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    by Nicole Fassl on Jan 5, 2017 3:00:00 PM
    Nicole Fassl

    Hashtag.jpgHashtags...what’s the point of these little number signs that used to actually just be number signs before becoming the big man on campus? You see them all the time on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When used correctly, they can be hilarious or even helpful. What’s not helpful is this: “At the gym! #fit #body #workhard #playhard #dreams #workout #hashtag”...seriously, there should be a legal limit.

    In the world of healthcare marketing, hashtags can be very important. They aren’t so much used for fun, but for research. They are essentially, keywords. When a hashtag is created, clicking on it is going to take you to a stream of other people or businesses talking about what that hashtag represents. For instance, #supplychain is going to take you to a stream where everyone is talking about anything supply chain-related where someone has used that hashtag. It’s like your own personal chat about that category. On Twitter or Google, if you want to be more specific, you could search for #supplychain #healthcare, and you will see all things healthcare supply chain-related.

    So how can this be useful? Well, if you are looking for content to share about a certain subject, using the relevant hashtag to what you are searching for can narrow down your search results to just that subject. If you’re throwing or hosting an event, you can create a hashtag for that event and use it in all of your marketing efforts. A stream will then be created for everyone at the show to see who is following it, and what’s even better is that they can use it as well, creating focused attention around your event. You aren’t just reaching your followers, but anyone who is looking for that particular hashtag.

    “Tweets with hashtags can increase engagement almost 100% (2x) for individuals and 50% (1.5x) for brands.”

    What you don’t want to do is get into too much of the hash business. I’m still talking about marketing, get your mind out of the gutter. Using too many hashtags is just scammy looking. If you are trying to make every word of what you are posting a hashtag, people are going to keep on scrolling. Try sticking to two hashtags per post if possible. Use the words that make sense to your industry. At KBK, we would use #inboundmarketing, #healthcare, #supplychain or #medicaldistribution to name a few, because they relate to our niche.

    Here are some tips on what to do or not do when it comes to using hashtags:

    • Make them look professional. Having spaces that cut off the hashtag just causes confusion and totally destroys the hashtag. You also cannot add dashes or commas to them.
    • Use a maximum of two hashtags.
    • Use keywords that make sense to your industry.
    • Focus on using them on Twitter and Google. You don’t want to use them on LinkedIn and they don’t perform that great on Facebook.
    • You can use them anywhere in your tweet but when posting on other social platforms, they look prettier at the end.
    • When throwing an event, share your hashtag ahead of time so people know what to look for. Encourage them to use it too!

    So it’s as simple as that! Start using hashtags and create your own audience. As always, reach out to us here at KBK Communications if you have any questions and #thanksforreading!

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