If you’re not familiar with them, hashtags — those “#” symbols known as the pound sign on a phone — are one of the most effective social media marketing tools. When placed in front of words or phrases; e.g. #slipandfall or #sandiegoinjurylawyer, hashtags can generate a lot of traffic and give mass exposure to a post or tweet.
However, hashtags can hurt your attorney marketing efforts if you don’t understand what they are and how they work. Let’s take a closer look at hashtags, and how they can be used to boost your legal marketing in all the right ways.
What Exactly Is a Hashtag, And Where Did They Come From?
Hashtags got their start on Twitter, and are basically designated labels that categorize groups of tweets to be searched and found.
For example, if someone is looking for information on slip and fall injuries, they can search Twitter (now Facebook, too) for #slipandfall or #injuryattorney, etc. Searching by hashtag will return a list of posts and tweets on the topic.
Can Hashtags Help a Law Firm’s Legal Marketing Efforts?
Absolutely! And in more ways than one
Twitter and Facebook are now legitimate search engines. Twitter gets more than 2 billion search queries per day, and mobile users tend to favor Facebook over other search engine apps. With all this searching on social media, making your posts and tweets searchable via hashtags increases your online visibility profoundly.
Hashtags are also clickable. When someone clicks on one of your hashtags, #slipandfallinjuries, they’ll be able to see all of your posts and tweets on the topic. These entries can include links to your site, blog, and other social media pages.
How Do You Use Hashtags?
Hashtags can be placed anywhere in a post or tweet—at the beginning, middle or end. To create a hashtag, just place the # symbol in front of a keyword in your entry: #SmithInjuryLawFirm is speaking on #slipandfallinjuries at #HoustonLegalConference on October 30th.
Here are 3 important tips on how to use hashtags.
- Don’t Punctuate. It may look odd, but Twitter and Facebook don’t allow commas, semi-colons, apostrophes, or spaces in hashtags. Tip: Since you can’t punctuate or use spaces, keep your hashtags short and to the point: #slipandfallinjury vs. #slipandfallinjurycompensationattorneysandiego. Hashtags like this are unlikely to be searched or found.
- Be Specific. Use specific titles for hashtags. If someone is looking for information on slip and fall injuries at a grocery store, they’re likely to search for #slipandfallinjury or #grocerystoreinjury, than a generic title such as #personalinjury. Overly-generic hashtags are overused, and won’t do you much good.
- Don’t Overdo Hashtags. A post or tweet with #multiple#hashtags#jammed#into#a#single#sentence will distract and annoy your readers, so don’t go over 3 hashtags per entry. Not only will it become unreadable, your post or tweet can be marked as spam.
For more information on social media marketing for lawyers, contact us and let us help you with your legal marketing goals.