Hashtags. Some find them annoying. Many find them useful.
Yes they are overused at times or even misused, but to never use them? I’ll reserve judgement on that.
Are hashtags really important?
Yes they are, but they are also overused and have become more of a way to express a person feelings or state of mind, rather than being used for cataloging topics, for which they were designed to do. Hashtags have sort of become the new “quotation” sign. Only people can’t really make a hashtag sign with their fingers, so you might overhear people saying things like; “the neighbor’s dog barked all night long. Hashtag, annoying!”
Annoying is right, but this trend will pass eventually. However, the use of hashtags and their intended use will not fade away like many trends do. There is a need for them and if used correctly they can improve your chiropractic marketing and greatly improve your chances of people finding you on various social sites.
You might find this hard to believe, I know I did, but there are those who search for local services on sites like Pinterest, Instagram as well as Twitter, Facebook and Google+, and to go one step further my assistant even tested Tumblr on a whim, just to see if she could find a chiropractor. You will be shocked to read what she found when running searches on these sites.
She included hashtags with several searches on each site and then she also did searches without the hashtags but she also used specific keywords.
As you would probably assume, hashtags where extremely helpful on Twitter. Since this seems to be where it all started in 2007.
“…the hashtag was successfully pitched to the online community as a way to organize messages into meaningful groups. Hashtags have since been embraced by users worldwide as a way to classify the often-frantic exchange of thoughts and information on the social networking site.” ~History of Hashtags
As thought from the beginning, the hashtag on Twitter continues to channel tweets into categories making it easier to find specific trends and topics. Example: #chiropractor in our test or the # followed by the name of a city, town or location and then the word chiropractor. What she found was that the hashtag does channel specific terms such as conditions; neuropathy, fibromyalgia and others. However as long as the chiropractor has the city where their practice is located along with the word chiropractor, this seemed to be a great way to locate a chiropractor in a specific area.
So if you want to be found on Twitter, post tweets with your city and the word chiropractor with or without a hashtag and you will be found. If you treat conditions or use therapy such as decompression or laser, you might want to use a hashtag, but it’s not necessary as the search will pull up the tweets that have that word or term in them.
When searching for chiropractors on Facebook, there was no need for a hashtag. By typing in the name of the city or town, followed by the word chiropractor in the search bar, a list appears below the search area, by opting to expand the list a person can see all the chiropractors in that city who have a Facebook page.
So if you want to be found on Facebook, you need to set up that business page so you can be found by those who might want to find a chiropractor by searching on Facebook. This is a very simple thing to do, so simple that my assistant was shocked that there weren’t more chiropractic business pages. Especially since any browser search will also index the Facebook pages. This just gives you more exposure in any browser search.
Since this is running long, I’m going to break this up into two posts. But you’ll want to stay tuned because you aren’t going to believe where we found the highest number of results during this hashtag test.
As I wrap this up I also want to stress to those chiropractors that might not have a website yet, to set up accounts on several social sites. Believe it or not, there are many chiros who do not have a chiropractic website. If you are one of those, you especially should have both a Twitter account and a Facebook page regardless if you use them or not. It only takes one tweet or status update a day to keep you in the race to be seen by a potential patient. #inmyhumbleopinion