#016 – Instagram For Lawyers
Instagram is another potent social media tool that claims over one billion active users. In the past, law firms have overlooked Instagram, but since the number of adult users has increased, more law firms are discovering its advantages. Using Instagram, some law firms have thousands of followers and high levels of engagement, and many lawyers agree that Instagram is an essential part of their online social media marketing strategy. If your law firm has ignored Instagram in the past, maybe it is time to take another look at Instagram and get all of the marketing benefits your competitors are enjoying.
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Hello, I am so excited that you are here. Because today we are going to be talking about Instagram for Lawyers. And if you have not considered this social media platform for your law firm, you may reconsider it after this episode. So make sure to hit that subscribe button. If you’re on iTunes, just click the subscribe button, so you never miss out on anything from Legal Marketing Lounge!
Let’s just get into it. Okay. For years, attorneys have been using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to build their businesses. And then new kids come on the block like Instagram, TikTok, clubhouse, right? And lawyers are looking to these social media platforms to expand their reach and their brand.
These very potent social media platforms really claim over 1 billion users. So it makes sense that lawyers would be considering moving to these platforms to expand their law firm. In the past, law firms have overlooked Instagram. Some people thought it was a fad. Some people thought it was just for young kids.
And it is true that there are a lot of sort of Instagram influencers over there, Kim Kardashian and whatnot. But law firms actually are discovering the advantages of using Instagram, to build followers and to promote their law firm. using Instagram, some law firms actually have 1000s of followers really high levels of engagement.
And many lawyers agree that Instagram is an essential part of their online social media marketing strategy. So if you as lawyer or if your law firm has sort of ignored Instagram in the past, this is the episode for you. I’m so glad you’re here, because maybe it is time to take another look at Instagram, and how it can help your law firm and give you the marketing benefits that your competitors are enjoying.
Let’s talk about the benefits of Instagram specifically for lawyers. So as a social sharing app, Instagram is ideal for mobile devices. Okay, it’s not a desktop type of platform. It is really for mobile devices. And Instagram has a really powerful potential for attorneys. law firms can use Instagram to share about their services that they offer.
But it also can accomplish many other goals such as recruiting new team members, new lawyers for their law firm, it can build your brand and social presence. And let me just say this, your law firm should have a brand, you should have a distinct and unique look and voice in the legal space. So if you haven’t done that already, take the time to seriously consider building a brand out to use not only on your website, but throughout your social media, marketing and your social presence.
Another benefit of Instagram for lawyers is to obviously capture the attention of prospective clients. And then also stay connected with past clients who may be following you on Instagram and other social media platforms and may need your services again in the future or you will be first in mind if they have a friend that needs your services. How do you get started with Instagram as a lawyer.
The first thing is to get acquainted with Instagram just to see if this platform is for you. So before you go and set up your law firm’s account on Instagram, go ahead and download the Instagram app on your mobile device and create an account for yourself personally. And this is just an ideal way to become familiar with Instagram, get into the shoes of potential clients, see how other businesses and your competitors market themselves on Instagram, seek out Instagram accounts that capture your attention, and how your competitors are using Instagram in their accounts successfully.
You can follow local venues where you have connections to get ideas and inspiration. And you can actually follow other law firms all around the country whose posts inspire you, whose branding inspires you. And it’s just a way for you to become more familiar with Instagram. As a user, looking for a law firm. These steps are going to educate you about Instagram before you make the decision to create an account for your own law firm. And this introduction will really help you create future posts, ideas, inspiration for branding, all of those things that are going to draw visitors and followers to your Instagram account.
So if you go to Instagram, and you like it, and you’ve decided, Okay, as a law firm, I think that this would be a great place for us. And let me say this as a side note, a lot of people think that the only law firms that are successful on Instagram are ones that have a lot of visual excitement, such as intellectual property attorneys or entertainment lawyers. And that is true. But I can tell you that I know an estate planning attorney that is crushing it on Instagram. So this is truly possible for any type of law practice.
If you make the decision that you want to jump on board onto Instagram, the first thing you will need to do is set up a business Instagram account, you can set up a business Instagram account using your Facebook business account. And you can do that right through the platform. And it will include your email address or your phone number. And just keep in mind that your account name on Instagram should match your account name and username on all of your social media business accounts.
