Social media is an ever-growing marketing channel for brands in all industries. Major brands like Nike, MoonPie, Wendy’s, Apple, and more are leveraging popular social media platforms with memorable and unique marketing strategies.
With so many of the big names in social media marketing focused on consumers, it makes sense that traditional or service-based industries like the industry aren’t using it as much. Fortunately, more and more law firms and independent attorneys are realizing the value of social media for brand awareness and client acquisition.
In fact, 96% of respondents in the Attorney at Work survey say that they’re active on social media, and 70% use it in their marketing strategy.
Still, some law firms may be unsure how to get started or may struggle to use social media to its fullest. With so many consumers seeking products and services on social media, this is a massive missed opportunity to bring on new clients and build important connections.
Social media doesn’t have to be that challenging. Here’s a guide to help improve your social media marketing for a law firm and harness the power of these channels.
How Social Media Works for Law Firms
Building Brand Awareness
People spend a ton of time on social media. According to a study from Uswitch, the average American spends almost seven hours per week on Facebook and over five hours on YouTube. Further research from SlickText showed that Americans look at their phones up 63 times per day to check email, texts, Facebook, Instagram, and other sites.
With this in mind, it’s vital that law firms develop their social media presence to get their message out in front of the ideal audience and improve brand awareness.
Engaging with the Target Audience
Social media may have started for people to connect with family, friends, coworkers, and former classmates, but it’s now used to consume content and engage with their favorite brands. For a law firm, this is a big opportunity to engage with the target audience and turn them into prospects.
Law firms can use social media to provide informative and compelling content to prospective clients, answer questions, and resolve issues. When prospective clients feel listened to, they’re more likely to trust in your firm and bring their business to you.
Attracting Prospective Clients
Social media is one of the best ways for law firms to attract new clients. According to the American Bar Association, 35% of law firms who use social media have gained new clients because of it.
Also, according to the Attorney at Work survey, 49% of respondents have gained clients through social media.
Establishing Thought Leadership
One of the best benefits of social media is showcasing expertise. With effective social media strategy, lawyers can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry and share valuable information to build their credibility. Over time, this builds trust with the audience.
Improving SEO Efforts
Social signals won’t directly impact search engine ranking, but they can help to improve the search engine ranking. Google continues to bring dynamic social feed and content into the search results pages, so a social media presence may eventually play a bigger role in search engine optimization.
Furthermore, social media presence contributes to overall online visibility and improved traffic to your website, which also improves your brand awareness and ranking.
How to Use Social Media for Law Firms
Invest in the Right Platforms
There are numerous social media platforms. When you’re just starting out or trying to build your presence, it’s best to focus on the most valuable platform for your audience. Build your following on the social media channels that have most of your audience, instead of spreading yourself too thin trying to hit all the channels.
Once you start to develop traction, you can branch out into the other channels and promote your presence on each channel. This also gives you an opportunity to research each channel and ensure that you’re creating the best content for not only the channel itself, but for the segments of your audience who use them the most.
Use Visual Content
Visuals are critical to social media success, especially on visual platforms like TikTok and Instagram. But even with platforms like Twitter and Facebook, visual content tends to get more attention than text-only posts.
Your social content strategy should focus on creating visuals that will immediately attract and engage your prospects. Consider posting useful legal tips in a graphic format, inspirational quotes, video Q&As, and industry updates. If you don’t have design skills, you can use free design platforms like Canva.
Leverage Brand Listening
Lawyers can get a lot of traction on social media with brand listening. This involves branded keyword searches on social media to look for conversations or interactions around your law firm’s name. You can learn what people are saying about your firm and get ahead of the narrative.
With brand listening, look for opportunities to weigh in on the conversation and demonstrate expertise. For example, if you find news or discussions about your firm’s area of practice, such as prenuptial agreements or child support lawyers, you have an opportunity to answer questions and help your prospective clients.
This is also a chance to catch any negative conversations and clear the air before it represents your brand in a negative light.
You can use social listening tools for brand listening, such as Sprout Social. Hootsuite, and HubSpot Social Media Management Software.
Create Informational Videos
Informational videos are crucial to your law firm’s social media marketing. Videos are easier to digest for your audience and allow you to inject some of your brand’s personality into your content.
Many social media users prefer video content over text content, especially articles, so you have an opportunity to connect with some of your audience that you may not otherwise. Make sure to post videos regularly to tell stories, discuss trending topics, or explain relevant topics. You could also conduct interviews with other thought leaders and leverage their audiences.
Respond to Comments and Questions
Social media gives you a chance to connect with your prospective clients and audience directly, which is part of its appeal for users. In fact, they are looking for brand-consumer communications on social media.
For example, if people have questions about a product or service, they will reach out to the brand directly. Some do it because they’ve had a bad experience, while others may do it to share suggestions or recommendations.
Make sure to use social media to engage with your prospective clients and respond to questions or comments. Show your audience that you care about what they have to say and to demonstrate that you’re listening.
Respond to both positive and negative comments. Thank your clients for their positive comments and reviews. If comments are negative, use it as an opportunity to address their needs and make things right. You may never please that particular client, but you can make a good impression on your audience.
For a larger firm or a firm with a big audience, this can be time consuming. Consider tools for engagement that help you identify and prioritize positive and negative comments to save time. You can prioritize based on keywords, profiles, networks, and more.
Share Your Brand Story
Like other brands, law firms should use social media to share their brand story and humanize their firm. This establishes an emotional connection with the audience and boosts their trust and loyalty.
Consider sharing stories about your staff or firm’s achievements, why you chose to become a lawyer, the history of your firm, and similar stories. You could also share interviews with partners, news about charitable contributions or events, scholarship awards, or stories about associates.
Share News Updates
One of the best ways for law firms to use social media is by sharing news updates and creating content that informs the audience. You can provide credible and valuable information that showcases your expertise, building a trusting audience.
This is superior to promotional content, since potential clients in the legal industry are unlikely to make a decision about their next lawyer based on paid ads and sales posts. They’re looking for a law firm that’s knowledgeable, credible, and respected, and they want to know that they will be comfortable coming to you with their often sensitive or stressful legal issues.
You don’t have to limit yourself to content that you create directly. Sure, you can share posts from your own blog or news, but make it a habit to share content from reputable industry blogs or other reputable sources. Your audience will eventually look to your page for the most up-to-date information in the legal industry.
Get Started on Social Media for Your Law Firm
Law firms aren’t as active on social media as they should be, and they’re missing out on incredible opportunities to share important content, connect with prospective clients, and engage with their audience. Building a social media following takes time, but the sooner you start, the sooner you can reap the rewards for your law firm.
Author Bio: Maxwell Hills is the founder of Hills Law Group, a premier Orange County divorce lawyer law firm with a concentration on high net worth divorces. Max’s entrepreneurial career stretches back to his teenage days when he had his music used in Grey’s Anatomy and ESPN. Today, Max has used that experience to build Hills Law Group with 0 customers and $0 in revenue to a respected firm in the industry.