Excellent communication skills are essential for an attorney, both in and outside of the courtroom. Professionalism is also key. So, when determining how to promote your law firm, it can be easy to overlook the power of social media by classifying it as unprofessional or ineffective. Plus, the idea of creating and posting content regularly while also monitoring engagement and doing your full-time job can feel time-consuming and overwhelming.
However, even as a law firm, avoiding social media can actually be harmful for business. And, taking advantage of the power of social media doesn’t have to be daunting. Here’s a guide with information about the importance of social media, how to build a social media strategy for your law firm, and the top eight social media marketing tips to follow.
Why Should Law Firms Use Social Media?
There are a number of reasons law firms should use social media. At a high level, these include:
- Your competitors are using it. In fact, according to the 2022 American Bar Association Legal Technology Survey Report, 89% of respondents indicate their firms have a presence on social media. Being on these platforms helps you get and stay in front of your audience.
- You can get new clients. Social media can be a good way to generate leads and gain new clients. Not only can they engage with the content you post, but it’s another way for people to find your law firm, easily navigate to your website, and learn more about you.
- Allows you to engage with the community, both professionally and personally. You can promote yourself as an attorney, your law firm as a whole, or both.
- You can showcase your expertise and build trust. The content you post, share, and engage with can help support your knowledge and expertise in your field. This helps potential clients feel more confident in hiring you.
- It’s budget friendly. Posting organically on social media is free, and if you want to tap into paid advertising, you can spend from $5 to thousands of dollars.
- It boosts brand awareness. Build your brand, tell your brand story, and humanize your firm. Using social media also helps your firm appear higher on search engines, and by linking back to your own website’s content, you’re ensuring your brand is out there online and easier to find.
How To Build a Social Media Marketing Strategy For Your Law Firm
The basics are the same for many industries, but there are ways you can make it your own as a lawyer:
1. Identify Your Goals
What do you hope to gain from being on social media? Do you want to gain more clients? Build brand awareness of your firm? Drive traffic to your website? Some or all of the above? It’s important to identify your goals before you even get started; otherwise, it will be difficult to maintain your presence and be consistent. Set realistic and attainable short- and long-term goals.
2. Do Your Research
Check out what competitors are doing in your area, such as:
- How they are using social media.
- How people are responding to their content.
- What does and doesn’t work for them.
Also, research and follow legal influencers in order to share their content, engage in their online communities, and stay in the know with what they are up to and what may be important in your industry.
You’ll also want to know who your ideal clients are, where they are online, and how and what types of content they engage with.
3. Create A Content Plan
What type of content will you be posting? You could create and share blog articles, case studies, white papers, videos, infographics, images, tips, and more. Consider what types of content you’ll share from influencers you trust. Think about what type of law-related information is important for you to share with your followers.
You’ll also want to consider how often you’ll post. Setting a schedule and pre-planning when you’ll release content can help you stay consistent and also give you time to review all content thoroughly before sharing.
Finally, think about how you’ll engage with people who engage with and comment on your own posts.
4. Keep Track of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- How many followers do you have?
- Are they engaging with your content (likes, comments, shares)?
- What are they commenting on and/or sharing?
- What types of content or topics are getting clicks back to your website?
- Is any of your content generating new clients?
- How can you create more content/engagement that supports your initial goals?
These are all questions you should be asking and answering using data analytics.
Tips For Law Firms on Social Media
Familiarize Yourself with the Rules
Lawyers have different rules and responsibilities on social media in your jurisdiction. Check out the law society and bar rules for compliance responsibilities and ethics regulations before you post or share anything.
For example, you may not be able to use the words “expert” or “specialist” when describing yourself. In most cases, you can’t contact a represented person, party, or witness by pretext through social media. You must be sure not to reveal confidential client information. There are also others, and being intimately familiar with them can help you avoid fines or other legal penalties.
Create A Social Media Policy
Be prepared with a clear, detailed social media policy in order to ensure ongoing compliance. Your policy should outline:
- How to stay in line with your brand’s voice and standards.
- How to identify and respond to a crisis.
- How to keep and protect client confidentiality.
- Social media compliance rules and regulations for law firms, including ethical rules, case information, private information, and regulations for online business.
- How to respond to comments and queries.
You may find there are other important things to include in your policy. Ensure all employees read and understand the policy and take time to update it regularly.
You don’t have to be on all platforms at once. In fact, you shouldn’t be. Doing so can make it difficult to keep up with content creation, posting, and engaging, and can quickly lead to feeling overwhelmed. Generally, it doesn’t allow you the ability to dedicate the proper time and attention to your online presence. It can also lead to ethics violations or abandoned accounts, which can hurt your firm.
