When people think of law firm marketing the first thing that comes to mind is most likely forgettable billboards and corny radio/tv ads. And though 92% of businesses use social media, law firms seem to be stuck in the past.
You probably already know that social media is a big deal.
Using social media for law firms has the potential to spread brand awareness, improve your online visibility and attract countless leads; all at a lower cost and higher ROI compared to any traditional marketing avenue.
Today we’ll be diving into the ways you can implement social media into your law firm’s existing marketing strategy.
The Opportunities of Social Media Marketing for Lawyers
The American Bar Association (ABA) compiled a marketing report in 2020 with very compelling figures, proving the effectiveness of social media marketing for law firms.
The report shows that LinkedIn and Facebook are the largest marketing channels for law companies with 42% and 33% respectively.
The importance of social media became all the more apparent during the COVID-19 lockdowns as in-person sponsored events became obsolete and firms took to live-streaming FAQ sessions and hosting virtual conferences.
Social media usage is growing year over year. As of July 2021, Facebook has 2,85 billion monthly active users. If you want to increase conversion rates, enhance brand awareness, and generate more inbound traffic then understanding social media marketing is a must.
But simply posting content for the sake of posting isn’t nearly enough. A good social media strategy is backed by data.
The ABA report we referenced earlier claims that 33% of law firms do not know who has access to their marketing analytics, which means that at least a third of law companies can’t discover the actionable data needed to make better marketing decisions.
This data will tell you which marketing campaigns panned out the best, how users interact with your content and what type of content attracts your audience.
Guide to Social Media Marketing for Lawyers
So what goes into creating a winning social media marketing strategy? In this section, we will focus on the few essential steps that law firms of any size can take to create a solid online presence and attract qualified leads.
Learn the State Rules
Before establishing your online profiles it’s important to understand social media rules and guidelines for lawyers. Due to the public nature of social media, attorneys and law firms are now facing legal and ethical challenges involving privacy and transparency.
In March of 2018, the ABA released Formal Opinion 18-480 which addresses online communications best practices for law firms.
The report highlights First Amendment considerations, ethical constraints on trial publicity and conflicts of interest hypotheticals.
We also recommend you visit local law society and bar websites to familiarize yourself with state rules and regulations, as policies can vary drastically from location to location. For example, Social Media Ethics Guidelines in the state of New York prohibit lawyers from loosely using the term “specialist”.
Define Your Goals
Without having definitive goals in place, it’s impossible to know whether your efforts on social media are paying off.
Ask yourself, what results do you plan to get from social media? Do you want to increase brand visibility? Build a strong network of fellow attorneys? Educate the public?
Having a clear direction is the foundation of a winning content strategy and lets you know which ideas are working and what metrics are relevant.
Once you have your objectives in place, take some time to understand and select the most significant KPIs for your business. It’s important to keep your KPIs specific, measurable, attainable, and relevant.
Here are some of the most widely used KPIs and how they work in tandem with your business goals.
- Impressions: the amount of people who saw your content. This is a good metric to track if your goal is to reach as many people as possible.
- Engagement: the amount of people who liked, commented or otherwise engaged with your content. If you’re looking to test what content works the best for your target audience, engagement data can let you know what’s working and what needs improving.
- CTR (click-through rate): If you’re more focused on generating leads, CTR data can be instrumental in revealing the percentage of people that actually click on your website after viewing an ad/piece of content.
- CPC (cost per click): Chances are that you want to lower your advertising costs if at all possible. CPC figures will tell you exactly how much money you’re paying every time someone clicks on a call-to-action within your ad. From there you can cross-reference industry averages (the average CPC on Facebook for law firms is $1.32) and tweak your ads accordingly.
Study Your Competition
The best defense is a good offense. Before you go about creating a bunch of content, check out what your competition is doing. Simply skimming through their Instagram feeds and noting which posts garner the most engagement can give you a good head start. In addition, you can follow the biggest influencers in your area of practice to understand what they do to attract customers.
Here are a few tools you can use to study your competition and extract meaningful insights:
- Facebook Ads Library to see what kind of Facebook ads your competition is running
- SEMRush for SERP ranking analysis, backlink numbers and domain overviews.
- BuzzSumo to see what kind of content is trending in the legal industry.
- Social Blade to get daily follow updates as well as a live follower count.
Focus on Your Niche
In fields of study like law, expertise is the cornerstone of a trusting relationship. Share news and articles from reputable sources to position yourself as a thought leader. Engage with your audience, answer their inquiries, and explain the nuances of complex legalese.
Patient and consistent expert replies will help you establish a rapport with any potential leads. People will appreciate your dedication to sharing your knowledge and will return for more advice.
Creating custom content takes time. Lots of it. Unless you have a full team of content strategists and graphic designers at your disposal, taking advantage of content curation and social media management tools can be crucial.
Visual content increases conversion rates and creates brand recognition amongst your audience. Platforms like Instagram and even LinkedIn revolve around image and video content, while traditional blogging is still the best route to take for SEO. Creating infographics, educational Instagram Reels, sharing testimonials and even featuring established attorneys on your profile can all work wonders for building a valuable brand that your audience can resonate with.
