“Social media for lawyers? Doesn’t it make me look unprofessional?”
That’s the most common misconception out there and we hear something along those lines twice a month.
According to a study done by the American Bar Association, 77% of lawyers use social media for professional purposes, including 65% of solos, 76% of lawyers in firms of 2-9 lawyers, and 83% of lawyers in firms with 10-49 lawyers.
Today, I want to guide you in the right direction so you can build your brand and get clients from it as well.
The Benefits of Social Media for Lawyers
Before we dive deeper into the various social media platforms and the best practices associated with them, let’s start with the why.
Why should lawyers use social media?
1. Social Media Builds Brand Awareness
As of 2020, there are over 2.89 billion active users on Facebook, 300 million on LinkedIn, and much more on other platforms. In a study conducted by Sprout Social, 44% of consumers have reported an increase in personal social media usage.
Although most people who use social media don’t interact with law firms the same way they do with popular brands, they do their research about you and your firm before they reach out to you.
Having a great social media presence helps build trust with your audience and positions you as someone they can reach out to for their legal needs.
2. Social Media Helps Your SEO Efforts
SEO is great, It’s one of the best ways for lawyers and law firms to generate inbound leads in this digital world.
Having social media profiles linked to your website enhances your firm’s SEO. The Google bot checks your website and notices that you also have social media links attached to your site and shows your social media profiles as well when potential clients search for your services.
You know how when you search for a restaurant on Google, you also come across their Facebook & Instagram pages?
The same happens to your firm when they search for legal services you offer.
Wanna know more about SEO and how it can help your firm, check out our article on what is SEO? & why is it important for law firms
3. Social Media Establishes Thought Leadership
Trust & expertise is a big thing in the legal industry, that’s why social media is a great way of showcasing your expertise to potential clients.
Publishing content on social media shows your expertise to thousands of people who might be interested in your legal service.
35% of lawyers have generated client work through social media.
Go publish that content and build trust and credibility with your audience.
4. Social Media Helps Build a Community
Most law firms have a website and that’s a great start, but it’s hard to build a community and really engage with your audience through it.
Lawyers and law firm’s communication with their audience is one-sided. Be it their website, email newsletter, or blog, it’s always you reaching out to them, but how do they reach out to you?
Social media is a great way to build a 2-way relationship with your audience. They can ask questions on your posts, they can share your content with their audience, join your group and be active in it and even leave reviews. You help them and providing “free” legal advice sets you apart from your competition and helps build trust in your potential clients.
The Best Social Media Platforms for Lawyers
Now that we went over the reasons why you should actively use social media, let’s go over the best platforms for you and your firm to get the most out of it.
With 2.8 billion active users, Facebook is the most used social media platform in the world and is also the most popular platform for lawyers outside the United States.
Facebook is a great way to promote your content organically, and it’s also the number 1 platform I recommend for getting leads through paid ads. It has amazing groups for lawyers (unlike Linkedin) across multiple industries to connect with and in my opinion, it is the best platform for B2C lawyers (Immigration, personal injury, DUI, worker’s comp, family & divorce).
Best Facebook practices for lawyers
- Create a complete business Facebook Page. Include addresses, phone number, opening hours and frequently asked questions
- Post atleast once a day to stay engaged with your audience
- Reply to questions & comments on your posts
- Join relevant industry groups and network with other lawyers
LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for lawyers. Personally, I think LinkedIn is better than Facebook for lawyers, but my business partner, Ethan, begs to differ (He loves Facebook haha)
LinkedIn is the most used social media platform by lawyers in the United States.
“4 out of 5 people on LinkedIn drive business decisions” – Hootsuite
This is why LinkedIn is the best platform for B2B lawyers (IP, Healthcare, Insolvency, etc).
Best LinkedIn practices for lawyers
- Create a LinkedIn business & personal account
- Keep things professional. Include a professional headshot for your personal page with a clear description of what you do as the banner image.
- Write a strong headline in first person and summarise your past experiences and how you help clients.
- Showcase career highlights and post consistently
The following platforms are less common among lawyers and law firms, but we still feel that lawyers can utilize these platforms to maximize brand awareness.
Videos are a great way of showcasing your personality and giving the viewers a look into the “real” you, and in 2021, authenticity is key.
Best Youtube practices for lawyers
- Produce high quality videos with a catchy title and thumbnail
- Make sure that your content is interesting and not too “legal”
- Bring your personality to your audience!
Instagram is a visually focused platform (images & videos) and is great for lawyers in the B2C industry. Lawyers in personal injury, divorce, and family law have been able to connect with clients on a personal level and build credibility and trust.
From my experience, I’ve seen law firms use Instagram as a way to “humanize” themselves, and that is great!
Potential clients and prospects trust you better when you attach a “face” to your firm.
Showcase the people who work at your firm, show how you help the local community, be authentic and clients love that.
Best Instagram practices for lawyers
- Post high quality images ONLY
- Research relevant hashtags used by other lawyers in your industry and use them in your posts
- Engage consistently with other relevant industry post to grow your audience
The Best Ways to Use Social Media for Lawyers
Now that I went over the best social media channels for lawyers and quick tips on how to win on those platforms, I want to cover some of the best social media practices overall.
1. Laying the Foundation
Before you dive deep into this vast world of social media, it is super important to lay the foundation and get the basics right.
Answer the following questions:
- Which social media platform am I going to focus my effort in?
- What do I want out of my social media efforts? more leads? better brand awareness? or hire top talent?
- What type of content will I produce?
- How often will I produce content?
