Social media has become an increasingly essential tool for professionals in all industries to build authority and make connections with potential clients. Lawyers are no exception. Now that a majority of consumers are online, law firms need a strong online presence that showcases their knowledge and experience. Here is why your law firm needs a social media marketing strategy, as well as some best practices and pitfalls to know.
Why Your Law Firm Needs a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Here are several reasons why your law firm needs a social media marketing strategy:
- Your Clients Are There
Your marketing efforts should meet customers where they’re at, and a majority of them are regularly on social media sites. According to recent data, there are over 4.95 billion social media users worldwide, which equates to more than 61% of the global population.
- Your Competition is Doing it
According to 2022 data released by the American Bar Association, 89% of law firms surveyed maintain some type of social media presence. A majority of law firms (87%) use LinkedIn. Many firms also use other social platforms, like Facebook (62%), Twitter (38%), and Instagram (17%).
- Sends More Traffic to Your Website
As you focus on getting more traffic to your law firm’s website, don’t ignore the potential of social media. You can post informative content on your social profiles, which leads people back to your website. This can also help your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
- Builds Valuable Brand Awareness
Your law firm’s brand is an essential part of its overall digital marketing strategy. As more people recognize your firm’s name, they’ll know where to turn when they need your services. Social media is one place where you can build brand awareness and trust.
- Gets You New Clients
A common marketing goal most law firms have is to get more clients. Because so many of your potential clients are already on social networks, this makes these platforms ideal places to form valuable connections that can lead to new business.
Social Media Best Practices for Lawyers
If you’re interested in launching your law firm’s social media presence, you may not be sure where to begin. Here are some social media best practices for lawyers.
- Determine Your Social Media Goals
When you approach social media for marketing purposes, it’s always helpful to establish some goals. This allows you to properly focus your digital marketing efforts so they achieve the desired outcome.
For example, your goal might be to establish yourself as an authority in your field. Or it may be to simply generate more brand awareness among potential clients. Regardless of your goals, you’ll want to choose some key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure and track your progress.
- Choose Your Social Media Platforms
Whether you consider this good news or bad news — there are a ton of social media platforms to choose from. But you don’t have to have a presence on all of them to be successful. In fact, some networks will be better suited to your business than others depending on things like your primary areas of practice, your target audience, and the type of content you plan to post.
If you are a business attorney or are only trying to make connections with other professionals, LinkedIn may be the best option. However, many law firms are also choosing to have a presence on Facebook due to its massive reach. YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram are other popular choices.
- Set Up and Optimize Your Profiles
Whichever social media platforms you choose, make sure you properly set up your account and optimize your profile. If a business account is an option, this is what you should choose in most cases unless you are trying to build a personal brand. It’s essential that your law firm’s data (name, address, phone number, URL) match across all social media platforms.
- Create a Social Media Content Strategy
Your social media content strategy includes the type of content and the timing of the delivery on your various social media platforms. To be most effective, you’ll want to deliver engaging, valuable, and relevant content to your target audience as consistently as possible.
Most law firms choose to post a variety of content on social media. For example, you can share your website’s blog posts, share others’ content, and post some original content, such as videos, graphics, polls, and statistics, to inform and spark conversation.
- Monitor Conversations Around Your Firm
“Social listening” is a valuable tool for learning more about your target audience and making connections. Fortunately, you can automate part of this by setting up keyword “alerts” on social media tied to your brand name or other specific terms. If you choose, you can weigh in on those conversations or find ways to take advantage of new opportunities.
- Share Others’ Content and Participate in Conversations
Social media isn’t meant to be a one-way conversation. If you are only “pushing out” content and hoping for amazing results, you’ll likely be disappointed. When you share others’ content, they are more likely to reciprocate, which can help broaden your reach. You can also participate in conversations on other pages to begin building brand-name recognition for your firm.
- Track Your Results and Make Adjustments
You’ll never know what’s working and what isn’t with your social media strategy if you don’t track your results. Go back to those KPIs you chose at the beginning and see how you’re doing. Even better, most social media platforms offer detailed insights to make tracking easy so you can adjust as needed.
Social Media Pitfalls for Lawyers — Mistakes to Avoid
While it’s vital for law firms to be present and active on social media, there’s a right and wrong way to approach this type of marketing. Do it wrong, and it can harm your firm’s reputation instead of producing the results you want. Here are some common social media mistakes your law firm should try to avoid.
- Not Responding to Comments
Social media marketing needs to be an ongoing conversation between your law firm and its target audience. This sounds like a massive undertaking, but the results will be worth the effort. Each post you make can prompt readers to ask questions or make comments, which you can reply to and create lasting connections, eventually leading to new business.
- Being Inconsistent With Engagement
If you’re only posting on social media when you have time or feel inspired to do so, you won’t get positive results. People need to see your law firm’s name consistently to begin recognizing your brand and feeling a connection to it. Instead, create a content calendar and stick to a schedule.
- Too Much Self-Promotion
Of course, you have goals you want to achieve. But you won’t get there with blatant self-promotion. Today’s consumers don’t respond positively to that. Instead, you’ll get better results by posting helpful, educational content that builds trust with your target audience.
- Posting from the Wrong Profile
If you have personal social media accounts, keeping your personal and professional life separate can be challenging. But it’s important. You don’t want to post your happy hour or vacation photos to your law firm’s Facebook page. Company social media profiles should remain separate and professional.
- Not Choosing the Right Content
Many people are on multiple social media platforms, and you risk alienating these groups by posting identical content across multiple channels. Some sites, like Instagram, are more suited to visual content, and others, like YouTube or TikTok, are more suited to video content. You’ll get better results by adjusting your content to match the platform.
- Misuse of Hashtags
Hashtags originated on Twitter but have expanded to all social media platforms as a means to expand reach and organize content. But overuse of them can appear spammy and annoy your readers. Try to stick to two or three relevant hashtags if you choose to use them.
- Not Respecting Confidentiality
Attorneys have a duty to protect and respect the confidentiality of their client’s information, except in specific instances where a client has given consent. When offering advice or answering questions on social media platforms, it’s essential that attorneys don’t breach the confidentiality of past or current clients.
- Ignoring Solicitation and Advertising Rules
The American Bar Association has created Rules of Professional Conduct governing attorney advertising and solicitation. For lawyers and law firms, advertising must be truthful and not create unreasonable expectations.
Get Help With Your Law Firm’s Social Media Marketing Strategy
If your law firm isn’t using social media to increase its online visibility and attract more clients, it’s time to start. Without this valuable strategy, you are missing out on opportunities to make connections with potential clients. At Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing, we will help your law firm create a customized legal marketing strategy that includes developing and maintaining a strong social media presence. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.