As an attorney, you want to grow your firm’s digital presence and drive more business to your firm online. There are several types of digital marketing practices that can help you to achieve your goals, and social media is a major one. However, not every social media channel is going to be the best use of your time and resources.
To be successful with social media as a way to attract and convert potential clients, you first need to know what your options are, and what will work best for your practice. Read on for a breakdown of the three major social media “zones,” tips for developing successful social media habits, and how to make social media the perfect complement to your firm’s website.
The Three Zones of Social Media for Attorneys
When I worked as a marketing consultant for solos and small law firms before joining the LawLytics team, I would often hear from attorneys who were frustrated with social media and stumped by their lack of results. While they didn’t have any intent to be internet-famous, these attorneys were still discouraged by the lack of interaction with potential clients online. Eventually, I boiled down the issue to this: They often had a “more is more” mindset, had spread themselves too thin, and ultimately had become overwhelmed as a result.
Understanding how to streamline your social media efforts in a way that not only fits into your management ability but also your online personality and digital marketing goals is helpful to building an effective social media program. The following are the three social media zones for solos and small law firms:
The social media platforms within the Green Zone are ideal for solos and small law firms. These channels are likely where your potential clients are spending a lot of their time online. They can also be an important extension of your brand messaging: Who you are and who you serve.
LinkedIn is a must-have for any professional in the modern age and has become a valuable asset to lawyers as a place to network and attract potential clients. LinkedIn helps attorneys appear in top results on Google due to the platform’s popularity – a great opportunity to grab the attention of potential clients and drive traffic to your website.
The best way to get the most out of your LinkedIn presence is to post to the platform regularly. Blog posts, news stories, client testimonials, professional achievements, and community involvement are all great to share. Be sure to also interact with the people and posts on your feed by liking, commenting, and sharing to signal to your network that you are engaged.
Tip: LinkedIn is a great place to cultivate your referral relationships and stay connected with your professional network. If you’re looking to build your referral network, consider researching and joining LinkedIn groups that are geared toward lawyers. These can be specific to your law school, bar associations, practice areas, and more.
Facebook is still the leading platform for businesses to stay connected with their client base online. If you haven’t already done so, consider creating a Facebook Page for your law firm so potential clients can learn more about your services, read client reviews, and easily access your website.
Tip: It’s likely you already have a personal Facebook account with a considerable “friends” count. Use this to your advantage by requesting your friends list to “like” your law firm Facebook page. This is an easy way to alert your network that you’re open for business – and they can start sending potential clients your way.
Twitter is useful for the attorney who stays on top of trending topics and is interested in thought leadership. This of-the-moment platform can be a great way to stay connected with your existing network, and it also works to drive potential clients to your website by capturing their interest on relevant topics.
The Grey Zone of social media platforms is a middle ground for attorneys and results will depend on your practice area and your consistency of use. Potential clients are not likely visiting either of the below platforms in pursuit of an attorney. Still, these platforms can be useful to attorneys who want to get in front of a large audience to build brand awareness.
Instagram is a popular choice for attorneys looking to grow their social media presence outside the social media platforms in the Green Zone. You may experiment with targeted hashtags and boosted posts to increase views and engagement with your profile. You can also utilize the direct messaging feature to answer questions from potential clients.
TikTok is the newest leader in social media and has been turning the heads of professionals for its potential to share information and increase brand awareness to an audience of millions. A diverse roster of industries have used TikTok to gain popularity through the creation of short-form video content. However, without a clear channel to your firm’s website, TikTok may not be the best driver of traffic to your law firm.
Social media platforms in the Red Zone are not proven to drive traffic to your website or attract the attention of your ideal client. This low conversion capability is due to the intent and use of each platform. Unlike the Green and Grey Zones, time and effort invested in platforms in the Red Zone are not likely to benefit your firm in terms of website traffic or brand awareness.
Pinterest is a social media platform that inspires the creative with recipes, design, do-it-yourself projects, party planning, and more. While Pinterest is considered a social media platform, attorneys are not likely to be successful in identifying a target audience based on their ideal client persona on the platform.
Snapchat is a social and entertainment app where users can create and share temporary images and videos. Similar to Pinterest, attorneys may find it very difficult to identify an audience that makes sense to their ideal client persona.
Developing successful social media habits
Whether you decide to be present on one or many social media platforms, it’s best to establish some goals, and evaluate your bandwidth to achieve the best possible ROI. Many attorneys will aim to use social media to drive traffic back to their law firm website. From there, they will have an opportunity to convert their website visitors into paying clients. Whatever your goals are, it’s helpful to base your social media strategy around them to help guide important decisions.
I often explained social media to my old clients as a “game” that professionals can play to give their business an extra boost from online engagement. The rules are very simple, and they apply to everyone: Remain present and consistent. It may be more difficult to reach the goals you established for your social media presence if you don’t plan on engaging with the platforms regularly. If possible, aim to visit your chosen social media channels daily for at least five minutes to interact with your feed. This means liking posts, leaving comments, returning comments, reposting, and creating your own posts. A little bit of daily interaction can go a long way to signal to your audience that you are engaged, and prompt them to engage with you as well.
The perfect complement to your firm’s website
Social media, while varied with opportunities for attorneys looking to grow their online presence, is ultimately a means to an end to drive traffic to your firm’s website. This approach to social media will likely help you to streamline your strategy and avoid overextending your time and resources.
Potential leads from social media ultimately need somewhere to land once they have become interested in your firm’s services. Investing time and efforts into your firm’s website is the best way to guarantee a long-term ROI for generating new business, and social media is a great tool for this purpose.
Social media can be a great way to connect with an audience you may not have been able to attract otherwise, but it’s important to know that all posts are in essence temporary, and as such they shouldn’t be overwhelming your marketing resources.
If you’re a LawLytics customer, we’re here to provide guidance on social media and support for connecting your accounts to our platform. If you are not yet a LawLytics member and would like to know more about how LawLytics can help your firm grow, schedule a 20-minute interactive demo.