The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Lawyers

social media for lawyersBy now, you know the power of marketing. But are you taking advantage of social media marketing?

Did you know that:

It’s worth investing time and money into social media. But for your efforts to pay off, you can’t just send any old tweet and image out into the world.

Instead, you need a carefully planned social media strategy. That includes figuring out what platforms are worth the investment, what you should publish, and more.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Why social media marketing is worthwhile for law firms
  • How to build a social media campaign and strategy
  • What social media platforms are worth your time
  • The best social media tools
  • All about paid socials

Let’s begin.



Why social media marketing is worth the investment for law firms

If you’re serious about marketing your firm, you can’t avoid social media for long. Let’s take a look at why social media is worth it.


Get new clients through social media

Social media is an excellent place to be discovered by prospective clients.

law firm social media clients

With over 53% of the world’s population on social media, there’s a ton of potential leads waiting to come across your content.

As long as you’re producing valuable content, it’ll make its way in front of the right eyes and you’ll get more leads.


Engage with the community

You can use social media to interact with and join communities of like-minded professionals.

LinkedIn is home to hundreds of lawyer groups. Odds are, there’s even a specific group for your area.

lawyer groups on linkedin

The best way to use these groups to your advantage is to use them as tools to stay updated with the goings-on of the industry and to share thought leadership posts.

You’ll also be able to build your network and find tips and advice should that be something you’re interested in.


Get found online more easily

Social media is a crucial part of your marketing funnel — it’s an invaluable way of attracting new leads and getting them to your law firm’s website.

Here’s how social media can fit into your funnel:

law firm content marketing funnel

Your law firm’s (or your personal) social media profiles are great tools for building awareness.


Build your brand on social media

You might not think of your law firm as a brand, or of yourself as having a personal brand.

But all of the top firms around the world are successful as they’re aware that they’re businesses and market themselves as such.

Building your brand is more than just your logo. It’s about controlling the narrative, shaping the way prospective clients perceive you and your business. And if you don’t control the narrative, someone else will.

By sharing relevant, thought-provoking, and most of all, unique, content on social media, you can communicate your brand’s values.

Allens is a good example of a law firm utilizing the full value of social media.

lawyer linkedin branding
(Image Source)

Find out what your unique selling proposition is, and use that to create content that resonates with your audience.


Establish yourself as a thought leader

Thought leadership is one of those buzzwords people love to throw around, but what does it really mean?

It can be equated, in some senses, to being an influencer. Thought leaders are experts in their chosen field, and they usually share their expertise on social media.

A good thought leader becomes the number one source for information related to their field. But it takes time and a lot of effort to become that authoritative.

And it pays off in ways you wouldn’t expect.

law firm thought leadership

As a lawyer, you may be an expert in criminal defence. Use your social media platform to share tips, tricks, and other valuable content.

Take these tips into account when deciding on your social media campaign:

  • Create valuable, original content
  • Know who your audience is and engage with them regularly
  • Network, network, network
  • Use a variety of platforms

What not to do on social media as a lawyer

Social media for business is much different than your personal social media account.

If you only take one thing away from this, let it be what not to do on social media as a lawyer. You’ve got to keep your profile in top shape to get the most out of social media (and to protect yourself).

Here’s what not to do:

  • Only post when you “feel like it.” To make social media work, you need to maintain a regular posting schedule. Try to post on the same days at the same time every week so your followers know when to expect new content.
  • Try to be active on every social media platform. Don’t put your eggs in too many baskets. Instead, find one or two social media platforms to really invest in. Once you master those, you can consider branching out.
  • Share inauthentic content. If you want to resonate with your audience, you need to be authentic. Make sure the content you share sticks to the voice and tone of your brand.
  • Reply to trolls. No one is safe from internet trolls. Expect at least a couple of comments here and there trying to stir things up. The best thing to do is ignore them, block their accounts, and/or delete the comment entirely.
  • Only share information about you. Your audience wants to see information that’s valuable to them. While sharing that you’ve won an award isn’t bad, don’t only do that. Create content your visitors want to see that’s helping them, like tips and tricks.
  • Forget to engage with audiences. It’s easy to forget to engage with your audience when you’re headfirst in creating content. Try to reply to every comment and direct message you get to build your community.
  • Not apologize for your mistakes. If you ever put your foot in your mouth and say something controversial, apologize quickly. Taking responsibility for your mistakes will build help you build trust within your field.

