Having a social media presence allows you to reach current or prospective patients quickly and affordably, but creating an engaging presence online is key to a successful strategy. By incorporating the use of hashtags into your posts, you can create growth in your followers and engagement with your current patients. Follow these important rules to ensure that you make hashtags work for you.

The Basics
Hashtags are used to index posts and allow users to easily search each social media platform for ones based on their interests. While these hashtags are most commonly used on Twitter, they can also be used on Facebook and other platforms. When writing a hashtag on your social media, simply add the hash sign before your desired phrase, #LikeThis. Remember that hashtags cannot have spaces or punctuation, so think it through before posting.

Do Some Research
Start by visiting Facebook or Twitter and search #eyewear. The results that pop up will be the most recent posts that used this hashtag. Companies have gotten in trouble before for not doing their research before using what they thought was a unique or inventive hashtag. Always search a hashtag before using it to make sure the recent posts from other companies are aligned with what you are trying to communicate.

Be Specific, Relevant and Simple
Hashtags should be as specific as possible. When writing a social media post, think about the general topic or call to action you want your patients to see. Now, hashtag that! While being specific, also remember to remain relevant. The relevancy of your post and hashtag increases the likelihood of it being seen by prospective patients. When crafting the perfect hashtag to complete your post, keep it simple. #makesureyourlenseshaveUVAprotection is not as effective as the cleaner options of #protectyoureyes, #UVAprotection or #sunglasses.

Make It Count
#Dogsofinstagram may be one of the highest trending hashtags out there, but adding this tag to a post about glaucoma does nothing for your followers. Use hashtags to add value to your post by keeping them on topic and relatable to your patients. Social media users search for specific hashtags, so by using the hashtags that are of interest to your ideal customer, you can increase the chances of being found.

Cast the Net Wide but Not Too Wide
Let’s say that your practice wants to announce some new designer frames or sunglasses that just arrived in the office. Using the hashtag #summerstyle in your post lets your followers see your post but also reaches anyone looking for the newest, greatest fashions for the summer. While remaining concise, relevant and specific, there are opportunities to grow your following on social media platforms.
Need help with creating a successful social media strategy and maximizing your online presence? Learn more about Innexus and schedule a one-on-one consultation at GetInnexus.com.


Samantha Toth is the resident marketing rockstar for Innexus, who specializes in websites, social media and marketing or the eyecare industry. Learn more at GetInnexus.com.


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