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Attract Clients with Social Media for Lawyers

With 20+ years working with attorneys on their digital marketing campaigns, PaperStreet has seen the evolution of social media for law firms. Though once seen as frivolous, social media is now a key player in profitable attorney marketing campaigns.

Attorney social media marketing helps your business establish credibility, increase brand awareness, website traffic, search visibility, and provides an opportunity to engage with current and potential clients. When used correctly, it can also be a strong signal to Google that you have authority in your industry.

Whether you want us to simply set up your accounts or take full control of your law firm’s social media platforms, PaperStreet is here to help. We offer several attorney social media options to help you stay on budget while increasing your law firm’s visibility, traffic and potential client base. Our platforms include:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Google My Business,
  • Twitter
  • Your Additional Needs: YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram etc.

Since we’re a comprehensive legal marketing agency, PaperStreet can help you develop and execute a campaign that would best fit for your law firm’s social media goals. We are happy to discuss your options with you and create a strategy based on your firm’s interests and goals.

Understanding the Benefits of Social Media for Lawyers

No doubt social media is popular. But how much of it is hype is connected to the success of my law firm? Does social media for lawyers really improve client acquisition?

Law firms not only attract followers and potential clients on social media, but active social media engagement acts as a vote in the firm's favor - a vote that search engines can factor into website rankings and referrals, resulting in even more clients. Lastly, there is reason to believe that social media performance and an increase in traffic to your site can both assist with your SEO campaign.

Perhaps one of the most important reasons to commence or invigorate an attorney social media campaign is that your competitors are jumping on the bandwagon.

More and more law firms and attorneys are using social media marketing. Consider these facts:

  • 93%* of lawyers say they use social media.
  • 85%* say that social media is part of their overall marketing strategy.
Lawyers who use social media

Don’t be left behind, call us today to reach your clients where and when they like to engage.

*Results from the “Attorney at Work 2018 Social Media Marketing Survey”

Law Firm Social Media Case Studies

Thorn Tax Law
Law Firm with Multiple Office Locations Grows on Social
Firm:

Thorn Tax Law, a tax law firm headquartered in Washington D.C. with several other office locations throughout the Northeast.

Challenge:

The firm has multiple office locations, making steady growth on social media challenging.

Solution:

PaperStreet created a plan for regular posting to main accounts to help establish authority on main social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+). The plan minimized managing time, making it easier to manage multiple accounts.

Takeaway:

Firms with multiple offices can grow a following and maintain social accounts for each office if a proper plan is in place.

Mithras Investments
Investment Firm Keeps Social Media Relevant with HootSuite Integration
Firm:

Mithras Investments is a business research, analysis and consulting firm serving global companies in multiple industries.

Challenge:

To keep all four social accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+) up-to-date on a weekly basis.

Solution:

We researched relevant newsworthy content on the web and wrote social posts in bulk for the month. We then scheduled them through HootSuite to post throughout the following month. Creating posts in advance helped to save time and make the posting process more efficient overall.

Takeaway:

Posting to social media does not need to be a daunting task. Utilize the right tools and keep your accounts up-to-date to increase your efforts with SEO and brand awareness.

Thorn Tax Law
Why Use a TV Ad When You Have Social Media?
Firm:

Cross and Smith, a small Alabama personal injury law firm with 2 office locations.

Challenge:

Seeking to avoid television advertisements, the firm sought to create local brand awareness to stand out in a crowded and competitive personal injury market.

Solution:

The firm’s social media was able to kick off a nearly 2000% increase in engagement along with benefits such as 5,000 video views in 30 days.

Mithras Investments
Increase Traffic to a New Website Using Social Media
Firm:

Hudson Injury Firm, a newly created personal injury practice in Georgia

Challenge:

Alerting past clients of a new practice and office and also increasing the potential client base.

Solution:

In addition to an increase in traffic, the firm received 27 phone calls from potential customers in just 30 days of a social media campaign.

The Best Practices for Law Firm Social Media Campaigns

Social media is an adaptable marketing tool in that your posts can be catered to directly serve potential clients. Below are several law firm social media guidelines to employ when crafting your campaign:

Curiosity:

Hook your audience at the beginning and create curiosity about the content ... they will keep watching or reading.

Create a video or write a post with a question that potential clients will be interested in learning more about. One content option is to discuss an FAQ that relates to the claims that your law firm commonly handles, such as “When should someone plead guilty?” or “Do children have to testify in divorce proceedings?” 

Not all law firm social media posts have to be directly on point, however. Address a topic in popular culture that pertains to the law or answer a question that appeals to the masses, such as “Can I arrange for care of my pet in my will?” or “When is a psychiatrist required to disclose information from a patient’s session?” 