Here are a few tools that can streamline the content creation process:
- Adobe Spark
If you simply don’t have the time to do all of the brunt work yourself, consider outsourcing. Outsourcing is a much more flexible option compared to hiring full-time, in-house content creators and lets you experiment with different field experts and content types.
If you want to work more efficiently you might want to check out an article we wrote about the best social media tools.
Use Paid Ads
Companies include paid ads into their marketing strategy for a slew of reasons like driving brand awareness and guiding leads down the funnel. Effective promotions usually have an enticing offer like a free legal consultation to get users to click on the ad.
Types of ads vary from platform to platform:
- Facebook allows businesses to target particular user groups based on their interests, demographics, and location. You can set different campaign objectives such as reach or conversions and select placements on Facebook or Instagram. Due to Facebook’s massive reach and copious amounts of user data it’s the most popular social media platform for advertisers. You pay every time a user clicks on your website or views your video.
- Twitter also gives you powerful targeting capabilities like interest, geography, gender, device and similar follower targeting. You can also maximize the relevancy of your message by using keyword targeting (for example “legal advice”). Twitter lets you focus on concrete goals such as tweet engagement, clicks, app installs, etc., and only charges you when a chosen action occurs.
- LinkedIn focuses on engaging B2B prospects and driving hyper-relevant leads to your funnel. One of the biggest advantages that LinkedIn offers is the ability to target ads by their job title, company and industry. LinkedIn offers sponsored content, sponsored InMail and Text Ads. These options give attorneys the opportunity to put their offers or content directly in front of prospective clients.
Managing multiple social media accounts is highly time-consuming, especially for overworked lawyers. Luckily, social media management tools let you automate many of those pesky, manual tasks. Kontentino is one such tool.
Kontentino is a powerful tool that combines versatile scheduling and content approval features, comprehensive task assignment and dynamic content management into one intuitive platform.
With Kontentino you can collaborate with your team to approve content and create and schedule posts days, even weeks in advance. Kontentino also provides a consolidated social inbox for comments and messages.
Interact with Your Audience
We have already touched on the importance of interacting with your audience but there is more to the topic. If you have more than one person who replies to messages and reviews, it is necessary to develop policies that keep your brand’s tone consistent. Even if you have one social media manager who interacts with users, policies are still very important to ensure communications stay consistent day to day.
Make sure your responses are consistent and representative of your brand. On top of that, develop strategies for replying to negative reviews and comments to avoid any damage to your reputation.
Measure Your Performance
Finally, launching brilliant campaigns with stunning visuals and an enticing offer is pointless if you aren’t measuring the outcome. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram marketing for lawyers can become overwhelming and finding the right data from the right places can be confusing at first. That’s where Kontentino can save the day. Our platform hosts a comprehensive reports tool where you can create fully customized reports. Add graphs, line items, performance analysis, data sources and more. Kontentino consolidates data across all of your social media profiles where you can analyze organic and paid ads metrics.
Content Tips to Master Social Media for Law Firms
Make Video Content
Did you know that roughly 70% of small firms and 90% of solo attorneys do not use any video content for their marketing strategy? There is a huge gap in law-related video content, which is a shame considering the possibilities.
- 70% of marketers claim that video content increases conversion rates better than images and texts.
- 88% of users tend to spend more time on a website or app with video content than without.
- Two-thirds of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video about it.
Law firm videos can include helpful tips, success stories, educational material, case studies, etc.
Video is an extremely versatile content medium. You can create 2D and 3D animations, explainers, tutorials, educational clips, infographic videos, promos and much more. In the context of social media marketing for attorneys, you can create firm introduction clips that showcase your employees, company history, corporate values, etc. Additionally, you can shoot separate videos introducing each attorney on your team, their experience, accomplishments, biography, interests, and more. It is rather difficult to create a genuine connection with your audience without putting a face to your brand. Finally, make testimonials and FAQ videos to talk more about your expertise, cases, and achievements.
Implement Employee Advocacy
Employee advocacy refers to the process of turning employees and partners into brand ambassadors. Encourage your attorneys to use their social media accounts to share relevant and informative content about your firm with their followers. Employee advocacy is a great tool to reach out to new audiences that might have never heard of your company.
There are a few tools you can use to set up an employee advocacy program. For example, the team collaboration feature that Kontentino offers is a convenient platform for the setup and management of the ambassador strategy. The collaborative tool will send your employees prompts to share the approved content whereas the analytical feature will calculate the best time to publish posts based on user behavior data.
Highlight Your Law Firm Members
Not only should your employees promote your company but also vice versa. Whenever your attorneys reach a new professional height, win an important case or receive a respectable award, make sure to share this news on your social media platforms. Even a short congratulatory blog post will suffice as it will be shared and retweeted among other employees.
Highlighting the accomplishments of your attorneys will make your company a friendlier place of business and establish your firm as a home of outstanding talent.
Social media marketing works wonders for law firms
Hopefully, we managed to convince you that social media marketing can work wonders for law firms. In fact, social media has the potential to become your most lucrative marketing channel. In order to succeed, all you need is a thought-out strategy, an understanding of any legal guidelines and a no-quit attitude.
Much like with any new task, succeeding on social media will require a lot of in-depth research to grasp the process and understand the algorithms of different platforms.