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social media marketing for law firms

Beyond Facebook: Social media marketing for law firms

Written by Jason Brower

In just a few decades, social media sites have grown from a niche hobby to a daily habit that billions of people use and rely on every day.

That’s nothing new, of course—it’s been that way for years. You don’t need us to tell you social media is big business. Yet many attorneys are still skeptical about whether social media is really the right place to promote their firm. Are networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others really worth it for legal practices?

The short answer? Yes, absolutely.

Social media gives you the ability to communicate directly with potential and current clients, promote your services, and build trust in your community. Law firms can also use social media to create a community of advocates that know and love your law firm, and who use their social media reach to grow the reach of the brand.

Are networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others really worth it for legal practices?
The short answer? Yes, absolutely.

So why the skepticism? The catch is that, while social media marketing can provide a huge ROI for firms, it’s hard to do it well—especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Making a few posts every now and then isn’t going to cut it. The key to social success is a good strategy and consistent approach.

To learn more about social media marketing for law firms, keep reading.

RELATED ARTICLE: Social Media For Law Firms 101

Why should law firms have social media presence? Because that’s where your ideal clients spend their time

Roughly 70% of the US population regularly uses social media. YouTube is the most popular platform, closely followed by Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

The logic here is pretty simple. People are spending more time online than ever before—not only for entertainment, but also to find answers to questions and solutions to problems. And they’re also spending a lot of time on social media. If you aren’t inhabiting those same social spaces online, you’re missing out on a huge marketing opportunity.

Brand awareness is only part of the picture

It’s a common misconception that the only significant benefit of social media marketing for businesses (including law firms) is brand awareness. While that’s certainly one aspect of marketing that social media is well suited for, it’s far from the only one.

Social media can be an important tool that helps your law firm:

  • Identify and attract prospective clients who might not otherwise be aware of your services
  • Drive more traffic to your website (which not only has an obvious and direct benefit, but can also increase your domain authority, which can lead to better positions in the search rankings)
  • Provide more opportunities and options for potential clients to communicate with you directly, through whatever platform they’re most comfortable using
  • Generate quality leads
  • Establish your authority as an industry leader
  • Cultivate client loyalty and building community trust, for example by interacting directly with clients, or by regularly sharing client stories, testimonials, and helpful resources that your target clients find valuable

Three foundational questions to ask before beginning your law firm’s social media marketing campaign

Just like any other marketing deliverable—blog, video, paid advertisement, and even a blog post—social media requires planning, time, and attention to get results. Before you start posting, ponder these factors:

  • How much time do you have to invest in social media marketing? If you’re only creating organic posts (i.e., not paying to boost views), the biggest cost is your time. Developing a strategy, writing posts, and managing your social media presence requires time and effort. You’ll have to carefully consider whether your internal team has the necessary time to do it well. If not, it might make more sense to hire a marketing agency to support you.
  • What are your goals? Social media isn’t just for growing brand awareness. We always recommend that firms develop their social media strategy with their business goals firmly in mind. Of course, this can very much include building brand recognition within your community, but social media can also be used to generate quality leads, foster customer loyalty, and much more.
  • Who are you trying to reach? Building an effective strategy relies on law firms understanding their ideal clients. If you want to reach professionals filing disability claims, for example, you may want to choose LinkedIn or Facebook. If you’re looking for more millennial personal injury clients, Facebook and Instagram could be right for you. Are you a divorce attorney who wants to reach a contemporary demographic? TikTok is a promising and engaging platform for attorneys in this field.

However, we know that it can be challenging to parse out these details when you’re focused on your cases and clients. That’s where LaFleur enters the picture.

We work with law firms of all shapes and sizes from around the country to develop practical social media marketing tactics that work for them.

RELATED: Grow Your Firm’s Social Media Presence With These Proven Strategies

How to pick the right social media platform for your law firm

There are tons of social media platforms out there to choose from, but not all of them are going to drive results for your firm. You’ll need to consider your audience, budget, and marketing goals to determine which platforms will be worth the investment.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular platforms:

Facebook

According to Pew Research Center, roughly seven out of 10 adults (69%) use Facebook. Of that audience, nearly half of them visit Facebook several times a day.

Given these huge numbers, pretty much every firm should have a presence on Facebook. This is especially true if your target audience is a diverse, older population.

Here are a few ways to use Facebook to reach your goals:

  • Showcase the legal content you’ve created: videos, blog posts, ebooks, etc.
  • Promote upcoming events within your community to increase your brand story as a community partner.
  • Share client stories to demonstrate credibility and the results you achieve.
  • Create a client Facebook group to build a community of brand advocates.
  • Share useful information and resources that will be relevant and valuable to your target clients, even if it doesn’t directly promote your firm. For example, if your firm focuses on product liability cases, you may want to share news stories about product recalls.

LinkedIn

Does your law firm focus on representing businesses or professionals? Are you looking to increase your referral business from other law firms? If so, LinkedIn will likely be one of your most important platforms.

LinkedIn is primarily focused on business, professional networking, and career development, and a high concentration of its users are professionals and company decision-makers. Not surprisingly, a study by HubSpot found that the conversion rates for lead generation ads on LinkedIn were nearly three times higher than other major ad platforms, including Facebook.

