In addition to participating in conversations, part of the power of Twitter is listening to the chatter.
Listening is important because it gives you insight into what others are talking about. It also allows your hospital the power to jump in and contribute when appropriate. But in order to accomplish this, you have to be listening to the right people.
Here are some top health care related hashtags you should check out:
Definition: “ epatient” refers to patients who are “equipped, enabled, empowered and engaged.”
Average number of uses per day: 72
Why you should pay attention: Because an epatient is one who wants to gain the most out of his or her healthcare, it’s important that you listen to what he or she is saying.
How to use this hashtag: Set up a column in Tweetdeck or Hootsuite and follow tweets using this hashtag. Then, determine what kind of content your hospital can produce that will get the attention of all the epatients out there.
Related hashtags to check out: #sgsHealth, #ptsafety, #sochealth, #patient, #spoonie
Definition: “hc” is short for health care, a general term.
Average number of uses per day: 191
Why you should pay attention: This is a general term, but is important because the information you find attached to this hashtag can range from national news articles to blog posts to patient complaints.
How to use this hashtag: When you set up a column to follow this hashtag, it will also bring up hashtags that contain hc. Put quotation marks around the term, so you filter out any unrelated and unwanted hashtags.
Related hashtags to check out: #healthcare, #health
Definition: This is a general term used by individuals, relating to hospital care.
Average number of uses per day: 536
Why you should pay attention: Your hospital is where patients receive their care, and you’ll want to know what they’re saying about you. Even if the tweets aren’t local, understanding the public perception of a hospital is an important step to improving a patient’s experience.
How to use this hashtag: Have fun with this hashtag by creating two columns. In one, add a happy face to filter out only tweets that are positively mentioning hospitals, and another with a sad face to filter out only those with a negative association. You’ll be amazed at the number of people who say they hate hospitals. But maybe this is something you can use to your advantage.
Related hashtags to check out: #er, #hospitals, #doctor
Definition: This hashtag is short for healthcare communication and social media.
Average number of uses per day: 681
Why you should pay attention: It’s important for your hospital to be aware of what’s being said in the health care marketing world. With this hashtag you’ll find tweets from health care marketing companies, blogs, and information that your marketing team can use to its advantage.
How to use this hashtag: Because you don’t want your Twitter account to sound like a marketing channel, we recommend just following this hashtag, rather than using it.
Related hashtags to check out: #hcsmuk, #hcsmglobal, #hcsmla, #hcsmca, #hcmktg
Definition: This hashtag stands for mobile health.
Average number of uses per day: 227
Why you should pay attention: Smart phone apps are increasingly popular among Americans ages 18-29 , and by following tweets with this hashtag you’ll stay up-to-date on what consumers want from mobile apps.
How to use this hashtag: If your hospital has implemented a smart phone application, be sure to note what’s being said about it.
Related hashtags: #MH11, #healthapps, #ehealth, #mobilehealth, #telemedicine, #telehealth
This post originally appeared here.