Social media is among the most compelling digital marketing channels. While it's usually best for lawyers like you to build face-to-face interactions, digital presence also matters. One way to establish a significant online presence is through social media marketing (SMM). The 2023 Guide to Social Media Marketing for Lawyers and Law Firms.
Industry professionals believe that social media marketing’s best advantage is increased exposure. This exposure enables them to appeal to billions of active users across social media platforms. As such, global marketers’ top three most used social networks are Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
This comprehensive guide explains social media marketing for lawyers and its benefits. Additionally, best social media marketing practices will be discussed to facilitate effective and successful SMM campaigns for your law firm.
Understanding Social Media Marketing for Lawyers
Social Media Marketing for Lawyers is a process that uses social media to promote legal services and top law firms. It involves three fundamental marketing areas: connections, interactions, and consumer analyses.
- Connections: Social media has offered various ways to connect with people that were impossible before. These connections are now part of digital marketing to create valuable relationships with clients and customers
- Interactions: Social media provides interactive and dynamic features for user engagement. Beyond calls and messages, social networks allow users to like, comment, and repost content. While these interactions are often passive, they are part of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) promotions. These opportunities are considered free advertising
- Consumer analyses: Social Media Marketing for Lawyers involves data analytics resources that analyze consumer behavior, preferences, and online activities. Besides customer data extraction, these resources are used for actionable market analysis to develop new strategies
How can lawyers benefit from social media marketing?
Most lawyers and law firms, including your colleagues and competitors, use social media marketing. You should also market your firm on social media platforms to stay ahead of the competition.
Let’s look at the benefits your firm can reap from employing SMM campaigns.
Strengthens brand awareness
Since increased exposure is possible with Social Media Marketing for Lawyers, you can strengthen your firm’s brand awareness. Brand awareness refers to the clients’ familiarity with your brand. Generally, your brand awareness should promote positive perceptions to make your firm stand out.
With SMM, you create a content-posting calendar, interact with users, and understand the latest trends. These efforts are significant in building brand awareness and encouraging prospects to reach out.
Think of your SMM campaigns as sponsoring community events. Event sponsorships are a great way to get your name out there, which is also the purpose of social media marketing.
Enhances client service and interactions
Most clients search for legal services on social media. They usually want to connect with you on their preferred social media networks. While social media marketing for lawyers cannot replace face-to-face interactions, responsiveness is critical to converting prospects into clients.
Responsiveness means replying to and addressing client inquiries. For instance, you’ll respond to an inquiry asking about your availability. Some potential clients may send their inquiries in your comment sections, where you can easily see and reply. Whatever the mode, answering them makes them feel valued.
With SMM, you can create automated replies to frequently asked questions and leave messages saying you’ll respond once you’re online. This integration also includes direct links to appointment booking, which can help clients save time navigating your profile.
Establishes trust, credibility, and reliability
Some social media platforms have ratings and review integrations. For one, Facebook has a Reviews section for business pages. You can also see a star rating on a page’s profile. These factors can shape clients’ perceptions and first impressions of your firm.
Reviews and ratings are social proof of your firm’s client treatment and service. Visitors reading these statements acquire insights from your previous clients’ experiences.
Suppose you have positive ratings and reviews. These favorable reviews can establish your firm’s trustworthiness, reliability, and credibility. SMM allows you to use them as testimonials.
However, receiving negative reviews is sometimes inevitable. Through SMM, you’ll address them by responding that you apologize for the inconvenience and will work hard to improve your services. At the same time, you should ask them what you can do about their concerns.
Unfavorable reviews are not necessarily detrimental to your reputation. You just need to know how to respond accordingly. This way, potential clients see that you value feedback and want to give them the best service and treatment.
Provides social listening
Social listening involves researching what people say about your firm on social media. It includes your comment sections, forums, and groups. It also involves competitor analysis by looking into comments, posts, and reviews about your competitors.
Furthermore, social listening enables you to examine the types of content posted by your competitors. These assessments can help you fill the gaps and refine your content creation to increase engagement.
Promotes staff recruitment and retention
Finding skilled talent is typically challenging for all businesses. SMM can help you showcase your brand, culture, and reputation to stand out. So when aspiring legal professionals look for firms to apply to, they can consider yours.
