Instagram is a really powerful platform that needs serious consideration in your marketing efforts. Currently, Instagram has over 800 million monthly users, so chances are good that your target audience is present there. Sometimes legal marketers assume that Instagram isn’t really relevant to them, however, it’s important to maintain a strong presence on all social media platforms. Here are some actionable Instagram tips for law firms that can be put into play immediately for better Instagram results.
Should Law Firms Be on Instagram?
For law firms, their #1 social media platform is often LinkedIn, and overall, they dedicate most of their attention to platforms that attract more mature audiences and are more commonly used by professionals. However, 90% of Instagram users follow a business.
The truth is, having an inactive or poorly updated Instagram page can actually be hurting your firm. If a user is searching for you on social media and finds a very dormant, inactive, or out-of-date page, they’re more likely to form a negative opinion of your law firm.
And in our annual study of America’s top law firms, The Social Law Firm Index, we found that 63% of the top law firms have an active Instagram page.
Instagram Tips for Law Firms
1. Use Genuine Content
Don’t rely on stock pictures or staged photo opportunities. People on Instagram want authentic visuals that help them relate to companies. You can easily design unique graphics on Canva, but you’ll also want photos of humans. So, keep a file of images you can use like your employee’s headshots and photos from events.
2. Vary Your Content
One of the best things about Instagram is how quickly great content can be posted. The fact that the platform is so easy to use means you can post often, without spending a long time creating new content. However, don’t fall into patterns of only posting certain pictures or quotes. Different types of content will attract different users, so it’s good to mix up your tactics. Show different sides of your organization with different mediums like photos, videos, Stories, Reels etc.
It’s also believed that the Instagram algorithm favors content that uses its unique content types like Reels. So if you want increased engagement, take advantage of newer features like Reels. Not only are Reels interesting for viewers, but they may also encourage the algorithm to push out your content.
3. Be a Part of Wider Conversations
With Instagram, it’s easy to spend time on the outside looking in. Don’t simply post, take the time to respond when people comment. Reply to your community whenever they interact with your firm and make a point of browsing other profiles in your niche (and while you’re there, like some content or leave a comment). Follow groups that pertain to your industry and participate in dialogues there. The more time you spend engaging with others, the more likely it is that they’ll return the favor.
4. Ramp Up the Links You Can Use
Instagram doesn’t let you link to websites within the captions of posts, but you can (and should) include one in your bio. Your bio can have up to 150 characters, including a link. This is a great place to direct followers to your latest news or offer. You can even use a tool like Linktree to create a custom link that builds out a page with even more links. Users can share up to 5 links this way and really make the most of their bio link. Don’t forget to include links in your Stories, too. Even though these only last for 24 hours, this feature allows you to post your most timely material.
5. Share Stories with Each Post
When it comes to Instagram, the businesses that tell the most interesting stories generate the largest audiences. Consistent visual storytelling cuts through the noise and encourages engagement. Don’t limit your efforts to only photo and video feeds. For example, the Stories feature allows users to create slideshows or montages of photo and video components. Taking advantage of these features will provide your audience with a more personal experience.
6. Don’t Rely on Vanity Metrics
An increase in likes or clicks is beneficial, but that information alone doesn’t provide the whole story. Those numbers won’t show you if the right people are interested in your content. Look for indicators of positive engagement, such as people commenting on your posts and new followers who are in your niche. Those factors alone can give you an indication of how well you’re doing and how much exposure your firm is truly getting. Looking at a comprehensive mix of metrics will better guide your efforts over the long term.
7. Practice Hashtag Etiquette
Instagram is all about the visuals, and that’s true of your caption too. It’s perfectly fine to use hashtags on Instagram, and in fact, it’s highly recommended if you want to expand your reach. Rather than clutter up your caption with hashtags, hide your hashtags in a comment or add white space in your caption with periods or dashes so your hashtags don’t appear until after the ‘See More’.
Furthermore, you shouldn’t be using just any hashtags. Conduct hashtag research so you can have a mix of hashtags that are broad enough to reach a large enough audience, but are also niche enough that the audience matches your ideal client profile.
8. Put People First
Instagram is a great place to share graphics, but photos with people will always be best for the platform. Make sure to include photos of your firm regularly. Again, graphics are also very welcome, but consider finding new ways to incorporate faces. Ex. if you’re hosting a webinar have the speaker’s headshot in the graphic, if you’re congratulating an employee include their picture.
