5 Social Media Marketing Tips for Lawyers
When you see the enormous impact social media has had on relationships, shopping, elections, and more, it should come as no surprise that the legal industry is feeling the effect. While many law firms tend to avoid investing much in digital marketing, there are major opportunities for those who are brave (and careful) enough to take part in this evolution of human communications. Even though word of mouth still plays a big role in finding a lawyer when in need, the nature of social media is that these conversations are increasingly happening online. Whether it’s a recommendation request on Facebook, outreach on Twitter, or searching through LinkedIn, law firms that ignore this change will start to get left behind.
There are various approaches for lawyers looking to better leverage social media and digital marketing to build the exposure and trust required to reach new potential clients. Here are five key point to be thinking of.
Social Media Accounts
Woody Allen said “80% of life is showing up”. Obviously things aren’t that simple, but you should have a social media presence on the platforms where your potential clients are located (and you should be sharing with them posts of interest, but we’ll get to that next). There is a ton of information online about demographics and social media usage, so do some research into the platforms that your potential clients are most likely to use (e.g. Pinterest users are mostly female, so you wouldn’t use it as your primarily platform if your clients are mostly male). Make sure you fill out your profile with relevant information about your business and be sure to include a link to your website, your phone number, and other critical information. If possible (this varies by platform), include some testimonials from previous clients on your profile to further demonstrate your reputation and value.
Social Media Content & Posting
Unfortunately, just creating an account isn’t enough, you have to push out relevant content and interact with others using that account. The content you share should be of interest to potential clients (and/or people who might recommend you to potential clients), but it’s fine for it to be largely third-party content from other sources intermingled with your original posts (e.g. calling out new posts on your website blog). The big thing to remember here is that you need to decide on what is manageable for you. If that means you’re just going one or two posts per week then that’s fine, just decide what is manageable and keep at it. It’s also very important to monitor your accounts in case someone reaches out to you – the easiest way to do this on most social media platforms is to set up email alerts so you get a heads up when someone engages with your account.
Search Engine Optimization
Most people aren’t exactly sure what’s involved in search engine optimization (SEO) – that is, the efforts made so that your business is more easily found using search engines like Google or Bing – but thankfully there’s a simple way to think about it. In addition to your website having information related to what your potential clients are searching for (which has to do with your on-site SEO, including blog posts and other content), Google will see your website as an even stronger result if you have relevant social media activity as well. Don’t overthink this aspect, but basically it just means that being on social media and engaging with others is going to help improve your search rankings. It’s far from the only thing, but it is one way you can make Google look upon your website more positively, and if you’re doing the two steps above then you’re on the right track.
Paid Digital Advertising
While the above points all just require your time, paid advertising requires your money as well. You may think of paid advertising online as being primarily related to search engines – and that is a very important part of any paid ads strategy – but social media provides some compelling opportunities as well. While search engine advertising is a natural fit for lawyers, since it lets you try to figure out what people might type into Google to find your services and then pay to have priority placement in those results, social media advertising lets you target in very different ways. On most social media platforms, you can target people for ads based on their age, location, and gender, but Facebook, for example, also lets you target by interests, and Twitter lets you target by whether someone follows particular accounts. It’s important to understand these differences and, as noted above, to consider where your audience is likely to be spending time before you spend your money on ads.
This may be my final point but it’s probably the most important. Although your website may do no more than just link out to your social media accounts, I mention it here because it is so important. When someone finds you on social media, they’ll probably check out your profile and if they like what they see then they’re very likely to head to your website to take the next steps, so it’s very important that you make a good impression. While what you need on your website could be its own article, a few key things are: make sure your website is responsive/mobile-friendly (so visitors on their phones have a good experience); include contact information so visitors can reach you (ideally link your phone number so mobile phone users can just click to connect); highlight testimonials (these can be the same as those you use on your social accounts); and clearly explain your services and credentials.