Social media is one of the fastest-growing marketing channels for major brands and small businesses alike. 3.5 billion people (almost half the population) are on social media worldwide, and that number is growing every day. Social media marketing for lawyers is focused on leveraging that captive audience to create brand awareness, attract prospective clients, build relationships with your community, establish yourself as an authority in your field, and boost your firm’s SEO efforts and online presence.
Latest Stats on Social Media Marketing for Lawyers
Not convinced? Let us present some evidence:
- 35% of all law firms (and 42% of small law firms) who use social media report gaining new clients through these channels (American Bar Association)
- 81% of lawyers surveyed say they keep up with at least one social media platform (American Bar Association)
- 70% of law firms say social media is an integral part of their digital marketing strategy (Sprout Social Index)
- Lawyers spend, on average, 7 minutes sharing content and posting updates (Optimized Attorney)
As an attorney, you’re paid to be an effective communicator–make sure you’re using those skills to capture your target market. Many attorneys avoid social media marketing because of how time-consuming it appears to be–constant posts, responding to updates, responding to messages. But, as you can see above, it can take less than 15 minutes to properly maintain your social media accounts when you are doing it regularly and efficiently.
With the right social media marketing strategy and tools, you can spend a minimal amount of time on posting and campaign management and still reap the many benefits that social media has for law firms.
The Basics of a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy
Choose the Right Platforms for Your Goals
With more social media networks popping up every day, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the platforms, their intended purpose, and their base demographics before you spend time and effort on building a profile.
Different platforms are more successful for different law firms based on factors like your target audience, practice areas, and the type of content you’ll be creating. For instance, Twitter and Facebook have very different audiences and protocols–you likely won’t be sharing the same content in those two places. You have to adapt your approach to each platform to get the most out of it.
Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform in the world. The potential reach for your content is tremendous on Facebook, but you have to be wary of the algorithms, which prioritize content from friends and family over businesses. Facebook is the perfect platform for sharing company updates and news, case wins, press releases, lawyer bios, and videos. It’s also one of the most successful paid social advertising platforms for lawyers.
According to the ABA, LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform among lawyers in the U.S. LinkedIn is designed to help you build a professional persona and connect with other professionals in your field. It’s most often used for recruitment and networking. While the focus is more internal than external, it can still be a very valuable social media marketing tool.
Twitter is a succinct, efficient way to help build your law firm’s brand. Just remember that people use Twitter as a source of news and real-time updates on their areas of interest. It’s best to use this as a platform for major case updates, links to press releases, and re-Tweets of major industry news.
Instagram is a highly visual platform, which makes it less popular among law firms. However, if you leverage it successfully, it can be a very useful outlet for client testimonials, explainer videos, and other visual content. Many lawyers who do use Instagram use it for recruitment and to humanize their attorneys by posting company culture content.
YouTube isn’t used by law firms as frequently as Facebook or LinkedIn, but if you use it correctly, it can be a gold mine of brand recognition and SEO. From explaining the intricacies of the legal system to sharing success stories, video is the perfect media for connecting with your audience on an intellectual and emotional level. Just make sure you have someone on your team with a great on-camera personality and the ability to create high production value to avoid looking “cheesy” or old-fashioned.
Make Sure Your Messaging Is Consistent
While you’ll be producing different kinds of content for different platforms, make sure that your overall messaging and branding stays the same. Create content that emphasizes your mission, your values, and your practice areas.
Creating a voice and tone guide can help keep you on track. List out the adjectives you want to be associated with your brand. Are you shooting for slick, high-powered, and business formal? Or do you prefer conversational, down-to-earth, and relatable? Use these terms to inform what you say and how you say it to keep your brand consistent.
Identify Your Goals
A huge part of success in social media marketing for lawyers is goal setting. You have to understand exactly what you’re hoping to gain from your foray into social media to get the most out of it.
Do you want more clients? Are you trying to build trust with the community? Are you trying to funnel more people to your site? Are you trying to become a household name? The goals you chose will inform everything from the type of content you create to how often you post.
You wouldn’t go to a party and spend all night in a corner shouting statistics and refusing to talk to anyone, right? Of course not, that would be crazy! Unfortunately, that’s how many law firms approach social media marketing.
Social media is all about engagement and interaction. The most successful brands are the ones that are able to start and carry on conversations with their intended audience. Creating and posting high-quality content is certainly important, but you should also be responding to comments, encouraging interactions, inviting questions, etc.
Not sure where to start? Try to make every post and marketing effort about your audience and how you can help change their lives.
Tips on How To Create Effective Social Media Content
Educate and Inform
One of the most common forms of content is educational content–content that answers a specific question. For instance, “How to File for an Uncontested Divorce,” or “What Are My Miranda Rights?”
To create truly engaging and valuable informational content, start by thinking about the questions you get the most from clients about your practice area. Chances are, these frequently asked questions are of interest to many more people.
Educational content is also great for SEO purposes because it responds to real queries. Most people have a question when they go to Google. “Who gets the dog in the divorce?” or “How do I pick a good lawyer?” These are all questions to which you have the answer! So answer them, and establish yourself as an authority in your field.
Blogs, whitepapers, charts, infographics, and videos are all excellent vehicles for informational content.
This is similar to educational content in that you are answering your audience’s questions. But with Q&A, you are answering almost in real-time. If people comment on your posts with questions, answer them (as long as it is within ethical guidelines to do so). If people send questions to your inbox, respond as quickly as possible.
This is important, not just for their gratification, but also for your overall social media marketing efforts. Facebook, for instance, watches how long it takes you to respond to a direct message and posts that response time on your business page. “Responds within 24 hours,” is much preferable to “Response Time: 2 weeks,” for your reputation with the community.
Answering questions sets you up as an authority that people can trust. This pays off when a member of your audience suddenly needs a lawyer they can trust.
Of all the types of content you can create, video is the most engaging and popular. In fact, it’s so popular that it will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2022 (Cisco). According to Optinmonster, 72% of consumers say they would rather learn about a product or service from a video than any other format.
So if you want to create compelling and engaging content, you should consider investing in high-quality video content. The videos that work best for your firm will depend on your practice areas, but animated explainer videos, client testimonials and success stories, lawyer bios, and service recaps will always go over well.
Make sure that you invest a little extra in a camera and mics of good quality. In a world run by TikTok, Twitch, and, YouTube, high production value is an expectation rather than a luxury. If your videos look cheap or grainy, people will scroll right past.
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