When you’re hosting an event or conference, using a hashtag is one of the smartest ways to organise and share information at your event. A hashtag is a search term preceded with the # symbol, used within social media to identify tweets and messages around a specific topic. Hashtags are easy once you know how and you can hook into social media conversations quickly and easily by learning how to them. Check out our 5 Top Tips & Tricks to get you hashtagging like a pro.
1. Be unique
With millions of hashtags in use across multiple platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+) it’s important to choose one that’s unique to your event. When you’re choosing a hashtag, check it against existing hashtags using a directory such as www.hashtags.org. It’s best to check before you allocate a hashtag to a particular event. You don’t want your hashtag to be associated with an unrelated event or group not aligned with your core values.
2. Short is best
Considering Twitter has a limit of 140 characters, it’s best to opt for a short hashtag. With shorter hashtags you can avoid using too many tweet characters and stay on message. Our rule of thumb is to use no more than ten characters per hashtag. Use acronyms and dates eg; #eGPS2015
3. Say no to spaces
A hashtag will not become a live tag (a searchable hashtag that links to other tweets and posts listed under that topic) unless it contains absolutely no spaces or punctuation. Adding a space or a comma to a hashtag eg; #eGPS 2015 breaks the hashtag, rendering it virtually useless. It is possible to use an underscore eg; #eGPS_2015
4. Promote your hashtag
In the event lead-up, be sure to promote your unique hashtag across a wide social media audience. Use topic hashtags and link back to the event website. You’ll create interest in the conference theme and drive traffic back to the website where attendees can register.
#eGPS2015 is just around the corner. We’ll be talking
#healthcare & #socialmedia Event program & registration
www.crowdcomms.com.au [132 characters]
At 132 characters, this tweet leaves space for 8 valuable characters. Enough room for someone to RT your tweet, extending the reach of that tweet to a wider audience. Even better, mention a group with an interest in your area by using the @ symbol and their Twitter handle.
@hcsmanz coming to #eGPS2015? Topics include
#healthcare #socialmedia #hcsm Event program & registration
www.crowdcomms.com.au [127 characters]
[#hcsm = healthcare social media; a popular hashtag]
5. Don’t go #crazy
Avoid spattering your tweet with unnecessary or irrelevant hashtags. Apart from appearing unprofessional, a tweet with too many hashtags is unlikely to get retweeted. Keep it simple.
#eGPS2015 Who’s #meeting for #coffee
in the #garden #cafe today? #ilovecoffee #LOL
Best practice is to add your unique event hashtag to every tweet associated with that event. You can add one or two additional topic hashtags and a mention to increase your searchability and RT potential.
Great crowd gathered today at #eGPS2015
talking #media & #health. Thanks @eGPSolutions
for a top session on #hcsm.
Getting the most out of your hashtag is easy when you know how. Using our top tips and tricks will help you to promote your conference or event, expand your audience and share your key messages across social media.
e-GPS regularly attend conferences and events using Twitter hashtags to network and disseminate information. We tweet live from your event, joining online conversations in real-time and share your key conference messages with a wider audience. e-GPS will also deliver interactive Twitter training workshops for your conference attendees.
Contact us www.e-GPS.com.au
Follow e-GPS on Twitter @eGPSolutions
and give a big thumbs up on Facebook
How Conference presentations can benefit from Twitter
Recent research from The George Institute, University of Sydney, highlighted the potential of social media to connect consumers, health professionals and organisations.
The George Institute team presented this poster at the 60th Annual scientific meeting of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) 2012 and posted it on Twitter.
e-GPS saw that tweet, connected with the entire team via Twitter, retweeted the study, wrote a blog post about the power of Twitter in health, and drove a wider conversation about this important research through social media. We were instrumental in disseminating the study findings via Twitter and Facebook and we enabled valuable connections and networks beyond the scope of the conference delegates.
Read our blog post Engaging the cardiovascular community via Twitter. Research findings by The George Institute here.
2014 Conference Apps are where it’s at!
2014 is the year of the Conference App and e-GPS have the pick of the Apps to suit your Health Event.
Our Conference App Package saves you time and energy by using a streamlined, highly intuitive content management system.
Dazzle your event participants with an app that is fast, efficient and flexible.
Upload event data quickly, fully customise your event, enhance engagement, alert and update attendees on event proceedings.
Go mobile with your next Health Event!
