By now you know that it’s essential to have a LinkedIn account to increase professional connections and develop your business. We already discussed the importance of going beyond LinkedIn to Facebook and Twitter, the other major platforms for businesses.
However, Instagram remains a largely untapped channel for lawyers and law firms. Each major social media platform has its own advantages and limitations. For example, LinkedIn may be most appropriate to make contacts with other lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers while Facebook may be the best to post more engaging content.
Instagram allows users to share visual media to the platform’s more than 700 million monthly users. According to Instagram’s Business Blog, 60% of users learn more about a product or service through the site while an astounding 75% of users actually take action by visiting a company’s website after viewing a post. Now that we understand both the high level of engagement and global reach Instagram can provide for businesses, how can law firms utilize this platform successfully?
Start with a strategy
Why are you using the channel? What are you hoping to accomplish? Who’s your target audience? Is it for recruiting purposes? Are you interested in building strategic relationships? With whom? What brand image do you want to project? Should you start with images or videos or both? How often should you post? Who in the firm can you use as evangelists for this effort?
Just like you need an overall content strategy and social media strategy, you need one for individual channels. Have a documented strategy and identify your goals before posting your first image or video to Instagram.
Based on your strategic vision, you’ll need to create an editorial calendar for the images and videos you’ll post, including who’s responsible for posting and who’s involved with each effort.
TIP: Look for your associates who are already active on Instagram and other social media platforms and make them part of your planning committee.
Similar to other social media platforms, it’s ineffective to simply advertise your firm and services. Rather you can use Instagram as another place to share your recent blog posts, articles, or videos if you have them! Just post a corresponding visual and link the post in your bio so that the link is active.
TIP: Embrace emojis. This is a buttoned down channel, a place to have fun and show your personality.
Show your law firm’s culture
How do you want your law firm to be perceived? Like Facebook, Instagram can be used to humanize your law firm. Sharing behind-the-scenes visuals of your office or doing short bios of lawyers can help potential clients trust your firm and gain an understanding of your company culture.
Just as important, Instagram can serve as a recruiting tool for new lawyers for whom firm culture is increasingly important.
TIP: Produce short video clips of a day-in-the-life of some of your associates.
Use trending hashtags
Instagram is known for being hashtag heavy. Therefore, it’s important to always include a few relevant hashtags in each caption. This will allow more users to see your post and you won’t feel like you’re just shouting into the void of the internet.
TIP: Don’t overpower your image with hashtags. Use two or three primary hashtags and add as many as you want in a follow-up comment. Your post becomes clutter free and is still discoverable when someone searches for relevant hashtags.
Share tips and quotes
Sharing short tips is an effective way to get potential clients interested in your services. To be sure, this is not about offering legal advice. You can address hot legal topics in a creative way, talk about technology initiatives at your firm that enhances the delivery of legal service, and so on.
Quotes can include awards and kudos the firm received in the press. They can be inspirational or humorous. They can be about special days like “pets in the office” day or “may the 4th be with you” on, well, May 4th, or holidays.
TIP: Check out Canva Instagram Post Templates to beautify your text-based posts like tips and quotes.
The fastest way to grow an engaged community is to follow other accounts…strategically. Law firms have a built-in advantage here. With scores to thousands of employees, many of whom have Instagram accounts, firms can quickly build a vibrant community.
Tip: In addition to posts and hashtags, your profile is how people find you and decide if to follow you. Your profile bio section has only one clickable link. The default can be your website URL, but change it occasionally to promote an event or landing page.
Generating meaningful content on Instagram will take time, planning, and research. However, out of the 700 million active users it seems likely that the platform will allow you to access new clients. And, as you use it, you’ll discover what resonates and what doesn’t and adjust your strategy accordingly.