Having a strong social media presence has become an important aspect of doing business in any specific industry. Law firms are no exception in this regard as more and more people nowadays tend to depend on online resources to access legal services. In fact, a law practice that isn’t interacting with the public on at least one or two social media platforms is as good as invisible. With the immense popularity of several prominent social platforms, the use of social media among independent attorneys and law firms is becoming increasingly popular. As per an Attorney at Work survey, 96 percent of respondents say that they use social media. Out of that, 70 percent use it as part of their overall marketing strategy. Building an effective social media presence can help lawyers attract prospective clients and build valuable connections. However, with increased competition, building a strong social media presence or effectively marketing a law firm has become quite challenging for attorneys. Legal marketing services provided by experts in this field are a unique way to increase online engagement and optimize brand presence.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Social media offers countless opportunities for potential and existing clients to engage with their business, read content, ask questions, and much more. Here listed are some key benefits of using social media for law firms –
- Boost Brand Awareness – Nowadays, people tend to spend more time on social media. The Sprout Social Index (2019 survey), reported that 44 percent of consumers have increased their personal social media usage, meaning there are more people on these platforms than ever before. Having a strong social media presence helps a law firm reach a wider audience, get their message in front of the right audience and increase brand awareness.
- Acquire New Clients – Social networking provides exposure to a large audience. As per the ABA’s (2018 Survey), 35 percent of those surveyed who use social media channels for professional purposes have gained clients. The result is even better for small firms – with 42 percent gaining new clients through social media marketing.
- Help Clients Locate a Law Firm – Social media profiles can help drive people to a law firm’s website – where potential clients can find the information they need to hire a law firm. The path from seeing you on social media to hiring your law firm may be different. For instance, prospective clients see your blog post about how newly married couples should structure their wills on your Facebook page and they may click on the link to read it on your website. The potential client completes the online intake form and leaves their email address.
- Engage with the Legal Community – Lawyers can also use social media to build their profile within the legal community. By participating in social media within the legal community and even offering a commentary can help boost thought leadership. Here are a few examples of groups to join on LinkedIn –
- Build Brand Authority – When choosing a legal firm service, trust is one of the most important factors that people need to consider. With social media marketing, you can establish thought leadership by showcasing the level of expertise, sharing valuable content and engaging followers. This will help your legal firm to stand out from other firms and win the trust of your target audience.
- Improve SEO Efforts – Even though social signals are not a direct ranking factor, there is a definite correlation between improved social signals and improved search engine rankings. Google continues to bring in dynamic content such as social feeds into search results. Therefore, a strong social presence may help control more visible space on search results for a legal firm’s name. It will also help improve overall online visibility and increase web traffic.
How to Effectively Use Social Media Platforms for Law Firms?
Nowadays, social media has gone beyond selfies and memes and has become a powerful tool for helping businesses reach more clients online. Law firms need to be leveraging social media to engage followers, boost engagement, improve brand authority, and attract new clients. With so many novel platforms available, with each having its own specific characteristics, it is important to analyze which specific platform to focus.
To get adequate return on investment (ROI), it is important to have a plan. The individual social media plan needs to be unique to a law firm, their specific area of practice and the specific target audience. Here discussed are some essential social media strategies for law firms.
- Define Target Audience – Identifying or knowing the target audience is an important part of social media strategy. The more clearly you define the target audience, the better will be the understanding on how and where to reach the best prospects. Everything a law firm does including the blog posts shared or w your ritten need to be geared towards nurturing and growing the target audience. When trying to target audiences, think carefully. Go beyond generalizations. The target audience should not be as broad as “people who need a lawyer.” It is important to define target audiences more specifically. For instance, if a law firm is looking to expand its personal injury niche, it is important to define target audience as follows – “People in the New York City area who have recently been involved in a traffic accident and who may be looking for a personal injury or criminal defense lawyer”.
