Understanding how to use social media for marketing is a daunting task. With dozens of platforms and a wide variety of features, it's hard to know where to start and how to stay professional. At Formstack, we’re avid social media fans. However, across the legal industry, attorneys underestimate the importance of social media marketing. Here are 5 quick and easy tips to get you started with social media marketing for lawyers.
Before we dive into the tips, let’s take a look at the social media platforms you might want to get started on.
LinkedIn is a great place to get started. Aside from promoting your business amongst peers in your field, it’s an excellent tool for networking and recruiting. You can connect with your staff and clients, share content published by your organization such as blog posts and white papers, and highlight news articles published about your business.
On LinkedIn, people predominantly share articles, blog posts, and other types of written content. However, it’s still a great place to share photo and video content.
Thompson Hine recently took to LinkedIn to share about an upcoming event they’ll be hosting.
Instagram is an image-based platform with very little emphasis on longer videos (excluding IGTV) and written content. While you may think your business doesn’t have may Insta-worthy shots to share, you should still consider joining. Instagram is great way to connect with potential clients and create stronger awareness around your brand. A key reason to create your business’ social media presence is to build relationships with your current clients, connect with prospective clients, and humanize your brand. Instagram gives your prospective clients an opportunity to get to know you who they’ll be working with a little better.
Clifford Law Offices of Chicago recently used Instagram to celebrate their listing in TopVerdict’s Top 10 Verdicts in Illinois in 2018 for a case won last year.
Facebook is probably one of the easiest places for a small law firm to get started building an online presence. Facebook is very image-friendly making it easier for your marketing team to cultivate a brand image that resonates with your clients. On Facebook, you can share images you post to Instagram, but you’re able to add more text for context.
The law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP recently used Facebook to share about their evening supporting their Big Brothers and Big Sisters program in Miami Valley.
Twitter is a mostly text-based platform. Tweets have to be less than 280 characters, so you want to keep things short and sweet. Twitter is a great tool for law firms to use to share articles, follow peers, and retweet information about potential changes in policy or case rulings. For busy attorneys, Twitter is a great place to get information and stay informed.
@LegalRebels is a great account to follow if you’re interested in staying on top of trends in the legal industry.
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Youtube is probably the most daunting of the social media platforms. While many people prefer to learn about things by viewing content in a video, creating those videos takes a lot of time and effort. However, videos can help build and retain a loyal audience by creating resources that current and prospective clients can frequently refer back to. Now, let’s dive into a few tips to help you get started on these platforms so you can start cultivating leads.
Tip #1: Update your Google knowledge panel.
Your Google knowledge panel is the first thing your potential clients see when they search for your organization online. Even before they visit your website, your Google knowledge panel appears to give them an overview of your business. Make sure your panel has a comprehensive overview of information prospective clients might want to see at a glance. This might include:
- Contact information(email, phone, address)
- Link to your website
- Hours of operation
- Types of law practiced
- Years of experience
Google creates your knowledge panel automatically using information that appears about your organization across the web. Most of this data will come from your website, so make sure you’re keeping any information you’d like to see in your knowledge panel up to date there. Wikipedia is also a major source of information for your knowledge panel. However, you can suggest changes to your knowledge panel, if needed.
Tip #2: Identify the platforms your customers use the most.
If you’re starting your social presence from scratch, take some time to identify the social media platforms where your potential clients are the most active. Take some time to cultivate a few hashtags that you think will be popular amongst your followers or prospective clients looking for a legal team.
Some popular law firm hashtags to get you started include:
- Field-specific terms:
- Instagram-friendly hashtags:
- Twitter-friendly hashtags:
Tip #3: Invite prospective customers to follow you on your new accounts.
Add social media to your business cards. Make an effort to invite current and prospective clients to follow your accounts. Once you’ve got your accounts up and running, identify staff traveling to conferences or other networking events and update their business cards to reflect your new Twitter and Instagram handles and the URL to your Facebook and LinkedIn page.
Tip #4: Create an incentive for people to join your accounts.
If you have a blog or resource center, you’ve got a great start. Take the content you already have and share it on your social media accounts using related hashtags. Sharing content people are looking for will help you start to build followers and subscribers. You can also consider using your accounts to host content or event. Formstack recently held a Game of Throne contest to showcase their product and office culture while creating customer engagement on their social media accounts.
Tip #5: Identify how your followers use each platform and mold your content to fit.
With Twitter, your law firm can participate in conversations around policy, legal innovation, and new trends. On Facebook, share links that get people talking in the comments. You don’t want to share photos without text on LinkedIn or text-heavy Instagram posts. Make sure you’re providing content that fits with your platform and how users interact with that platform.
Social media might be paperless, but chances are, your law firm isn’t. Check out the video below to learn more about leveling up your document generation process with Formstack Documents.