The wonder of the hashtag – #mccsm

It’s been a whirlwind day at the Mayo Clinic Social Media Residency. We did a fly-by of major social media tools and then dove in to get beyond the nuts and bolts and understand how it can really serve us and our personal or business goals.

While the overview of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Internal Social Networking sites (like Yammer and Jive) was interesting what really piqued my interest was the ubiquitous use of hashtags to tie it all together and keep the conversation salient.

You can use a hashtag in your posts, particularly in Twitter, for a couple of reasons. By using the same hashtag today, the participants (or anyone) can go to Twitter and find all of the notes and comments attendees shared via Twitter  – to the tune of 10K+ – with #mccsm. (It might take you as long to review the notes as it did for us to take the summit and residency. What a gift – you practically get to attend the class for free). The course participants didn’t accidentally or magically settle on using #mccsm as the hashtag – we were instructed to do so.  Since there are no hashtag police or “issuers” it’s the job of the sponsor (or whoever is posting) to choose a tag that is both unique and, if you ever want it to be found or used again, relevant to the topic. They asked us to use #mccsm which stands for Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media.

An alternate reason to use the hashtags is the search function in Twitter. Rather than look at my regular feed during the day I stayed on the search page viewing only those posts that used #mccsm. With that feed open I was able to read all of the notes/tweets as they flowed past (too fast even to take in). This is a gift to me, as well, as I now have myriad links and notes to augment my own work.

But I was then introduced to a tool that takes health care hashtags to a whole new level – Foxepractice.com has systematically documented a searchable list of hashtags common to health related topics and a calendar of events when you will see them used. They also keep track of analytics for our use of #mccsm; the results were staggering. This is a free tool to show the ROI and momentum social media endeavors are creating. What a find.

Many thanks to @leeaase, his staff, and the many contributors who made this workshop a solid residency on all things social media. I’m looking forward to putting it into action.

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5 responses to “The wonder of the hashtag – #mccsm

  1. Kate,
    THANK YOU for explaining this. I have been wondering about this topic, and you explained it well! I’m glad to see you started a blog. Let’s connect soon.
    🙂
    Josie

  2. I can see the benefit to this categorization tool. But what happens when the one you want is already taken? I read through some of the posts, and thought that there were some elegant examples, where they were not only hashtags, but also words within the sentence. Would the system ever get so large that we would need subhashtags- hashtags for our hashtags?

    Loved the post – makes me think of the endless possibilities.

  3. Thanks for the great explanation on hashtags. Having it explained in the context of this event was quite helpful.

  4. Thanks for the explanation. The hashtag thing has been a mystery to me and I now feel better informed and willing to give it a try.

  5. The Social Media Marketing Strategy Gal

    Social media information has grown to be really beneficial for virtually every advertising and marketing plan. At times it may be extremely effortless if you are merely “playing” around. But for anybody who is in business, you certainly will need to understand social media to ensure that your business will survive. Thanks for your wonderful posting.

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