How can lawyers and law firms maximize their social media marketing?

9th, Dec 2019

Lawyers are often far behind other professions when it comes to using marketing to grow their business. Fortunately, this is changing, and I was honored recently to be among the panelists addressing Social Media’s Heavy LIFT (LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) for Lawyers and Law Firms. Organized by the Social Media Association, our discussion centered on how attorneys and firms could benefit from social media and specific tactics to improve their results.

Some of the insights shared by the panel included the following:

1. Establish goals for social media to guide your strategy. It is important to have a social media plan which lays out what you want to accomplish and the actions you will take. Otherwise, you are just engaging in random acts of marketing which waste precious resources and are not effective. For lawyers, typically one of the top goals of social media is to stay top of mind with existing contacts in order to boost referrals. However, social media may be used for many purposes including personal branding, promoting thought leadership content, educating consumers, highlighting the firm’s culture, recruiting, competitive intelligence and sharing the attorneys’ skills and successes across the firm’s offices.

2. Don’t try to be everywhere. LinkedIn is the most used and most effective social media platform for lawyers and law firms. Regardless of whether you are targeting consumers or businesses, you must have a strong LinkedIn profile and actively post. However, if your target audience is also active on other platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, then you should try to have a presence there as well. Ideally, focus on one platform until you feel comfortable using it and having success with it before adding another platform.

3. Use visuals. Photos get the best results on social media. Use your own if you can rather than stock photos, but make sure you have all necessary permissions from everyone pictured (including employees). Canva and Pexels provide cost-effective design tools and images to enhance your social media posts. Video is also great for social media, but many lawyers are not comfortable on camera and a bad video can be worse than no video. Lumen5 and Animoto are tools you can use to make your own video, which may be fine for social media purposes where audiences tend to be more forgiving about quality. Recorded as opposed to live video may be preferable unless you have experience on camera.

4. Post regularly. Ideally, post every business day, but quality is more important than quantity. There are many types of posts including links to attorney articles and blog posts, events, awards, photos, video, staff profiles, firm milestones and initiatives, content by or about contacts, and other curated content. Note that you can and should promote the same piece of content more than once. Use different intro text, change the format, create visuals, and wait a few weeks or months and share it again.

Happily, lawyers and law firms are realizing that they risk losing significant business if they do not invest in social media marketing. Lawyers provide an invaluable service in educating people about their rights and risks. Social media offers a compelling way to communicate and reach new audiences and compete more effectively with larger firms.

Although this program focused on law firms, it is equally applicable to any professional service firm. Thanks to the Social Media Association for putting together the program and inviting me to participate, and to the moderator, Andrea Jones and co-panelists Sharyn O’Mara, Ellen Christie and Tricia McCoy.

If you need assistance with your social media marketing, contact us for a consultation.