Law firms are often skeptical if being on social media would even benefit them and if it's worth their time and effort.
There's always a fear that the sensitive information will be at risk.
Obviously, lawyers should never share their case-sensitive information and daily court happenings on social media. But this does not mean that social media cannot help law firms connect with prospective clients and share industry updates & news.
Social media has the potential to bring in a ton of ROI for your firm. It's a great way to build relationships with potential clients and maintain a social presence so that whenever people need legal services, they reach out to your firm first.
In this guide we'll take a look at how social media can prove to be beneficial for law firms and the best practices to follow if your law firm chooses to be on social media.
- FAQ: Does My Law Firm Even Need To Be On Social Media?
- Importance Of Social Media For Law Firms
- Social Media Best Practices For Law Firms
You can directly jump to a section of your choice or keep scrolling.
Click here to download detailed infographic on tips to master social media for law firms.
FAQ: Does My Law Firm Even Need To Be On Social Media?
Let’s talk with numbers.
A renowned legal news site, Attorney at work, has published a study. According to that study, 81% of lawyers state that they use social media for professional purposes. 77% of these professionals claim that their firms also maintain a social media presence.
The largest voluntary association of lawyers recognized globally, the American Bar Association, has reported that 75% of their members have a Linkedin account, 26% are active on Facebook, and 10% hold an active Twitter account. Not just that, they also have established an overall code of conduct to be followed on social media not to harm any social media activity.
Now, you know precisely what number of law firms and their lawyers are active on social media today. But why are these firms leveraging social media? Mainly due to two reasons.
- To maintain a brand presence
- To network with other lawyers and law firms
Hence, if your firm is not on social media, you are passing on every single opportunity awaiting your path to your competitors without even giving it a try.
Importance Of Social Media For Law Firms
#1: Connect with your clients where they are
According to Thomson Reuters, lawyers of small firms rate new client acquisition as their most significant challenge.
Legal consumers are turning to social media for legal service recommendations. They prefer to check a law firm’s online presence and service reviews before approaching their services.
Social media helps you build trust and develop your law firm’s brand presence to acquire new clients. Every time you post on social media, you provide your vast audience with an opportunity to interact with your law firm directly and genuinely.
Maintaining an active social media presence will keep your brand’s image alive in your audience’s mind. And when they need a legal service that your firm is providing, they will first reach out to you if you have already built trust and credibility through your social media activities.
#2: Helps you grow your website
Growing your law firm’s website is not an easy task. It is time-consuming, but the growth of your website can bring significant benefits.
Search engine optimization plays a huge role in your website’s growth by ranking it higher on search engine results. SEO involves four critical pillars for this purpose: off-site SEO, on-site SEO, technical SEO, and content optimization.
Using social media marketing, the search engine rankings for your website can be improved. It helps you rank high on search engine results for keywords specific to your firm or practice area to increase traffic to your website.
SEO is brand awareness for web crawlers instead of people.
#3: Strengthens your thought leadership
One of the most significant abilities of social media is its strength to promote your firm's services in a more appealing manner and towards a dedicated audience base. Social media is an excellent platform to present in-depth information shortly and crisply.
This immense information is directed towards people looking for similar knowledge from a professional and is most likely to acquire your services. In this way, you can get in front of your audience and develop brand awareness and mind shares.
Putting out thought leadership content on your social account is an acceptable way of showing that your firm is an expert in the legal industry and there to help.
Image Source: Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A. Twitter
#4: A budget-friendly marketing technique
Less than one-third of law firms with two to nine lawyers have marketing budgets, and the number drops to 17% for solo practitioners.
Social media marketing doesn’t require a handsome budget. It’s possible to post, share, and generate conversations at no cost to your firm.
You can use social media to provide your audience with informative and engaging content, resolve their issues, answer their questions, and much more. Basically, by becoming their “go-to” resource for any kind of legal information in your area of specialization, you can easily assure them of your expertise.
Social media allows you to establish your authority and credibility while also engaging with your target audience to turn them into prospects. By following this approach consistently, you can create a never-ending funnel of inbound leads rather than you approaching and pitching your services to a prospect every time.
#5: Get to know what’s being talked about
Your website consists of evergreen information that remains relevant no matter at what time it was created or the minor amendments taking place in the legal space.
Whereas social media consists of information that fades away with time. It is piled up with guidance and instructions that are time-sensitive and easy to consume in bite-sized formats.
And these bite-sized deets create a buzz on the internet and result in an immense impression on a vast audience base.
If you follow the right channel, the correct experts in your niche, and the relevant hashtags, you can participate in conversations related to your practice area or about the law in general. Participating in such a discussion will help you stay informed and connected with the industry.
Image Source: Bonilla Law Firm Twitter
Social Media Best Practices For Law Firms
#1: Promote awareness and build trust
Most people who are struggling with legal issues are looking for answers and some reassurance online.
