The oft-used cliche “a picture is worth a thousand words” couldn’t be truer when it comes to social media marketing. People are drawn to images because human eyes and brains can process visual information much faster than text. Pictures are easier to understand and they evoke emotions and tell stories. This truism is particularly important when it comes to legal marketing because lawyers, for the most part, are heavily reliant on text when it comes to presenting information.
It’s important to remember that your clients and prospects are not lawyers, but people or companies who need lawyers. All of your content should be aimed at building trust and reinforcing their confidence in you or your firm’s expertise. Visuals can do that and also make your content more memorable.
Simply having a visual element as part of your blog post makes it much more accessible to readers. For example, including a photo on your LinkedIn page, as well as your other social media properties and blog posts helps humanize you. Most communication is nonverbal and online a great deal is conveyed without words. A viewer may see your photo and deduce that you are honest, trustworthy, reliable, approachable, professional — or the opposite.
Since your readers are not lawyers, they may feel intimidated or confused by legal concepts and jargon. Images help break up text, so that the reader doesn’t feel overwhelmed by large blocks of text. Photographs, drawings, sketches, cartoons and other artwork make posts more appealing, but also help illustrate the concepts that you are trying to explain.
Your readers may not have experienced the scenes you see every day in your office, in mediations, or in a court room so showing them helps bring them in to your world. Pictures can also be used to inject a bit of humor or personality into your post, which can put the viewer at ease.
There are many ways to obtain or create images. Obviously, there’s your firm’s logo, which a graphic designer probably put a lot of effort into. Including this in everything you do, helps with branding and promotion efforts. These days almost everyone owns a camera or smart phone with a camera, so you can always snap some photos to liven up your blog posts. Otherwise, you can access a stock photography library, such as Shutterstock or Getty Images, where you can search for relevant visuals.
Charts and graphs are especially useful for explaining data. Most people have trouble comprehending statistics when they’re presented as text. Likewise, it’s also confusing to see a series of graphs with little explanation. Infographics are a fantastic way to organize and explain quantitative information. In fact, many often stand alone because they tell stories so efficiently that they don’t need blocks of text to accompany them. Lawyers should find them especially useful for walking readers though legal concepts with which they may be unfamiliar. Check out canva.com, an excellent resource to help you design infographics.
In addition to their attractiveness and simplicity, visuals drive traffic because they are shared more frequently on social media. They are easily repurposed for multiple platforms, including several where images dominate and text is minimal. Many people peruse Pinterest, a virtual image library where appealing images proliferate. The same goes for Instagram, a photo-sharing app where people post visuals for their friends and colleagues to see. Periscope even lets you stream live video for anyone to see, a function lawyers can use for events or simply for fun.
Visuals convey information that can’t be expressed as well through words. Lawyers who can show what they do, in addition to writing about it, will reap greater results.
Updated and republished April 7, 2017.