As shareable content is often the goal of many social media campaigns, content that piques one viewer’s interest or is particularly helpful makes it more likely that they will share your post. 

Not all posts need to be a ground-breaking topic. As social media users are often scrolling quickly, an eye-catching image may be all you need to get a potential or former client to click on your post.

Plan:

Law firm social media campaigns may require more time than attorneys realized. Posting on social media cannot be as infrequent as your blogs. Multiple posts a week are the goal, with weekly posts as the absolute minimum. 

Frequent posts garner more followers since your audience will be anticipating your next post. Infrequent or sporadic posting often loses your audience’s interests.

In addition to planning when to post on social media, you should also create a plan for what you plan to share. Try to vary your post categories in order to reach a larger audience. For example, have humorous posts or relatable posts interspersed with your legal news and updates. If you can think of a theme per week or month, this could also serve as a unique marketing opportunity.

Inform:

Many attorneys don’t anticipate how a follower may use their social media information. Thus, important office information such as office hours, your contact information, closings, etc. should be readily available on your social media profile page and in relevant posts.

Similarly, attorneys should use social media to share awards, case victories, attorney biographies, pro bono work and other relevant details to demonstrate your legal successes and expertise. That said, law firm’s shouldn’t use social media marketing only for self-promotion. You need to provide information and remain engaging in order to make potential clients want to follow your account. Again, make sure the content and type of your posts is varied enough to keep your followers interested.

Connect:

Social media is all about engagement and creating a network. If lawyers treat their social media as if it is just an extension of your website, the campaign is likely to fail. Law firm social media involves connecting with your followers.

Because of the emphasis on engagement, many lawyers shy away from social media campaigns. Certainly law firms can’t offer legal advice and/or violate any ethical guidelines from their state bar. Responding to a person’s comment in a neutral way, however, is permitted. Some state bars may also allow for the law firm to encourage comments or sharing of images. For example, for national dog day, encouraging images of your followers’ pets may be perfectly acceptable. 

There are, however, ways for attorneys to connect with potential clients and followers that don’t necessarily involve directly speaking to your followers. Providing a powerful testimonial – especially if it’s a video – can allow for an emotional connection to be made. Similarly, offering casual photos of your attorneys can remind followers that you have a human side, as well.

Answering a common legal problem in an easy to understand way can also be a connection. If followers believe that your goal is to educate them on important legal matters – and not that you are just looking for business – your law firm social media account can build trust. In turn, trust can transition into a phone call or contact form submission when the follower has a relevant claim.

The Best Social Media Platforms for Lawyers

Entire guides have been written about various aspects of each social media platform, and we only have room to cover a few basics here.

Facebook

The most popular social media platform with general users is also popular with attorneys. While Facebook offers an array of advertising and paid promotion opportunities and a huge potential audience, it is important to understand the algorithms for sharing content are always changing. It can be very difficult for marketing content to reach the target audience, and a strategy that worked one day can suddenly become virtually useless the next. Nevertheless, with the abundance of users connected to Facebook, it’s still a worthwhile platform for law firm social media campaigns. 

LinkedIn

The professional network LinkedIn may be the most popular social media option for attorneys and related professionals, so it can provide an effective platform for networking. You may not reach new clients as readily – unless you’re a B2B law firm – but you can build your reputation and contacts that could lead to more referrals.

With LinkedIn, users are much more likely to look at a user's profile than on other social media platforms, so it is worth the effort to make it professional, detailed, and up-to-date. You can create a page for individual attorneys and for the firm as a whole.

Twitter

Twitter operates in a model similar to Facebook in many respects, but it attracts more of a news-oriented audience. Journalists love Twitter. For that reason, the platform can be a great place to share substantial content, such as the link to an informative blog or drawing attention to local news or laws that would impact your potential clients.

YouTube

Though this is not traditionally thought of as social media, many attorneys overlook the marketing potential of YouTube, but having a channel on the site offers an effective way to share video content with potential clients. Seeing and hearing attorneys offer information through video introduces your firm to clients in a way unmatched through any other medium. It also gives clients an opportunity to preview your firm without taking staff away from any duties.

However, for marketing through a YouTube channel to succeed, you need to produce high-quality videos. That includes having attorneys or another spokesperson who is comfortable on camera or voicing the script for an animated video. Unless the personality on camera is truly engaging, a bad video may be worse for the firm's image than no videos at all.

It can be helpful to get objective opinions before posting videos on YouTube or on a firm's website. Moreover, if you do produce videos for a YouTube channel, those videos should also be posted directly on a firm's website. Promotional posts on social media should link to an embedded video on traffic for a bigger boost in traffic and conversions.