Some networks may be better than others depending on your practice area, target audience, and types of content you want to post. Research for your overall strategy should help you identify your best options.
Tailor Content to The Platforms You’re On
Research the best platforms for law firms. For example, Instagram is photo-based, YouTube is video-based, and LinkedIn is more professional than all of them, so it may work better than the former. Each have different audiences, different types of content thrive on each one, and not all content is suitable for every platform.
You can also look back to your goals and choose platforms that allow you to accomplish them.
The 2022 ABA report states that 62% of law firms are on Facebook. However, Facebook algorithms prioritize friend and family posts in News Feeds, so it’s more challenging for your posts to be seen organically. That said, it’s an easy place to create a profile page for your firm with information about you and how to contact you. It is also quick and easy to share content and while the organic engagement may be low, Facebook profile pages can also be a great extension of your website.
This platform is the most popular for firms – 89% of firms with 2-9 lawyers are on it, and 95% with 100+ lawyers have a presence. That’s because LinkedIn is designed for business, promoting your professional persona, and building connections with others in your industry. It can also be useful for gaining referrals.
When posting, keep things professional but be compelling. Take time to write strong headlines, a concise summary, and meaningful descriptions about your firm. Stay relevant with highlights about your practice, focus, and goals, and informative industry news and information.
Twitter is much less common, but is concise, succinct, and efficient. Only 38% of firms use Twitter, but it is a good platform for following others in your industry and keeping up to date with related news.
Instagram is video and image centered, so it’s typically not a good fit for law firms. In fact, only 17% of firms use it. If you do use Instagram, it could be a way to humanize yourself and your firm while connecting on an individual level. Be sure to post high quality photos and use relevant hashtags and location tagging. Also be careful not to violate ethics guidelines (for example, posting a photo with client documents in the background or on a computer screen).
TikTok is becoming ever more popular, especially with “LawTok,” a segment of TikTok that focuses on legal content. You can use videos to promote your firm, but the videos must be compelling and relevant. You also need to be consistent, posting and engaging regularly.
When posting, embrace hashtags like #lawtok to improve the chances of your videos being seen. Also try to follow the trends. Copying another account’s content can actually be encouraged, so see what other firms are doing and make it your own.
Informative videos can help make your information easier to understand and give the ability for you to inject personality. Share valuable blog posts, both from your own website and industry leaders. Infographics with useful stats and facts can stand out over text, attracting and engaging your audience. It can be easy to get comfortable with routine, but with so many types of content available, don’t forget to mix it up.
Make Sure Content Connects With Your Audience
Any content you produce, regardless of the type, should provide some kind of value whether it’s educational, helps your audience solve a problem, tells your followers more about you, etc. Everything should be written around your audience’s challenges and needs.
In general, you should try to follow the 70/30 rule: 70% of your content should be educational while only 30% should be promotional. This helps show you’re knowledgeable, up to date in your area of practice, and a source of reliable information and leadership without being pushy.
When your audience is well-informed and aware, you’re able to promote your brand and build trust. Plus, content can be a great way to show your human side so your audience can connect with you on a personal level as well.
Examples of content you can create or share include things like:
- Client tips (avoid giving legal advice but you can provide tips audiences can use regarding general issues surrounding your practice area).
- Breaking news/current events.
- Opinion articles from thought leaders with your input on key issues.
- Industry research.
- Statistics, data, quotes, or interesting information.
- Helpful resources.
- Favorite books, products, or other things that are relevant to your audience.
Create A Seamless Brand Experience
Social media users are savvy and they want a seamless, cohesive feel between your social media presence and your actual brand and firm:
- All pages should be optimized with a profile picture that uses your firm’s logo, colors, and brand fonts.
- Your bio and “about” sections should be clear about what your firm does, your values and goals, and what you provide that sets you apart from your competitors.
- All contact information should be listed and easy to find, including a phone number, link to your website or contact form, and address.
Stay On Top Of What Others Are Saying About Your Firm
This is called “brand listening” or “social listening” and it means knowing things like what people are saying about you online and what your audience thinks of your services. Find these in mentions, ratings, and reviews, or use a social listening tool to help you monitor the channels more efficiently.
Social listening can help you address customer experience gaps through your content. It also helps you stay on top of news and other industry-related mentions of your firm. And, use social listening to find conversations where you can weigh in and demonstrate expertise.
Contact Dragonfly Digital Marketing
For assistance managing a social media marketing campaign for your law firm, contact Dragonfly. We can help you develop and maintain an active, quality social media presense across multiple channels. Call (800) 636-0347 to get started.