Contact us today to learn more about our Health Conference Apps
Partners in Recovery: A Model for Collaboration Coordination Integration
Around one in three Australians will experience mental illness at some stage in their life. Mental illness is the largest single cause of disability. Around 600,000 Australians experience severe mental illness and some 60,000 have enduring and disabling symptoms with complex, multi‐agency support needs.1
Addressing severe and persistent mental illness requires a complex system of treatment, care and support, requiring the engagement of multiple areas of government, including health, housing, income support, disability, education and employment.1
What is Partners In Recovery?
Partners in Recovery (PIR) aims to support people with severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs - and their carers and families - by coordinating services across multiple sectors. The aim of PIR is to streamline systems to work in a more collaborative, coordinated, and integrated way.
PIR aims to support the multi‐service integration needed to ensure services and supports are matched to people’s need. In doing so, PIR hope to facilitate better coordination and access to the clinical and other services and supports needed by people who are suffering from severe and persistent mental illness.1
The ultimate objective of the PIR initiative is to improve the system response to, and outcomes for, people with severe and persistent mental illness who have complex needs by:
- Facilitating better coordination of clinical and other supports and services to deliver ‘wrap around’ care individually tailored to the person’s needs;
- Strengthening partnerships and building better links between various clinical and community support organisations responsible for delivering services to the PIR target group;
- Improving referral pathways that facilitate access to the range of services and supports needed by the PIR target group; and
- Promoting a community based recovery model to underpin all clinical and community support services delivered to people experiencing severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs.1,2
How social media can help promote PIR?
In the techno age, social media tools offer a powerful way for health professionals act as a public voice for health. Although the type of online conversations and shared content can vary widely, health professionals and health organisations are increasingly using social media as a way to share journal articles, post updates from conferences and meetings, and circulate information about professional opportunities, health initiatives, funded programs and upcoming events.
The Partners in Recovery program is fundamentally a network of community services and health organisations that have been brought together to advocate on behalf of people with persistent and severe mental illness. For this reason PIR is perfectly placed to utilise social media for networking and information sharing opportunities with community, health and mental health advocacy groups. Initial social media connections would include members of the PIR Network Organisations and area-based health consortia.
Partners In Recovery Roll-out
The Partners In Recovery Information Paper1 describes the PIR Operational model:
- Suitably placed and experienced non-government organisations will be engaged in Medicare Local geographic regions to implement PIR in a way that complements existing support and service systems and any existing care coordination efforts already being undertaken.
- PIR organisations will undertake a number of tasks, including engaging and joining up the range of sectors, services and supports within a region from which individuals may need assistance. They will work to build partnerships, establish (or improve) collaborative ways of working together, and establish the framework to oversee implementation of the initiative at a local level.1
If connecting a range of sectors, support services, advocacy and crisis-care groups is the principal aim of PIR, then strategic and responsible social media messaging is one of the most effective tools to achieve this aim. If used effectively, Twitter engagement for the Partners In Recovery program promises sustainable and long-lasting local, regional and community connections that have the potential to achieve and enhance PIR aims.
Disseminating PIR Information
When the Medicare Local Partners In Recovery Organistaion (PIRO) begin rolling out the PIR program they will host a series of forums around the local region (as a part of the PIR Communication Strategy) presenting information to consumers, carers, service provider staff, and others on:
- What PIR is;
- The importance of partnerships to the success of PIR and how the partnerships would be established, used and governed;
- The critical role of consumers and carers in the implementation of PIR within the region;
- The critical role of service providers within the partnerships and the benefits to be gained by active and sustained participation;
- The target population profile within the region; and
- The referral pathways into the initiative.3
Who are the state/territory based PIR Consortium members?
There are a number of sectors central to the success of this initiative including primary care (health and mental health), state/ territory specialist mental health systems, the mental health and broader NGO sector, alcohol and other drug services, and income support services, as well as education, employment and housing supports.
