As a lawyer practicing in one of the most competitive landscapes to date, we’re sure that you are at least aware of the power of digital marketing. But, are you personally taking advantage of the benefits of social media marketing for lawyers?
If you’re on the fence, here are a few recent statistics from Finances Online to help you out:
Social media marketing is worth the time and money, but only when it’s executed correctly. In order to see a return on your investment, you’ll need to plan a well thought-out social media strategy. This strategy should include what you plan to publish, what audience you’re trying to reach, and more.
In this post, we’ll cover:
Lawyers who are serious about growing their firm really should consider adding social media to their overall marketing strategy.
Let’s look at a few benefits of social media marketing for law firms:
If you’re wanting to convert new clients, then having a social media presence is a great way to start.
While most of your prospective clients won’t turn to social media platforms for answers to legal advice, there are ways to gain their attention on social media!
The key is to produce and share valuable content consistently.
The more your law firm is known for providing insightful knowledge and answers to popular legal questions, the more likely it is that a follower of yours will recommend your social media profile to a friend looking for the legal services that your law firm offers.
Social media is a great place for lawyers to interact with their local communities.
LinkedIn, specifically, has hundreds, if not thousands of attorney groups within their platform. There are also groups that are dedicated to specific regions across the United States.
If you plan to use local groups to help grow your law firm’s following, you’ll want to make sure that you’re active within those groups, answering questions and sharing helpful content, even if it isn’t your own content. This helps to establish thought leadership and credibility within the groups
So, when someone asks about the legal services that your law firm provides or when the appropriate time arises, your self promotion will be welcomed among the community members. You may even find that you’ve educated your audience enough to become brand advocates on behalf of your firm. This is the ultimate goal.
Social media marketing is one of the cheapest ways to attract new leads and send them to your law firm’s website.
While the buyer’s journey is often a bit more complex, the straight-shot of how this works is as follows:
While this won’t happen a ton, social media platforms are excellent tools for growing brand awareness. Potential clients who have seen your face or brand before are much more likely to convert when they’re actually in need of your legal services.
Many lawyers don’t view themselves as a brand, but in a sense, every lawyer has his or her own personal brand. And, the most successful law firms and lawyers around the world recognize the value of marketing themselves as such.
For attorneys, building a solid brand is much more than just sharing a logo. You want to control the narrative around your name and business. This helps to shape the way that potential clients think about you and the services that your law firm offers.
Trust us when we say: if you don’t control the narrative about your law firm, another law firm will.
The more that you share valuable information and unique content to your social media profiles, the more you’re able to establish what your brand holds valuable, and the more that you’re able to prove your worth to your target audience.
You may have heard marketers talk about thought leadership, but what does this term actually mean?
The closest thing to an online thought leader is an influencer.
When most online users think of ‘thought leaders’, they typically visualize someone who’s an expert in his or her field that shares advice on social media channels.
When thought leaders execute their online marketing strategy correctly, they become one of the most sought-after sources of information with respect to their chosen fields.
Most of your target audience will respect your opinion as an expert in your legal niche. Use this relationship to share tricks, tips, and other relevant content on your social media channels.
We’ve discussed the value of social media marketing efforts for law firms. Now, let’s discuss how your law firm can get a decent return on investment when running multiple social media accounts.
While social media for lawyers isn’t extremely difficult to understand, there are undoubtedly some pitfalls that you need to avoid in the legal space.
You’ll want to look into your local Bar rules and law society to verify ethics regulations and compliance responsibilities before you post anything on social media platforms.
For example, many states don’t allow lawyers of any kind to use terms, such as ‘specialist’ or ‘expert’ to describe themselves. We also recommend avoiding using any other forms of these types of words, altogether.
What does your law firm hope to gain by having an effective social media presence? Do you want to secure more clients or gain better clients, in general? Do you want to establish authority in the local legal community? Do you want to send more clients to your law firm’s website?
You want to make sure that you’re setting both realistic and reasonably attainable goals for your social content strategy. Then, once you’ve established a presence within your social network, you can branch out to other social platforms.
If you’re a criminal defense lawyer, see what other defense attorneys are doing on social media. If you’re a personal injury attorney, look at other PI firms’ social accounts for inspiration.
For law firms that are operating out of a smaller market, try looking at larger metros, like Dallas or Phoenix, to see how law firms are using their social media posts. See what their audience engages with and what they ignore.
You may also find it helpful to determine whether or not these larger firms are investing in paid social media advertising. Check out the comments on paid social media posts and see if those posts are generating any qualified leads for those law firms.
The best social media marketers are those who plan obsessively. Social media planning is huge for maintaining a personal persona that your target audience wants to interact with.
You want to make sure that you only create content that boosts your image in the legal industry, not hurts it. When you’re creating content for social media posts, you want to make sure that you have a good variety of blog posts, video content, professional photos, as well as a good mix of shared content and published content.
You’ll want to consider creating a law firm social posting calendar to help you plan out your materials. KIOPI is one of the best, most cost effective social media management platforms for lawyers, right now.
By using a social media planner with a built-in social media scheduling feature, you’re able to schedule and forget. All you’ll need to do is go back and interact with the comments.
When you’re scheduling out your content, you’ll also want to take this time to make sure you’re using your posts to spread awareness while avoiding any legal issues that may arise from your posts. You may want to look at how other legal professionals word their content to make sure that your posts are on par or better than other law firms in your area.
You’ll post more consistently and see a greater return on your social media efforts if you use a content scheduler, like KIOPI.
Even if you aren’t running ad campaigns on platforms like Facebook or Instagram, you still want to have a good understanding of how you’re doing across the social channels that you’re invested in.
