Crowdfunding is the community support system for the technological era, with everyone from tech startups to performance troupes turning to these sites to make ends meet. On a more personal level, however, crowdfunding has also become the go-to for families trying to pay the bills when medical expenses get out of control.
Unlike performers or tech sector entrepreneurs, however, families are less likely to have the kind of social media presence needed to give their fundraising the boost it needs. Now hashtags have entered the scene, helping to improve campaign visibility.
But what makes a hashtag successful? Here’s what crowdfunding site users should know when tailoring their medical funding campaigns.
Keep It ShortHashtags are used on a number of different sites, which makes keeping them short especially important. While it doesn’t matter how long a hashtag is on Facebook or Tumblr, on Twitter an entire message only gets 140 characters. If you’re doing to say anything important, such as give a quick medical procedure update, and still be able to use your hashtag, it’s going to need to be brief.
Brief hashtags are also easier to remember and tend to have more staying power. No one wants to ramble off a six word hashtag when a two or three word phrase would do. Only say as much as you need to make the hashtag recognizable.
Be Unique But ClearThere are really two different kinds of hashtags you can use to support your medical crowdfunding: a unique to you tag and an official movement hashtag. If you’re crowdfunding for breast cancer treatment, then, you might use one tag that includes the name of the individual who needs support and a different tag affiliated with breast cancer more broadly.
The advantage of using these two different hashtags is that one allows people to follow your cause specifically, while drawing attention from people outside your immediate circle with the broader tag. While it can be hard to use both tags on a site like Twitter, if you use both consistently on other social networking sites you’ll still see meaningful results.
Do Your ResearchBefore settling on a hashtag, make sure you do your homework. Use Twitter’s search function to see if your desired hashtag is currently being used. You don’t want people to have to filter through extraneous content when trying to follow your funding campaign. It’s especially important not to choose a hashtag with a lot of spam content affiliated with it. This will cause your campaign to look disreputable.
Learn The NormsIf you aren’t a major social network user, you may not be used to the structure of hashtags, so take a look at how others are using them before you begin sticking a hash mark before every word. A post should have no more than two or three hashtags in it and they should be clearly relevant. When you add a hashtag to every word, it looks like you’re fishing for hits rather than raising awareness.
It can be difficult to turn to crowdfunding for medical expenses, but the practices is increasingly common. Alleviate some of the anxiety by running your medical crowdfunding campaign like a professional. You’ll have greater visibility, more success, and greater hope for a positive outcome.
Infographic courtesy of: thinkcreativecollective.