In October 2018, the American Bar Association conducted its annual Legal Technology Survey Report, which questions close to 4,000 ABA members in private practice across the nation. For context, survey respondents average 54 years in age and have been admitted to the bar for an average of 25 years. Collected data from the Legal Technology Survey Report shows that 35% of attorneys who market their practice via social media platforms have seen an increase in new clients. Additionally, the survey has found that online visibility is crucial in the legal field today, as having an active online presence has demonstrated to significantly level the playing field between small or solo firms and large corporate law firms.
The use of social media is a valuable tool for law firms, and developing a strategy to maximize its effects can be highly beneficial. Marketing legal services on social media can garner new clients, and attorneys cannot afford to ignore social media to advertise for their practice.
Whether you have a small or solo practice, or work for a large law firm, you should know that “word-of-mouth” marketing strategies are outdated. In a tech-savvy world, marketing online can help you reach new boundaries in your respective legal practice. The following guide will help you get started, as it will provide methods in which you can use social media for your benefit, and what channels to look out for.
Tackling Social Media Basics
The first step to developing a successful marketing strategy, is to tackle the following basics:
- Create a vision for your brand. This can include a vision that is representative of an already existing online presence. It can also mean a complete rebrand of your business.
- Choose the social media platform that is right for you. The use of social media can be an investment, of both time and money. Before attempting to employ your marketing strategy across all available social media channels, you should focus on a few essential channels first.
- Set realistic goals and understand what your marketing efforts will be. You can decide whether your goal is to increase your brand’s visibility. Are your goals to engage with your existing clientele base or to garner new clients?
- Develop a content strategy and set a calendar for consistency. Setting a clean image can require standardized posts, and these can take dedicated time to create. Additionally, you should consider how often you will be posting.
The use of social media platforms can be very beneficial for law firms, but it can also cause unnecessary problems. The best way law firms can use social media is to create informative content, instead of only creating promotional content. By consistently providing credible and valuable content, posting content regarding one’s legal expertise will be better received. Depending on your area of expertise, you can consider the following posts:
- Providing community updates,
- As a personal injury attorney, you can consider updating your audience on safety events being hosted in your area,
- Consider doing giveaways, such as helmet or other safety gear equipment,
- Share local news and modify it depending on your area of practice, and
- Post FAQs on your area of law.
When it comes to marketing in the legal industry, potential customers will not solely base their decision to hire you on what is being promoted on your social media profile. Potential customers will also take into account your level of professionalism, your knowledge, as well as your credibility. As a result, it is critical that you are consistent in sharing informative posts that are also credible. Shared information should not be limited to promotional content, but in curating content that is relative and from reputable sources.
Make a Habit to Engage With Your Audience
Social media provides you the opportunity to engage with your audience and build connections with them. For many consumers, having the ability to communicate with a brand is very important. Some of the most common reasons consumers reach out to brands include:
- Questions about a product or service,
- Concerns about an imperfect experience, and
- Sharing ideas and suggestions
It is important to make the most out of social media channels and engage with prospective clients. When possible, respond to comments made on posts, and take the time to answer questions about the services you have to offer. Your audience will appreciate the time you take to listen to their concerns and will know that you are there to help.
Use Social Media to Tell Your Story
Law firms, whether big or small, should use social media to tell their brand story. By sharing their story, this will humanize the brand, which will help form an emotional connection between the law firm and the audience. As an attorney, this will pave the way in winning the audience’s trust and loyalty. To do this, content should be made regarding:
- Associate stories,
- Firm’s achievements,
- Law practice history,
- Employee spotlight,
- Partner interviews,
- Customer reviews, and
- News and events about charitable organizations
Social Media Channels to Consider
Promoting your practice on social media can be very profitable, but it is important to know what channels you should invest your efforts in. The following social media channels are not only popular, but promoting your services here can be very advantageous for a wide variety of reasons.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a platform that allows you to communicate your areas of expertise. While LinkedIn falls short in ubiquity, the platform exceeds in allowing users the ability to generate leads and share their levels of specialization. Through LinkedIn, users have the ability to set up a LinkedIn company page. A company page will allow users to network and prospect for quality sales leads. Additionally, it offers businesses the opportunity to create a public image on a global scale, as a trustworthy and reputable organization.
Facebook – Some studies indicate that Facebook is the most widely used social media channel in the world. Facebook is unique because it is an established diversified platform. Additionally, promoting on social media allows users the ability to gain insights on important data regarding their target audience.
Twitter – One of the best social media channels to network is twitter. A promoted tweet will allow a user to expand their reach much faster. Additionally, it will allow people to discover the legal practice without actually following the law firm’s profile. By promoting a tweet, the tweet will appear on user’s timelines who share similar interests with your audience.
Google My Business – Each day, millions of people go online multiple times a day to find information that will help make their lives easier. The leading search engine, Google, has created a method, known as Google My Business, that will distinguish businesses when running an online search. Google My Business, or GMB, is a free online business listing that will place your business at the forefront of potential customers. Using a GMB listing will give clients easy access to your law firm’s hours of operation, directions, phone number, and website. This platform also allows for posting and sharing, and these posts can show up directly in Google search results.
Instagram – Instagram has tremendous value when it comes to brand engagement. Instagram is a platform that revolves around the sharing of an image, which provides businesses with the unique opportunity to showcase their brand.
YouTube – Similar to Instagram, YouTube works through visual marketization to entice target audiences. Regrettably, YouTube is a platform that is rarely used by legal professionals. Unbeknownst to many, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, behind the giant Google. Additionally, unlike most platforms, YouTube can have a greater impact on your Google ranking. Google is a universal search engine, and this means that it will search images, videos, news, and other related information to provide users the most useful information. By providing videos, you have an advantage, as Google reads your video as important as text-only information. Writing quality articles on your website and accompanying these with videos on YouTube will exponentially help your Google rankings.
Develop a Successful Marketing Plan & Obtain the Support of a Resourceful Organization
At Launchpad Legal Marketing, we understand that establishing a successful marketing strategy is fundamental in garnering new clients. As a result, we work hard to help law firms build a tailored social media marketing strategy that is right for them. Whether you have a solo practice or are part of a large corporate law firm, we can help you achieve your marketing goals, which will ultimately raise your law firm’s awareness and help you reach new boundaries. Contact Launchpad Legal Marketing today to learn more.