Social media is a highly effective marketing tool that allows you to connect with new potential clients. Through your social media content, you can develop a wider following and ensure that when members of your target market have a need in your field of expertise, they already know your name. However, following social media best practices is key to ensuring a successful marketing plan. 

Below, we’ll dive into why social media is worth your time, how to choose the right social media platform for you, and the best practices you may want to follow when posting on these platforms.

The Benefits of Social Media for Lawyers

Many law firms assume that social media isn’t for them. They understand the effectiveness of social media for other businesses and brands, but may assume that it will not meet their needs. Marketing for law firms is unique. Most people will have a  need for a lawyer only a handful of times throughout their lives, and those needs may come on suddenly. However, with your social media marketing, you can experience a number of advantages. 

Improve Your Online Presence

Your online presence is key to helping clients find you when they need a lawyer. 17 percent of consumers find a lawyer through an online search. That means that you need to have a strong online presence so that, when customers are ready to look, they can easily find you. If you don’t have that online presence, it can prove much more difficult to bring in new customers. 

Establish Your Expertise

Through your social media posts, you can establish your expertise in your field and show off what you can accomplish. Social media posts allow you to spread the word about news in your field or share key information that might be of interest to your target audience. By providing potentially useful information to your clients, you let them know you’re experienced in your field and have the knowledge to help them manage their legal needs. 

Create Connections

Social media is all about conversation. You aren’t just posting content and hoping that clients will take it in. Rather, you’re taking part in a wider conversation in your field. Not only do you get the opportunity to interact directly with your target audience and clients, you can interact with other legal professionals in your field and even individuals in adjacent fields. Overall, that creates many opportunities for you to build professional relationships and connect with potential clients.

The Best Social Media Platforms for Lawyers

There are a lot of social media platforms to choose from. Your time and marketing dollars are not unlimited, so it’s critical to choose the right social media platforms for your needs. In some cases, that may vary depending on your target market and what you’re attempting to accomplish with your marketing efforts. For example, LinkedIn is ideal for making professional connections, while Facebook remains among the most popular social media platforms for users of all ages. You may also want to consider:

  • Facebook – Facebook remains the most popular social media platform, with over 3 billion active users. It’s a great platform for sharing videos, pictures, or text posts.

  • Instagram – The image-sharing platform has more than a billion users and is a great place to share videos of yourself talking about the details of the law, recent verdicts, and more.

  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a social media platform geared towards professionals. This is the perfect spot to put longer text posts, such as stories about recent verdicts, articles about how to handle various legal matters, and so on.

  • YouTube – YouTube is the second-most popular social media platform, with close to 3 billion users. It’s a perfect platform for long-form video content, and its Shorts section is on track to become a competitor for TikTok.

  • TikTok – This short-form video platform has a billion active users and has become one of the most popular platforms for lawyers. We’ll discuss its potential more later.

Furthermore, make sure your Google Business account is up-to-date, and encourage your clients to leave reviews that will help build your brand.

Choosing the Right Social Platforms for Your Needs

As you choose the right social media platforms for your needs, there are several things to keep in mind. 

  • Where is your target audience most likely to spend their time? You want to use platforms that are frequently used by the members of your target market so that you can maintain engagement. 
  • What does your marketing budget look like?
  • How much time do you have to spend on content creation? 
  • What form of content are you most comfortable with? Do you enjoy goofing off and showing your personality on video, or are you more comfortable with written content, where you have time to review what you’re publishing first?

Your social media needs will be unique to your brand and your specific requirements. Carefully consider the platforms that will both fit those needs, and reexamine them over time so that you can continue to adapt your marketing to those requirements. 

Best Practices for Lawyers on Social Media

Keeping up with social media best practices is essential for any marketer. As a lawyer planning to expand your social media presence, take these considerations into account. 

Understand Your Audience

With any marketing plan, it’s essential to have a strong understanding of your target audience. You don’t just need to know basic things about your target market, such their general demographics and physical location. You also want to know things like:

  • The specific need that brings them to your law firm. You may have different target markets depending on the types of needs. For example, if you’re a family attorney, you may need to consider child custody cases and divorce cases as separate target markets. 
  • The pain points your target audience is dealing with. What do they struggle with? What information are they looking for? How can your firm help solve those challenges? 
  • The qualities they want from their lawyer. For example, if you are a personal injury lawyer, do you focus more on client support or on an aggressive legal stance? Your content should reflect that tone.

The better you understand your audience, the better you can craft content to meet the needs of that audience, including creating topics that are more likely to speak to their needs. Furthermore, you can make sure you target your content to the right audiences, including selecting the ideal target audience mix from your promotion options. 

Set SMART Goals

Your social media posting and marketing should not be arbitrary. Rather, you need to set clear goals that will give you a strong understanding of what you should be posting and what type of results you’re hoping to achieve from those efforts. 

