets in terms of the human cost, and I think some high level thought about hashtags is warranted.

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Oh, by the way, for hashtag ideas in healthcare, look at Symplur.com and there was an excellent Twitter chat yesterday #TwitterSmarter which discussed hashtags (one factoid from that talk? 4 hashtags per post has been shown to have the highest reach].

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I actually believe that hashtags are very beneficial in health care – at least when it comes to cancer and when used on Twitter. I say this as moderator of the #gyncsm community and chat. P Anderson and M Katz helped organize cancer hashtags which are connected to communities and chats. I very seldom use them on Facebook, and I recently started to used them on LinkedIn. See attached photo for some more info from a published article about developing hashtags.
Folks in other communities ( #bcsm / @lcsm for example) will share a Tweet with the #gyncsm tag when a member has a question or is in need of info from our community and we do likewise.
As an advocate I can not always attend conferences in person usually due to travel and housing costs. So I follow meeting presentations on Twitter following specific meeting hashtags ( #ASCO19, #SGO2019 etc). There is a great deal of interaction between attendees and those following the tag.
We (#gyncsm ) tend to only use hashtags related to a specific gyn cancer in our tweets . Recently in use is the hashtag #cancersm which is used by the majority of cancer communities to hold chats or share info that may be applicable across all cancer types – Biomarkers, Advocacy for instance.
Like Matthew I shy away from any political hashtags.

Hashtag communities 2019

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@womenofteal

I actually believe that hashtags are very beneficial in health care – at least when it comes to cancer and when used on Twitter. I say this as moderator of the #gyncsm community and chat. P Anderson and M Katz helped organize cancer hashtags which are connected to communities and chats. I very seldom use them on Facebook, and I recently started to used them on LinkedIn. See attached photo for some more info from a published article about developing hashtags.
Folks in other communities ( #bcsm / @lcsm for example) will share a Tweet with the #gyncsm tag when a member has a question or is in need of info from our community and we do likewise.
As an advocate I can not always attend conferences in person usually due to travel and housing costs. So I follow meeting presentations on Twitter following specific meeting hashtags ( #ASCO19, #SGO2019 etc). There is a great deal of interaction between attendees and those following the tag.
We (#gyncsm ) tend to only use hashtags related to a specific gyn cancer in our tweets . Recently in use is the hashtag #cancersm which is used by the majority of cancer communities to hold chats or share info that may be applicable across all cancer types – Biomarkers, Advocacy for instance.
Like Matthew I shy away from any political hashtags.

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I was just about to reply to this discussion and then the fab @womenofteal stepped in and said everything I wanted to say about hashtags in healthcare.. and more!

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For those interested in learning more about measuring hashtag reach and engagement there are several hashtag analysis tools to help you. Most will allow you to try out a limited search for free, but for more detailed results, you will need to sign up to use the paid features. I've put a list together here:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-why-where-how-using-hashtags-healthcare-marie-ennis-o-connor/

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@MarieEnnisOConnor

For those interested in learning more about measuring hashtag reach and engagement there are several hashtag analysis tools to help you. Most will allow you to try out a limited search for free, but for more detailed results, you will need to sign up to use the paid features. I've put a list together here:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-why-where-how-using-hashtags-healthcare-marie-ennis-o-connor/

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Great resource! Thanks!

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