Social Media for Lawyers - Tactics and Best Practices
How social media can help solo practitioner lawyers to boost their businesses and thrive
Social media nowadays has become so popular that trying to explain it is trivial. Many seem to ignore one crucial aspect - the social component of it. If you look around you, observe how people use social media to share information or congratulate on job promotions.
Social media has many benefits for lawyers, from helping them connect with potential clients to advertising their legal services. The tricky part is to find that social platform from which will benefit most
According to ABA TechReport 2020, section Website and Marketing, the leading marketing channels for solo practitioners are email (28%), LinkedIn (28%), event sponsorship (23%), Facebook (20%) as significant channels. The same report highlighted that most solo practitioners are using social media to:
- Keep in touch with contacts (or potential clients).
- Build a personal brand.
- Publish content: written, video or audio.
- Drive traffic to their websites.
- Discover thought leaders or peers and kept up with trends.
- Read the latest news.
The report also lists LinkedIn as the favourite platform for lawyers to have a social profile, followed by Instagram and Facebook.
You can follow the trends or simply see where your potential clients are more likely to spend their time.
To make it easier for you and understand who your audience is, we recommend checking our article on how to build your brand as a lawyer, where we tackle this topic.
For example, if you’re specialised in legal services dedicated to digital nomads being present and active on some Facebook groups of digital nomads can be a useful tactic for you. Or perhaps you’re looking to work with more start-ups at their starting point, in which case considering LinkedIn might benefit you more.
No rules, but practices, to make the most of it.
Here are seven best practice actions to leverage your social profile as a lawyer:
Know your audience - as mentioned before, knowing your audience is critical. You will see that there are different audiences on various platforms. The ideal is for you to be there where those clients you want to work with are spending their time.
Professional photos - profile and background. Remember that all your social platforms are all about branding. Many dismiss them, but they are essential. Their role is to reinforce who you are and visually support what’s written on your profile. It is your opportunity to create a better impression on clients, prospects and referral sources.
Make your “About” headline more than just a job title - there are no rules nor laws (yet) about what your about section should be like. Use it as a part of your branding tactics giving prospects a clear idea of who you are, what you do and what you bring to the table. Make it catchy without being gimmicky, and be clear about the legal specialities and expertise you offer. Think about this section as your elevator pitch.
Let people know how they can reach out to you - many go too fast over this, and they don’t think it through properly. And soon, they are angry because clients are texting them on social with their issues. The critical point here is to clarify how clients can reach out to you to discuss business. Can they reach you via email, via a direct message over the platform or by phone? Whatever makes you happy, but state it, as your potential clients are no wizards.
Mention your expertise - this is critical for your social networks and for your precious time. Unless you want people contacting about divorces when your expertise is in Intellectual Property, make sure to mention it. On some platforms, you’ll have a more extensive section (LinkedIn). On others, you might need to use just the keywords (Instagram).
Leverage your testimonials - ask your clients if they’re happy to leave you a recommendation or, if you can, use their testimonials on social media. You can do that visually; on LinkedIn, and you can ask them to write it there, as the platforms provide the functionality. However, boost your creativity and be open to any outstanding ideas, such as Stories, quotes, audio, video testimonials.
Engage and build relationships - this is the most important and the one where you’ll spend a lot of time. Creating meaningful connections with thought leaders in the industry, peers, or potential clients is so rewarding, though.
Join relevant groups for your interests and services - groups both on LinkedIn and Facebook are great networking opportunities for lawyers in your practice area and not only. In those groups, you can find sources for peer knowledge content and updates on legal trends. Usually, groups are specialised communities; therefore, try to give as much as you take; you’ll get more from interacting with your fellow group members, no matter the discussion topic.
Publish compelling content - writing insightful articles on current trends will help establish you as a thought leader in your practice area, which will do your name and personal brand a lot of good. With some platforms, such as LinkedIn, you can do it inside the platform.
Most popular social platforms and their particularities:
First, you should know that there are many social media platforms. And it means more than Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik-Tok, etc.
It depends on your brand and your services. Here are the most popular listed alphabetically: Clubhouse, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Medium, Messenger, Pinterest, ProductHunt, Quora, Reddit, Snapchat, Telegram, TikTok, Tumblr, Twitter, Twitch, Youtube, WhatsApp, Wikipedia.
The list could go on as they go even more in subtopics - quite overwhelming, right? To avoid this overwhelming, see first where your audience is, where your tribe is hanging on and then focus on just a few.
And since Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn are widespread, here are some notes about the two most recent popular ones:
What makes TikTok addictive is that it has a bit of everything - entertainment, educational and informational content in bits of 15-60 seconds. The platform allows you to film short videos that play on a repetitive loop, and you can add fun effects, AR filters, text, and musical overlays to zest things up. The platform integrates with several online stores, such as Shopify, and it became useful for e-commerce due to its massive volume of user-generated content.
Unlike traditional social media sites where we have an asynchronous communication and content sharing platform, Clubhouse leverages synchronous, audio-only connectivity between the audience and the speakers. You basically can share content with your audience, who can talk back to you in real-time. You have rooms there and conversations about everything.
At the time when this article is written, Clubhouse is available only for iOS users.
Social media is all about socialising and online reputation.
Being active on social media requires time, genuine presence and content. It is not an easy job and for sure not for everyone, since it has to do with your image and your brand.
Here are four fundamental principles for social media:
- Social media is about conversations, community, connecting with the audience and building relationships. It is more than just a broadcast channel, sales or marketing tool.
- Authenticity, honesty and open dialogue are essential.
- Social media not only allows you to hear what people say about you but enables you to respond. Listen first, speak second.
- Be compelling, practical, relevant and engaging. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but think through your efforts before kicking them off.
Online reputation takes years to build and seconds to ruin.
Ask for help if needed. If you don’t have the necessary time or skills to be there, consider starting a collaboration with a freelancer or a specialist in digital marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, SEO specialist or copywriter.
The point is to grow your business, not for you to become professional in everything, understand what you want, your business needs, what tactics you can pick up on, and how you can make your business thrive.
What’s the first action you’ll start and when?
Before rushing into running an audit to all your social platforms and deciding which on to focus on, make sure to spend a few more minutes and check our previous articles where you’ll find tactics to make it easier for you and save you time.
For example, you can define your overall digital marketing plan’s structure by understanding how to market yourself and limiting beliefs you might need to overcome. Next, you can learn how to build your brand, leverage your network, and create a simple marketing plan to boost your legal services business.
Make sure to handle your promotion activities carefully. Focus on analysing too, and look for ways to make your life easier. Technology should work in your favour, right? And it does if you’re willing to have a leap of faith.
For example, you can always become a member of our professional lawyers’ community. You set up a professional profile in minutes, adding your expertise, a great professional photo, a short bio, your contact details, and that’s it.
If you already have some insightful content on current legal trends or your expertise, but you didn’t know where to publish it - we are here to help you. You can have your work published on our platform, shared within the community and added to your profile. You can have access to a variety of tools and events that can boost your visibility.
We’ve built our legal marketplace platform with love and care, driven by the idea of supporting lawyers thrive and grow their businesses on one side. On the other side, to ensure that any freelancer, digital nomad, or small business has access to a database of successful and verified lawyers who share their values and eagerness to thrive.
Feel free to reach out to us for more information or to check our FAQ section.
And if you’ve found this article helpful, share it with your colleague, peers, or anyone else you think can benefit from reading it.
Marketer & Community Manager
05 March 2021