Did you know that over 3.6 billion people used social media worldwide in 2020?
The number of users is consistently growing, projected to increase to over 4 billion by 2025
Because of this, many businesses are turning to these platforms to connect directly with their target audiences.
So how can lawyers take advantage of these innovative marketing platforms?
Keep reading to learn:
- Why Law Firms Should Use Social Media
- 7 Social Media Strategies for Lawyers
- Strategy #1: Focus on the Right Platforms
- Strategy #2: Create a Social Media and Content Strategy
- Strategy #3: Recycle Your Content
- Strategy #4: Engage With Your Followers
- Strategy #5: Measure Your ROI and KPIs
- Strategy #6: Use Social Media Tools to Streamline Your Process
- Strategy #7: Strike a Balance Between Promotional and Educational Content
Why Use Social Media Strategies to Grow Your Law Firm?
Lots of brands have a social media presence, but is it actually working for them?
In short, the answer is: yes, social media marketing works for about 3/4 of the companies that use it.
Those numbers make social media marketing over traditional advertising methods an enticing investment, but they also suggest there’s a wrong way to use social media.
First, let’s analyze five major reasons why you should use social media marketing for your law firm (we’ll get into strategy in a minute).
1. Bring Awareness to Your Brand
Traditionally, the goal of advertising has been to sell your product or services.
But in the 21st century, consumers require more from your marketing efforts.
Today, the goal of marketing should be to build trust and awareness.
According to an ITSMA online survey, consumers are 48% more likely to choose your product or service over a competitor’s if you personalize your marketing to target their specific needs.
By marketing with social media, you have the ability to reach different target demographics based on their trends, patterns, and history.
For example, when running a Facebook ad campaign, you can choose to target specific demographics and customize your ad to appeal more to the group of people you want to attract.
Of course, you may build a trustworthy SEO-optimized website that would bring right people to you and gain their trust. But there’s absolutely no way you can create such a personalized experience for viewers of a website banner, or flyer, or TV commercial or radio ad.
Not only does social media marketing let you market towards people you want to work with, but it also helps you build trust with that audience.
Just like in real-world relationships, building trust with your target customer is a process that needs to be nurtured. Luckily, social media makes it much easier to do so.
When you post content that educates, informs, and entertains your audience, you become a value-adding source rather than a money-grabbing opportunist.
2. Generate Leads
The most enticing benefit of social media marketing? Social media allows you to generate leads quickly.
54% of people who browse social media do so to research products, according to GlobalWebIndex. This means that over half of social media users are ready to purchase, and it’s only a matter of finding and appealing to them.
Social media platforms are the biggest sources of inspiration for consumer purchases. According to PWC, 37% of consumers find inspiration to buy a product through social media.
It’s a no-brainer that marketing to people who are already prepared to purchase is a more efficient way to convert your visitors into actual clients. Social media makes this process painless, even for lawyers.
According to the American Bar Association, 35% of lawyers have gained new clients as a result of using social media.
There are many ways to generate leads with social media, such as:
- Running ad campaigns
- Posting social media content
- Using features like Instagram “stories” and IGTV
- Implementing a hashtag strategy
- Offering freebies
- Engaging with your followers
- Connecting and building a network with other brands
- Influencer marketing
The ways to use social media for generating leads are endless, and we’ll cover each of these strategies in greater detail later.
3. Increase Your Industry Authority
As a lawyer, you want to gain trust, awareness, and relationships with more than just your target clientele. Other key figures in your industry matter, and building a network with them greatly expands your outreach.
While social media platforms are great for marketing, many businesses make the mistake of forgetting their other powerful benefit — building industry authority. For example, with a nice marketing strategy you may become an authority in personal injury marketing practice.
Building industry authority has numerous benefits, such as gaining the trust of potential clients easier and being known and recognized by other influential figures in the legal field.
Luckily, social media has made increasing your industry authority much easier than before.
The most effective way to build your authority is by informing, educating, and giving value to your target audience. To build their trust, you must give away a generous amount of information for free.
You can boost your authority with shareable content, including:
- Informative social media posts
- YouTube videos
Your first priority when creating content shouldn’t be to sell — it should be to solve the problem of your reader or viewer.
There’s nothing more frustrating for a consumer than when they spend time digesting a piece of content, and their problem still isn’t solved. Instead, they’re met with cheesy sales pitches and a request to book a consultation without having left with any valuable information.
