Many brands engage with customers on social media. But does it work for law firms? Is it worth your time to build a robust social media presence? The answer is “yes”! Your competitors are engaging on social media and know effective social media tips for law firms. Because nearly 70% of people looking for a lawyer start their search online, your law firm may be falling behind if it has no social media presence. What are the benefits of social media for small law firms? Social media is one of the best ways to engage your prospective clients, increase your law firm’s visibility, and market your services.
Connect With Prospective Clients & Referral Sources
According to the Pew Research Center, 70% of Americans ages 18+ engage with social media — that’s approximately 223 million Americans that could be reached via social media! In addition, there are many legal and related industry groups on social media platforms filled with referral sources.
Nearly 60% of consumers on social media are looking for posts that teach them something, giving your firm an ideal place to show up as a thought leader and highlight your expertise.
Enhance Your SEO Efforts
Search engines such as Google take into account social feeds to your website when establishing rankings in search results. This means that a strong social media presence can improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and land you higher on the results page for organic searches.
Build Your Brand
Eighty percent of marketers rely upon social media to build brand awareness, sharing stories and achievements. For law firms, social media is another way for prospective clients to find you and to build trust with your target audience.
9 Social Media Tips For Law Firms
Define Your Target Audience
Your “target audience” is your firm’s ideal client. If you have multiple practice areas, you may have more than one ideal client.
Clarify Your Goals
Depending on your target audience, the goals for your social media presence may vary. It is important to consider what your firm is trying to achieve with your social media efforts for several reasons.
- First, clear goals will allow you to measure whether your efforts are working and if you need to adjust to better achieve your goals.
- Secondly, a clear strategy will ensure your firm shows up with consistent messaging that does not confuse your target audience.
- Lastly, it will allow your efforts to be as efficient and effective as possible. Building and maintaining a social media presence can be time consuming, so you want to ensure you have a solid plan in place before embarking on your social journey.
Choose Your Platform(s)
There are at least five major social media platforms, with others on the periphery and still others coming into the marketplace. You must first choose where you will build your social media presence. While a large firm or company may have time and resources to dominate across all social media platforms, a small law firm or a firm with a small marketing budget is better served by choosing the one or two platforms that best fit their style and audience and focusing efforts there.
Facebook is the biggest name in social networking with over 80% of Americans who engage in social media spending time on the Facebook platform.
LinkedIn is focused on business, business trends, and networking. If your firm is a B2B model, e.g. corporate and business clients, this may be a great platform for establishing expertise and attracting business clients. LinkedIn is also the ideal platform for building referral sources such as other lawyers, financial planners, and the like.
Instagram is a visual platform and allows firms to get creative in showcasing their services. Approximately 40% of social media engagers spend time on Instagram, and the demographic trends younger than both Facebook and LinkedIn.
If you are looking to directly engage in back and forth “conversation” with your target audience, Twitter’s microblogging platform may be a good fit for your law firm. Think of it as the customer service platform, allowing you to post straight-forward content in 280 characters or less addressed directly to followers.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is a visual platform, and is extremely popular with millennials. If they make up a large portion of your target audience, this could be a good platform for you.
YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, and Clubhouse are additional social platforms with unique characteristics. However, if you are just starting your social media presence, begin with at least one of the major platforms first.
Demographics of Each Platform
The Pew Research Center has a useful report detailing who uses each social media platform, including age, gender, race, education, and income. Using data such as this, combined with the kinds of content you want to post and your goals for posting, you can determine which social media platform provides the best opportunity for your law firm.
Know the Rules
Make sure you know the rules and responsibilities in your state relevant to social media tips for law firms, including bar rules and ethics regulations. Note that many jurisdictions prohibit lawyers from using words like ‘expert’ or ‘specialist’ and prohibit promising specific results.
Complete Your Social Profile
Because social platforms rank high in organic search results, a strong social presence may result in your profile on a social platform ranking higher in organic search results than your law firm website. This is a good thing so long as your social media profile is complete and contains all the basic information — including your website and contact details — that you want prospective clients to find when they visit your website.
You also may want to claim your law firm name consistently across all social platforms, unless you are targeting disparate audiences on different social platforms. For example, you may not want to be @JonesJacksonLaw on one platform and @JJLaw on another. Instead, choose one and use it across all platforms.
Develop a Content Strategy and Calendar
Decide what kind of content you post, and how often. There are many resources that discuss how often to post on each social media platform. The key is consistency.
As for content strategy, it is tied directly to your goals and the needs of your target audience. Your content and strategy may also vary across different social media platforms, based upon which of your target audience is within each platform’s demographic. Follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of your content should be informative and helpful with only about 20% having any sales component to it.
If you don’t connect with or follow others on social media, you won’t get much out of your social presence. Follow related businesses and organizations in your practice area. Connect with prospective clients. Post your own content, but also comment on others’ content and engage with anyone that comments on or shares your content.
Post & Share Informative Content
No matter your social media goal, post informative content that educates your audience, especially about timely and trending legal topics in the news relevant to your practice areas or clients. Videos are particularly helpful, but written articles and blog posts are also a great way to educate your audience on topics of interest to them while simultaneously establishing your law firm and attorneys as knowledgeable.
Your law firm can also build its credibility by sharing blog posts and stories that are relevant to your ideal clients. It is great, of course, to share your own content, but you need not limit yourself to sharing only your own content. Rather, sharing interesting and informative content created by other reputable sources — such as business, organization, and reputable industry blogs — shows that you are current, knowledgeable, and connected.
Creatively Measure ROI
Sometimes the benefit of social media is not a direct line from content to client to money. Rather, measuring the return on investing in social media tips for small law firms requires more creativity. As your law firm establishes a positive social media presence, your target audience begins to trust you and recognize you as knowledgeable and available. When someone in your target audience needs the kind of services you offer, they are more likely to become a client because they feel they already know you and what your firm can do for them. Expanded awareness and consideration of your law firm may be the best measure of ROI for your social media strategy.
How Law Quill Can Help
There are many important social media tips for small law firms, and numerous ways to effectively apply those tools to grow your business. If your busy schedule makes writing quality content difficult, invest in outsourcing the kind of material that will attract and engage visitors on social media. Contact Law Quill to handle your social media for you!
We are here to help and welcome the opportunity to visit with you for free regarding your social media strategy and content! Schedule a free visit with us, via phone or zoom, at your convenience on our calendar. You can also email us at [email protected]