All of those platforms, as well as your website, Google My Business, all of the places that you have potential clients look for reviews, whether that be lawyers calm whatever it is. Google wants to see consistency, and it can link everything up and synthesize all of the information about you and your law firm better and easier if the names match everywhere. So just make sure that when you’re setting up your business Instagram account, that your account name matches all of your other social media and your website and Google My Business and everything you want to then customize your profile. Instagram will prompt you to find people and businesses to follow.
But before you do this, it’s really important to thoroughly and completely handle your profile and add all of the details. Before you are looking for people to follow or inviting people to follow your page. It’s basically your first impression, so you want to make it good. Make sure that your profile on Instagram really does reflect your law firm accurately, you can tap the profile icon and then link to edit your profile. You want to add your law firms website URL, your company logo as your profile picture. And then there’s actually a place on there to add a 150 character law firm description or tagline. You want to make sure to do all of that and use this spot also.
This is important. Use this spot to place a disclaimer about legal advice. Saying that results are not typical or that this is not considered to be legal advice. It’s advertising. Whatever it is, you want to make sure to put that disclaimer right there in your profile. You can also add details regarding contact information.
There’s a contact button that can pop up on your profile which makes it really easy for any visitor to contact you either by phone or email and if you include your location, address visitors can also tap to get directions to your law firm so that’s kind of cool you will want to link your instagram to your facebook page and when you link your new instagram account to your already established business facebook page helpful items such as about page business category website your contact information all of that is then also shared with your instagram business account so you’ve decided you want to be on instagram and now you’ve set up your profile you’re ready to go what do you do now.
Let’s talk about 10 ideas to start posting on Instagram for lawyers! It’s time to create the posts! Instagram makes this really easy in fact this may be what makes Instagram smooth for law firms and any other business really who wants to create awareness through social media.
You don’t necessarily need a really long piece of content to create an Instagram post because Instagram is a visual platform. You will need a quality photo with some concise captioning that is really going to work better for Instagram than a really long large block of text.
You can also add video components or even infographics in multiple photos but for right now you can just start posting photos. Here are some ideas to get you started posting. You can introduce your team members and your law firm and include pictures of everyone.
Number two – you can include information about current events or offer advice not legal advice but offer advice that would encourage your local community to stay safe during the holidays and not drink and drive and hire a ride sharing service like uber.
Number three – you can seek out community events to sponsor you can look at different charitable organizations and you can record your involvement in those activities on an Instagram post the next way is to exhibit quotes by famous individuals such as authors, philosophers, pillars in the legal community and embed a graphic of your law firm logo on that quote so if it’s ever spread around when people share your post your law firms logo will go with that. If you are interested in creating these quotes that are visual a really simple and easy and free way to do that is through canva. It’s free and whenever you see these things on social media they were probably created on canva so you can do this as well. Exhibiting quotes by individuals that include your law firm logo.
Number five is to celebrate victories or awards that were generated at your law firm. So if you had a recent victory or accolade or award or promotion
within your law firm these are great things to post about on social media.
Number six is to allow visitors to just peek in behind the scenes at your law firm’s office so you can take some footage or some pictures and include those in either a video or photograph on social media. If you work from home and you have a virtual office that just helps you even be more relatable to your potential clients. So I highly encourage taking pictures as well even if you have a virtual office at home.
Number seven – client testimonials! So the previous podcast was all about getting five star reviews on google my business and everywhere else. When you get those five star reviews you should copy and paste them not just to your website in a separate section that has testimonials in it you should also share those client testimonials on social media including Instagram. You can create a quote in canva just like what we were talking about using the quote from a client testimonial as well.
The next way to use instagram for your law firm is to give updates about legal issues and cases that are gathering media attention. So even if you’re not particularly involved in a case that’s going on or a particular legal issue, you can comment on it as an expert in that area. Again, you can’t ever really give legal advice. But if there is a very prominent case going on, either nationally or locally, you can give updates about that case, that legal issue, or give your opinion on it. If it is gathering media attention, if there is an immigration issue going on nationally, and you’re an immigration attorney, if there is a business law that is happening nationally, and you are a business attorney, then you can give an update about those particular federal or state or even local laws or issues or current events.
The ninth way that lawyers can use Instagram is to display key facts about the services your law firm provides. You could have little spotlights, like did you know question mark, and then include information about the practice areas that you excel or have expertise in? This is important because a lot of potential clients may know that you are a family law firm, but they don’t know that you also do estate planning.