By showing your mission, vision, and work environment, applicants become familiar with the workplace they will likely join. Promoting your positive company values can also increase recruitment and staff retention.
Expands visibility on search engine results
Many social media posts can appear at the top of search engine results, particularly on Google. Getting your brand mentioned across social media platforms can help Google rank and index posts and comments citing your firm.
For example, Reddit is a social network indexed by Google. This platform contains forums where users discuss specific topics, including law firms and legal services.
One user may post asking for law firm recommendations, and you could be mentioned in the comments. When this post appears at the top of search results, potential clients can see the comments containing your name.
Best Social Media Marketing Practices for Lawyers
SMM campaigns cannot produce the desired outcomes overnight. They involve elaborate planning and setup for successful implementation.
The best SMM practices below will assist you in crafting advertising campaigns that can drive more engagement, expand visibility, and strengthen your authority.
Know the social media regulations for legal professionals
Bar associations have social media regulations for legal professionals. For one, the American Bar Association prohibits lawyers from disclosing confidential information in response to negative reviews without consent from clients. So knowing and understanding legal regulations is essential before establishing social media accounts for your firm.
Some states also prohibit lawyers from using ‘specialist’ or ‘expert’ to describe themselves. If you’re a non-US-based lawyer, check your local bar association’s social media regulations to know what’s allowed and prohibited in your practice.
Social Media Marketing for Lawyers: Define and understand your target audience
Defining and understanding your target audience is more than just knowing their demographics. Depending on legal practice, they involve knowing their occupations and social status. For instance, if you practice family law, you’d look into the audience segment with children.
Other significant factors you should know are:
- Common legal issues most people deal with or are likely to experience
- Comfort and understanding of legal language
- Their usual purpose (e.g., finding information, quick research, or comprehensive overviews of specific legal subjects)
Identify your goals
Once your target audience is set, start identifying your goals. Identify whether you require assistance in content marketing, video creation, graphic design, or paid ads. This process will help you craft SMM strategies that align specifically with various platforms.
Post content regularly
Social media platforms thrive on content. If you’re not posting regularly, many followers may unfollow you because they no longer find your account valuable. Similarly, potential clients may not encounter your profile because you don’t appear on their feeds. You won’t get people talking about your firm and services, either.
Regular posting means having a content calendar scheduling the time and day of your posts. You can automate these schedules by using a social media content marketing solution.
Remember that this doesn’t mean posting the same content. You must diversify your content to establish variety and reach more prospects. The types of legal content you can post are:
- Short-form legal advice videos
- Infographics containing facts and statistics about specific legal topics
- Informative news about new laws or amendments
- Testimonials (client review promotions)
- Staff features (e.g., featuring a lawyer’s background, practice, and hobbies)
- Job openings
Here’s how you can use them on the following social media channels:
- Facebook – Boosting content through Facebook Ads
- Instagram – Carousel posts or Instagram stories and reels (tips for filing claims or explaining laws)
- LinkedIn – Posting job openings, hiring talents, and educational content about legal topics
- TikTok – Infotainment videos primarily targeted at Gen Z
Focus on user engagement
User engagement determines the value existing and potential clients find while interacting with you. Focusing on this aspect means doing the following:
- Replying to tags, mentions, and comments
- Responding to direct messages
- Encouraging feedback by asking them to leave reviews on your profile
- Starting authentic conversations
- Engaging with reviews, whether positive or negative, professionally and accordingly
Hire a social media marketing agency for law firms
Marketing for law firms involves complex processes. Your SMM campaigns may not result in your desired outcomes if you don’t have an in-house marketing team. Your best bet is to invest in the services of an SMM agency for law firms.
SMM agencies for law firms can be full-service or consultative. Full-service agencies offer complete planning and execution of SMM campaigns while consulting focuses on analytics and auditing. They can provide a specialized service or a combination of two or more approaches to facilitate your campaigns and progress tracking.
SMM agencies provide progress tracking to deliver detailed insights into what’s working in your campaigns. These insights are also significant in developing new strategies and refining advertising efforts.
Boost Your Client Acquisition Through Social Media Marketing for Lawyers
Social media marketing offers advertising opportunities to reach potential clients conveniently. As such, you can leverage the best SMM practices above to maximize interactions for authentic connections. Consequently, you can establish a significant social media presence that boosts client acquisition.