As a law firm, you should ensure that your audience remains well informed and aware of their rights in your area of practice. You can plan to increase the basic elementary level of knowledge for your audience and solve minor issues using social media to educate your audience.
You can create informative video content or post blogs that are ideal for solving minor legal issues. The content on your social feed will display your potential in solving cases effectively and assure your audience that they can trust your legal skills and expertise.
Information is power, and social media helps in spreading information like wildfire.
Hence, as a law firm, you can make the best use of social media to spread awareness and educate your audience base. Sharing client testimonials and sharing case results that you have won on the client’s behalf is a successful way to highlight your client relationships.
Image Source: King & Wood Mallesons Twitter
Give your audience a heads up on social media if something interesting is about to happen by sharing upcoming amendments to legislation. You can also keep your audience informed about stuff that matters most to them by posting about government releases in your field.
Protip: Ensure that you don’t share any sensitive advice on social media that can possibly get you in trouble.
Image Source: White & Case Instagram
#2: Check what others are saying about your firm
Start by searching for your firm-related conversations to find out what people are already saying about your firm online. These are commonly known “mentions” in social terms.
Mentions will help you understand your audience’s view of your services. This information will come in handy when addressing the customer experience gaps through social media content.
Every time your firm’s name is called out on social media, it is an opportunity to educate, influence, and interact with your audience.
Image Source: Allens Legal Instagram
But what if no one is talking about your firm until now? Well, this is an indication that you are not influencing or creating an impact on your audience. And now is a high time to change. If you have still not started posting consistently on social media, you need to initiate your efforts.
Suppose you already have been posting on social media, but still no one is talking about your firm. In that case, you need to revise your content strategy and make it work in a direction so as to influence and leave a lasting impression on your audience.
Social listening helps you to monitor social channels for mentions of your brand, services, and keywords related to your firm. Statusbrew’s Social Listening feature enables you to catch conversations about the topics of your interest, your firm’s keywords, key phrases, allowing you to jump into an active conversation the moment it happens.
Learn more about What is Social Listening - A Definitive Guide
#3: Ensure effective social media policy is in place
While no one can predict when a social media crisis will occur, having a preemptive social media policy in place will help your law firms to be better prepared. A good social media policy will ensure ongoing compliance with your firm’s advertising rules.
It should compile all crucial information required to successfully carry out social media activities in line with the brand’s voice and standards. It should also contain information about how to identify the scope of the crisis.
It should highlight your firm’s internal communication plan so as to handle the crisis. Since prevention is better than cure, it would be better to create an approval process for social content without which no content would move further on your firm's social page.
Statusbrew’s Content Approval Workflows helps teams to collaborate efficiently by creating multi-user workflows that facilitate submitting, reviewing, approving, or rejecting outgoing posts.
Learn more about Content Approval Workflows
Social media risk for law firms
Posting updates or tweets about your court wins can be quite extreme sometimes, as your law firm’s win comes at the expense of those who have sympathy for other firms.
Hackers may use fake profiles to gain access to your firm’s sensitive data, thus putting you and your clients at risk of data and security breaches.
Client confidentiality is a fundamental feature of a law firm’s relationship with its client. Social media can pose some unique perils to this relationship when you post client case-related information.
The Georgia Supreme Court once rejected a petition for a lawyer who had disclosed confidential information about a former client in response to derogatory online reviews in a consumer forum. The petition was dismissed as the court found it was an insufficient disciplinary measure.
Protip: It is always sensible for a law firm to avoid initiating a discussion with potential clients about their case matters on social media; you can take such discussions to one-on-one appointments.
Conflict within your legal social network is inevitable. However, it is up to you to ensure that this conflict does not escalate into a full-blown fire war. If you find someone becoming combative with you on your firm’s social page, don’t stretch it too far. Walk away and de-escalate the situation there and then.
#4: Become an early adopter
One of the essential features of social media is that it keeps evolving through innovation and by launching new features. This becomes an excellent opportunity for any brand to take advantage and get recognized in your industry.
If your firm becomes an early adopter of a new feature or content format rolled out, then even the social media algorithm will favor you by pushing your content in more people’s feeds.
You won’t be able to find a battle-tested method of a successful strategy for any new feature rolled out (you will be able to find tons of these for old features, though). It will require you to be creative and experimenting to see what your audience likes the most (and the one that avoids mistakes and pitfalls legally).
These days, videos are considered to be more engaging than images. Videos have caught 49% more interactions than images on Instagram.
Focus on creating clear and accessible video content around legal topics that your audience might find difficult to understand. Avoid using jargon, and video content should be such that it is understandable to non-lawyers who watch it. Also, create explainer videos around your services to give your audience a clearer view of what you actually provide.
Image Source: Pace Law Firm Youtube
#5: Leverage hashtags and keywords
The first 48 hours after posting your content on social media are most important. They can make or break the ice. Probably, in this duration, you will also get to know if putting out this piece of social media content was your right decision or not.