You don’t have to take your readers from A-Z with their problem, but a free trip from A-B will make them much more willing to pay you to get them to Z.
By doing so, you’ll become known as more than just a lawyer — you’ll become an educator and thought leader.
4. Expand Your Network
By collaborating with influencers in your field, you can begin to expand your network far beyond your limited contact list.
Sprout Social defines influencer marketing as “a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers–individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche.”
For example, someone trying to sell their new beauty product might connect with beauty bloggers, makeup YouTubers, and Instagram models. As a result, these “influencers” might recommend or promote the mascara product to their large follower base.
Influencer marketing is a highly effective strategy because it allows you to give consumers what they’re already looking for
According to Fourcommunications, 49% of consumers say they depend on social media influencer recommendations when deciding to purchase a product.
Lawyers can leverage influencer marketing by connecting with the right influencers, such as:
- Former clients
- Other lawyers
- Ancillary professionals who’ve worked with your clients (think doctors, insurance companies, private investigators, etc.)
When happy clients and trustworthy professionals publicly recognize your services, your network organically grows, and their followers get a reliable solution:
You. It’s a win-win.
Deodorant brand Tom’s of Marine partnered with influencer Rachel Ibbison to market their product
5. Engage With Your Target Clients
Unlike most marketing methods, social media allows you to engage with your target clients directly through comments, messages, polls, and more.
It’s incredibly difficult to build trust with someone without any type of communication. And conventional marketing usually involves one-way communication — the business trying to reach the wallet of the consumer.
Social media allows you to:
- Ask your followers if they have any questions.
- Solve the real-world legal problems they’re facing.
- Give your target audience the content they want.
- Respond to messages or comments users send you.
Suddenly, your clients see you as a human being who has the knowledge they need instead of a business trying to convince them to buy something.
Social media is a prime example of showing rather than telling.
Instead of telling your followers and target audience that you can solve their problems, you get to show them exactly how responsive and helpful you are.
7 Social Media Strategies for Lawyers
Now that you understand the benefits of social media marketing and how it works, we’ll break down seven powerful strategies that’ll help you grow your law firm.
Strategy #1: Focus on the Right Platforms
Different platforms attract different users. Individuals use certain platforms more than others, usually based on the platforms popular in their peer groups.
To begin marketing on every social media platform without understanding which ones your target audience uses the most wastes your time and money.
Take a look at the following Facebook data to learn more about the different ways various demographics use this popular platform:
- 96% of people who use Facebook use it on their mobile phones.
- Facebook ads that contain images are 75% to 90% more effective.
- 93% of advertisers who use social media run Facebook ads regularly
- Politics is the most popular Facebook stories category, with 36% of viewers watching the topic.
- 81% of businesses do video marketing on Facebook, making it the most popular platform for businesses to share videos.
- 71% of teenagers claimed to use Facebook in 2015, whereas only 51% used it in 2018, meaning Facebook usage in teens is dropping.
- 68% of U.S. adults use Facebook, making it the most widely-used platform among adults.
These numbers tell you that Facebook is the most commonly used social media platform, but not among teenagers.
Since teenagers aren’t your target audience as a lawyer, Facebook is still a valuable platform for your firm to use.
Now that you know the most effective Facebook ads include video and images, you can post a mixture of video content and images like infographics.
It makes the most sense for you to use the same social media platforms your target audiences use, but there’s more to consider when prioritizing your channels.
For example, one channel might generate leads while another builds your industry authority and expands your network.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into each social platform and the key factors to consider as a lawyer planning to use them for marketing.
What Social Media Platforms Are Other Lawyers Using?
When it comes to social media marketing, the last thing you want to do is reinvent the wheel. Instead, take what you already know from research and leverage it.
So: where are your competitors, and what’s working for them?
According to a survey from Attorney at Work, 96% of respondents (independent attorneys and law firms) say they use social media. Furthermore, 70% say social media is part of their overall marketing strategy.
LinkedIn is the most popular platform among lawyers. According to the American Bar Association (ABA), around 93% of lawyers use it.
So why should you create a LinkedIn account?
First, LinkedIn is regarded as one of the most professional social channels, and it attracts plenty of businesses, especially in the B2B realm.
Second, any platform that contains a large chunk of your competitors or colleagues is worth joining.
By using and optimizing your LinkedIn account, you’ll have another source for attracting potential clients and a surefire way of expanding your network.