Create a

Successful Law Firm Marketing Strategy

In 10 minutes or less!

Our template will help you to:

  • Define your SMART goals
  • Craft your brand story
  • Create your customer personas
  • …and more!

Download Now


Should your personal account be public?

This is ultimately up to you.

If your personal accounts are professional and reflect your brand, then you should make them public. Or if you own your own law firm and are front-facing, it should also be public.

Odds are, prospective clients are Googling your name and not the name of your law firm. So, you want your profiles to be discoverable.

At the very least, your LinkedIn should be public.

Jayne Reardon is an excellent example of how to use Twitter to build authority as a lawyer.

lawyer twitter account
(Image Source)

Building a law firm social media campaign

You now know the value of social media for law firms. But to reap the rewards, you need to be strategic with your approach.

Here are a few things to do that will help you get the ROI you deserve.


Know the rules and guidelines

First things first — you need to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations that lawyers need to abide by on social media.

These will vary with your jurisdiction but are pretty similar throughout.

The main thing you want to avoid is claiming to be an “expert” or “specialist,” regardless of whether you are or not. And don’t give anyone the impression that you’re able to practice law in jurisdictions that you’re not.


Identify your SMART goals

If you’ve reviewed our law firm marketing strategy guide, you’ll be familiar with SMART goals.

These types of goals should be set for social media as well. They build the foundation for everything you post on social media and guide your overall strategy.

All of your marketing goals should be:

  • SPECIFIC. State what you need to do to hit the goal using action words.
  • MEASURABLE. How are you going to evaluate the goal? What metrics and measurements will you use to determine success?
  • ACHIEVABLE. All goals should be attainable.
  • RELEVANT. Is this goal improving your law firm in some way? Why are you trying to hit the goal?
  • TIME-BOUND. When will you meet the goal? State a specific date.

law firm smart goals

Here’s how you can put that into action.

Say you want to get 50 new followers on Facebook per month. To turn that into a SMART goal, say:

“I want to get 300 new followers on Facebook in three months. To do that, I need to get 100 followers a month. I’ll create 3 engaging posts every week to reach my goal.”

You could break that down even further if you wanted, setting a goal pertaining to how much engagement you need on each post.

The point is, your goals are actually attainable and will help move your firm forward.


Research your target client

Now that you’ve got your goals set in place, it’s time to figure out how to achieve them.

To do that, you need to identify your client persona.

law firm client persona

Your law firm client persona is a representation of your ideal client. They represent the key traits of a large segment of your clients, based on data you’ve collected from user research and analytics.

For example, if you’re a criminal defence firm and you know that a lot of your clients are male, in their 40s, and from a certain area, then you can specifically target that group.

When you determine who your client base is, you can create social media posts that are the most relevant to them. That way, you’re attracting more high-quality clients to improve your ROI.


Dig into your competitors

Your next step, after researching your client persona, is to look into your competitors.

Finding out your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses can help you position yourself in a way that will bring you success.

Take a look at what your competition is doing well on social media. See what’s working for them and emulate it to a certain degree, but also elevate it.

You’ll also be able to pinpoint areas where your competition is weak, so you can fill those gaps with your own content.

For example, if another law firm isn’t posting on Facebook, you know that’s a platform you need to get on.

And competitor research doesn’t have to be hard. You likely already know who your competition is, but if you don’t, just do a google search.

If you practice criminal defence in Toronto, just Google that and see who pops up.

criminal defence toronto


Start small

It’s tempting to start posting on every social media platform out there, but that would be a mistake.

Instead, start small.

Choose a few platforms to start and go from there. For lawyers, we recommend LinkedIn and Facebook, as they typically have the best ROI.

