By: The NBI Team
Friday, March 11, 2022
Practice Tips Series: Social Media Marketing for Lawyers
Social media marketing for lawyers has grown exponentially in the last decade. A successful social media marketing strategy will help your law firm build its brand and compete for the best clients regardless of the practice area. This article covers the basics of social media for law firms, including social media strategy and management tools.
Social Media Marketing for Lawyers: An Overview
Social media marketing for lawyers is the process of leveraging social media channels to build a law firm’s brand and interact with potential clients. Lawyers can use social media to communicate the firm’s services and value while also building trust with their audience.
Defining Social Media
A social media platform is a website or phone application that allows users to create and share content and start conversations with other users. Unlike traditional marketing mediums, social media provides opportunities to interact with users in real-time.
Social Media Presence
The more often you post, the quality of the content, the more followers you have, and the more you invest in paid social media ads all influence your social media presence.
Social media is not a direct ranking factor for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes, but it still helps.
A common question lawyers have about their social media is whether it improves their website’s SEO. That is, will posting and creating content actually make your website appear higher in Google's Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)?
The answer is slightly more complicated than a yes or a no. A law firm’s social media will not directly impact the firm’s website because it’s not a direct ranking factor. However, if done well, social media will indirectly improve SEO by doing the following:
- Driving traffic to the website.
- Advertising new website content.
- Providing more opportunities for backlinks.
- Improving traffic quality by increasing traffic from a particular target audience.
Common Social Media Platforms for Lawyers
Today, legal professionals have access to dozens of social media platforms, but some are more appropriate than others for the legal industry. Below are some of the most common social media platforms for law firms:
If you’re implementing a social media strategy, consider the following factors when deciding which platforms to use or prioritize:
- Legal Practice Areas. Consider what types of clients you’d like to attract to your law firm. For example, if you’re a business law attorney, you may be more likely to find business clients on LinkedIn rather than TikTok.
- Branding. Although social media platforms like Snapchat and TikTok are very popular, they may not align with your law firm’s brand. Consider which platforms will align with your law firm’s brand and personality.
- Marketing Budget. How many social media platforms and how active you are will depend on your social media budget. If you have a large budget, you may consider implementing a social media strategy that spans multiple platforms. If your budget is minimal, you may want to focus on just a few platforms.
- Social Media Management. Who will be responsible for managing your social media accounts? Will they have duties in addition to social media and marketing? What marketing skills does your law firm have?
How to Build a Social Media Strategy for Your Law Firm
Building a well-planned social media strategy will increase brand awareness for your firm, build trust with the best clients for your practice and ultimately lead to increased business. Below are five steps to consider while building your social media strategy.
- Set Goals and Choose KPIs
- Establish a Target Audience
- Create a Budget
- Set a Content Calendar
Setting goals will help guide your social media strategy. It will also help you determine whether your content is successful or not. A goal may be to increase traffic to specific pages on your website, such as a blog post. It may also be to acquire a certain number of followers or convert a certain number of leads.
Once you’ve set your goals, determine how you’ll measure success by choosing Social Media Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Common KPIs include lead conversions, post views, or brand mentions.
To create a successful social media strategy, you must understand who your target audience is and tailor your content to that target audience. A target audience is the intended consumer of your social media content.
Every target audience has unique preferences. They likely have unique needs and problems they’d like solved. Depending on your practice area, your target audience may want thought leadership content, or they may want to know basic information about a particular legal issue.
As you consider content, be sure to address your audience’s needs, education level, which social media platforms they likely use, and any other relevant identifying factors.
Social media marketing for law firms can become very expensive very quickly. In addition to your own time, costs may include contractor fees, ads, subscriptions, and fees to marketing agencies.
To avoid overspending, consider breaking down your current social media marketing budget into monthly expenditures. If you’re not sure how much you should spend, review your entire marketing budget for the year. On average, social media budgets make up about 20% of a company’s marketing budget. So, if your entire marketing budget for the year is $30,000, social media may cost you around $6,000.
Timeliness and consistency are extremely important in social media posting. If you fail to post your content at the right time of the day or frequently enough, your posts won’t reach their full potential.
Plan ahead by creating a content calendar that dictates how many times you will post per month or week, at what time, and on which social media accounts.
Social Media Management Tools
Social media management tools simplify social media marketing for lawyers by automating posting across multiple social media platforms. These tools allow you to schedule your content calendar and post on your platforms without having to manually log in and upload every post on your own.
Common social media management tools include:
As with any other lawyer marketing effort, social media marketing must comply with legal ethics rules. Before posting, review your state’s legal ethics rules and confirm that your social media accounts and posts comply with all applicable rules.
At a minimum, your accounts should include the following:
- Your firm’s contact information or a link to your contact information.
- An accurate description of your firm’s services.
- Accurate and up-to-date information.
- A disclaimer informing readers that the account does not provide legal advice and no attorney-client relationship exists.
Social media accounts and posts must not solicit clients or provide legal advice. If you’re not creating the content yourself, or you’ve outsourced social media to a marketing agency, be sure to review every piece of content before it’s published. Although skilled in marketing, agencies often do not understand the intricacies of lawyer ethics rules.
Social media for lawyers may seem unfamiliar and overwhelming. However, with proper planning, a dedicated budget, and the right tools, social media can help you build your brand and your book of business.