Organisations listed under Medicare Local Regions funded under stage 1 of the Partners In Recovery program, with existing Twitter accounts who are actively engaging with their local and regional communities include:3
ACT Medicare Local (783 Twitter followers)
Central Adelaide and Hills Medicare Local (389)
Central Queensland Medicare Local (209)
Country North SA Medicare Local (579)
Eastern Melbourne Medicare Local (1,237)
Hume Medicare Local (312)
Hunter Medicare Local (1,007)
Illawarra Shoalhaven Medicare Local (399)
Inner West Medicare Local (430)
Metro North Brisbane Medicare Local (731)
Murrumbidgee Medicare Local (361)
Northern Medicare Local (497)
South Eastern Melbourne Medicare Local (567)
Southern Adelaide – Fleurieu – Kangaroo Island Medicare Local (243)
Western NSW Medicare Local (375)
West Moreton-Oxley Medicare Local (650)
Wide Bay Medicare Local (685)
Medicare Local Twitter engagement potential: 9,454
Community Organisations and Stakeholders
Alzheimers Australia (3,747 Twitter followers)
Benevolent Society (2,721)
Care Connect (1,171)
CQ University (459)
Curtin University (10,782)
Mental Health Association (4,170)
Mind Australia (863)
Mission Australia (10,898)
Red Cross (11,894)
Schizophrenia Research Institute (1,201)
Schizophrenia Foundation of NSW (881)
Queensland Alliance of Mental Health (2,030)
Royal Flying Doctors Service (3,417)
Rural Mental Health (5,003)
St Vincent De Paul (2,583)
Salvation Army (9,045)
Uniting Care (2,946)
University of Western Sydney (4380)
YWCA QLD (846)
Stakeholder Twitter engagement potential: 88,619
Strategic Networking using Twitter
While the PIR roll‐out model may vary across regions depending on need and context, the common feature of all models will be the engagement of suitably placed and experienced non‐government organisations (PIR organisations) to deliver PIR across Medicare Local geographic regions: these will be the mechanism that helps ‘glue’ together all the supports and services the individual requires. PIR organisations will work at a systems level to drive collaboration, bringing together senior representatives from agencies with key responsibilities for the PIR target group. They will direct the strategies needed to achieve better coordinated services to improve overall outcomes for individuals referred to and accepted into the program.3
The Partners in Recovery model promotes collective ownership and encourages innovative solutions to ensure effective and timely access to the services and supports required by people with severe and persistent mental illness to sustain optimal health and wellbeing.1
Social media, in particular Twitter, has the potential to tap into existing networks at the local level while delivering innovative mental health solutions for people with severe and persistent mental illness. Daily, there are thousands of tweets from mental health organisations, drug and alcohol services, public housing, mental health advocacy groups, community and carers groups and health care stakeholders who are consistently sharing relevant, evidence-based mental health information. Many of these tweets are drilling down to the coalface, disseminating community service, and crisis-care information that can, in turn, be picked up by local networks and shared with mental health consumers on the ground.
Having explored the existing Twitter engagement potential of PIR organisations with over 98,000 active social media users, the question e-GPS would like to ask is: Why wouldn’t PIR consider engaging Twitter to maximize the accessibility and uptake of this invaluable program?
Wondering how best to utilise social media to assist with the roll-out of the Partners in Recovery program? e-GPS can help.
Contact us or find us on Twitter @eGPSolutions
1. Department of Health and Ageing: Partners in Recovery Information Paper 1, July 2012.
2. PIR Initiative website
3. Partners in Recovery Case Study Systems Perspective, July 2012.
4. Department of Health and Ageing Website – Partners in Recovery Stage 1
Image source: Blog: Nathan Coates Journalist
Specialist medical professionals need to set aside their concerns and embrace twitter and other social media platforms.
Research from The George Institute, University of Sydney, highlighted the potential of social media to connect consumers, health professionals and organisations.
The George Institute team presented their poster at the 60th Annual scientific meeting of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) 2012 and tweeted their findings.
e-GPS saw the original tweet, logged onto the CSANZ website, followed the conference, connected with the authors, and by posting this blog on Facebook and Twitter drove a wider conversation about their important research through social media.
The George team analysed nine Twitter accounts, including the British Heart Foundation, European Society of Cardiology, American Heart Association and the Australian National Heart Foundation, and concluded that:
“Twitter can be used to enhance education, awareness and overall management of cardiovascular disease.”
The potential reach of Twitter is dependent of the number of ‘Followers’ - other Twitter users who have agreed to recieve messages or ‘tweets’. Reach occurs via retweets, (followers ‘Retweet’ your tweet to their followers, and so-on). As an example, The British Heart Foundation reached 71,753 followers via 50 recent tweets.
Consumer and health professional education delivered via direct links to journals and consumer articles were by far the main content of recent tweets sent by these organisations. Only a few tweets had a social focus, debunking the myth many in the medical profession believe about the shallow content of social media. e-GPS were instrumental in disseminating the study findings via Twitter and Facebook and we enabled valuable connections and networks beyond the scope of the conference delegates.
Read the CSANZ Abstract 2012 here.
Thanks to Julie Redfern, Lis Neubeck and the research team at The George Institute, Sydney University for allowing us to share their work.
Follow them on Twitter: @georgeinstitute @jredheart @lisneubeck @jodieingles27 @stephjohnston @CSHeartResearch @thecsanz
For more information about e-GPS Conference Engagement follow @e-GPSolutions