What Social Media Platforms Are Your Clients Using?
To connect with your ideal clients, direct your marketing efforts toward the social platform where your target demographic hangs out.
“The Big Three” — Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter — are ideal for adult and B2B marketing. On the contrary, channels like Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram are more appealing to younger audiences.
In the startup stages of your social media marketing implementation, it’s important not to stretch yourself too thin. It’s better to focus on the platforms that yield the most effective results.
Strategy #2: Create a Social Media and Content Strategy
Once you choose your primary social media platform(s), it’s time to map out what you’re going to post on it.
You have to do more than just run ads. You need engaging, informative content on your account to earn your target audience’s confidence.
Plus, posting consistently on social media pleases its algorithm, meaning you’ll begin to attract more people who don’t yet follow you but are interested in the topics you post about.
Relevant hashtags, quality content, and a regular posting schedule are the three main ingredients for cooking up a large social following. Once you put these into practice, you’ll notice your target audience coming to you rather than waiting for your ads to come to them.
Let’s take an in-depth look at how you can use organic social media content to raise your following, increase your industry authority, build your network, and connect with your target clients.
Before you start throwing your time and money into social media, pinpoint what you want to get out of it.
As a lawyer, your primary goals include
- Building a network of other professionals in the legal field
- Getting more clients
- Increasing exposure
You can use social media to achieve these goals by narrowing your focus. Break them down into short-term milestones, such as:
- Get 100 followers on Twitter
- Develop a hashtag strategy for Instagram
- Connect with 100 lawyers on LinkedIn
- Post two times a day on Facebook
Once you have your goals set, making a social media strategy will be much easier and your path much clearer.
Learn Basic Marketing for the Platform(s) You Choose
Each social media platform uses a different algorithm. The hashtags that bring you hundreds of views on Instagram won’t bring the same results on Twitter.
Because of this, it’s crucial that you have at least a basic understanding of how the algorithm works and how to leverage it to reach your goals. Without that knowledge, your posts won’t be discovered, getting followers will be unnecessarily difficult, and your account will take much longer to grow.
Fortunately, learning social media marketing for the channel of your choice doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. While you can certainly pay for a certification course if you want a deeper understanding, dip your toe in the water by reading a few articles, watching YouTube videos, or taking a free course.
In fact, HubSpot offers an entire social media marketing certification course for free on their HubSpot Academy (as well as a variety of different marketing courses)
Determine What Kind of Content You’re Going to Post
Your content will be the make-it or break-it factor when it comes to your social media marketing efforts.
The quality of your social media content can draw a user in or send them running to your competition. No matter how good of a lawyer you are, your target audience won’t be attracted to you unless they’re attracted to your content first.
What does “high quality” content really mean, though?
Determining content quality depends on the platform you’re using. For instance, there’s a major difference in the type of content you post on Instagram versus Twitter.
When posting on Twitter, you only have enough characters for about three sentences. Users are looking for short, straightforward, and very blunt messages that make them think, laugh, or both.
Instagram, on the other hand, is an extremely visual platform. You can’t even make a post without including an image — and Instagram users have high expectations. You need an attractive image or video, posts that follow a color theme or pattern, and engaging copy.
But what type of content should you share?
When it comes to social media, you can spice it up any time you like. There’s a variety of content forms you can share, and it’s best to use a mixture of all:
- Livestream videos
- Company news
- Photos of you (and/or your employees)
- Industry news
- Quotes from thought leaders
- Market data
- Polls, surveys, and quizzes
- Blog posts and articles
Finally, regardless of what you decide to post, your content should always achieve one or more of the following user goals:
- Problem solve
Types of Content That Receive the Most Engagement
If you aren’t sure what to post first, give these high-engagement content types a try:
- Interactive content — according to Inboundli, interactive content (such as quizzes, surveys, and polls) generates 4-5 times more views than static content.
- Videos and live streams — in early 2020, marketers already knew it was going to be the “year of video,” and they were right. Video content (especially live streams) brings in 1,200% more shares than non-video posts, according to Responsive Inbound Marketing.
- User-generated content (USG) — USG refers to content that’s created by users of a brand’s product or service, rather than an ad or sponsored post. Studies from Stackla find that 79% of consumers say that USG influences their purchasing decisions.
Netflix uses user-generated content on their Instagram.
