So, you know how to fervently defend your clients in a courtroom and you can draft up complex legal documents with your eyes closed— but do you know how to get a buzz going on social media?
If you thought social media was just for filters that shoot rainbows out of your mouth and posting photos of your lunch, think again. With over 4.2 billion active social media users, smart marketers know that a presence on social media should be a critical part of any marketing strategy. On average, social media users spend approximately 2 hours a day online, so that window of time is your big chance to be seen. Surveys show that more and more lawyers are including social media as a part of their marketing strategy.
However, having a presence on social media alone isn’t enough. In order to leverage its full power, you’ll need to build a following by producing the right content.
Why Social Media is a Must For Law Firms
It’s an opportunity to connect
with your target audience.
Unlike other one-sided marketing methods, social media doesn’t just offer a chance to increase your law firm’s visibility, but it uniquely offers clients an opportunity to directly communicate with their favorite companies, solidifying relationships and building trust.
The first step to finding new clients is building awareness around your law firm, wherever your target audience is, and social media is where they’re at. When people get to interact with their favorite brands on social media, they feel more connected, which breeds loyalty.
You get to present yourself as an authority.
Regardless of whether you’re a lawyer or an industrial designer, your presence on social media is an opportunity to establish yourself as an expert. Presenting yourself as a thought-leader in your area of practice gives you credibility and promotes trust.
Rather than simply reposting content, you should establish your opinion and point of view. Doing so gives you the upper hand with competition by standing out as an expert.
Your firm stays top of mind.
Continuous exposure breeds familiarity, which in turn encourages preference. Simply put, if you manage to stay visible to your target audience on social media, the next time they require legal services, you’ll be the first lawyer that they think of.
Staying on top of mind is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can arm yourself with. If you manage to stay active and consistent on social media, you can encourage preference over other firms, and in turn, boost your sales.
Increased website traffic.
Social media is one of the most reliable ways to drive traffic to your law firm’s website. As long as you include your website address in a post, prospects can easily navigate towards your site in one simple click.
The more traffic you get on your website, the more business you’ll bring in; it’s really that simple.
Leads generate clients, and the more you can bring in, the more revenue you’ll produce. With billions of active users on social media, you’re casting a wide net on potential clients who may be looking for exactly what you offer.
Smart law firms know how much their sales funnel relies on their social media presence. As the amount of active social media users on platforms like Facebook continues to increase, the more people rely on social media to find goods and services.
Eliminates outdated selling techniques.
Known as social selling, establishing a presence on social media allows you to zero in on your ideal prospect and build a connection that eliminates outdated outbound selling strategies like cold calling. It’s a modern form of relationship-building that creates meaningful interactions that result in increased sales and less knocking on doors. If you manage to play your cards right, prospects come directly to you!
Best Social Media Platforms to Consider for Your Law Firm
As more and more social media platforms emerge every day, it can get confusing knowing which ones to focus on. Rather than spreading yourself thin across every new one that comes out, it's only necessary to focus on the ones that matter most. Some social media platforms appeal more to certain target demographics. Let's take a look at some of the different options best suited for law firms and how to make the most out of each.
If you haven't heard of Facebook, then you're probably living under a rock under a pile of leaves, in a cave…. under another rock. Simply put, Facebook is everywhere. In fact, Facebook has become as common of a household name as Google. With billions of active users, it's considered the most popular social media platform for a wide variety of demographics.
Because of the wide outreach, Facebook is the best place to start targeting customers. Not only can it be very effective for getting your law firm’s name out there, but it's free! However, if you are willing to invest some of your marketing dollars, you can run Facebook ads that link to your website.
The first step to getting started marketing your law firm on Facebook is to create a page. Remember, a page is not the same thing as a personal profile. You'll need to specify, but you're a business and brand rather than a community or public figure. Once you have a profile photo and a cover photo with your law firm's logo and name, you can publish, and you’ve got yourself a page. For a more detailed explanation of the setup process, check out this article.
Facebook is all about creating and sharing content to spark engagement. We'll go over some of the best kinds of posts later in this article.
The majority of law firms don't have a presence on Instagram. However, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has 500 million active daily users full of potential clients. It goes without saying that this is a huge opportunity for visibility and a chance to connect with a younger audience that may not be present on Facebook.