9. Have a Theme
One of the best ways your firm can ensure you look professional on Instagram is by having a cohesive theme. Make sure any photos of people are edited with similar lighting and filters and determine brand guidelines:
- Colors used
- Font used
- Logo used- will this logo appear on all photos
- Tone of voice
- Design elements like borders, lines, shapes, etc.
Try to stick to the same colorstory with each post so your grid layout looks on brand and cohesive.
10. Go Live
Going live on Instagram is a great opportunity for your firm to humanize itself and form valuable connections. Consider going live to show behind the scenes footage of an event, host a Q&A session, or follow up after a webinar or other event.
11. Show Off Your Culture and Values
Instagram is a great platform, because unlike other platforms, it’s best for humanizing your firm and showing a more personal side. Use Instagram as a place to share your firms’ values and culture. Some ideas to do this:
- Post on relevant holidays. (Download our Social Media Holidays Calendar for a look at a year’s worth of holidays you can post about)
- Start a series introducing team members and share fun info about them like hobbies, favorite foods, passions, background, etc.
- Respond to relevant events in the news that are important to your firm
- Start a series discussing your values and mission
- Share info on why team members wanted to work for your firm
- Congratulate employees on professional and personal achievements
- Share snippets from both external and internal events you hosted
12. Be Interactive
Instagram has a lot of great features that will allow you to interact with your audience. You can post polls, quizzes, or open ended question prompts on your stories. And remember, if you do post a poll or open ended question prompt- share the answers if appropriate to further the conversation. Interacting can also easily be done on regular posts too, not just Stories. Consider leaving an open ended question in your caption, and reply to any comments you may get to continue the conversation.
13. Get Local
Instagram is a great way to promote your firm locally. Start by optimizing your tagline for search. Make your tagline something that’s something a user in need of a lawyer might search for. Ex. ‘Personal Injury Lawyer in Pennsylvania’. This will help you get found based on location. Next, make sure to put your address in your bio. And finally, add relevant locations to your posts. This helps you get found by others in your location.
14. Do Your Research
Instagram success doesn’t have to be elusive. Like we said, we studied America’s top firms, and we found many that have had great success on Instagram. Check out this post to learn about them.
15. Boost Posts
Have you ever put out a really important post and were disappointed when it didn’t perform as you had hoped for? This is where boosting comes in. You can turn any post into an ad by ‘boosting’ it on Instagram.
16. Use a Content Calendar
Your social media posts should all be well thought out and planned in advance. The most successful social media marketers leverage past data, upcoming trends, and research to determine what they’ll be posting weeks to a month in advance. However, with Instagram this gets a little trickier as design is the most important element, and as we mentioned above, having a cohesive theme is necessary. Use an app like Unum or Simplified to plan your feed out. This way you can make sure the colorstory and branding is well thought out and visually appealing. Ex. you don’t want seven graphics in dark teal all in a row when you could rather diversify the colors you’re using/ types of photos into a cohesive pattern.
17. Make it Biteable
With the rise of TikTok, users are becoming more accustomed to watching short biteable videos. Instagram allows you to upload some pretty lengthy videos, however, most users don’t go to instagram to watch a full webinar. Rather, they’re looking for a quick consumption of content. Keep everything short and to the point with short videos and short captions.
18. Check Out What’s Trending
On the Instagram explore page. you can easily see which hashtags are trending. Use these hashtags in your post when relevant (just don’t overdo it on broad hashtags, like we mentioned on #7) and use the explore page to generate content ideas.
19. Run a Giveaway
Instagram is one of the number one platforms for running giveaways. Consider giving something away in return for others’ following you, engaging with your post, or filling out a form.
20. Make Your Content Shareable
Instagram Stories are a great avenue for sharing. In fact, it’s pretty common for users to share posts they like to their stories by hitting the airplane icon at the bottom of a post. One way to make your post more geared towards getting shared is by making informative infographics. These can be created easily in Canva and can be shared on Insta in the form of a carousel post. If it’s educational, users will want to share this informative piece of content on their Story with their followers.
While Instagram has been used predominantly by B2C companies until recently, organizations of all types can take advantage of the tool’s expansive audience and features made for connecting with users. Social media is today’s word of mouth, so it’s crucial to have a strategy and make the most of it.
We’ve helped many law firms and businesses utilize Instagram to drive engagement. Talk to our team to learn how to use social media more effectively and wisely. Contact us today for a free consultation.
This post has been edited and republished from Mar. 2, 2022.