Plus 7 popular hashtags to use now
By Carol A. Wilcox
PREFERRED Therapy Providers, Inc.
Wondering why physical therapists should be using hashtags for their clinic’s social media channels? Confused about where to put those hashtags on your social posts? Do you know how to find the best hashtags to use? This physical therapist’s guide to using hashtags for social media will show you how to use this tool to increase awareness of your business, and engage your patients.
HASHTAGS – WHAT ARE THEY EXACTLY?
You’ve seen them, those words with the pound (#) symbol. But what exactly are they and what do you do with them? Before social media started using hashtags, the word was used to describe the pound (#) sign.
In social media, a hashtag is a word or a phrase without spaces, which pulls keywords together. In 2007, Twitter began using hashtags as a way to organize and index keywords for better search results. Over time, other social media channels began to see the value in using hashtags, so now, in addition to Twitter, you’ll see hashtags used on social sites including Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
When you click on a hashtag or search for a particular one on a social media site, you’ll see all the other posts that have been tagged with that same hashtag. Here’s an example of the hashtag #physicaltherapist on Instagram:
WHY USE HASHTAGS?
Hashtags help increase awareness of your business and encourage engagement. Remember, a hashtag is an indexing tool. So when the correct hashtags are used in your social posts, your target audience can find what they’re searching for online and potentially find you. Content indexed by using hashtags could be an article on a particular condition, a video, an event that you’re sponsoring, or even a special promotion you’re announcing.
When you use hashtags related to the physical therapy industry, you can reach other professionals as well as potential patients. Just remember to choose hashtags that are relevant to what you’re posting and don’t over-stuff those posts with too many hashtags as that can be a turnoff.
HOW TO USE HASHTAGS
Before we get into how to use hashtags, there are a few basic rules to cover:
- Hashtags are always used at the end of a post.
- Never use symbols or special characters.
- Don’t begin with or use only numbers.
- Do not add spaces in a hashtag. If you’re using two or more words, omit the space.
- Don’t overuse the number of hashtags in a post.
Here’s how to use hashtags for the top social media channels:
Twitter – One or more hashtags are allowed on Twitter, but they recommend using no more than two hashtags per Tweet.
Instagram – You are allowed to use up to 30 hashtags on an Instagram post, but best practice is to use no more than eleven.
LinkedIn – There are no hashtag limits on LinkedIn, but best practice is to use no more than five per post.
Pinterest – There is no restriction on the number of hashtags you can use on Pinterest, but best practice is to use no more than twenty per pin.
7 POPULAR PHYSICAL THERAPY HASHTAGS
Here are 7 popular hashtags for physical therapists:
- Hashtags can be useful to connect with your target audience on social media and build recognition for your clinic.
- Experiment with different hashtags for each of your social media channels to see which ones work the best.
- Check out what some of your competition is using for hashtags.
- Hashtag popularity can change. Periodically search hashtag websites for the latest and trending hashtags for physical therapy by doing a Google search using the term, “hashtag websites.”
- Don’t over-stuff your social posts with too many hashtags.
- Some hashtags will work better than others depending on the social media platform.
About the Author:
Carol A. Wilcox is the staff writer and head of marketing communications at PREFERRED Therapy Providers, Inc. You can reach Carol here.
This article is brought to you by PREFERRED Therapy Providers Inc. PREFERRED is the nation’s leading payor management services network. Our expertise is working with physical, occupational and speech therapy practices – from single clinics to multiple clinic locations.
Hashtag image by: Irfan Ahmad from Pixabay