Unlike Facebook, which relies heavily on text-based content sharing, Instagram is a visual sharing platform. Many people believe that Instagram is the future of social media because of its rising popularity.
Although your first impression may be that it doesn’t make much sense for a law firm to rely on a visual platform, the truth is it can make sense. Instagram can be a place to give an impression of approachability to people who may otherwise be wary of lawyers. Instagram puts a human face behind your business and can be a great way to show behind-the-scenes news at your law firm. For example, you may choose to include photos of recent community involvement or even speaking at a conference. You can share humorous and relatable content and even legal tips.
Before you dismiss Instagram, consider that a recent survey revealed that over 25% of lawyers use Instagram as part of their marketing strategy, and out of the top 20 law firms in the United States, over half of them have Instagram accounts. It goes without saying that Instagram can be a legitimate place to market your law firm. Here is a page with some more information on how to set up a business Instagram account.
Over 80% of lawyers asked in a survey responded that they are active on LinkedIn. Because LinkedIn is an entirely business-focused social media platform, it's a favored destination for professional networking. Made strictly with businesses in mind, LinkedIn is a great way to promote yourself and build connections with other professionals. However, although it can be a great place to establish yourself professionally, it may not be the best place to find clients. LinkedIn is designed to build connections with other professionals and less designed with the intent to advertise to potential clients.
Regardless, it's considered a staple for law firms to promote their credibility and achievements in their area of practice. It's a place to highlight your knowledge and authority as a lawyer.
Twitter is a platform used to quickly get your message across in 280 characters or less known as “tweets.” Your Twitter profile consists of your handle, your username, bio, and your profile picture. Each of these comes together to represent your law firm. Twitter can be one of the most powerful tools you have for getting your message across and gaining insight about your customers. You can follow trends, get to know what your competitors are doing, and ultimately win fans through following the right strategies.
Be careful, though— it's quick. You need to know the best strategies to hold your followers' attention in such a fast-paced environment. Twitter can be intimidating at first since it takes some getting used to. From abbreviations to hashtags, to trending slang, to figuring out your feed, there are many different components that go into a successful Twitter experience.
Although it's one of the lesser-used platforms that lawyers use, it's still incredibly valuable and a great way to spread brand awareness by serving as a place to send out quick spurts of information. You'll need to make sure that someone is keeping an eye on your Twitter account at all times so that there are no gaps in responses. Often clients turn to Twitter to get quick customer service about their questions and concerns.
Videos are a great way to share valuable and shareable content about your law firm. A recent survey showed that nearly 75% of people admitted purchasing a service or product based on a video, so it would be a missed opportunity not to dip into this realm of social media.
YouTube, although less popular than platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, is a fantastic tool for influencing potential clients. Video marketing can be useful for any industry; however, it can be especially useful for lawyers. One of the most popular forms of video marketing is sharing valuable tips relevant to your practice area. One idea is to create a weekly video with legal advice that gives prospects shareable and useful information free of charge.
The great part about YouTube is that it hosts your videos for you, and you can easily share your embedded content with a simple link on other platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Now that you have a better idea of some of the options out there available to you, here are essential tips for leveraging social media marketing to promote your law firm, regardless of the platform.
7 Ways to Leverage Social Media Marketing for Your Law Firm
1Create a Goal
All good strategies begin with goals. Before you get started posting, establish what it is that you hope to achieve to get the best results. Having specific and measurable goals in mind will help you track whether you're making progress in your marketing strategy or not.
Some goal ideas include:
Increase brand awareness
Generate more leads
Drive more website traffic
Gain customer insight
When you have a clear idea of where you hope to grow as a result of social media, you can fine-tune your strategy and make changes where necessary if you’re not making progress.
2Create a Calendar
The first place to start is creating a social media calendar. That way, you schedule when you want to post on each social channel. Your content calendar shouldn't just include when you want to post, but it should outline what you want to post.
Planning ahead simplifies your social media efforts and removes the hassle of trying to come up with a content idea spontaneously. Third-party social media tools make it easy to pre-plan your social media activity for the week or even month in one sitting so that you can focus your energy on your clients the rest of the time.
You already have enough administrative tasks to worry about in your law practice— from answering emails to scheduling meetings to handling incoming inquiries; the last thing you need to add to your plate is coming up with social media content on a daily basis. Calendars keep you organized and intentional in your social media efforts. Take a look at this list of some of the best content calendar tools to choose from.
