Even if you have no aspirations of being a celebrity like Mark Cuban, social media is still a valuable way to connect with your current and potential clients.
But where do you start?
The key to using social media marketing to attract new clients to your law firm is understanding who your target market really is, where they are, and what they want from you.
What does your ideal client look like?
What do they do in their free time?
Who does she listen to and follow on social media?
This will help you make the best use of your time by helping you identify exactly what type of content to create, how frequently you should be posting, and which social media platforms you should be focusing on at any given time in order to attract the right clients that are actually interested in working with you.
Social media is widely used among law firms. According to a recent Lawyerist survey, 93% of lawyers use LinkedIn, 63% use Facebook, and 54% are on Twitter.
YouTube (31%) and blogging (17%) are also common social media marketing tools many law firms employ.
That’s a lot! Many potential legal clients out there just waiting to be converted into paying customers—and your friends and family may even hold some of those clients in their extended networks.
However, not every attorney uses social media in their practice or knows how to properly utilize it.
In the past, lawyers could simply run their practice and rely on word of mouth and reputation to attract clients, but this just isn’t enough anymore.
In today’s crowded legal market, lawyers need to utilize social media marketing to get their message across in order to stand out from the competition and build their brand equity.
If you haven’t explored social media marketing yet, it’s time to get started.
Here are 9 social media marketing tips for lawyers that will help your firm stay on top of trends while attracting new clients.
1. Start a Website
Social media is a fantastic tool for law firms to connect with potential clients and get them in touch with their attorneys.
The easiest way to start using social media marketing as part of your legal practice is to set up a company website and then let it sit.
Since most people will visit your site through organic search, having a site built on reputable content management systems such as WordPress be an easy step toward building an online presence.
From there, you’ll want to develop content about areas of expertise that other lawyers in your area are generally lacking but that you’re well versed in.
Once visitors are on your site, encourage them to like and share that content across their own social networks by providing sharing tools prominently on each page of your site.
2. Connect your law firm website with social media
The cornerstone of any law firm’s marketing efforts is its website.
Almost all law firms have a website, but many are not using it effectively to reach potential clients through search engines and social media.
Linking your website with social media can help you build your presence on social media platforms and generate more leads from organic search.
Learn more about 3 different ways to connect your law firm’s website with social media.
- Embed social share buttons onto your site: Encourage visitors to share your content on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. You don’t want them to click away! So make it easy for them by embedding these buttons onto each page of your site.
- Include social sharing icons in email newsletters: Inclusion of social media icons alongside email subscription boxes is another way to encourage people to subscribe. It also lets you see how many people have subscribed via which medium; perhaps you should focus more time and energy on one versus another?
- Link to social networks from all marketing communications: From emails and direct mailers to print ads and TV commercials, include links back to your social media profiles so that anyone who is interested can follow up with you there. Give people a reason to follow you too – offer exclusive discounts or free advice for those who sign up. If someone takes an action as a result of an advertisement – give them something of value when they sign up – no such thing as a free lunch!
3. Develop your own unique brand
No matter what kind of law you practice, you should be thinking about how to develop your own unique brand.
Clients want lawyers they can relate to and connect with on a personal level.
So, take steps to ensure that your personality is reflected in your social media posts and profiles.
For example, if you specialize in divorce law, think about how photos of happy couples can reflect poorly on your brand.
If you aren’t comfortable posting vacation pictures or selfies with friends, stay away from these types of posts altogether.
You also don’t have to spend hours creating content every day. Posting small things like quotes relevant to your industry, links to relevant articles are great ways to show off your expertise while using minimal time and effort.
And don’t forget: consistency is key!
4. Provide value on social media
If you’re a lawyer and you’re not using social media, there’s a good chance that your clients don’t know who you are.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other networks offer unique opportunities to share professional value with potential customers.
In fact, people are 200% more likely to buy a product or service from an individual they follow on social media than they are from an ad.
Of course, it doesn’t matter if no one follows you if what you say isn’t valuable.
Build up your reputation by finding new ways to help people solve problems and understand challenges by giving real solutions through social media.
5. Collaborate with influencers
If you want to make your mark on social media as a lawyer, you’re going to need to learn how to gain clout.
The best way to do that is by collaborating with influencers in your niche. On each platform, find individuals who regularly contribute valuable content and then reach out about an opportunity to work together.