Strategy #3: Recycle Your Content
It can be difficult to brainstorm new ideas for social media posts every day, especially if you’re posting multiple times. But fortunately, there’s an easy fix to this issue that will save you hours of time.
The secret is to recycle and reuse your current content.
Of course, this doesn’t mean “copy and paste” your existing content. Instead, you can take the content you already have and turn it into different types of content.
For example, let’s say that on Tuesday, you published a blog post about the five qualities a person should look for in a lawyer.
On Twitter, you can tweet one quality per day and link back to the blog post.
On the more visual platforms, post an infographic or image you used in the blog post.
Then, turn the post into a YouTube video and share it on all your channels.
You can even turn the post into a short e-book.
One piece of content can provide you with a week’s worth of social media posts, so make it a regular practice to extract meaningful excerpts from existing content and share them across your channels in a variety of formats.
This strategy gives you plenty of content for your platforms while driving traffic to the original piece at the same time.
Here are three simple steps to streamline this process:
- Turn long-form pieces of content into several short posts (i.e. turn a YouTube video or blog post into images, tweets, and social media posts)
- Share content from and drive traffic to all your channels (i.e. share screenshots of your tweets, add a link to your website in your bio, post a snippet of your last YouTube video, promote your upcoming Facebook live stream on all channels)
- Promote new content on all your social media channels (i.e. every time you publish a blog post, promote it on your social media with a link)
Julia McCoy shared a screenshot of her tweet on Instagram.
Strategy #4: Engage With Your Followers
The point of social media is to connect with other people online, no matter where they are.
When it comes to marketing on these platforms, the same principle applies — you want to talk with your target audience rather than always at them.
There are several benefits to engaging with your audience, including:
- Building trust
- Getting a ton of new content ideas
- Increasing engagement rates on your posts
- Using the algorithm to boost your posts
People are more likely to trust your advice when you interact with them, even if it’s just by liking their comments or responding with a “thank you.”
Believe it or not, taking a few minutes of your day to respond to comments and messages will bring success with social media marketing in the long run.
Trust-building is the most important benefit of social media engagement, but it’s not the only positive outcome.
Check out the following ways interacting with your audience can ramp up your marketing campaign:
Generate Content Ideas From Your Followers
When you first begin social media marketing, you have to learn how to build an audience.
But the moment your following begins to accumulate, you can ask your followers what content they want you to give them.
Asking for your audience’s input will make your followers feel valued, respected, and engaged while giving you an array of content ideas. Creating content that your followers specifically asked for is a foolproof way of building trust, making connections, and winning your audience’s loyalty.
You can use the “stories” feature most social media platforms offer to create question boxes, polls, surveys, and quizzes your viewers can respond to and interact with.
For example, you can make a poll titled “What would you like to see tomorrow?” and include options like a new YouTube video, a live stream, or a post about what you should look for in a lawyer.
Before your story expires 24 hours later, revisit it and see the results. Whichever option got the highest vote is the type of content you’ll share the next day, as promised.
Increase the Engagement Rate on Your Posts
Your posts’ engagement rates tell you how much your audience interacted with your content, emphasizing what they like, dislike, and want more of.
Engagement rates are important because they inform future content creation and entice other professionals in your field to work with you.
If you ever get an opportunity to collaborate online with a thought leader, they might ask for your engagement rate. This is especially true for Instagram influencers who hope to be sponsored by a product or brand in the future.
But what contributes to the engagement rate of your posts?
Engagement rate is a performance indicator used to determine the average number of interactions your content gets per follower.
Engagement rates are calculated by dividing the total number of interactions a post receives by your amount of followers, then multiplying that number by 100.
These interactions include likes (or reactions), comments, and shares on your post.
By encouraging your audience to interact with the post and interacting with them yourself, your engagement rate increases.
Help the Algorithm Make Your Posts More Discoverable
Impressive engagement rates prompt your target audience to trust you, others in your industry to connect with you, and algorithms to make your content more discoverable.
We already established that each social media platform has its own algorithm, but what exactly is an algorithm?
Put simply, an algorithm is a set of standards, rules, or processes your content must follow in order to be discoverable.
For example, the Instagram algorithm favors consistent posting, relevancy (how recent your content was posted), and high engagement.
The more engagement your posts receive on Instagram, the more Instagram will boost your posts.
Strategy #5: Measure Your ROI and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
First, let’s talk about KPI.
