Hashtags have to be somewhat of a common denominator among lots of folk's vocabulary or they’re not doing much good.
Suffering Hashtag Frustration?
Which brings me to a conversation I had with a frustrated client a couple of weeks ago who is a lawyer dipping his toe into Twitter. Hashtags? If he had any hair left on his head, it would be gone now just over his frustration of finding hashtags to include with his tweets.
Hashtags are Important to Twitter and Google Plus and Facebook and More
One of the hurdles lawyers face with Twitter or Google+ (when they decide to delve into social media at all) is that lawyers think like lawyers. I remember being told by a UTLaw professor (Treece, Torts) that the theme of law school wasn’t to learn the law, it was to learn to think like a lawyer. To think differently when I left the building than when I first entered. Every lawyer out there has heard the same thing, countless times. “Thinking like a lawyer” - the reason for the Socratic Method, right? (Or at least one of them.)
It’s true, too. Lawyers do think differently, and this is great when considering all the potential ramifications of a contract being negotiated or when negotiating the settlement of a wrongful death case - but it’s sometimes problematic when attorneys are hunched over their keyboard, deciding what terms they should use to index their social media post or tweet.
Hashtags are tools you can use to index your tweet or post to help others find your content even if they aren’t following you, aren’t in your community, etc. Hashtags are helpful.
In indexing their social media with hashtags, lawyers may toss off a couple of words with an “#” in front and think “that’s that.” However, those hashtags may not be as advantageous to the attorney as other choices can be.
Lawyers tend to use words with which they are familiar, or which apply to their particular case or deal, rather than stopping to consider that these words may not be the best choice in drawing potential readers to their content (even sophisiticated ones).
Hashtags, after all, are just ways to index what you’ve written so others can find what you’ve shared. Consider these alternatives: Litigation vs. Lawsuit; Coverage vs. Insurance; Mortgage vs Loan; Housing vs. Property or RealEstate; Accident vs. Crash.
Lawyer or not, anyone using hashtags should be choosing words that they believe are familiar to their intended reader. If you are writing for teenagers, then consider what words will work best as hashtags for them, not the words that work best for you and your peers. You get the idea.
One option? Synonyms, sure. However, there’s a free service online that can help you find hashtags to use as well as discovering trending hashtags and more. It’s Hashtagify.me - try it and see if what your chosen hashtags provide as options when you input them into the Hashtagify.me word machine. (By the way, Hashtagify.me has the Highest Trust Rating at ScamAdviser).