We’re making the case for social media marketing for lawyers! In a 2018 survey, 71 percent of attorneys said that social media is “very” or “somewhat” responsible for bringing in new clients. We specialize in social media marketing for lawyers and can enthusiastically agree with that statistic. Many of the attorneys we help receive an exciting amount of leads from Instagram and Facebook when they invest in growing their following.
Popular social platforms allow legal firms like yours to show a welcoming, trustworthy personality, making it easy to have genuine one-on-one interactions with future clients. For more reach, you can even advertise with social media. It’s a huge brand-building investment that can save you time and money when done thoughtfully.
Here are our top tips for lawyers who want to include social media in their digital marketing plan this year.
Create Optimized Social Profiles
You don’t have to spend thousands of hours posting to and moderating each and every social media channel. No one has time for that! However, you should optimize your business pages across the most common social media platforms so that your “About”, contact information, and location are easy to find and engaging—not just updated once per year and forgotten.
If you’re serious about getting results from your social media marketing, you should also make sure you are posting 2-3 times a week to maintain an active feed. This signals to social algorithms that you are intentionally producing content on the regular. Also, make sure to take an hour every few days to respond to comments. Instagram and Facebook both measure the value of your posts by how many engagements they earn—likes, re-posts, comments, and up-votes. Responding when others engage with your content is key to stoking even more engagement.
Wondering what type of content you should post to succeed at social marketing for lawyers and law firms? Here’s a quick and dirty rundown.
Facebook gets a bad wrap as being a social media dinosaur, but this just isn’t true. FB provides plenty of opportunities to show people you’re a thought leader in your field—ready to address the legal concerns of your followers (who might just become clients). It also offers very enticing targeting options for ads that can help you reach more qualified leads in your area.
While Facebook has become much more pay-to-play in recent years, you still need to maintain an organic presence by posting a few times a week. Especially if you plan to run ads. It’s quite easy to share relevant, entertaining articles and studies related to your specialty. You can put your own spin on local news stories using services like Sniply to add a call-to-action. For instance, a personal injury lawyer who targets those who have been in auto accidents could share an article about an approaching winter storm system or a local traffic report with a link to their services.
Instagram is THE place to show your personality and the reasons you’re so passionate about your specialty. It’s also one of the best avenues to reach prospective clients who are in the market for your services through high-quality visual content. Instagram requires original designs, images, and video. If you’re serious about getting clients through Insta, you’ll need to invest in creating these assets.
We always suggest that lawyers who are new to Instagram start out with 2-3 posts a week and, at minimum, 1 story and 1 Instagram TV post. Try to share as much video as possible in your feed instead of regular posts, as it often gets more engagement. Also, add designed posts to your feed—overlay inspirational quotes or legal statistics over your images and incorporate graphic designs to add variety.
71 percent of the Americans who stalk your Twitter feed are there to read news and learn your expert opinions. You can browse industry news easily to see which topics are trending. Twitter is all about weighing in on what’s happening NOW, so you’ll need to offer up your thoughts and observations on trending cases or industry events. You can also post legal factoids or quotes—anything that will give value to your audience in 280 characters or less. We recommend buckling down and posting at least 5 times a day if you’re serious about growing your following.
Instead of just posting text, try to always add an image to your post. Images and video content get way more traction on Twitter. You can also use these images to create ads for more exposure. According to Twitter’s Q3 2019 report, ad engagement is up 23 percent. This could be a great avenue for lawyers, as many prospective clients take to Twitter to rant about wrongdoings…and probably their ex, for all your custody lawyers and mediators out there!
Create a Strong Content Strategy
To offer value to your followers, we recommend creating content buckets and publishing content from each category at regular intervals. Plan to target each segment of your audience with content that encourages them to give their feedback in the comments. The more you hear from your followers, the better you can satisfy their needs. And the higher chances you’ll have to bring them on as a client!
You can plan to post on major holidays, about yearly events you will attend, and even organic posts to compliment ad campaigns you’ll run. It’s very important to plan early and do this at the beginning of each year or quarter. Otherwise, it’s very easy to let your social media marketing fall through the cracks.
We’ve found the sweet spot for social media marketing for lawyers tends to be 3-4 posts a week and plenty of stories, videos, and other interactive content. Social algorithms prefer accounts that post regularly. Make sure to answer all questions your followers post in comments, but also encourage them to DM you. Some people are, understandably, very shy about posting publicly about legal issues. If you make it clear they can reach out personally to you for help, they are much more likely to schedule a consultation.
Avoid being overly promotional, especially if you are posting each day. When it comes to marketing for lawyers and law firms, shoot for only one promotion a week. Your feed should be at least 80% fun, entertaining, or educational posts and only 20% promotion. This will help grow your following and snag more clients. If you promote too often, you will lose followers—we’ve seen it happen many times.
Perfect Your Posting Time
Most people check their smartphone for updates first thing in the morning and check social channels at lunch, so those are great times to post. The general rule says that 9 am to 6 pm is the optimal time to post on weekdays. Saturday’s peak is around 11 am, while Sunday post fare best from 10 am to 2 pm. But remember to utilize the stats that most social platforms offer you. Your peak time to post could be very different from these general guidelines, and you won’t know unless you experiment.
