It’s important for lawyers to be active on social media. With nearly half of the world’s population using social media platforms, they’re a natural place to reach and influence prospective clients. On the other hand, misusing social media channels can do damage to your reputation or chip away at credibility you’ve worked hard to establish. We recommend compiling a social media guide to help lawyers understand the approved ways to use social media platforms – and be sure to include these 10 common mistakes that we see lawyers make.
1. Responding angrily to negative comments.
The more active you are on social media, the more likely it is that eventually you’ll get a negative comment. Remember that you can use this feedback to learn and grow. Approach them with an open mind and don’t lash out at the commenters. Keep in mind that other followers will notice how you respond to any negativity – so keep it classy.
2. Forgoing the editing process.
Typos or bad grammar will be noticed, and they can cause people to take your content less seriously. Always take the time to proofread any posts, no matter how brief.
3. Posting only when you feel inspired.
You’re not always going to feel creative or motivated, but it’s still important to post often in order to build your brand and grow your practice. This is where creating a content calendar and scheduling posts in advance can help. There are several tools that can help you manage this process effectively.
4. Not taking the time to respond to commenters.
Engagement is your number one priority when it comes to social media. More engagement equals greater reach – it’s how the social media algorithms work. When followers comment on your posts, be sure to respond. Actually absorb what people are saying and don’t just use a canned reply such as “Thanks for commenting!”.
5. Using only one social media channel.
Facebook is the largest social media platform, and often what people think of when they hear “social”. Don’t forget there are other platforms that can serve different purposes, though. LinkedIn is an ideal platform for business and generating leads, for example. Furthermore, there are a growing number of lawyers using TikTok to achieve their business development goals. Find out how these lawyers have gone viral on the platform.
6. Ignoring photos and videos is a social media marketing mistake.
Graphics are more attention-grabbing than text, and video is increasingly important in search results. Furthermore, video marketing is a great lead generation channel. Research shows that marketers who use video obtain 66% more qualified leads per year. Integrate pictures, videos, or infographics when appropriate. On the other hand, remember that the information you want to get across is the essential part of your posts. Even if you have stellar videos or graphics, you still need to put thought into your verbiage.
7. Not understanding what your target audience wants.
If you notice that your posts aren’t resonating or generating interest, you might need to look closer at who you’re targeting and how you can help them. Take a close look at the lifestyle, personality, needs, and challenges of the people who follow you. While focusing on creating value, also make sure you provide a variety of post types so that followers don’t get fatigued.
8. Not aligning content with the channel.
Many people are on every single social channel, but chances are they use the different platforms for different purposes. Simply posting the same content across different channels is a pretty common social media mistake. Understand what each channel offers and how people use them, and post accordingly. For more information, refer to our guide on the type of content that works best on each major social media platform.
9. Not considering when your audience is online.
When you post is just as important as what you post. In a post-Covid world, the way people work online is changing and their presence on social channels is also different. To increase engagement with your firm’s content, knowing when your followers check in online will ensure your content reaches the broadest audience.
10. Not using mentions or hashtags effectively.
Lawyers should always leverage mentions and hashtags in their content. Mentioning or tagging individuals or companies will bring greater attention to your posts, encourage engagement, and draw your connection’s attention to your update. While you don’t always want to mention people in your content, you do always want to include the relevant hashtags. Hashtags increase the discoverability of your content. Just be sure to do your hashtag research. Hashtags should be focused, related to the content itself, and have a decent following.
The legal industry relies on strong relationships and referrals, and today’s word-of-mouth is social media. Social media offers so many ways to get your message out, but there is plenty of room for error if you don’t take the time to perform research and focus on an intentional strategy.
If you need help developing a strategy for delivering the right message in the right way on social media, contact us today for help. We have vast experience helping lawyers and law firms achieve measurable success through social media.