Instagram

This image-oriented platform does not seem to offer as many opportunities for law firms as other platforms. As of now, it’s for restaurants posting images of the dish of the day. Nevertheless, Instagram can still be helpful for personal injury firms or other firms that deal with cases with the potential for engaging imagery.

Additionally, many individual attorneys and firms find this an ideal platform to present their personal side. If your firm focuses on community service, for instance, Instagram can be a great place to share photos of your latest volunteer efforts. Instagram can also be a good platform to attract new talent to a firm.  Short video reels could also be a worthwhile venture if you have something powerful you can say in the short period of time allowed.

How to Create Social Media Marketing Goals

Why is it worth the effort to market through social media? To answer this question best, it is helpful to understand a law firm's potential goals for a social media campaign. Your firm might focus on a single goal or reach for a handful. It can be helpful to create both short and long-term goals for social media marketing, just as you would for any marketing efforts.

Build Brand Awareness

The creative opportunities offered through social media can get your firm's name in front of a wide range of people. These potential clients may not be looking for legal services now, but if you've built your brand awareness, your brand might naturally spring to mind when a need arises. Quizzes, fun facts, and amusing memes can make your brand memorable.

Direct More Traffic to Your Website

Sending traffic to your website is one of the ways you can increase your search rankings. If your social media efforts simply get people to click on your website to read more, then you have accomplished a valuable goal. As an example, many attorneys post the start of a helpful article on social media and make it easy for viewers to click through to read the rest on a blog or elsewhere on the firm's website.

Engage with a Target Audience

Social media platforms offer unique opportunities to engage with your target audience and build connections. In turn, someone who feels connected to your firm is more likely to approach you when they need legal assistance. While many firms are hesitant to answer questions to avoid the appearance of giving legal advice, it can be just as helpful to point potential clients in the direction of resources or a particular legal process. For instance, you might direct people to a government resource such as the consumer protection division of the attorney general's office or an industry resource such as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. This will provide your target audience with background information, and if their research indicates that they need to take legal action, they may be more likely to contact your law firm when it's time to move forward.

Establish Your Expertise

Ethical rules for attorneys often prevent law firms from calling themselves "experts" in marketing materials, but we all know that experience makes many lawyers true experts in their particular fields. Your firm can use social media to spread the word about your areas of expertise by sharing teaser snippets of informative articles on your blog or the practice area pages of your website. When attorneys tie these snippets into current events, the social media posts are even more effective at attracting attention and helping users to understand your level of knowledge and experience.

Never Underestimate the Power of Visibility for Your Law Firm

The ultimate goal of every marketing effort is to bring in new clients. Advertising professionals have long argued that repetition is the key to reaching new customers. Social media provides a way to get your name and message out repeatedly at a very low cost. By building relationships, establishing your reputation as an expert, raising brand awareness, and making your website more visible to clients who are searching for legal help, you are taking effective steps to attract new clients to the firm.

Don't Begin a Social Media Campaign without Doing Your Research

For your social marketing campaign to work best, you need to start with the right basic information. First, check out the rules of your local bar association and any organizations you work with closely so you understand any limitations that may be in place for sharing certain types of information.

You also need to research social media platforms themselves. Consider factors such as:

  • Which platforms your target audience uses most
  • The platforms your competitors use successfully
  • The ease of connecting with your potential clients
  • The style of the platform and its appeal to the person in your firm who manages your law firm's social media
  • The type of content you expect to post and which platform offers the best way to share that content

It is hard to market successfully on a number of different platforms simultaneously unless you have a staff member devoted to the task full time. Rather than spreading efforts across several platforms where they could disappear into floods of posts, it is better to focus on solid and consistent engagement in one or two platforms.

Content is King - For the Most Part

This mantra from the early days of online marketing is true for social media as well as for websites. However, the type of content that performs best on social media differs from content that is best for a webpage. Visual appeal is everything in social media. Your words may deliver the key message, but to get people to take time to read the words, you need to attract their attention with something that is visually stunning.

You can make the words themselves part of the image, but the message should be short and memorable. While humorous or beautiful images have broad appeal, often, the images that people find most engaging are the ones that confuse them. They wonder if they see things correctly, if so, how the situation came to be and whether it is something likely to continue or repeat.

Get the Visual Imagery Right

Visuals are critical in social media, so it is essential to understand that the way an image appears on the viewer's screen could look vastly different from the way it appears on a user's newsfeed. It is important to use the right size image for the platform. Each one has its own guidelines.

Not only do you need to be conscious of image size guidelines for each platform, but you also need to pay careful attention to where the image appears on the platform. The ideal image size for a profile picture will be different from the dimensions recommended for a cover photo, event image, ad size, or shared link.