We love how simple Instagram’s insights are because we can look at our week and see the exact days and times people engaged with our posts. Tools like SEMrush have analytics and the ability to help you schedule posts in advance. Basically, don’t assume. Test post times and see when your content gets the most engagement, then schedule most of your content at those times. Why guess when you have data?
Hashtags are the SEO of your social media profiles, so you absolutely need hashtags in your posts. They help social platforms index your content for discovery. We suggest using five to ten hashtags per post, and diversifying the tags you use based on your location and audience. Pick some broader hashtags like #lawyer, but pick niche ones that relate to your specialty as well to help your posts appear in front of your ideal follower.
For instance, if a future client typed #lawyer into an Instagram search, they’d see over two million posts that are relevant to their query. Yours might be one of them, but because so many people use this popular hashtag, your content would be buried in the pile quickly. However, if a client typed in #NewYorkLawyer, they’d be much more likely to find your firm because you’re using local hashtags.
In this digital marketing era, cross-promotion is your best friend. Some social platforms are best for hosting videos and images, some may be better for long-form written content, and some might have the best ad engagement. You will want to strategize how to use each platform based on experimentation and data. This is one way that cross-posting comes in handy—you can test the same post on a variety of platforms and see where your content thrives. And where it flops.
Cross-promotion can also save you time. If you know your Instagram is where you are getting the most leads and where you are creating the most content, you might choose to simply share your Insta content on Facebook. This prevents you from having to create a ton of facebook content while also keeping your FB feed active and populated with fresh posts.
You also want to cross-promote web content on social. Publishing a blog is useless unless you promote it on social and in your email campaigns. Social can be a fantastic tool for getting your long-form content out there, so don’t forget to share on all channels!
Learn From Others
Take elements from other social profiles that users respond positively to and that you like, and put your own spin on them. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! If you want to see how it’s done, we highlighted six lawyer instagram accounts that rock to inspire you. These accounts publish effective and engaging posts like visually appealing testimonials from clients, video tips, and designed quotes. They also use Insta Stories to answer their audience’s general legal questions in a very personal way.
Source High-quality Images
We recommend hiring a photographer each quarter to take fresh shots of you and your team for your social media accounts and website. You can then use tools like Canva to make designs around those photos or hire a designer to create visuals. There are many free tools like Pixabay and Pexels where you can download and use stunning stock imagery for your posts—though we strongly advise against using stock photos too often.
Keep Branding Consistent
Far too often, legal social feeds are populated with random, unbranded posts. This can get visually confusing very quickly. A consistent brand identity will inspire trust from your followers and act as an extension of your website.
Incorporate your brand colors and fonts into social feeds through designed posts. Try to use the same filters on all of your photos to keep the look and feel of posts consistent. Also, use a branded hashtag each time you post—this would typically be the name of your business or the names of your partners. If your feed looks too visually hectic and unbranded, you may lose followers.
Use Stories and Video
Many small business owners find video and stories intimidating, but they are an essential tool to promote your business! Video content marketing is easier than ever with live video features on social platforms.
Post videos and stories that reveal the mission and vision of your brand or show real moments at your business, behind-the-scenes. On Instagram, you can even save them with the “highlights” feature to save your most memorable stories to the top of your profile. Take advantage of these native content curation tools and social algorithms will reward you—they want your business to post using these tools and will send more traffic to your profile. Give the people (and the social algorithms) what they want!
If you take nothing else away from this article: always respond to direct messages and comments! You may not have the time to comment on everything, but let your audience know that you care by setting aside an hour or two every few days to answer questions and serve some witty banter.
Even followers who aren’t ready to become clients can refer others to you. And you never know how far in the future your name will pop up in their memory—all because you took a few moments to “like” their comment and respond.
Use Social Media Ads
We always advise clients to start out producing strategic organic content. This helps establish your social profiles visually and provides a great base of content before you start promoting your profile through ads. When you’re ready, your content marketing strategy should also include paid social media ads.
Facebook and Instagram ads have a very high return on investment when done right, and make it easy for you to target and attract new clients.
Many clients come to us after experimenting with social ads, getting little to no positive results. Starting a social ad campaign is easy. But doing it the right way with correct targeting is a job best left to the professionals. If you need help, we specialize in social media marketing for lawyers and legal practices.
Add Social Media Icons and Share Buttons to Your Website
You may need to hire a website designer or developer to help you do this, but adding social media icons and share buttons to your website is well worth the investment. Encourage people who visit your website to follow you and share your content by making it easy for them—as easy as the click of a button! We recommend placing social icons either in the navigation bar or the footer of your website.
Consider adding social share buttons on high-value content like white papers and blogs. You could even keep your website fresh with your most recent content by embedding your social feed in the footer. The ultimate goal here is to always have traffic moving from your website to your social, and vise versa.
Play To Your Strengths and Don’t Waste Time
As a legal practice owner or partner, do you have an internal team to design visual content, post it daily, and monitor comments? Probably not, and that is ok. Many lawyers also just don’t enjoy social media or have the time to maintain their profiles. Starting an Instagram business account from scratch (or any social profile) can be intensely time-consuming and requires a knowledge base you may not have. A smart entrepreneur learns what they are good at, what they have time for, and what they should just pay someone else to do for them.
Enter Witty Kitty: fill out our handy dandy contact form here and we’ll help you grow your following and start earning new clients through social media marketing. We can work with most budgets, and our clients love us!