- Choose the Right Social Media Platforms – After defining the target audience, the next important step is to choose the right social media platform. Do some basic research and start out slow by focusing on a couple of platforms wherein your target audience remain mostly active and are more likely to engage with you. Pick out the specific social media platforms that they are most likely to use. For instance, if the target audience are legal professionals, they are likely to be on LinkedIn and Twitter. On the other hand, if looking for retired law professionals, they may be more engaged with Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Most social media channels will give a clear breakdown of their target audience demographics. Study this and keep an eye on industry reports and surveys that can provide valuable information that would help choose an ideal platform. Also, check out the platforms where your competitors are most active. Try to select one or two platforms on which to be active.
- Share Original Graphics – Visuals play a critical role in social media marketing, therefore focus on creating visuals that will immediately attract and engage prospects. Share inspirational quotes, useful legal tips, basic legal information and industry updates through original graphics that stand out. This is particularly relevant for a firm using image-heavy platforms like Instagram. For instance, Allen & Overy LLP – an international law firm creates original graphics to share useful quotes from their associates. Each graphic includes the respective associate’s photo, which puts a human face to their firm.
- Create YouTube Videos – Creating informative YouTube videos is an important social media marketing strategy for lawyers and legal firms. Posting videos not only makes information much easier to understand, but also conveys the true personality of the law firm through the content. This makes them a lot more engaging than other content formats. Therefore, make sure to regularly create YouTube videos to explain relevant topics, tell interesting stories and discuss trending legal topics. Posting video interviews with industry thought leaders can be an effective option as this helps attract new viewers.
- Monitor Conversations Surrounding your Legal Firm – Brand listening is one of the main uses of social media for lawyers. Monitor conversations surrounding your legal firm in real time and identify trending topics within the industry. Conduct branded keyword searches on social media to look for content and conversations surrounding the firm. This is a great way to analyze the opinions of other people about your law firm. Identify conversations like news or discussions about topics that demonstrate expertise and that are relevant to a legal firm’s specialization. This can help gain valuable audience insights and take necessary action at the right moment.
- Share Blog Posts and News Updates – Create valuable, informative content, rather than solely promotional content. Providing credible and valuable information help better showcase a law firm’s level of expertise. For instance, in the legal industry, potential customers won’t make a decision about where to take their business just based on promotion. Rather, they would consider your knowledge and credibility as well as experience before they decide to hire legal services. Therefore, it is important to constantly share informative blog posts and the latest industry news with social media followers. Make a habit of curating content from other relevant sources and reputable industry blogs as well.
- Respond to Comments and Queries – Social media offers a platform to build connections and engage with the audiences. In fact, consumers are highly dependent on social media as a brand-consumer communication channel. The Sprout Social Index (2019 survey) found that 47 percent of consumers reach out to brands on social platforms as they have a product or service question. 40 percent do so because they have a bad experience, while 31 percent do so to share their ideas or suggestions. Therefore, make the most of social media to engage with prospective clients.
Respond to comments on blog posts and answer questions that people may have about the law firm’s services as this will give the audiences a feel that you are listening and showing interest in answering their queries.
- Convey Brand Story – Law firms can utilize social media platforms to convey their brand story. This can be very effective for humanizing a brand and forming an emotional connection with the audience, thereby winning their trust and loyalty. Make sure to share stories about the firm’s achievements, its history and more. In addition, social media platforms can be used to put employees in the spotlight and give a human face to the brand.
When used strategically, social media marketing services for law firms can be a valuable digital marketing solution. When building a law firm’s marketing strategy, effective social media management is crucial. Define goals, make a plan, and stick to it. By being consistent and active on social media, a law firm is more likely to engage with their target audience and achieve the best ROI possible. Make sure to get the social media basics right and then try out some of the top strategies listed in this post. In addition, analyze the competitors’ social media strategies to get inspiration and new ideas. A reputable digital marketing agency for law firms can help implement these strategies effectively and make sure that their client law firm stays ahead of the competition.