For your convenience, we've included the optimal social media image dimensions below:

Platform

Image Type

Recommended Dimensions

Facebook

Profile Photo

180 x 180

Facebook

Cover Photo

820 x 312

Facebook

Shared Image

1200 x 630

Facebook

Shared Link

1200 x 628

Facebook

Event Image

1920 x 1080

Facebook

Business Profile Photo

LinkedIn

Personal Profile Image

300 x 300

LinkedIn

Personal Background Image

1584 x 396

LinkedIn

Company Logo Image

300 x 300

LinkedIn

Company Main Image

1128 x 191

LinkedIn

Shared Link

1200 x 627

LinkedIn

Shared Image

1200 x 627

Instagram

Profile Picture

110 x 110

Instagram

Photo Size

1080 x 1080 (square)

Instagram

Instagram Stories

1080 x 1920

Twitter

Profile Photo

400 x 400

Twitter

Header Photo

1500 x 500

Twitter

Image from a Tweet with shared link:

1200 x 628

Twitter

Tweet sharing a single image:

1200 x 675

Youtube

Channel Profile Image

800 x 800

Youtube

Channel Cover Art

2560 x 1440

Youtube

Video Uploads

Minimum HD 1280 x 720

Even though it goes without saying, we're going to say it anyway - make sure an image is of high quality before you post it. It may look fine on your screen, but see if it looks fuzzy when viewed on someone else's feed.

A Word of Caution When Scheduling Posts

You can use tools such as Hootsuite to schedule social media posts so that you can prepare content in advance, or you can set up an informal DIY calendar. Either way, planning posts in advance helps ensure that your firm's content is appearing regularly, and it avoids the last minute "what do we post today?" dilemma.

However, while you can plan and schedule posts ahead of time, you should also be prepared to monitor responses and react in real-time. Social media is supposed to be social, and that includes interaction. If you post but never respond, you're missing out on opportunities and come across as uncaring and impersonal.

FAQs About Social Media for Lawyers

Should my law firm participate in social media?

Yes, but the key word is 'participate'. Setting up a profile without updating it will not be beneficial. social media for lawyers boils down to a simple word: engagement. Your firm needs to engage users through posts and tweets and just as importantly, needs to engage in comments, re-tweets, etc. These are all excellent signals to Google that you are diversifying your marketing and allowing others to interact with your social media networks. Whether you choose for us to manage your activity or you choose to do it yourself, frequency and responsiveness are key.

Do you recommend using an auto-posting tool or posting manually?

A combination of the two. Auto-posting tools, like HootSuite or IFTTT, are excellent time-savers but have been known to malfunction on occasion. It is best to periodically monitor your pages if using these tools to auto-post your blogs. social media is also all about engagement and being, well, social. Therefore, you need to not only post to your pages, but also comment, like, and participate in discussions happening on each network. An auto-posting tool cannot accomplish this engagement for you. Our recommendation is to use a tool to schedule posts in advance, while periodically managing your pages manually.

What objectives should we strive for in our law firm’s social media campaign?

Make sure your brand is everywhere! Search engines increasingly use social media indicators in their ranking algorithms. More importantly, potential clients will research your law firm online. Do you have a positive social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram and other networks?

Meet & Connect with More People

Connect with potential clients on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Build authority as you build a following. The main goal of attorney social media is networking. You can build a following on the networks and communicate with potential clients.

Gather Information about Your Law Firm or Business

Get to know what people are saying about your business, practice or attorneys. Improve your customer service. With social media consulting and management you can gain competitive intelligence about your customers and competitors.

What social media content is best for law firms?

We recommend following the 80/20 rule:

  • 20% of your posts should be directly related to the firm (think your blog posts or anything promotional)
  • 80% should be non-promotional, valuable information. Examples include: blog posts, news articles related to your industry, photos from company events, announcements such as a new employee, company videos, reshare a post you're mentioned in, pose a question, etc.

When you choose us for your law firm social media campaign, we manage your posts and create the content. If not, however, PaperStreet provides coaching and training options, and our SEO team can also assist with some elements of your social media campaign.

Do you have any additional resources for us?

You can find our articles on social media in our education center.

Remember: Social Media is Part of a Thorough Law Firm Marketing Plan

In an age where people spend so much time on social media, your law firm really cannot afford to ignore the opportunities offered by the various platforms. Experimentation can be very rewarding in this area of marketing, and it costs much less in this avenue than in other areas of marketing.

Remember, however, that social media is just one component of a well-rounded digital marketing campaign. If social media marketing is consistently absorbing all of your marketing time, attention, or money, then you are missing out on other opportunities. Working with an experienced legal marketing firm can help you find and keep a balance with your social marketing strategies. 

To learn more about how social media for lawyers can enhance your marketing campaign, contact us online or by calling (954) 523-2181.

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