And the last tip, tip number 10 is to offer simple definitions of common legal terms. So if you are a personal injury attorney, you could talk about what a contingency fee is. Some potential clients may not know that they don’t need to pay a personal injury attorney until their case is decided in their favor. So offering simple definitions of common legal terms can be a great way to show your expertise and connect with potential clients.
The next thing I’m going to show you is seven tips to really gain more traction on Instagram. So even though it’s really easy to jump into Instagram, start posting gaining followers, you’ll gradually notice what’s effective, versus what people are not commenting on.
Here are seven key tips to avoid common hazards on the Instagram social platform.
The first is you should stay professional. You should always be warm and personable. But you should stay professional. This is your law firm. So on Instagram, this means that you are presenting your law firm as a legitimate, responsible, trustworthy business. don’t overload on the hashtags. Just keep things simple. always respond to people when they answer in a professional way. Respond to other people’s posts in a professional way as well and confirm that your username and your account really is reflecting your brand and your law firm. Don’t use nicknames or whimsical taglines just be professional because this is the law firm that you are representing on Instagram.
The next tip is to engage personally. It can be easy to forget right what you even are doing on Instagram. The point that is driving you to social media is to engage with people and connect with people personally. The ultimate goal is not just to share a bunch of content that shows that you are an expert, it’s to reach potential clients through that content. And then through engagement. So make sure that every comment that you get from a visitor receives a like and a return comment. If you do not have the time to do this yourself. I highly encourage getting a virtual assistant to help you do this and manage your social media platforms. But you should be engaging personally your law firm should be engaging personally and confirm that anyone who visits your profile can effortlessly contact you by phone or email.
The next tip is to share videos. I know this is scary people get scared when I say video, but according to research, consumers are hungry for video, and the use is rising something like 100% more every year. An Instagram is designed for mobile users and it’s perfect for video sharing. Instagram is a great way to show video footage of you addressing a key legal topic, commenting on a news story, showcasing what your law firm looks like on the inside. Really videos can be a quick share of almost any kind of information to grab a user’s attention. You can share longer videos through igtv, which is Instagram TV. But the shorter videos you can just share directly on Instagram. And unless you have an extremely fascinating story to retell, it really is ideal to keep the video length less than two or three minutes long. We all know that the attention span of people is, you know, like that of Dory from Finding Nemo. So we all don’t have very long attention spans. But be sure to make sure that you offer good quality video, use proper lighting, and audio, a tripod, but you can just use your phone for these videos, you don’t need to go hire Steven Spielberg to do these for you. If you want to use a professional video marketing company, that can be a good investment. But I’m just letting you know you can do this all from your phone, it’s fine.
The next tip is to be timely. You want to make sure that whatever you are promoting on Instagram is timely. For example, if you are a personal injury attorney and talking about school bus safety, you want to be talking about those school safety reminders in August. And maybe you want to if you’re an estate planning attorney, you want to be talking about family gatherings in December around the holidays. So think about the posts that you want to put out on social media to be relevant, educational, informative, and actually help the people that are following you. Think of following the calendar, you can still stay aware of all current events, regional news, because those situations can also inspire new post ideas. But if you are creating a digital marketing plan, and I highly encourage that you do that, you really do want to be thinking about the calendar and what is going on in the world during different times of the year that are affecting your followers, you should not post too often. Now, this isn’t usually the problem for most people, right? Most people are not posting 510 times a day. It’s just important that I note this here, it is important, however, to post consistently. And often.
So at least several times a week, you can schedule your law firm Instagram posts using my very favorite social media scheduling software called Smarter Queue, I actually developed a course called repurposing content, which can be found on the Law Quill website underneath Law Quill Academy at the top banner where all of my courses are. And that shows you how not only to use this tool in a step-by-step video and a complete guide. But also you can schedule those same posts that you put out to Instagram. You can also schedule them out to your Facebook, and Twitter and LinkedIn and all the platforms. So using a scheduling software such as Smarter Queue is really an amazing way to work smarter and not harder.
What’s the perfect post amount on Instagram? I get this question a lot. Businesses with a smaller local audience like a lot of law firms should share between one or two photos per day. If that’s too much for you try to just do at least one per day. Again, if you use one of these social media scheduling tools, that becomes much easier.