Once you’ve determined what your goals are for social media marketing, you’ll want to establish metrics that you want to reach via your social media efforts.
Lawyers that don’t track their marketing efforts are at the highest risk for wasting their time and money.
Now that we’ve covered what lawyers should do with respect to social media marketing, let’s go over what they shouldn’t do.
Regardless of how busy a law firm gets, they should always delegate someone to stay on top of their social media profile. This is not only for marketing purposes, but also to protect the lawyers in the firm.
Here are a few things we recommend against:
Trying to be active on every social platform is the fastest way to burn yourself out. Lawyers don’t have an unlimited amount of time. So, it’s best if you find one or two social accounts to really focus on.
Many lawyers admit that they only consider posting when time allows. In order to make the most of your social media strategy, you’ll need to follow a regular social media posting schedule. We recommend posting at least once a week.
Sharing content that isn’t authentic to your brand isn’t a great way to grow your client base.
We often see criminal defense attorneys with a tough or mean online persona, when in person, they’re actually super laid-back and sweet.
If you want to connect with your target audience, it’s extremely important that you’re authentic. You want to make sure that every piece of content that you promote or share falls within the tone of your brand, overall.
Only sharing information about yourself or your law firm will make you seem self-absorbed.
While your friends and family make like, share, or retweet this content, this type of posting won’t draw in your prospective clients.
Your target audience wants to see legal content that is valuable to them. Instead, you want to consistently publish and post content that helps and inspires your readers.
Additionally, you’ll want to avoid ‘friends and family posts’ on your business social media pages, as you want to maintain a professional persona at all times.
Not addressing your mistakes is one of the fastest ways to lose goodwill.
Nobody is perfect. If you say something controversial that upsets your potential clients, make sure that you apologize quickly. You don’t need to go into detail but owning up to your mistakes will help position you as a trustworthy source for legal content.
Forgetting to engage with your social media audience is the fastest way to lose them as followers.
It’s easy to post and forget. But, engaging with your audience is the best way to build audience engagement in your local community.
If you’re just beginning to dive into social media for law firms, you’ll want to start small. Knowing which social media channels work best for your niche is a great way to start your marketing journey.
Before you invest a lot of time into social media for law firms, make sure that you understand which social conversations you want to be a part of and which social media networks are the best platform for the legal issues you want to address, as some networks will be a better fit for a specific practice area or target client.
You’ll want to take enough time to ensure that you really understand and can respect the nuances of each social media network that you want to work with. When using these social media tools for business, you’ll also want to make sure that you can adapt to the ways that each social network’s audience responds to content. Content that does well on Facebook may not do as well on LinkedIn or Twitter.
You’ll need to consider each platform’s audience specifically when you’re mapping out your legal content plan. If you don’t, then your social marketing efforts won’t ever reach their maximum potential.
If you need help managing your social media accounts, consider reaching out to a law firm digital marketing agency for help.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the United States. It is also popular among lawyers and other legal professionals. This makes Facebook a great platform to start with.
Obviously the size of the user-base is a huge plus for marketing on Facebook. However, one drawback to publishing content on a Facebook page is one of Facebook’s main algorithms. Facebook prioritizes friends and family posts in the news feeds. This means that it will be more challenging for your law firm’s posts to reach your target audience.
In order to combat this, you’ll want to make sure you create social media posts that your target audience will like and share consistently, as this is the only way your content will be seen, apart from spending money on social media advertising on Facebook.
Typically, when a lawyer says that he or she is investing in social media marketing, they’re referring to LinkedIn marketing efforts. LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform among attorneys.
Because LinkedIn is designed for consumer brands and business use. It’s a great platform for promoting your professional legal persona and building connections with like minded individuals in the legal community.
You can use LinkedIn to help you grow your own personal brand, as a lawyer, but also to help your law firm grow its brand online.
Twitter has a lot of drawbacks, especially in terms of content development. But, it also offers some unique benefits for lawyers looking to grow traffic via organic efforts.
If you want to use Twitter’s social media tools to grow your organic reach, then you’ll want to start by following a few influential people in the legal industry. Select legal professionals who consistently update and stay on top of the latest trends. You also want to select industry leaders who share the same values as you and your target audience.
Then, engage with those people and share their content, as well. This will help you gain trust within the community.
Instagram is owned by Facebook and is geared more for users focused on creating video content and publishing photos.
If your law firm is consumer-focused, then you can use Instagram to connect with your target clients at a more individual level. And, if you are looking to grow your internal staff, Instagram may be a good platform to connect with prospects, second best to LinkedIn.
Many attorneys agree that Instagram is the best platform for humanizing themselves, making their firm feel more approachable. But in terms of attracting new clients, Instagram isn’t the best place to start.
If you’re only going to select one social platform, we highly recommend investing in Google My Business. Google My Business is the only social platform that helps users get discovered on Google Maps. It also is a much faster way to increase website traffic via Google search.
When you post to your Google Business profile, the post will only show for 7 days, so you’ll want to make sure that you are creating enough content to post weekly.
Social media for lawyers can be an extremely valuable digital marketing strategy when you take the time to strategically create and share content.
When you’re building a marketing strategy for your law firm, having an effective social media management plan is crucial to your success. Make sure that your law firm is getting goals, planning, and sticking to your plan. That’s where social media posting services, like KIOPI can be extremely beneficial.
Now that you are aware of the basics that you need to build out your own social media presence, you can start the process of attracting new leads.
If you already have a social media strategy that works well for your law firm, let us know. We’d love to share ideas!