If you do start too many accounts, you’ll likely become overwhelmed, create fewer valuable posts per platform, and never really master any.

Once you’ve gotten LinkedIn and Facebook down, you can consider branching out to Twitter or Instagram.


Be a subject matter expert

The key to social media success? Position yourself as an expert in your niche.

A trusted and credible lawyer is one that prospective clients will contact.

And it’s easier than ever to do this on social media.

Here are some things to do:

  • Share links and reputable resources on your socials to provide value to your audience
  • Share the blog posts and other content you’ve created in your niche
  • Reply to comments and questions from your followers

It’s all about showing off your expertise in your practice area.


Create killer content

The most important piece of the puzzle is your content.

To figure out what to post, think about what your audience wants to see. Everything you post should provide value in some way.

We recommend a mix of both original content and resharing others’ high-value content. Whether that’s through video or images is up to you — what matters is you’re actively posting.

Try to identify a couple of pillars for your content. Content pillars are sets of themes or topics that you can use to create posts.

For example, as a law firm, your pillars could be:

Social media content pillarsLet us know what else you would post about!


Set a schedule

The best social media marketers have a detailed content calendar planned months in advance.

A content calendar is where you plan out what you’ll be posting on your social profiles and when. It gives you a clear roadmap of what you’ll want to do over the next couple of months so you’re not left scrambling for ideas at the last minute.

Pre-planning your posts also gives you time to double-check everything from an ethical standpoint.

You can use tools like Hootsuite to create a content calendar, or just go old-fashioned and use a spreadsheet.

Here’s a sample template for your inspiration:

social media content calendar template
(Image Source)

Measure your results

Like any type of law firm marketing, you want to track, measure, and report on the results of your campaigns.

Most social media platforms have built-in analytics, so you won’t need to invest in third-party apps to measure your success.

If you don’t track what types of content are successful, you won’t know what to create and could waste time and money on content that doesn’t resonate with your audience.

Take a look at some of the things you can track using Facebook’s built-in analytics.

facebook analytics


The top social media platforms for lawyers

Not all social media platforms are made equal.

Depending on things like your practice area and target audience, what makes sense for one law firm might not be right for another.

Let’s take a look at which platforms you should consider.


Facebook

With around 2.89 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the platform to be on if you could only pick one.

And it’s just as popular for legal professionals, with 63% of lawyers being active on the platform.

10-facebook-marketing-lawyers-statistics

Facebook prioritizes friends-and-family posts, so it can be challenging to get discovered organically. But the platform collects so much information on its users that it’s the perfect tool for paid social media advertising (more on that later).

Here are a couple of ways you can use Facebook to your advantage:

  • Quick to set up a profile to begin getting discovered online
  • Use Facebook ads to target your target audience
  • Set up a Facebook Messenger chatbot to engage with potential clients
  • Use Facebook Live as another way to communicate with audiences

LinkedIn

LinkedIn, in our opinion, is about tied with Facebook for the top spot. And lawyers agree, with 42% of firms reporting that they’re active on LinkedIn.

Law firms on linkedin

LinkedIn is made for business, making it the perfect place for many law firms to connect with prospective clients. It’s the ideal place to promote your professional services, establish yourself as a force in your practice area, and build your professional persona.

All keys to getting more referrals.

You can share company news, thought leadership-style posts, and interact with others in your industry.

But to be successful, you need to create the perfect LinkedIn profile.

Here are a couple of tips:

  • Create a strong first impression. Use professional photos and a headline that says more than just your job title.
  • Keep it relevant. Your job experience section should include a thorough list of all of your previous roles that are relevant to your current career. As a lawyer, list all legal-related jobs and actually explain what you did and achieved while there.

Here’s an example of what your profile’s experience section should look like.

linkedin experience section
(Image Source)

Twitter

If you want to share your quick and concise thoughts with your followers, Twitter is the place to be.

A lot of lawyers use Twitter to share quick updates on their firm or to have conversations about legal matters in a microblogging format.

