A source I interviewed recently made a comment about healthcare social media that stuck with me: Healthcare tweeters are the biggest overusers of the hashtag out there.
Of course, he wasn’t suggesting that social media engagement in the healthcare community is bad. But it’s a valid statement in that there are so many conversations going on that it’s sometimes hard to get your thoughts, questions and shares in front of the right eyes, or to keep track of the most relevant tags for your area of interest. If I’m looking for opinions on a new patient monitoring app, should I use #wirelesshealth, #mobilehealth or #healthapps? Would my question get lost in the #mhealth chat shuffle? If I use them all, won’t I look spammy?
While watching the popular #hcsm hashtag, I stumbled upon a resource that both confirmed the notion of a healthcare hashtag overload while at the same time made life a little easier.
The Healthcare Hashtag Project is an effort to put some order to all of the conversations going on via Twitter and make the platform more accessible for the healthcare community. Started in 2010 by the California healthcare social media consulting group Symplur, it’s a searchable database of more than 1,300 hashtags for general health-related topics, Twitter chats, conferences and diseases/conditions.
But more useful than the listings themselves are the analytical features that come with each hashtag, including:
- top influencers
- related hashtags
- Tweet statistics (by day)
- activity comparison versus related hashtags
- 24-hour activity
So now we know. More people use #mhealth than #mobilehealth or #healthapps, and the most tweets come between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The firm behind this tool works with Twitter to get additional data that helps them generate these kinds of analytics — like this most recent milestone tweeted by the project’s lead, Thomas Lee:
’ Thomas M. Lee (@tmlfox) August 7, 2012
[Photo from yoursocialmove.com]