The next tip that I have for you is to let former clients speak for you on Instagram. The impact of online reviews really tells us that consumers trust the opinion of their peers, and frankly of strangers even more so than their family and friends Believe it or not. So let your happy clients speak on behalf of your law firm. I talked earlier about posting client testimonials. But you can also have past clients post on your Instagram as well. These stories are perfect to display on Instagram. If you have gathered a bunch of five star reviews, or you’ve had a conversation on video with one of your previous clients. You can arrange to post all of these on your Instagram. It’s fantastic. You can even consider asking a recent client to just give their own video testimonial and provide that on your Instagram as well. So letting former clients speak for you is a great way to use Instagram to promote your law firm.
Another important thing to remember as a law firm on Instagram is that you have to only give general tips. You cannot get specific advice. Many attorneys are fearful of giving out free legal advice via social media. But you can still offer general tips. As long as it is not specific to a particular client or a particular law. Social media like Instagram is really a good place to do that. And it can provide motivation for a potential client to to contact you because they see you as an expert, you should just steer clear of specific legal advice and just stick to generalized information.
A really good idea regarding this is to think about the questions that every potential client asks you on their very first phone call. With you, we all know that they’re going to ask you the same questions. How much is this going to cost? How long is it going to take? How much money am I going to get? You know that you can’t say with certainty and answer to any of those questions, but you can give them generalized advice.
The same holds true for Instagram and social media. If visitors on your website or on social media or in your phone calls are messaging or calling and asking you the same questions repeatedly, this is a great opportunity for you to create posts that answer those similar to a fact frequently asked questions.
The last tip for you is to consider using Instagram ads. Now it will take time for you to build up a strong Instagram following for your law firm organically, it is important to do that and not buy any followers don’t get into any of those kinds of scams, it really, it doesn’t do anything for your law firm at all. They are only vanity metrics, and they really don’t help you gain more clients. But as you are building up your organic Instagram following, you may want to consider using Instagram ads. This is one way to sort of speed up the usefulness of Instagram by purchasing advertising. Instagram advertising is still expensive, it’s not as expensive as LinkedIn. In some cases, it can be affordable. It depends on what you’re looking to do. But on your account page, there’s a button marked promotions. And that is where you can choose one of your posts to promote and designate where to send individuals who may choose to click on that advertisement on Instagram. So it’s just something to think about.
What you will want to do no matter where you are on any social media platform is to make sure to monitor your social media reputation. This is free real estate, but it is important real estate to monitor. You want to really keep a close eye on your Instagram account and all of your social media accounts frankly, to consistently monitor your law firm’s reputation. That means you need to be looking at visitor messages, comments, and by practicing social listening. And what that is is looking at blogs and online review sites to see what other people are saying about your law firm.
Social listening tools can run web searches and keep you informed about sort of any chatter referencing your law firm. It’s pretty fantastic. And some of these companies that do this for you are brands, 24, buffer, keyhole, Buzzsumo, Hootsuite, and HubSpot. So those are some of the ways that you can monitor your social media reputation, including Instagram.
Instagram is huge. And a lot of law firms are using this fantastic marketing opportunity for their law firms. And you can be one of them. Instagram for lawyers really should be considered for anyone who wants to use marketing online, to build brand awareness and engage with potential or PLAs clients and frankly, build a team of loyal followers that are interested in the content and expertise that you provide.
So if you have not considered Instagram in the past, I highly encourage you to do so. I know that you may feel overwhelmed in adding another social media platform. But I promise you if you use a social media scheduler, such as smarter cue to schedule all of your social media posts, you can do it all at once. You can schedule the same post to go out to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn all at once.
So you’re working smarter and not harder and attorneys your competition is already doing this. So it definitely behooves you to start thinking about it. Whether or not Instagram could be an essential part of your social media marketing strategy as well. So if your law firm has ignored Instagram in the past, again, maybe it’s time to take another look. And I hope that this podcast helped you consider all of your options regarding Instagram.
And I just really appreciate you being here. If you’d click that subscribe button, and then if you’re listening on iTunes, if you leave me a review,
I would really appreciate it. And in the meantime, I just want to say that I am so thankful you’re here, and that I can help you increase your online digital presence for your smaller solo law firm. And until next time, thanks for joining the Legal Marketing Lounge.