Again, we look at Jayne Reardon as an example of how to use Twitter effectively:

lawyer twitter activity
(Image Source)

And it’s a great platform for establishing yourself as a leader in your industry. We encourage you to share your thoughts on relevant legal matters.

Follow some notable figures in your arena not only for inspiration but for engagement.


YouTube

While not the most obvious choice, creating video content for your law firm can really help you convert leads into clients.

You can easily showcase your personality to your viewers. And if they feel like they know you, they’ll feel more comfortable and less hesitant to reach out concerning their serious matters.

Trey Porter, for example, shares advice related to his practice area.

Before you start sharing video content, think about the following:

  • Make sure you have the resources to create and share professional videos. Shoddy videos can work against you, so really invest in this.
  • Whoever is the fact of your law firm should be comfortable on camera and have a strong, authoritative presence when speaking about legal matters.
  • Do you really have something unique to say? Don’t create video content “just because.” Instead, ask yourself if you really have something to say.

Instagram

If your client is in a younger demographic, or if you’re in a consumer-focused area of law, Instagram might be an excellent choice for you. Being able to reach potential clients on an individual level is invaluable when you’re in practice areas like personal injury.

We recommend you use Instagram to humanize the attorneys in your law firm so prospective clients feel comfortable reaching out.

Consider sharing content like:

  • Lifestyle-related
  • Any community work your firm may do
  • Firm life

Check out White & Case for inspiration.

law firm on instagram
(Image Source)

Best social media tools to use

Social media can be a huge undertaking, but the right tools can make it more manageable.

Here are a few social media tools to consider using:


Hootsuite

If you’re going to be managing multiple social media accounts, a tool like Hootsuite will be incredibly useful.

You can use it to schedule your social media posts in advance, but that’s just one feature.

Hootsuite lets you view multiple social media streams at once, allowing you to be active on your accounts through the one dashboard.

Plus, you can access some pretty in-depth analytics to see what posts are really hitting with your audience and what isn’t.


Later

Later is a similar tool to Hootsuite in that you can manage multiple social media profiles at once. But where it differs is with its advanced Instagram features.

Most of its advanced features center around Instagram, so if you aren’t active on that platform, it might be better to go with Hootsuite.

However, if Instagram is a part of your marketing efforts, you’ll enjoy advanced analytics, hashtag analysis, and what we think is the easiest drag-and-drop scheduling tool out there.


Canva

Not a Photoshop aficionado? No problem.

Canva is a free design platform that you can use to create professional-looking social media posts without a background in design.

There are hundreds of templates (with even more available under their paid plan) for just about anything you could ever want to make.

So, if you want to level up your social media images without hiring a graphic designer, give Canva a shot.


Animoto

If you don’t incorporate video into your social media marketing campaigns, then you’re missing out.

Around 85% of social media users want to see more video content from brands they love, and that includes your law firm.

And with Animoto, you can make killer social media videos without spending hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars hiring a professional team.

Check out this example:

It’s similar in ease-of-use to Canva with a focus on video. Give it a shot if video is in the plans for your law firm.


Consider paid social media advertising

It’s one thing to start posting on social media, but it’s another thing entirely to start creating paid social media ads.

Over seven-million businesses have used Facebook ads at one point or another. The ability to pinpoint hyper-specific audiences lets you get your ads in front of your target audience, making it a very lucrative form of advertising.

Here’s an example of how Dennis and King use Facebook ads.

dennis king video adIf you can learn the ins and outs of Facebook ads, you’ll undoubtedly reap the rewards. But it’s challenging to optimize social media ads on your own.

That’s why we recommend working with a professional to optimize your ad campaigns to make sure you’re getting the highest ROI possible.


Build authority with social media marketing for law firms

Now you’re equipped with all the tools you need to build out your own social media campaign to start attracting new leads.

With the right strategy and a select few platforms, you can start creating killer content that your audience wants to see. And you can do so for free while spending only a few hours a month scheduling your posts in advance.

Already have a social media campaign that’s working well for you? Email me and let me know what tips you think should be in this article!