3Use Hashtags and keywords
Hashtags should always be a part of your social media equation. Think of them as breadcrumbs to lead people to your profile who are organically searching for your content just like yours.
Depending on the platform, you’re allowed to use up to 30 hashtags— so use them! The more hashtags that you use, the more you’ll appear in prospective clients' feeds. When choosing hashtags, make sure that they’re relevant and applicable to whatever you’re posting about. If you manage to use the right ones, you can gain considerably more outreach than you would have without.
Along with useful hashtags to help people find you, also use SEO keywords. Keywords send Google searches to your page if you manage to use the right ones. Ideally, your page should be the first law page that comes up on a local search. For more tips on how to use SEO to increase your social media page’s visibility, go here.
4Engage with your audience
As Captain Jean Luc Picard says, “engage!” Unlike traditional outbound marketing methods, social media is all about engaging with your customers instead of a one-sided conversation.
Interaction is an important part of keeping your audience interested in what you're posting about. So, rather than shamelessly self-promoting all the time, post content that encourages conversation. Whether it's an article that relates to your practice area or you ask a question that encourages your followers to give their opinion, the idea is to invite and inspire conversation.
In addition to posting content that encourages interaction, you should also be commenting on your followers' content. When you comment on other user's content, you’re being social, which is the entire point of social media. Simply put, the more you interact, the more you'll be interacted with.
5Build a Community
Rather than only focusing on building a following, go one step further and build a community. Unlike the following, a community is a group of loyal social media users who interact and share your posts. They resonate with your brand and are loyal to your page, which are the best kind of followers there are.
The best way to build a following is to be authentic. Post engaging and genuine content that encourages people to interact. Rather than trying to post whatever the latest trend is, stay true to your business and brand, and people will appreciate the sincerity.
The more that you can create a space but invites and encourages an exchange, the more buzz you'll gain on your page. Remember that you should always reply to comments and respond to any incoming messages since a lack of response on your part could lead to people losing interest in your page. It may feel like a lot of work, so you may want to delegate social media to someone in your office who has the time and skills. Building a social media community is like growing a garden. You can't simply plant it and walk away— it needs attention to flourish.
6Research your competitors
Part of a good marketing strategy is paying attention to what your competitors are doing. Take a look at some of your heavy-hitter competitors and get to know what they're doing on social media.
What kind of wording do they use?
What sort of content are they posting, and with what frequency?
What hashtags are they using?
What kind of keywords are they using?
Who are they following?
What kind of images are they using on their page?
What social networks are they on?
The more that you can study their every move, the more that you can build on the tactics that are already working for them and making them even better.
Conducting a competitive analysis is all about identifying who you're up against. A great place to start is by searching specific keywords on Facebook that are most relevant to your law firm and seeing who comes up. That will give you a better idea of who the big names are in your industry and what you can imitate and improve about their strategy.
7Measure and Evaluate Your Results
Smart law firms know how important it is to pay attention to the results they are yielding on their social media efforts. Even if platforms like Facebook are free to use, they still require a time investment. You want to make sure that you're putting in what you're getting out of it by evaluating your results. Tracking your return on investment is essential for ensuring your resources are being appropriately spent.
Your ROI results are calculated by determining how much time was put into your social media strategy and how many new clients you received as a result of it. Tracking and measuring your social media progress is the best way to know whether you need to make changes and turn your attention towards another area of marketing. Some platforms may yield better results than others, so a data-driven approach to your social media efforts is the best way to ensure you don't waste your time where you're not yielding results.
Grow Your Firm With the Right Marketing Strategies Paired With The Right Tools
Social media is a great place to bring in more clients for your law firm. However, once you manage to gain their interest, it's important that you follow up correctly to avoid leads falling through the cracks. You’ll need to engage, retain and delight them by equipping yourself with the right tools like a robust CRM for lawyers and attorney intake software that ensures your clients have an exceptional journey from start to finish.
By establishing yourself as a law firm that values a service-centered and attentive approach through tools like automation, you'll build a credible reputation for your firm, and in turn, produce more revenue.
There are many other inbound marketing strategies that can help you grow your brand in addition to social media. Are you ready to see how Lawmatics can help you fine-tune your marketing strategy? Sign up for a free product demo today!