It is crucial to get this right before proceeding further. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have to set up business pages on the platform you’ve chosen.
Let’s have a look at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard’s page and analyze it.
- They have a clear cover image and logo
- Perfectly explaining the various services they offer
- Easy to understand “About” section
- Clear Call-to-actions (CTA)
This is what a 10/10 law firm Facebook page looks like.
Let’s have a look at my personal and company LinkedIn profile.
We have a clear headline, logo, CTA, and an About section with our mission, goals, and how we help our clients. I would probably give this a 9/10.
Let’s analyze my personal profile.
Once again, a high-quality profile picture, headline, banner image, and the services I offer.
My featured posts are of my company’s mission, client testimonials, and a link to this website.
I would recommend having a link to your website, and a couple of posts about you and your firm.
A clear About section written in first person that mentions my company’s mission, goals, and how I help my clients.
I would recommend something similar.
My past experiences with releavnt link and descriptions of my work.
I personally feel Skills & Endorsements aren’t that important, but social proof goes a long way.
I should definitely reach out to my network and get more recommendations.
Overall, I think I would give my profile an 8.5/10
Try to get at least an 8 when filling out your LinkedIn profile.
Connect with me on LinkedIn for more useful content.
Sharing valuable content is the best way to stand out on social media. It’ll position you as an industry expert and get people to actually know about you.
I recently made a post about this topic and got this comment from my fellow lawyer friend Laura.
Your clients also check your social media profiles to know more about you.
Share useful tips, industry updates, trending topics in your practice area/industry.
3. Engage With Your Audience
The best part about social media is that it lets you build a personal connection with your audience, and responding to comments and questions left by your audience on your posts is a great way to build that connection.
Some of them could be “free” legal advice, but that builds trust & credibility among your audience. Keep at it and you’ll have consistent clients in the long run.
4. Focus on Visuals
The average attention span of a person in 2021 is 7 seconds, that’s less than a squirrel’s attention span, and in this digital world where attention is a valuable currency, visuals help you stand out.
Check out this post by Allen Overy
These capture your reader’s attention.
Similarly, share infographics with stats, easy-to-understand tips that your audience will find valuable.
How to Build a Social Media Strategy for Your Law Firm
The benefits of social media are plenty, but to see a positive ROI from your social media efforts, it’s important to have a social media strategy.
Let’s go over how you can create your perfect social media strategy for your firm.
1. Follow the Rules
Promoting legal services is a bit tricky and even illegal in many Asian & Southeast Asian countries. Know & follow the rules when creating your social media strategy.
Check your jurisdiction & bar rules for compliance and ethics regulations and make sure you know them thoroughly before posting on social media.
2. What’s Your “Why”?
What do you wish to gain out of your social media efforts?
Is it more more clients? Better brand awareness for your law firm? Hire top talent? or get invited to more speaking events?
It is very important to understand your goals before you proceed further.
Make realistic, achievable short & long term goals.
I had unrealistic goals when I first started posting on social media. I wanted to become an “influencer” in the legal marketing field in one year. Although I’m nowhere near that goal, I’m headed in the right direction and getting better every day.
I recommend having a 3,6 and a 12 month plan for your social media efforts.
This really helped me set and achieve realistic goals.
When I first started posting on LinkedIn, I wanted to know what other legal marketers were posting about.
I wanted to find if they were talking about technical topics or just marketing a law firm in general. It gave me an idea on what type of content and the difficulty in which I had to create it.
Check out other lawyers in your industry. You’re in personal injury? check out what other personal injury attorneys are posting about. Follow them, read comments on their posts, this should give you an idea on the type of content you should produce.
4. Slow & Consistent Wins the Race
When I started posting on LinkedIn, I was super excited! I was posting 3 pieces of content a day for a week, and I got bored after that.
Remember when I told you to set realistic achievable short term goals? Well, I didn’t follow it initially, but I certainly do now and I switched to a more “realistic” schedule.
I post once a day from Monday – Saturday. This works great for me, and i suggest you test it out for a bit and find yourself a realistic schedule.
I would recommend atleast once a day.
5. Mark It in Your Calendar
I have a 20 minute slot in my calendar at 10:30am for 6 days a week. This helps me to sticking to consistent posting.
When was the last time you forgot a meeting that you had in your calendar?
Why miss posting content then?
I cant recommend this enough.
6. Content Type
It’s important to consider the type of content you’ll be producing based on the platform you choose to grow your brand on.
Facebook is a mix of written and visual content, Instagram is purely visual, and Youtube is video only. It’s important to plan this out as you might need external help.
For example, you might need a graphic designer if you decide to choose to post on Instagram.
Do prior research into individual platforms before publishing content.
7. Track & Measure Results
Like any law firm marketing efforts, it’s key to track and measure results. Based on your short & long term goals, track results once every quarter.
Want more clients? Track how many people reached out via your contact form.
Better brand awareness? Check new newsletter subscribers.
Social media is becoming more than just a fun past time where you connect with friends and family and share memes. It’s a digital channel when used properly can change your business.
Choose a social media platform based on the industry you’re in and set realistic goals.
Offer valuable content that your ideal clients will relate and try to build valuable relationships
Create a social media strategy that you will stick to and watch your business grow.
We at Valeo Legal Marketing provide SEO, Content Marketing & Paid advertisement services for lawyers, attorneys, small and medium-sized law firms. If you’ve thought about investing in these services to generate consistent organic leads through your website, improve your firm’s brand awareness, fill out the contact form and we can set up a time to chat.