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Posted on 07-09-2014
Once simply known as the pound sign, and then a new tool on Twitter, the hashtag (#) is now a marketing device that you cannot ignore. When it comes to social media best practices for promoting your chiropractic practice on the web, hashtags are an essential addition to your messages.
When a word has a #Hashtag it becomes a clickable link. Clicking the hashtag lets users see all other public posts that contain the same hashtag. When you are included in the list of posts with a certain hashtag, new people will find your profile. With the introduction of hashtags on Facebook, Google +, and other social networks, you may be wondering how to best utilize them. Here are some ways to effectively use hashtags to increase your practice’s reach and social engagement.
Use the Right Hashtags
You can create your own chiropractic hashtags or use existing hashtags. To enjoy a high number of interactions with your social media posts, find out what people are already talking about. A search on Facebook or Twitter with a generic hashtag, such as #Chiropractor, will reveal other hashtags being used on the same posts, such as #BackProblems. By using these hashtags you can increase the chances that someone will find your post in a search. Also find a few influential bloggers or Facebook users in your area and see which hashtags they have used on successful posts.
Timeliness is Key
Use current events in your industry to take part in important conversations. If you see a news story related to chiropractic care or related issues, for example, find out what hashtag is being used by news organizations and craft a post that includes it. This allows you to share advice, expert insight, and useful tips that relate to something people are interested in right now. Try to avoid a blatant plug of your practice or its products – your useful post is enough for people to visit your profile.
Don’t #Hashtag #Every #Word
Hashtags stand to increase your Twitter engagement by 60 percent, and can also lead to a higher number of retweets (Buffer, 2014). While 1 to 2 hashtags can increase engagement on Twitter, including too many hashtags can actually cause clicks and retweets to decline. Be judicious when you choose hashtags for any social network. Any single hashtag buried in a sea of 20 tags will not be noticed. Too many hashtags can also make your Facebook posts seem too long. If you identify more than 2 useful hashtags, split them between multiple messages that you post a few hours apart.
If you are creating a hashtag to track a promotion related specifically to your business (i.e. #AndersonChiropracticDeal), think about the different ways in which it might be used. In 2014, the New York City Police Department encouraged people to use the hashtag #myNYPD to post images of themselves with local officers. Many Twitter users posted images of police aggressively apprehending citizens – not the flattering, smiling photos the department had been hoping for. Remember that any hashtag related specifically to your business could bring about customer complaints. Be prepared to respond promptly and respectfully. Avoid hashtags altogether that could foreseeably be reused in an unintended way.
For more information about social media marketing for your chiropractic practice, call 1-800-IMATRIX. Our ChiroMatrix Internet Consultants are available to provide one-on-one online marketing consultations.
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