Social media is an increasingly critical component of law firm marketing. Channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter are powerful tools that help firms reach and influence clients and prospects. Though creating compelling content is the first step, many lawyers make the mistake of developing great content and then neglecting a strategy around it. To truly make the most of your social media content, you need to have an intentional plan for how to get eyes on your material. Hashtags are a huge part of getting your message in front of people. Here’s how to develop a hashtag strategy for your law firm that will increase your social engagement, strengthen your exposure, and attract new followers.
Hashtags are key for discoverability
Did you know that people can follow hashtags? This means that your law firm’s content can end up in a person’s feed, even if they are not following you or in your network. That’s how hashtags lead to higher engagement and more followers. Keep in mind that hashtags should be focused, readable, and related to your practice. Once you find hashtags that work, keep using them! Continue reading and you’ll learn how you can use hashtags to increase the discoverability of your content among your target audiences.
The 3 genres of hashtags
As far as developing your law firm’s hashtag strategy across all of the social media platforms, it’s important to comprehend that there are three main types of categories that will help promote your firm. Generally, hashtags fall into one of these buckets: firm or campaign specific; trending; and content-related hashtags.
1. Firm or campaign specific
These hashtags draw attention to things that you post related to your law firm or any specific promotional program you’re running. They encompass the tone and vision of your firm, and promote the main messages you’re trying to get across. Some best practices when it comes to this genre of hashtags are:
- Make sure the hashtag is unique, and pertains to your industry. You don’t want to develop one that is hard to remember, or doesn’t tie into the legal industry.
- Keep things relatable, funny, or inspiring. Remember, memorable is important.
- Keep them short, and focus on one area at a time.
- Read all of them aloud and ask for a second opinion. Since there are no spaces in hashtags, they don’t always sound how you think they will when written.
What are your potential clients doing? What are they interested in, working on, or worried about? Keeping an eye on things that are going viral or trending will help you understand what’s top of mind for your target audience. It’s always good practice to research the trending topics that your target audiences are interested in and sharing content around. On the other hand, make sure to consider trending hashtags carefully as some of them will be short-lived or even gimmicky. Make sure to be authentic when choosing both content and hashtags.
This is what you’ll use to tag locations, practice areas, and descriptors of your law firm’s services. Research here is important. You don’t want to put effort into hashtags that are unlikely to reach your target audience.
Focus on hashtags that relate to your client profile
Here is where having a clear client persona will help. You need to understand your target market and the right channels for reaching them. It’s a good idea to choose a variety of hashtags for both well-populated areas and those with less engagement. Some questions to inform your research are: What hashtags are your audience already using? What are the key hashtags used in your sector? Which platforms will you plan to use? Which hashtags get the most engagement across each platform? Make sure you document the answers to all of these. In addition, consider the balance between being a big fish in a small pond vs. obtaining the reach you want. Focus your efforts on the hashtags that you’ve noticed have higher levels of engagement within your practice areas.
Take advantage of hashtag research tools
As important as keyword research is, it’s a smart idea to use tools that can help you do the work. There are several tools that can help savvy firms choose the most effective hashtags (check out our past post on social media tools). Hashtagify is free, and most people are familiar with the platform, so that’s a good place to start. The platform identifies top relevant hashtags for your firm and trending topics on Twitter and Instagram. Another helpful tool is Hootsuite, which helps you to manage your social media in a single place. The dashboard layout lets you see the latest updates from specific users or hashtags in one quick glance. In Hootsuite, you can create “Streams” that bring up relevant hashtags for your law firm.
Hashtags are the simplest way to expand your content’s discoverability and raise your profile on social media. The biggest benefit of tacking on 2-3 hashtags per post is that they’ll help you reach more people who are interested in your content, whether or not they’re already in your network. There’s not doubt that a well-researched and thoughtful hashtag strategy for your law firm will therefore go a long way toward improving your social media efforts.
There are plenty more best practices we can share for making the most of your law firm’s social media channels. For more tips like these, sign up for our Legal Marketing 2.0 Newsletter and we’ll send you the latest trends in digital marketing straight to your inbox.