How Attorneys Can Harness Social Media For Their Legal Marketing and SEO

by Mar 3, 2016

Some people are such big names that they transcend traditional social media.

At least, that’s what’s happening with NBA player Stephen Curry. The Golden State Warriors basketball star has a huge Twitter following. More than 4.5 million followers, in fact. But it wasn’t always that way.

While Curry had a fairly impressive number of followers while he was playing as a Davidson Wildcat, his former college roommate Bryant Barr had an interesting observation about how Curry ended up with such a tremendous Twitter fanbase. Curry actually took the time to reach out to his fans.

Barr’s observation was this:

What I started seeing was that second or third year in the NBA when he was having an injury-prone year he started making an effort to connect with fans and go above and beyond and not just post things or reply once in awhile but go deep with fans and you know his audience skyrocketed. It was from 100K users on Twitter to a million in about 18 months.

But with a following that big, it became difficult for Curry to continue connecting with his fans. So, Barr, now at Stanford Business School, created Slyce for Curry.

The platform is aimed at allowing “influencers” like Curry to sift through various Twitter questions and topics. Influencers can then single out the ones they’d like to discuss.

Small law firms likely don’t need their own social media platform. Yet, you can still learn something valuable about social media based on Stephen Curry’s experience. Consider these points as you build your law firm’s social media presence.

1. Social Media Helps People Find An Attorney and Connect With Small Law Firms.

There’s an expression that says people “won’t care about what you know until they know how much you care.” That applies to your potential clients.

Curry had a pretty decent following to start with. But it was a following that saw tremendous growth once he started really interacting with his fanbase. Social media is a great way to get in touch with your potential clients and referral sources, and also to have them find you.

You’ll be able to answer their questions, link to useful law firm blog posts you write, and let them know why practicing the law really matters to you.

2. Attorney Credibility & Authenticity Matter For Your Law Firm Marketing.

Theoretically, Stephen Curry could do nothing but spend his time practicing for his next game and doing interviews. A professional athlete doesn’t necessarily have to take time to reach out to his fans and followers. Yet, Curry does.

There’s a good chance the attitude Curry takes is one that makes him popular. I’m not a huge basketball fan by any means, and yet, I find Curry to be an extremely likeable character. He generally has a great on-court attitude (he rarely gets into spats with coaches or referees), he’s relatable as a family-oriented person, and he puts in the effort to reach out to the people who care about his success and care about basketball.

His approach is paying off, literally: Curry’s jerseys are the top seller in 46 states. (Move over, LeBron.)

But Curry’s approach is good for more people than just basketball players. As an attorney in today’s competitive market, you have a similar advantage. Have a clear message. Project an online personality and brand. Write about useful, credible legal information and use your social media to reach out to others.

Potential clients are likely to find you, trust you as a thought leader, and engage with you on the web this way. Ultimately, they’re more likely to hire you when it comes time to choose an attorney. On top of that, being personable, even on the internet, helps show people that you’re relatable. (And how people feel about you and your law firm website matters.)

It also means that others are likely to recommend your counsel when a friend or family member is in need. Best of all, some of those recommendations may come in the form of online reviews through sites like Yelp, the modern-day “word of mouth.” With millions of monthly visitors,  positive reviews can work in your favor.

Don’t feel confined to Twitter when you want to engage your potential clients. Facebook is another great tool for lawyers. But before you go and sign up for a Facebook business page, I caution you: very few people are paying attention to it.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve liked a business page out of courtesy, boredom or otherwise, and I’ve never been back to see it. If you haven’t experienced this yourself while using Facebook, I can tell you that your potential clients are doing the same thing. Here’s a better option.

Use your personal Facebook page, instead. There are some of you reading this and cringing at the thought of mixing business and your personal life. But potential clients are much more likely to connect with you if you post as yourself, rather than as a business page.

We’ve recently discussed how Facebook affects how users find and read information. But more than that, your posts are much more likely to be seen in clients’ news feeds than they are if you post from your business page.

3. Lawyers Can Use Social Media To Benefit SEO And Overall Reach.

Here’s another benefit to using your personal Facebook page for business. A recent deal between Facebook and Google will allow the search engine to index publicly-available personal posts and status updates — something Google couldn’t do before.

So, the next time you write something about your firm on your personal page — make it public. You’ll harness not only the power of using your personal page, but you’ll extend your reach to the search engines, too.

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