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Building a Legal Hashtag Strategy

How do you target followers and grow your network on Twitter or Instagram? Implement a hashtag strategy. Pick one to five buzzwords summing up your post’s main topics and include them at the end of your post.

Social media sites are essentially extremely powerful search engines. Hashtags improve the likelihood of your post reaching a niche audience by reducing your post to easily searchable quanta.

Just breathe and we'll make it through. #Blessed

People search tags for topics they are interested in or make hashtag alerts to keep abreast of breaking news. When users find that you post relevant content , they will follow you and your network will grow organically. A larger network means increased market opportunity.

The most popular lawyer hashtags are #law #legal #lawyers #lawschool, but these are very general and therefore not particularly useful for savvy social users. Consider crafting more specific tags or using ones that are already trending. Every post out of your firm or organization should include at least one hashtag, if not a whole cluster of similar tags.

For example, say you are a civil rights attorney who takes on a number of sex and gender discrimination cases. Your goal is to become more visible and identify yourself as a tireless advocate for LGBTQ equality. You absolutely followed the SCOTUS gay marriage ruling this past June and obsessively tweeted articles or updates about the ruling. You could have included the following hashtags to improve your posts’ visibility and gain followers: #SCOTUS #LGBTQ #Obergefell #MarriageEquality #LoveWins.

Let’s break down this hashtag strategy:

#SCOTUS – Primary Actor.

#LGBTQ – Community Affected.

#Obergefell – Named Court Case.

#MarriageEquality – Buzzword Narrowing Topic.

#LoveWins – Phrase developed specifically for the SCOTUS ruling indicating tone.

Taken together, these specific hashtags will cover a wide search berth and encourage a variety of people to follow your updates. My use of #LoveWins on my personal Instagram boosted post interaction by over 100%. The best way to increase quantity of followers is to use trending tags, but industry niche tags like #(AGENCY) or #(COURT CASE) or #(PRACTICE AREA) or #(SPECIFIC BAR ASSOCIATION) will improve the quality of your engagement by attracting industry specific users.

Lastly, consider crafting a hashtag unique to your firm to cement your branding. Don’t just use your firm name—your Twitter handle should already be your firm name. Consider your goal for your social media presence, and go from there. For example, Morrison Foerster uses #MoFoMoments for behind-the-scenes posts. I don’t know the intricacies of MoFo’s marketing strategy, but this softening of a big law firm into tender #MoFoMoments can do double duty: encourage client social engagement by illuminating a more personal ethos and aid in hiring and retention by showcasing the staff’s work life. Digital natives populate the workforce, and social media can boost employee morale and foster a sense of community in the work place.

Whatever you decide to implement for your hashtag strategy, be intentional. First and foremost, identify your primary purpose for your social media presence. Be consistent with branded tags and search general tags to make sure they exist before tacking them on to the end of a post. Once you start seeing results, you’ll never post a naked link again.

Jen Hand is a social media manager, small business consultant, project manager, and writer. Find more great content at @jayhizzfoshizz.

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