Measure Your Social Media Marketing KPI
(KPI stands for “Key Performance Indicator.”)
A KPI is a measurement of the effectiveness, progress, and current performance of a specific marketing channel.
But what are the KPIs of social media?
The answer: There are a lot.
First, you need to narrow down your goal and then look at the KPIs that will help you achieve it.
For example, there are KPIs to tell you more about your social media:
- Customer loyalty
We aren’t going to dive deep into all of these, but a few examples of social media KPI worthy of your attention include:
- Impressions (to measure reach)
- Web traffic (to measure reach)
- Likes, shares, and comments (to measure engagement)
- Mentions (to measure engagement)
- Lead conversion rate (to measure conversions)
- Cost per lead (to measure customer loyalty)
These are a few basic social media KPIs to get you started.
Don’t be discouraged if your KPIs are low in the beginning. As your audience builds and your engagement rate rises, your KPI will help you optimize your channel, increase engagement, and grow your business.
Measure Your Social Media ROI
The purpose of ROI is simple — to measure the amount of return (or benefits) you receive on a specific investment.
Here’s an example:
Say you run a week-long Facebook ad for $10 per day for a total cost of $70.
To calculate the ROI of the campaign, subtract the cost of investment from the current value of the investment, divide it by the cost of the investment, then multiply that number by 100 to get the percentage.
If you made $100 from the campaign, that’s your current value of the investment.
To get your ROI, subtract $70 from $100, divide that number by 70, then multiply that decimal by 100. Your ROI is 42.85%.
The point of measuring ROI and KPI is to evaluate the effectiveness of your current strategies are and then determine if they’re worth investing in again in the future.
42.85% is a great ROI, so the Facebook ads would likely be worth your budget again.
Strategy #6: Use Social Media Tools to Streamline Your Process
Between brainstorming ideas, creating posts, and actually publishing them, high-quality social media marketing can be time-consuming.
Fortunately, you can keep a regular posting schedule, entertain your audience, and create top-notch content almost on autopilot, thanks to a few social media tools.
Use Scheduling Tools to Publish Your Posts for You
Thanks to tools like these, you can schedule posts in advance while you focus on more important tasks.
Keep an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is an overview of the content you plan to post.
Your calendar can cover content ideas for the next month or even the next year.
Editorial calendars can be easily made in a spreadsheet.
You just need to:
- Determine the topics your content will cover.
- Write simple notes about basic design or your current ideas.
- Identify which channel you’re going to publish it on.
- Determine the date you’re going to post.
Not only does an editorial calendar keep you organized, but it also ensures you never run out of ideas or fall behind on posting because you feel uninspired.
Discover With Hashtag Research Tools
On most social channels, the hashtags you use are what make your content visible to the people who don’t follow you yet.
For example, if someone follows a hashtag you add to your post but doesn’t follow you, there’s a chance they’ll see your post, like it, and choose to follow you for more content.
Hashtags might sound simple, but they need to be used strategically. For example, an account with little to no followers can be drowned out by the millions of posts using general hashtags like #lawyer.
Choose a Design Program for Your Images
One of the most popular tools for creating high-quality images for a very low price is Canva.
Canva lets you choose the dimensions for your image and has templates for nearly every social channel, such as YouTube banners, Instagram stories, Twitter banners, blog post graphics, and more.
You can design your text, establish a brand color theme, create brilliant designs in ten minutes, and then download them in your desired format.
Then, put the design in your chosen posting schedule tool, so it’s ready for publishing.
Strategy #7: Strike a Balance Between Promotional and Educational Content
While it’s important to educate and entertain your audience to establish your trust, you don’t have to forsake the entire reason you started using social media — to market your brand as a lawyer.
The key to succeeding with social media marketing is to strike a balance between the two types of content you post: educational and promotional.
Social media pages that constantly promote themselves or the company that runs them turn potential clients off.
Pages that post primarily promotional content treat social media like a traditional marketing tactic when it should be used as a communication tool between you and your target audience.
A good ratio to use is 4:1. For every four educational or entertaining posts you publish, post one promotional.
Social Media Can Help You Scale Your Practice as a Lawyer
Social media can be just as powerful for lawyers as it is for fashion models — all it takes is the right strategy and consistent focus.
By implementing these seven strategies, you’ll be well on your way to growing your legal practice 21st-century style.
Ready to launch your social media marketing campaign but still looking for answers?
Please chime in with your questions in the comments below.