Social media is a low-cost, but powerful marketing channel for any small business, including your law firm. It helps create brand recognition, drive website traffic, and provides an easy way to keep in touch with your professional network. If you’re looking to create an effective social media marketing plan that will create ongoing value for your business, look no further. We put together this complete law firm social media guide to help you understand the benefits of social media and give you actionable tips to implement a strategy that works.
Social Media Marketing Benefits for Lawyers
First off, let’s go through some of the important benefits of social media marketing. After all, if you don’t know why you’re using social media, it will be tough to continue doing it consistently.
Below are three of the biggest benefits you can expect to see from marketing your law firm on social media.
Establishing Credibility and Trust
Your social profiles are an important extension of your brand because they tell people who you are and what you do. Not having a social media presence for your law firm can give people an impression of untrustworthiness.
Even if you don’t actively use social media for marketing purposes, people will still come across your pages when they search for you online. It’s important to have updated profiles with accurate information and high quality photos to establish your firm as reputable and trustworthy.
If your firm’s profile looks like a lifeless ghost town with no photos or recent posts, people may look elsewhere for their legal services.
Keeping in Touch with Clients and Referral Partners
In today’s world, social media has become our main news source, and one of our primary means of keeping in touch with people and organizations we care about.
For this reason, being active on social media is an excellent way to maintain brand awareness with your network of clients and other professionals.
When it comes to word-of-mouth marketing, visibility is the name of the game. You want to ensure that you remain top-of-mind so that when an opportunity to make a referral arises, you’ll be the firm that gets the call.
Driving Web Traffic to Increase Brand Awareness and Improve SEO
Another benefit of social media marketing for a law firm is the ability to drive traffic to your website.
By sharing articles, videos, client testimonials or other content from your website on social media, you can expect to see more visitors coming to your site. Not only does this increase brand awareness, but can also help improve your rankings in search engines.
Google tends to favor larger websites with lots of useful content that is being viewed and shared over websites which are essentially just a digital business card with your firm name and address.
How to Create a Law Firm Social Media Marketing Plan
Now that you understand some of the benefits of social media, let’s focus on how to create a basic law firm social media marketing plan.
Step 1: Set Goals for Your Social Media Strategy
As with any marketing strategy, you should begin by defining your goals. The specifics of your social media plan will depend largely on what goals you have in mind.
- Do you want to use social media to get new clients?
- Maintain relationships with your referral network?
- Grow your website traffic and improve SEO?
- Get more likes and followers to improve your brand recognition?
- Just stay active enough to not lose credibility?
Be as specific as possible when setting your goals. For example, don’t just say “I want to get more clients,” but try to come up with an actual realistic number of new clients you’d like to acquire via your social media marketing.
By setting a specific, attainable goal, you’ll have a measurable outcome to shoot for, and you’ll know whether or not your efforts are working.
Step 2: Decide Which Social Media Platforms are Best for Your Practice
Once you define your goals, the next step is to figure out which social media platforms will work the best to help you accomplish those goals.
Making this determination will depend on the type of audience you are targeting, where they spend their time online, and what type of mindset they are likely to be in when on a particular platform.
Here are some examples:
- If your goal is to acquire new clients and you do family law, Facebook is probably the best platform to focus on. People on Facebook tend to be communicating with their friends and family members and it’s largely a non-business oriented platform.
- If you do IP law and you are hoping to target technology companies as clients, you might have more success on LinkedIn because it’s a more professional setting and people use it for networking and to share the latest news from their industry.
- If you are trying to build your professional network and stay in touch with your referral partners, Twitter could be a good option because it’s very easy to follow people in your network and interact with them through @mentions.
Ideally, you should at least have a profile and share occasional updates across all of the major social sites to maximize your exposure.
But when it comes to achieving specific social media marketing goals, it will be easiest to focus mostly on a single platform, depending on which people you are hoping to engage with and why.
Step 3: Create Quality Content to Share
Marketing on social media is all about sharing quality content that will engage your audience: blog posts, videos, news articles, infographics, etc.
Some of this content can be relevant industry news or interesting stuff posted by other companies. But to really succeed at social media, you should be creating your own content to share too.
Your content is what gives you a voice on social media. It’s how you humanize your brand and show the world that you are knowledgeable and credible.
Most importantly, your content acts as the magnet that will draw people into your website, and eventually your marketing funnel.
Step 4: Create a Schedule for Posting Updates
One of the biggest social media mistakes businesses make is simply not being consistent with it. They’ll be active for a month or two, and then go silent for a long period of time.
As explained above, this makes your brand look less trustworthy. While you probably don’t have a dedicated social media manager at your law firm, you still should try to appear as though you do because it gives your brand life and helps people trust you.
If you hope to actually achieve your social media marketing goals, you’ve got to be dedicated and persistent. You can’t give up when you don’t see results in the first few weeks.
By creating a schedule for posting updates, you’ll hold your firm accountable to your social media plan, and make sure that your profiles don’t turn into dead zones.
For example, here are some potential social media schedules you might consider:
- Facebook: post 3 times per week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday
- Twitter: tweet at least once per day, Monday – Friday
- LinkedIn: share 1 piece of thought leadership content every week
Step 5: Consider Advertising through Social Media
One of the best parts about social media marketing is that it’s free. However, depending on your goals, you might want to consider advertising through social media as well.
It certainly isn’t right for every practice area, and it doesn’t make sense for every type of social media strategy. However, social media advertising gives you the ability to reach a much larger audience than you could organically.
Here are some specific examples of how you might use social media advertising in your law practice:
- If you are an estate planning attorney, you might target people ages 50-65 in your area with educational content about the importance of having an estate plan as you get older
- If you are a startup attorney for tech companies, you might target people who follow Techcrunch on Twitter with an article about legal mistakes that can kill a startup
- If you’re a real estate attorney, you might target people on Facebook who just got married with content about buying a home
- You might use retargeting on Facebook to show ads to people who have recently visited your law firm website, encouraging them to book a free consultation
- And so on…
The idea here is to identify a potential audience that might be interested in your services for one reason or another. Then use social media platforms to target that audience with useful content or a special offer that can help them in their current situation.
Top 10 Social Media Tips to Achieve Success
By now you should have a strong understanding of the ways social media can help you build your brand and grow your law practice. To wrap up this law firm social media guide, here are our top 10 tips for success:
- Ensure your profiles are always up-to-date across all platforms
- You want consistency for brand recognition, and also because having a consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) across the web can help your local SEO
- Create a social media calendar
- A calendar will help you stay on schedule and hold yourself accountable – don’t become a zombie account!
- Know your audience deeply
- The better understanding you have of your audience, the easier it will be to create the right type of content which will resonate with them
- Focus on quality rather than quantity
- There is a lot of noise on social media, so focus on providing value even if it means posting updates less often
- Use images, videos, and graphics whenever possible
- Studies show that visual media significantly increases engagement
- Use software to automate and streamline the sharing process
- Always reply to comments and interact with others when possible
- Nothing looks worse than not responding when someone interacts with you
- Pay attention to popular accounts
- The social media landscape changes constantly, so keep an eye on major accounts with lots of followers for ideas and to keep up with the trends
- Test and adapt your strategy over time
- Be persistent and if something isn’t working, try another approach!
- Be authentic and show people that you’re available to help them
- Being real and showing you care is the most important thing you can do, especially as a law firm