Image Source: Greenberg Traurig LLP LinkedIn
Hashtags help you increase your reach. Hashtags keep the social media content related to particular topics organized.
People interested in specific categories prefer to follow relevant hashtags and regularly check them to see if something new has been posted. If such followers find your content interesting, they might consider following you to keep visiting more of such content.
Learn more about Ultimate Marketer's Guide To Instagram Hashtags
Keywords are another vital medium that connects the people searching for content using keywords to your content that uses such search keywords.
If your firm finds it difficult to identify which social media metrics are most important, Statusbrew’s Hashtags Report makes it easier to see which Instagram hashtags are getting the most clicks, comments, shares, or reach. You can also analyze the volume and sentiment behind important keywords using Statusbrew’s Keyword Reports.
#6: Share blog posts
The marketing powerhouse for today’s attorney is blog posts. It allows you to bring forth your knowledge without sounding “salesy.”
Blog posts make your practice knowledge stand out to search engine crawlers. Converting blog posts to social media content allows you to share your blog with a broader audience and provides an opportunity to link back to the entire article.
Are there some legal issues regarding which you frequently get asked about? In such a situation, you can consider creating case studies that will provide context to such complex legal issues and the possible outcomes for such cases.
Developing such case studies is a win-win situation as your law firm would be showcasing its expertise, and your audience will have gained valuable insights from them. Then, you can simplify a case study to fit a social post.
Here’s how you can maximize engagement with your blog content on social media.
- Write about issues relevant to your audience
- Create a social media post with the essential piece of information and a hook that links back to your blog post or website
- Caption your social media post with a quote that will make people want to learn more about it
- Invite people to share the post with their community if they found it useful
#7: Follow the 70/30 rule
Social media marketing for law firms requires a delicate balance between posting valuable content and promoting your services. Adopting the 70/30 rule will go a long way in ensuring that your social media feed is neither filled with too much educational content nor does it appear as display ads that portray your services.
According to this rule, 70% of content should provide value to your audience, and 30% of content should promote your firm’s services with an actionable CTA.
Consistently putting out valuable content is the sole way to increase your audience base on social media. At the same time, you should also keep reminding your audience that you offer them related services. This rule allows you to gain a prominent place in the social media arena and generate more leads.
After all, who would want to scroll through a social feed that always promotes something or the other? You can easily implement this rule while preparing your social media calendar.
Learn more about How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar that Works
#8: Check competitors
If you are just beginning your firm’s social media journey, you might be confused about which direction to move and which one to avoid. You don't want to get in trouble at the start itself.
One easy way to start gleaning inspiration and gain a headstart is to note what your competitors are doing. This will help you avoid the tedium of creating a successful social media for law firm strategy from scratch.
Decode which law firms are your competitors and most influential in your area of specialization and whose social media approach you like the most. Follow them, and start building a meaningful relationship by engaging with their social media posts. See what strategies and tactics they use to promote their firm and the ones that help them attract followers.
Image Source: Simmons Hanly Conroy Twitter
#9: Follow social media compliance for law firms
No doubt, social media has plenty of exciting opportunities for your law firm. At the same time, it would help if you also are mindful of the particular risks and potential legal issues you might have to face online.
If you want your law firm to make the most of every opportunity and stay away from challenges on social media, you need to comply with the rules and regulations of the platform while pushing out content.
Your law firm should clearly understand what they should and should not post on social media regarding case-related topics. Here are some essential social media compliance for your law firm to follow.
- Ethical rules - As a law firm, you should avoid making friends or engaging with other lawyers and law firms against which you might be fighting a case.
- Client's case sensitive information - You need to be extra careful about consumer protection while putting out content related to malpractice cases and not to leak any sensitive information related to such cases.
- Posting private information about a case - Any kind of financial information, trade secrets, official documentation, and your firm's correspondence with a client should be out in public.
- Regulation for online business - Along with all the above compliances, your law firm also needs to obey the regulation for all online businesses on social media, including marketing strategy, content, employment practices, etc.
As social media platforms and regulations change, the policy should be reviewed and updated regularly. Prepare a list of “Do's and Don't” of various social media policies to be followed and make it easily accessible for everyone in your law firm.
#10: Make use of tools to remain consistent in your efforts
If your prospects come across an outdated post on your social feed, they will most likely shift to another firm. Having outdated posts on your social feed results in a great loss of credibility.
To avoid such a scenario, you need to fill your social outlets with new and fresh content regularly. If you don’t have time to post manually on every social media platform, consider taking the help of social media management tools that will keep pushing out content regularly once you schedule it.
Remaining consistent in your social media efforts is not easy, but it becomes possible and quite convenient with the right social media management tools like Statsubrew. See how Statusbrew can simplify your daily social media activities.
- Bring all your social conversations in a unified inbox to collaborate and respond to all comments.
- Create, schedule, and publish multiple social media posts across several social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google My Business at once.
- Measure your performance and gain actionable insights into engagement, audience demographic, team performance
….And there’s a lot more inside the store.
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