SMART goals are 

  • Specific – Rather than making it a goal to “post on social media more”, aim to post on social three times a week or every day.
  • Measurable – Your goal should be easy to measure so you can track progress toward it. “Get more engagement on social media” isn’t very measurable. “Increase the number of comments on posts” is.
  • Attainable – While it’s easy to get excited and set pie-in-the-sky goals, all that does is set you up for failure. Make sure your goal is something you can reasonably attain.
  • Relevant – You need to make sure your goals actually move you toward your overall firm goal. For instance, if your firm goal is to get more calls to your firm, increasing your follower count may be a relevant goal for you.
  • Timely –  It’s important to set time limits on your goal so you can make sure you’re making reasonable progress. Gaining five followers in a week is good; gaining five followers in a year, not so much.

As you develop your social media marketing strategy, focus on creating those highly specific goals with clear measurements that will help you judge success. By tracking your current metrics or observing how people are currently interacting with your brand, you can make sure those goals are relevant and attainable based on your current audience and needs. 

Post Consistently

Consistency is key when it comes to social media marketing. You want to post on a regular basis, ideally, at the same general time. This way, your followers will know when to expect new content from you. Consistent posting helps build your following and establish that you are a constant presence that will prove helpful when they need it most. Furthermore, that consistency helps to ensure that your content is promoted through the social media platform algorithms, making it easier to find. 

Keep Your Language Simple

As a legal professional, you likely use a great deal of jargon in everyday conversation. And while this language makes perfect sense to you and others in your field, it might not make sense to the average social media user. Using legalese too often makes your followers more likely to skim past your content without ever taking the time to engage with it.

Instead, keep your content simple. Aim to make it understandable for the average reader. Keep in mind that social media content, as a rule, is short. Your reader should be able to absorb it quickly. While it can certainly link to longer-form content, you don’t want to overwhelm your readers as they check out your social media offerings. 

Interact with Your Audience

Social media is all about interaction. Today’s consumers expect a personal touch and connection from the brands they interact with most often. When you interact with your followers, your also create a deeper relationship between your brand and your audience, which can help deepen their sense of trust.

React to comments. Carry on conversations. Answer readers’ questions. This simple investment in your social media presence can go a long way toward improving your online presence. 

Diversify Your Content

As part of a robust social media schedule, you need diverse content that will speak to the different needs of your target audience. Not only does that mean covering a range of topics related to your practice area, it also means creating content that utilizes different media. Include:

  • Text-based content. Readers are often more likely to skim over text-based content. In general, social media text content should be short and snappy. It may link to longer-form content.
  • Images and infographics. A picture is worth a thousand words, and applies to your legal content as well! Look for ways to summarize your content with pictures. 
  • Video content. Often, video content will increase overall information accessibility. 40 percent of social media users engage with video content every day. 

A diverse content roster doesn’t mean that you should be inconsistent. Instead, make sure your users know what type of content to expect from you. Maintain the same brand voice throughout your content.

Maintaining Ethical Standards on Social Media

As a lawyer, you know the importance of maintaining ethical standards in everything you do, and that is just as important in your social media content. Make sure that you maintain confidentiality and avoid potential legal and ethical issues. Avoid any potential conflict of interest in your post. 

Furthermore, be careful about giving any direct advice – legal or otherwise – through social media, since it may result in further difficulties down the road. 

Social Media Post Ideas

Are you getting started with your social media content and building your post library? These ideas can help to kickstart the brainstorming process for your own posts.

  • Useful legal advice – Include basic, standard legal content that may be of use or interest to the members of your target audience. For example, as a personal injury lawyer, you might share advice about how to deal with an insurance company, while as a divorce lawyer, you might share basic information about how clients can protect their assets. 
  • Interesting facts and statistics – Share information that may catch your readers’ attention or encourage them to take a closer look. This is also a great opportunity to link back to your website for more information about those specific topics.
  • Updates about new laws – The law often changes with time, and keeping people updated can help them make vital legal choices. Sharing information about legal updates also helps you show that you are at the forefront of your field and understand those ongoing changes. 
  • Positive client reviews – If you have a client who has shared a great review of your firm, whether for your website or on Google Business, make sure to share it on social media! You can also encourage clients to post directly when they have a great experience with your firm. 
  • Team member features – Share information about the members of your team and how they’re contributing to your firm. You don’t just have to include your lawyers. You can also share information about legal aids, your secretarial staff, and more. 
  • Stories about interesting or tragic cases – Pay attention to what’s going on in your field. When information hits the news, you have a great opportunity to share about it. You can also share cases that you’ve worked on that may hold particular interest for your followers.

A Note About TikTok

TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, and in fact is the most-visited online domain in the world. It can be a fantastic place to promote your law firm and engage with your followers. This is an especially good option for lawyers who like to show off their personality on video.

That being said, TikTok isn’t a magic bullet when it comes to social media success. You’ll need to spend time building a following, posting on a routine basis, and engaging with fans. Have fun, try different things, and develop your own unique voice for your firm.

Are You Ready to Improve Your Social Reach?

Social media marketing for lawyers is a great way to get the word out about your brand, connect with a wider potential audience, and more. Choosing the right social media platform is important, as is setting SMART goals and maintaining a consistent posting schedule. Diversify your content, engage with your audience, and keep your language simple and you’ll have a good shot at growing a solid following.

If you’re looking for more ways to grow your firm, LawRank wants to help. We provide legal marketing that works, including SEO, PPC, web design, and more. Reach out to us today to start getting honesty, transparency, and results from your marketing agency.