If they agree, share their posts and let them know how much you appreciate their work.
Keep it short and simple—you don’t want to over-promote yourself or come across as salesy. Instead, focus on making meaningful connections with those who will be beneficial to both of your businesses.
Influencer marketing gives you a high rate of success if done correctly.
And at worst, it allows people in your field (who have authority) to see what you can offer—and trust me when I say that these are people worth connecting with!
6. Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO or Search engine optimization is a way to improve your visibility in search results.
Although you don’t have to optimize your social media presence (you could just post all of your content on Facebook and hope it gets seen), SEO on social can improve engagement and traffic, which ultimately leads to an increase in conversions.
The obvious first step is making sure you use relevant keywords that are likely to drive traffic.
These might be related to your firm’s name or location, or they could be specific topics relevant to law in general.
You should also think about how people will find out about you online and what questions they will ask about legal issues. Then make sure these words appear on every piece of content you create.
And, of course, social media gives you access to more traditional keywords.
For example, if someone searches for lawyers in your city on Google, chances are there will be some social media presence near the top.
If that person has any kind of profile connected with their query (Twitter or LinkedIn), check them out: Do they have a link back to their website?
How many followers do they have?
How active is their account?
All of these details can help you decide where to focus your social marketing efforts.
Finally, remember: SEO takes time—so set up campaigns with goals and track them, so you know exactly how much time each project is taking and whether you need more time at certain points in order to see better returns later down the line.
7. Listen to your community
Social media marketing works best when you know what people want.
One of your first stops should be to listen to your clients, fans, and friends—see what they’re saying about you, your company, and your competitors.
Where do they hang out online?
Find out which platforms are worth investing in (and which are a waste of time).
Also, find out which social media channels work best for your audience.
For example, lawyers have done well with LinkedIn so far (more on that later).
You can then use these insights to shape a social media marketing strategy that reflects their needs.
Having someone promote something isn’t as effective as building something on your own and letting it get popular on its own accord, so don’t be afraid of criticism.
8. Use visuals on social media
Using visuals on social media is an effective way to showcase your brand and engage your followers.
They also tend to get shared more frequently than other types of content because they’re easier to digest.
When using visuals, choose either a professional photo of yourself or a photo of your office that reinforces your law firm.
It may seem silly, but some people will be more inclined to follow someone based on their appearance—and even trust that person more as a result.
Additionally, if you want people to learn more about what you do, consider creating infographics.
They can drive traffic and interest in whatever topic you choose.
Did you know that visual posts on social media platforms receive double or triple as much engagement as text-only posts?
So now it’s not just about what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it.
The right images can help improve your post’s organic reach and boost your engagement, giving a nice boost to your law firm’s marketing efforts.
Visuals will also make your content more user-friendly and easier to share, helping with click-through rates from search results.
What types of visual content should lawyers use on social media? Think about it.
9. Stay focused
There are a lot of things you need to do in order to promote your law firm. But, first, don’t stray from your goals, and make sure you stay focused on your objectives.
If you don’t know your goals, figure them out as soon as possible. Don’t try to do too much at once; spend time learning about each tool and how it can help improve your firm’s online presence.
You don’t have to use all of them, but pick one or two and focus on those. It will help keep you from getting overwhelmed, and overwhelmed clients aren’t delighted clients!
Your social media platform is an extension of your business, so it should be well thought out and strategic.
Most businesses have a website and depending on your location and industry, you might have a Google My Business page or Yellow Pages listing as well.
You can use these pages to drive users to your social platforms. For example, your law firm’s Facebook page or Twitter account is a great place to post links to your website that link back to your actual law practice site where they can learn more about what you do and how you can help them solve their legal issues.
If you haven’t already, set up social accounts for your practice.
As soon as you set up your profiles and make sure there aren’t any errors in your information, start sharing content relevant to law firms. For instance, tips, local news relevant to your area of law, or even general posts related to business.
Be sure to include lots of visual elements like photos with text overlay and short videos—people love visuals!
Once people begin following you (and hopefully engaging with your content), start posting more regularly while still keeping it interesting.
Content calendars are a great way to stay organized while thinking ahead at all times!
So which tip is the most suitable for your law firm? Let us know in the comments below.
Social Media Marketing for Lawyers