In today’s digital era, almost half of the world population is on social media — and that number is expected to keep growing.
Social media has influenced more than just our lifestyles. It has influenced the way consumers interact with brands.
Social media is a popular marketing tool that has become incredibly effective. 73% of marketers believe that their social media efforts have been at least somewhat or very effective.
As a lawyer, social media might be an afterthought. But as you’ll soon find out, there is plenty of opportunity in the social media realm for lawyers.
In this guide, we’re going to dive deep into the best social media for lawyers in 2021, why they’re important, and how to use them.
- Why Lawyers Need Social Media in 2021
- 5 Best Social Media Platforms for Lawyers:
5 Reasons Why Lawyers Need Social Media in 2021
Aside from its strong influence, popularity, and growing relevance, there are a few key reasons why lawyers should jump on the social media bandwagon.
Social media can bring a multitude of benefits for brands, especially those in the legal field.
From more visibility — to generating leads — to a larger professional network, let’s take a deeper look into each benefit.
1. Increase brand awareness
By establishing a social media presence, you bring more awareness to your brand.
3.6 billion people used social media in 2020, and that number is expected to grow to over 4 billion by 2025. So if you want people to discover you fast, social media is the best place to do it.
Social media allows you to target certain demographics, letting you appeal more to your target clients. Whether you’re running an ad campaign or using strategic hashtags, you have the power to control how visible your content is to specific groups of people.
By leveraging features in social media, you’ll easily attract the right people to your profile.
2. Build a network
Social media allows you to be more visible to your:
- Target audience
A huge part of successful legal marketing is your network.
By connecting and engaging with other lawyers and legal field professionals, your name becomes more known. Social media will help you build valuable relationships and a network to establish thought leadership.
Plus, lawyers who know and trust you are more likely to recommend you to prospective clients when they can’t help them.
If you’re a criminal lawyer and someone in your network is a personal injury lawyer, they can refer people they know that need a criminal lawyer to you.
3. Generate leads
The biggest reason you probably want to start social media marketing is to gain new clients.
Perhaps the best benefit of all, social media allows you to (rather quickly) generate leads.
Not only can it be fast, but it can also be free. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars in ads to generate leads. You can do so just by producing quality educational content and taking your followers on a smooth, well-integrated buyer journey.
If you’re still questioning the importance of social media, 70% of businesses said social media marketing was either “somewhat” or “very effective” for generating leads.
And for lawyers specifically, 96% of lawyers say they use social media, and 70% say it’s part of their overall marketing strategy.
Finally, according to the American Bar Association, 35% of lawyers who use social media gain new clients from it.
4. Connect with your target audience
You won’t generate any leads, gain new clients, or bring awareness to your law firm without connecting with your target audience.
It’s also not enough to simply target them with ads or hashtags. You have to get their attention, hold it, and ensure they walk away with a good taste in their mouths.
In the 21st century’s marketing world, trying to sell the consumer the first time they come across your brand doesn’t work. In fact, it turns them off. Yet, there are plenty of businesses that still make this mistake with their social profiles.
When it comes to successful social media marketing, your content must educate, entertain, and build trust with your audience. You have to prove to your audience that you can solve their problems, not just tell them that you can.
In other words, show rather than tell.
Post valuable content on your social accounts that help your target audience solve their problems by educating them — and position yourself as the lawyer who can help.
It’s never been easier to connect with your target consumer base than today. You can use social media to directly interact with your followers and ideal clients through comments, direct messages, polls, surveys, quizzes, and more.
5. Establish industry authority
You know you’re using social media right when you gain more than just new clients — you gain authority.
What do I mean by “authority”?
Social media marketing isn’t just about making a name for yourself among your target audience. It’s also about becoming well known by key figures in your field.
By consistently sharing valuable content, connecting with others in your industry, and building a network, you’ll begin to attract the attention of highly successful figures. Thus this turns into opportunities to market yourself more.
5 Best Social Media for Lawyers (& How to Use Them) in 2021
Let’s take a look at the platforms that bring you the most as a lawyer.
Facebook is one of the oldest social media platforms, yet it’s still the most widely used today.
68% of adults in the United States alone have a Facebook account, which means the platform has a wide variety of audiences.
However, Facebook usage has been on the decline for teenagers since 2015. Your target audience probably isn’t heavily focused on teens as a lawyer (unless you’re a juvenile lawyer). But keep in mind: those teens will soon become adults, which could mean a decline in Facebook usage overall in the next ten years.
Many companies use Facebook to run ads because of its large number of users, which is beneficial for targeting niche demographics. Plus, running ads on the platform can be relatively cheap. The price will vary by industry, but it’s possible to get leads for as cheap as $1 each (sometimes even less).
Here’s how to use Facebook as a lawyer and get the most out of it.
1. Create a business page
To start using Facebook for marketing purposes, you’ll need to create a business page.
The page includes an “about” section.
