As a therapist or mental health practitioner, growing your practice is an ongoing effort. And social media marketing is a very common consideration for how to reach clients. The biggest reason why is because your potential clients are already on social media exploring topics you write about. When you share your blogs on sites like LinkedIn and add in hashtags, you increase the chance that your content will be discovered by the people who need it the most.
So, if you’re already blogging, adding in social media is a natural “next step” for how to share your content (blogs) with the world. It’s also one of the easiest ways to cut through the noise on social media by targeting your post to specific topics, products or services.
This process makes promoting your blog posts easier because your social media drives readers and traffic to your blog content and ultimately, your services.
In this article, we’re going to explain for a beginner the best practices for how to use mental health hashtags so you increase engagement on your social media posts. Keep reading for an introduction to hashtags in the mental health space. You will learn how to use them effectively across your social media channels so you increase your power of connection with people who need your help.
***NEW – ADHD Awareness Month – October 2023***
If you treat clients with ADHD, this is a perfect time for you to get your head around hashtags so you know how to use them to promote content next month. In addition to regular mental health hashtags, below you’ll find a comprehensive list of ADHD focused hashtags that you can use to promote specific content in October so you take advantage of increased public awareness around ADHD.
And remember, there are “special months” like this all year round. Knowing the ones that are most connected to the clients you serve will give you an editorial “leg up” so you can prepare new content for the months that align with your areas of expertise. Look for the list of ADHD hashtags below.
What Are Hashtags?
Hashtags refer to words and phrases that identify content. They make social media searchable by “tag,” or category. The term “hash” is the # pound symbol that precedes each hashtag, i.e., #therapist.
The addition of a hashtag makes that media discoverable to people who do not follow you but follow that topic.
For example, if you share in an Instagram post about the benefits of EMDR therapy as your specialty, you can add hashtags like #emdr and #traumatherapy at the end of the caption. Then, followers of those hashtags or related topics may see your post. Exposure leads to awareness of your services, and ultimately, new followers and clients.
Hashtags are the SEO backbone of social media sites.
By bringing together “like-minded” content, hashtags effectively curate a topic so people can search within those posts to find exactly what they are looking for.
When you know (and use) the right mental health hashtags, you are infusing your social media content within the right context. This makes it easier to connect your content to the right audience.
How To Use Hashtags Optimally For Your Brand
The first thing to know about using hashtags is that you need to have a public, ideally business, account to the social media site you want to post on. If your account is set to private, non-followers won’t be able to see your content.
You’re not limited to a business account on most social sites, and there are arguments for why to use your personal account for social media. But that’s an article for another day!
The structure of your hashtag matters, so you want to know that spaces, punctuation, and symbols do not work. Limit hashtags to letter and number characters, and keep them under three or four words.
And lots of social media marketers swear by not using hashtags in your first post. Instead, post your hashtags in the second comment so your readers don’t get the vibe that all you’re doing is promoting your content. You want to leave readers with the heart of your post, not the feeling that you’re trying to be overly self-promotional.
The order for hashtags should be:
- Your post + commentary/reflections
- Your list of hashtags
Research Mental Health Hashtags Before You Get Started
Before you post any hashtags, search the social media platform you are using to see the popular hashtags and what’s being used by people you trust and respect. Check out how similar accounts and other practitioners or therapists are utilizing hashtags.
Don’t just look at the super popular accounts, but try to see what your colleagues are using. You can even follow some that interest you. This will also give you an idea of what content is out there in your niche.
I would also suggest looking at the LinkedIn groups or Facebook groups you follow and searching on Instagram for topics like “mental health awareness” or “hashtags for mental health” to get a sense of what is popular.
Once you have a sense of what your colleagues and heroes are doing, then you want to start to generate a list of hashtags that you’re curious about. Click the various hashtags to see what content is showing on those pages.
For example: if you use the hashtag #mentalhealthprofessional on Instagram, your post is linked to this page.
And the very cool thing about this is that until enough new posts are published with the same hashtag, your content will show at the top. It’s pushed down on the list in the order that other people use the same hashtag.
So there’s a strategy for picking your mental health hashtags that’s a bit like the porridge in the story of the three little bears:
- This one’s too hot (too busy, too popular, too related to celebrity or other trending topics)
- This one’s a little too cold (too few people, not updated by others on a consistent basis, not quite the right language for your business or brand)
- This one’s JUST right.
The “just right” hashtags have a mixture of popularity and on-brand topics, but also not a huge mix of the negative qualities listed above.
Finally, how many hashtags should you use?
The ideal number of hashtags to include in posts is a hot topic among experts. Currently, the maximum allowed is 30, but research suggests that using three to five is optimal.
As you make up your mind, remember that different social media sites have different rules for word count and you want to use those words intelligently. So perhaps that means on Twitter where you’re limited to 280 characters, you might use fewer hashtags than on Instagram.
Best Mental Health Hashtags To Use On Social Media
Which mental health related hashtags are best for your business will of course depend on your specific niche and goals. Do some research on best practices and what people have found effective, as well as what has not been fruitful.
Target your audience by being specific. Tag content based on your sub-specialties and areas of expertise. If you do inner child work, use those hashtags; if you focus on family systems, use those; and so on.
That being said, here’s a sampling of high-performing, general mental health hashtags you can try:
Another way to think about effective mental health hashtags is by broader themes. These include hashtags related to your location, hashtags to support social causes, and hashtags that speak to a specific audience (such as #singleparents). You can even create your own, branded hashtag with your business name in it.
The location note in the paragraph above deserves one more note. As a therapist, if your office is in a specific city versus being online, location hashtags are very helpful in busy metropolitan areas. Keep it simple and see what else is out there for your location, and then you can add that to your posts.
Finally, consider hashtags that bring helpful context to a post. This type of hashtag adds to the conversation and also allows you to avoid wordy captions or hitting the character limit. For example, if you post something related to a healing modality you use and it’s mental health awareness month in your country, include that hashtag.
ADHD Hashtags – Everything You Need To Know For October’s ADHD Awareness Month
ADHD Awareness Month started back in 2006 when the US Senate passed a resolution declaring September 7th as “National Attention Deficit Disorder Day.” This day has grown into a month of awareness activities that can be found on social media, in the news, at schools and across the Internet. It’s represented by the color orange and you can find solidarity with the month in people wearing orange ribbons, showing orange banners on their websites and on their social media pages.
Lots of new discussion will erupt online about ADHD awareness beginning in early September (right now). If you’re a writer and wish to gain traffic to your website or social feed from this surge in attention, the time to publish a new article is now.
Social media posts can show on your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tiktok or YouTube pages through out the month of October. But articles should be written now so they can be seeded in Google and you can gain some organic traffic. Being ahead of the masses here counts, so you want to write and publish before mid-month if you can.
And if you missed the early window, don’t stress, publish anyway. Then you’ll have an ADHD awareness article to refurbish for next year.
ADHD Awareness Hashtags
Here’s a comprehensive list of the most popular ADHD hashtags to pick from:
Empower Your Therapy Practice With Proper Hashtag Use
Use hashtags in your social media accounts to maximize your reach and engagement as a therapist. It can be a learning process to get comfortable with hashtags and other social media best practices, but it’s worth the effort.
If you’re interested in becoming a hashtag whiz, you can even sign up for a hashtag generator tool or social listening program. Either way, you are well on your way to boosting your brand and helping more people with their mental health. The world needs you!
Want more support with social media or marketing strategy? You don’t have to do all this work alone. Contact us for a complimentary consultation today.