As far as the use of Twitter in the South African health care market goes, more discussions are emerging by the day. The issue in south Africa is the use of hashtags which is not standard, making it difficult to search topics.
#hcsmSA is an acronym for Health Care Social Media South Africa. Social media is being used globally to advance medicine. There are numerous benefits to health care when users include the #hcsmSA hashtag into their tweets.
If you are not familiar with what a hashtag does on certain social media platforms, people use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those keywords and help them show more easily in Search. Clicking on a hashtagged word shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword.
If you interact on Twitter and distribute health care news, this article is to encourage you to use the #hcsmSA hashtag in your message because it can benefit South African health care in the following ways:
- By using #hcsmSA in your tweet, health conversations connect geographically
By tweeting medical news with the #hcsmSA hashtag, you automatically distribute the tweet into a connected stream of tweets which is relevant to a specific country. Global hashtags being used daily include #hcsmCA (Canada), #hcsm (Global) and #hcsmANZ (Australia).
What is the benefit ?
When geographical hashtags are grouped together more accurate analytics can be retrieved though companies like http://www.symplur.com. Searching for local health care news on Twitter is easier because it is organized though one geographical hashtag. The hashtag system is also being used on Facebook, Pinterest & Google+ to name a few.
- Tweet chats are being used to discuss and brainstorm health issues
#hcsmSA ultimately is a hashtag for a future tweet chat created for South African health issues. The biggest setback for South African health currently is that there is a shortage of doctors online.
What is a tweet chat?
If you’re an avid Twitter fan, you may be familiar with http://www.tweetchat.com. This is a website which is connected to Twitter. When you login with your Twitter profile, you can interact with other users tweeting on a specific hashtag which is then discussed live in the chat room.
Here is an example of the popular global #HCLDR (Health Care Leader) tweet chat which I occasionally attend, as recorded on Symplur.
People interact from around the world on a weekly basis to discuss health issues by logging into http://www.tweetchat.com. By discussing issues with a hashtag, online discussions can be recorded by companies like symplur.com and analytics can be researched.
What is the benefit?
Bright minds can come together in a simple way to explore, share and advance ideas which encourages innovation in health care. People participating in these chats include patients, doctors, nurses, journalists, marketing companies, policy makers, scientists, entrepreneurs, students, marketers and start-ups.
3. Hashtags are being used to distribute the latest medical technology, when adding #hcsmSA, we can monitor our local progress or encourage innovation for that specific technology.
A good example tweet to distribute news about medical technology in a geographic area would be:
The South African feed as it currently stands looks something like this:
This is the type of information which can be distributed on the #hcsmSA hashtag:
Accurate medical tips
Medical technology (Global & Local)
Conferences and upcoming events
Medical education news
Anyone can use the #hcsmSA hashtag as long as information distributed is not spam or inaccurate.
A full list of hashtags being used globally can be viewed on www.symplur.com hashtag project. When distributing medical information be sure to take a look at the trending hashtag for that specific topic.
To submit a future topic for the #hcsmSA tweetchat, please submit it on www.hcsmsa.co.za