This is where you should add your:
- Contact information,
- Website link
- Bio with information about you
- Other options depending on what you choose to include.
When creating your page, you’ll be asked to categorize it. People will see this when visiting your page. It tells users the kind of business or figure you are.
Take a look at criminal lawyer Ryan R. Hill’s page.
By visiting his Facebook page, people can tell right away that he’s a criminal lawyer in Longview, Texas.
2. Add a disclaimer
Some people who visit your page might try to message you on Facebook asking for legal advice.
To avoid this situation, add a disclaimer somewhere on your page reminding people not to use Facebook as a means of contacting you.
On social media, the lines can be blurred when it comes to ethics and legal communication, similar to how accountants can’t give everyone tax advice.
So to ensure you’re in good standing with Facebook and the law, add a disclaimer to your page and direct viewers to the best way to contact you.
3. Use professional images for the profile and banner
For your profile picture, you’ll want to include a professional headshot that fits Facebook’s sizing requirements.
If you want someone to trust you with their legal circumstances through Facebook, then you want to present yourself in the most professional way possible. And that goes beyond having a headshot that you spent hundreds of dollars for.
Facebook (and any other social media platform) have precise dimension requirements for profile pictures and banners. So if your photo doesn’t have Facebook’s preferred dimensions, it can look blurred, stretched out, or have part of your face cut off.
If the image doesn’t look right after you’ve uploaded it, try using a tool like Canva that will allow you to edit the image and put it into certain dimensions.
Another important image is the Facebook banner. On mobile, it looks quite wide, but on desktop, it looks much bigger. These differences make it a bit harder to size your image perfectly, so pay extra close attention to how it looks on both devices.
Along with your name and category, the Facebook banner tells visitors of the page who you are and what you do.
Therefore, you want the banner to include your name (or the name of your law firm) and the type of lawyer you are. Also, be sure it contains your logo for proper brand representation.
4. Link to your Facebook page everywhere
To start building an audience on Facebook, start with the one you already have.
Include links to your page on your website, in your email signature, on your personal profile, and other social media channels.
You can send invites to your current Facebook friends to check out your page. And you can send an email to your clients or prospective clients that you now have a Facebook page where they can keep up with you.
Another great way to build your following is to invite people who follow you on other platforms to like your page.
For example, you can:
- Make a post on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn that you now have a Facebook page
- Or send a direct message to your close connections on LinkedIn
Be sure to include the link to your new page in the post or message.
5. Post consistently — especially photos and videos
To get Facebook’s algorithm on your side, keep a consistent posting routine. Not only will it help you become more visible, but it makes your page look more established and trusted.
For the best engagement, photos and videos perform the best, with videos being #1. Videos receive engagement rates of 0.26% on average, whereas non-video posts receive a 0.18% rate.
Another type of Facebook content that receives high visibility and engagement is live streaming. Facebook found that the viewership of live streams increased by 50% in 2020.
With a mixture of these three types of content, your page will be well set on the path to growth (and higher engagement).
But how often should you post to your page?
According to Hootsuite, the average page shares 1.55 posts a day.
Consistency is key for growing your page (or any of your social media accounts). Posting once a day for a month is better than posting five times on Tuesday and then another five times three weeks later.
6. Find a balance between educational and promotional content
We already talked about how too much promotional content on a social media page can look scammy, untrustworthy, and disappointing to users.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t ever promote yourself and your services.
To reach your social media marketing goals, you need to strike a balance in the content you post — mainly between educational and promotional.
Overall, you want more valuable, problem-solving, educational content on your page because that’s what will attract new (and existing) followers.
However, this kind of content is still serving a somewhat promotional purpose. If viewers are impressed by your content, they’ll follow your page, visit your website, or grow fond of you.
Think of each piece of content you post as a potential conversion machine.
Your content also doesn’t have to be just educational or promotional. In fact, you should also have posts that inspire connection, motivation, encouragement, and laughter.
To do so, you can post motivational quotes, success stories, funny industry-related memes, and personal stories.
In general, try to make the majority of your posts more about your audience than about your business.
7. Run ads on Facebook
Ads allow you to reach thousands of people who aren’t currently following you.
And thanks to Facebook’s insightful analytics and demographic information, you can target people who need your services or are more likely to use them.
There are three basic terms when it comes to Facebook ads:
- Ad set — a group of ads that target certain audiences. The more audiences you want to target, the more ad sets you’ll need.
- Campaign — contains your ad sets and objectives. Each campaign has different ad sets, target audiences, and objectives. Objectives include actions you want the viewer to take, such as visiting a website, clicking a link, liking your page, installing an app, etc.
- Ad — the ad or post that will be advertised, including its own design and copy. These are the individual ads that make up your ad sets.
You can include up to 50 ads in a set. While having 50 different ads would be pretty time-consuming and expensive, it’s always a good idea to include more than one.
