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Should lawyers use social media? You’d be surprised at how often we get asked this. Some lawyers see social media as not for them—and stories of a celebrity posting a defamatory tweet and getting mobbed by readers haunt them. (This is a worst-case scenario and will rarely happen to the mindful lawyer.)
Despite this, we think yes—you should absolutely use social media! But, again, use it with a strategy in mind. We’ll guide you through the process.
It’s almost more important to learn what not to do on social media than what to do. You must practice good social media hygiene to reap its benefits and protect your reputation. Here are some things you shouldn’t do.
Be fake. To communicate your law firm’s brand effectively, you need to be authentic. There’s no need to force a voice or tone on social that isn’t you. If you aren’t known for being funny, avoid it.
Try to build a presence on every social media platform. You don’t need a presence on every platform. Choose the platforms your ideal clients use. As a beginner, it’s okay to start with one channel and build up over time.
Use social media as a billboard instead of a place to connect. Your social media accounts shouldn’t be a billboard of promotional content. Instead, use your platforms to chat and connect with your audience. Answer their questions, and alleviate their fears.
Forget to apologize quickly and completely. Should you say something you shouldn’t or post something controversial, apologize wholly and swiftly and completely. Mistakes are human, and owning up to them will build trust between you and your audience.
Ok. Let’s talk about how to do social media the right way.
There are many benefits to promoting your law firm on social media.
To take advantage of these benefits, there are a few steps to properly promoting your law firm in a way that stays true to your brand and makes the most of your platform.
We keep coming back to this again and again because it’s so important. Just like every solid marketing initiative, you must start using social media with your target client in mind. Posting content for the sake of posting won’t work. Your content should resonate with your audience. Take the time to get to know them, do your research, and create a unique plan.
If this is your first time using social media for lawyers, start with the one or two social accounts your audience uses the most. This is where your research should begin.
Being seen as an expert in your niche builds trust between you and your potential clients. When clients can trust you, they’re more likely to reach out. Social media makes positioning yourself as an expert easier.
Interaction is one of the main reasons why people use social media. It isn’t enough to have a social media account for your firm—you must be actively interacting with your audience.
Remember, as you interact, do so respectfully and in a way that makes sense. For example, it’s probably not a great idea to comment Gordon-Ramsay-style on your follower’s photo of last night’s dinner.
Once you decide what platforms you’re going to use, the type of content you’re going to post, and the methods you’ll use to promote your firm, there are a few more things to consider.
Record your new social media processes and policies inside a social media manual that’s easily accessible by your staff.
There are hundreds of social media platforms out there. Yet, only a select few are best for attorneys looking to grow their firms.
Facebook is one of the most significant lawyer social media platforms with 2.5 billion active users each month. Regardless of your niche, you can connect with your target client on Facebook.
While you have the option to use Facebook ads to target your clients, as we mentioned, you can also join Facebook groups to connect with your ideal audience. Other benefits include using Facebook Messenger chatbots to interact with potential clients and built-in Facebook Live video as another method of communication.
Instagram is mainly photo-based, making it a great place to find inspiration. It’s also often used by law firms that want to give their clients a “behind-the-scenes” look into their business.
With approximately 330 million active users, many businesses use Twitter as part of their social media strategy.
Twitter is an excellent choice for attorneys and professional service niches. There’s no need to create long-form posts here, as Twitter is the home of the small insight or update.
Finally, LinkedIn is one of the most common social platforms used by businesses in all industries. It’s built for professionals, showcasing your experience, content, and more. LinkedIn currently has approximately 660 million active users.
LinkedIn is all about the connection. For example, you have the opportunity to connect with current clients, potential clients, and potential referral sources, all in one place. LinkedIn also helps you build your credibility by allowing others to give you endorsements and recommendations on your profile.
And yes, we know lawyers who use TikTok! We’d never dissuade you from trying creative ideas, but remember that your target audience is key here. If your audience doesn’t live there, don’t market there. (Listen to how Lab alumni Julio Oyhanarte found success on TikTok.)
After all this digital talk, do people still, you know, talk to each other? Yes. And we cover referral networking in Chapter 6.