Social media presence is the visibility a person or brand has on social media, resulting in connections with the community. It’s certainly possible for a growing lawyer to thrive without being active on social media – but it’s far more difficult. The stronger your social media presence, the better you’ll be able to attract followers, generate leads, reach your target audience, and create a community in your industry. How can you create a social media presence that your audience will value? Our experts are weighing in with some of their favorite tips on social media for attorneys.
Social Media for Attorneys
1. Take the Time to Engage
Social media is one of the only channels where your clients and prospects feel they have real access to you – and you can respond to them. It’s important to engage in intentional ways with your target audience. Seek opportunities for your followers to engage with you at a deeper level, such as creating polls or asking open-ended questions.
2. Understand Community Management
It’s possible to build a real community around your firm but to do so, you need to be proactive about reaching out to partners, industry leaders, and clients. You should also be proactive about creating and participating in conversations. Think of social media like a networking event – just being present isn’t enough; get in there and meet some people! A great way to do this is to engage with prospective clients and answer questions on social platforms.
3. Remember: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
It’s important to be consistent and post regularly. You don’t want someone to follow you for valuable insights, only to realize you haven’t posted in two weeks. A lot of firms start off strong, posting every day. Then these activities are the first to be cut during busy times. If you’re running out of ideas, try limiting the platforms you are active on, or simply asking followers what they’d like to hear more about.
4. It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Many growing firms are excited about what social media can do for them and expect results right away. However, social media requires a long game. It’s important to remember your goals and what brings you closer to your audience. That means never paying for followers or engaging in gimmicks that will attract useless traffic.
5. Keep a Firm Voice and Aesthetic
Just like you want to be consistent with your posting schedule, you need to be consistent in how you display your brand. You should have one brand identity across all of your marketing channels and communications. Ideally, if someone sees a post from you, they can recognize your brand from other elements like your website.
6. Research Competitors
It’s ok to be a little nosy when it comes to people competing for your business. Find them on social media and see what they do well. It’s ok to gain some inspiration for new ideas (without outright copying). Can you tell how your overlapping audience is perceiving them online?
7. Capitalize on Trends
Trends are an essential component of social media for attorneys. Every few weeks you probably see some form of trend, challenge, or current event being discussed. When that happens, ask yourself how you can organically participate. It shouldn’t feel forced, but it’s a good idea to jump on a trend if you have something to add to the conversation.
If you’d like to learn what’s trending in legal social media this year, check out the 2022 Social Law Firm Index, our annual study and ranking of America’s top law firms’ social media usage and adoption.
8. Be vocal About Issues When Appropriate
These days, potential clients want to work with people whose values align with their own. That means they want to see what you stand for and hear your opinions on important topics – particularly legal ones. If there is an important issue being discussed in your industry, you should chime in with your opinion.
9. Use High-quality Images
People scroll through so much online content these days, they can spot the difference between bad graphics and good ones. Invest in great images, video content, infographics, and other visuals. It will make you appear polished and professional.
10. Listen to Your Audience – Then Make Adjustments
Social monitoring and listening can provide some really powerful insights. You’ll learn more about your industry as a whole, your competitors, and what potential clients think of different firms. Use that information to inform your brand strategy. For example, does it appear as though some people are disappointed that a bigger firm isn’t offering a certain practice area? Make sure you publish what your firm does.
11. Always Optimize for SEO
Many people don’t realize that SEO plays a role in social media for attorneys just as it does with websites. However, there’s a lot of value in optimizing your SEO profiles to make it easier for people to find you. One of the simplest tactics is using the right hashtags, but you should also use researched keywords in descriptions and have working links that go to other online channels.
12. Be Transparent About Mistakes
It’s easy to find social media blunders online, and if you spend enough time on social, you may make one yourself. In these instances, own it and address it. Think about how you can learn from it and don’t be afraid to share these insights with your followers.
13. Treat Platforms Uniquely
All social media platforms are different and what works for one might not work for another. It’s important to note the difference between repurposing content and duplicating it. What works on Facebook may not work on LinkedIn. You don’t want to simply paste the same content into every social media platform. Customize your approach to the different social media tools.
14. Add Value Over Promotion
Everyone realizes you’re on social media to gain followers and promote your business. However, you have to provide value to people, or you won’t get those followers in the first place. Remember that social media users don’t go online to see ads for legal services. Balance your promotional posts with those that inform, educate, or simply entertain. Give people something to come back for.
15. Use Automated Tools
There are third-party tools available to help you publish, monitor, and track posts. Many also allow you to schedule posts across various platforms, which can be a huge time saver. The analytics you can get from such tools are also invaluable. Try reviewing this list of social media marketing tools to see which one might be worth trying.
16. Focus on Accessibility
Too many content creators don’t realize how important accessible social content can be. Things like captions and alt text can make a big difference for your followers. Here’s a really helpful post from HubSpot that details accessible social content.
17. Use Data to Inform Your Strategy
Analytics are great for learning how certain things performed, but the work doesn’t stop there. Data should guide your future efforts as well. Learn more about what is interesting to your audience at various stages so that you can create more successful content. Start by reviewing your analytics dashboard and looking for trends.
18. Be Selective About Platforms
It’s tempting to think you should jump onto every social media platform and figure it out from there, but that’s not a good use of time. Do some research to figure out where your audience spends time, and prioritize those social media accounts.
19. Consider User-generated Content (UGC)
It can be difficult to come up with new ideas for social media. Why not involve your followers? User-generated content allows you to reach new audiences and lets your followers engage with you more on social networks. UGC also offers a form of social proof, which prospects and new clients will find reassuring.
20. Promote Your Social Media Accounts
Give people as many opportunities to find you and follow you on social media as possible. Include links to social accounts in your email footer, for example. Think about how you might share social media information on things like your website, your business cards, or other collateral. Make it easy for people to find you on social.
21. Learn New Features
Social media platforms are always evolving and offering new functionality that you may or may not want to take advantage of. You can’t do anything with these features if you don’t know what is being offered. For example, check out this post on some of the latest Instagram features law firms should try.
Building your social media presence is an ongoing effort, but a worthwhile one. You shouldn’t ever consider this job done, because you can always gain more followers or try new features. Make the time to keep exploring social media for attorneys and creating great content, and you will enhance your online visibility exponentially. If you’d like more hands-on help perfecting your social media strategy, contact us today for a free consultation. We’ve helped many law firms and legal companies leverage social media marketing to reach their business development goals.