You can use LinkedIn to:

  • Create expert positioning for your firm with consistent content​
  • Highlight your attorneys’ particular services ​
  • Build your audience with native video ​
  • Demonstrate credibility and the results you achieve

Instagram

Is your goal to be a human-centered law firm? Looking to reach a younger demographic of clients? Instagram, an extremely visual platform built around sharing pictures and video, is definitely a platform you should consider.

While developing an effective strategy on Instagram can be tricky for law firms and will require an investment of time and effort, when done well it can be very effective at reaching your preferred clients.

Instagram can help you:

  • Build brand awareness for your law firm within your local community​
  • Create visually appealing posts that catch the eye of users​
  • Share the human side of your law firm by highlighting attorneys and other employees​
  • Use video to share updates from around the office: birthdays, anniversaries, client updates​
  • Create branded graphics to share legal tips or client reviews​
  • Use a researched hashtag strategy to increase reach of your posts

Twitter

Twitter is a social media network geared toward short, timely posts and direct personal interactions.

It’s one of the best platforms for lawyers who want to engage potential clients on a more personal level, since it’s geared toward rapid-fire discussions and interactions.

It’s also a great tool for getting noticed by a wide audience and building your firm’s awareness and profile. Have something to say about a current event, trending topic, or important legal service? Using the right hashtag can get you noticed by Twitter users with the same interests (even if they weren’t previously aware of your firm)—and if your posts are of high quality, those users can extend your reach even further by retweeting them.

Twitter tends to be underutilized by law firms, but when used strategically it’s a great way to:

  • Join relevant industry conversations with searchable hashtags​
  • Establish credibility with thought leadership posts​
  • Communication 1-to-1 with potential clients ​
  • Observe competition to help improve social strategy

TikTok

At first blush, TikTok could seem like a poor fit for law firms, but you might be surprised to discover that many lawyers are already using the platform to reach hundreds of thousands of followers and get millions of likes.

TikTok is geared toward short, entertaining video content and has a young audience. Most lawyers who are using it successfully focus on posting short, interesting, helpful (and often humorous) tips, news, anecdotes, or answers to common questions related to their practice area.

Tone is crucial—more than any other popular platform, TikTok users value approachability and authenticity. A TikTok post that looks like an advertisement or feels overly stuffy or professional isn’t going to get engagement.

You can use TikTok to:

  • Develop strong personal brand awareness for individual lawyers at your firm
  • Show off the fun, approachable, relatable, and authentic side of your firm, which helps establish trust and loyalty for a large group of legal consumers
  • Provide helpful, shareable, and enjoyable content that people love to share
  • Reach a younger audience that may not be as well served by other social media networks

How often should you post on social media?

The ideal post frequency greatly depends on the platform you’re using, what your goals are, the preferences of your target audience, the quality of your posts, and other factors.

In short, more isn’t always better. Sure, if you had unlimited time, money, and creativity and could post several times per day without the posts getting stale and repetitive, that’d be great. But that’s also not realistic.

You need to post enough to stay on your target clients’ radars. But post too much—especially if your posts are too similar or aren’t really providing much value to your audience—and people will start to see you as spam. Average engagement per post will drop, and some people might even unfollow.

Below, we’ll give some target ranges for the social networks we’ve featured to serve as rough guidelines for your practice:

  • Facebook: About two posts per day is ideal. At least three per week should be the absolute minimum.
  • LinkedIn: Around one to two posts per day is often the sweet spot. You can skip the weekends, as LinkedIn engagement tends to be much higher during the workweek.
  • Twitter: More is better. Tweets have extremely short shelf lives, so realistically there’s not a hard upper limit. If you can post three-10 times per day, great. If you can post even more, and still get good engagement, go for it. (Fortunately, you don’t have to write 100% of your content yourself, as Twitter makes it easy to “retweet” messages from others that your target audience may find valuable.)
  • Instagram: With Instagram, consistency matters more than frequency, and even the top brands typically don’t post more than once or twice per day. Daily posts are ideal, if you can maintain a high level of quality. Otherwise, shoot for a bare minimum of one or two times per week at regular intervals.
  • TikTok: If you want to build a following, shoot for no less than one quality TikTok post per day, with two to three per day being closer to ideal. If you can do more than that and still put out quality posts, go for it.

Need help marketing your law firm on social? Contact LaFleur today

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for social media. What works best for one law firm might not be right for another one.

There are certain broad principles to keep in mind, of course, but building a social strategy that provides solid return on investment will require careful consideration of your firm’s brand preferences, areas of practice, ideal cases and clients, geographic location, and more.

It sounds complicated—and it can be! Fortunately, if social media isn’t really your thing, you don’t have to go it alone (or eschew it altogether). The team of experts at LaFleur can walk you through a tailored strategy that makes sense for your firm.

If you are in the market to build out your social media strategy or are already running one need advice on how to take your efforts to the next level, give us a call today at (888) 222-1512, or fill out our simple online contact form.

References

Auxier, Brooke and Monica Anderson (2021 April 7). Social Media Use in 2021. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2021/04/07/social-media-use-in-2021/

 

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.