This way, you can analyze the performance of each ad and decide which one had more ROI.
After discovering each ad’s ROI and effectiveness, you can determine which ones were worth the investment and which ones weren’t. This comparison makes advertising on Facebook much easier and more effective in the future.
Known as one of the most professional social media platforms out there, LinkedIn is a must-use for anyone with a business. And among lawyers, it’s the most popular.
According to the American Bar Association, 93% of lawyers use LinkedIn.
If a platform is being used by many of your colleagues, competitors, or key figures with industry authority, it’s worth establishing a presence there yourself.
LinkedIn is valuable for generating leads and building up a network of relationships.
Let’s take a deeper look into how to use LinkedIn to grow your legal practice.
1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile
Just like any other social platform, your LinkedIn account needs to be optimized. In other words, make it attractive to both — visitors and the algorithm.
To do so, start by selecting professional pictures that correctly fit the sizing requirements, just as you did for your Facebook page.
Second, describe who you are and what you do in the bio. This line is seen as a make-it or break-it feature by many marketers.
Take a look at Derek Gilliland’s profile and notice how you can instantly tell that he is a parent trial lawyer and where he works.
Another thing you’ll want to do is add your contact information (and as much of it as you can). Some people will only add their phone number or email address, but it’s recommended you add both. The easier it is to reach you, the easier it will be for leads to find you.
2. Show off your credentials
LinkedIn is the place to flaunt everything you’re proud of — things like:
- Where you went to school
- Which companies you’ve worked for
- The certifications and licenses you have
- Honorary mentions or features
- And anything in between
It sends a strong message of trust and professionalism to anyone who wants to consult you — and other experts who want to connect with you.
Fill out every detail you possibly can when prompted. If you speak another language (even at a beginner level), add it to your profile and indicate how proficient you are.
Put more than just five skills on your profile. Think outside the box with skills such as leadership, communication, and creativity. If you’ve ever been featured in a publication, add it to your profile.
3. Target keywords with the “about” section
The “about” section on LinkedIn says a lot about the type of professional you are.
Unlike most social media platforms, LinkedIn allows you to write a rather lengthy bio.
Use this to your advantage by including everything you can about yourself that’s important. It’s basically a pitch to people who come across it.
But the most important thing to keep in mind while crafting this section is keywords.
A “keyword” is a word or phrase someone types into the search bar of LinkedIn (or any social media or search engine, for that matter).
For example, someone looking for a criminal defense lawyer will type in the keyword “criminal defense lawyer” into LinkedIn. Then, they’ll see people who have optimized their profiles to include the words “criminal defense lawyer.”
Using keywords is your way of telling the LinkedIn algorithm what you are. So when writing your “about” section, include the keyword(s) you want to appear for when someone searches them.
However, keep in mind:
It’s never a good idea to “keyword stuff” (use the keyword too many times in unnatural ways that feel forced).
4. Connect with people
LinkedIn’s “connect” feature is like Facebook’s “friend request” feature.
Instead of sending someone a friend request, you send them a connection request.
After reaching 500 connections, LinkedIn will stop displaying the specific number of connections you have and instead simply say “500+ connections.” This communicates to people who view your page that you’re active on the platform and have a vast network.
Start building your LinkedIn network by sending connection requests to people you know.
These people could be:
- Family members
- College classmates
These people are much more likely to accept the request despite your lack of current “connections” because they already know you, unlike strangers.
After that, you can start sending connection requests to other lawyers, both in your area and all over the world. (This is a great way to build a referral network.)
5. Be active and use hashtags
A common theme among all social media channels is that the more consistent and active you are, your audience will grow.
This can be as simple as posting once a day and commenting on other people’s content, or as invested as doing live streams 3 times a week.
When you make your own posts, be sure to always use up to five relevant hashtags (any more can come off as spam). This will make your content more visible because people following or searching those hashtags are more likely to discover it.
6. Request recommendations
Finally, send a recommendation request to anyone with whom you’ve worked well with in the past. This allows the other person to leave a “review” or “testimonial” to tell people how great you are.
These can be previous clients, partners, or other professionals who have witnessed your work.
Recommendations give you more content on your profile and show a huge amount of trustworthiness to potential clients and partners.
YouTube is becoming one of the most popular social platforms in the world and is a valuable place to be.
According to the Pew Research Center, 74% of US adults use YouTube, which is more than Facebook at 68%. In America, it’s the most popular online platform.
And YouTube’s usage by age demographic shows much better signs of life in the future. While Facebook’s usage among teens has been dwindling since 2015, YouTube is used by 77% of 15-35-year olds in the US alone.
So how can you have success with YouTube as a lawyer?
1. Learn YouTube search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of optimizing a web page to maximize the number of organic visitors from search engines.
YouTube is a search engine, just like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Except when someone searches for a word, phrase, or topic on YouTube, a list of relevant videos comes up.
Usually, videos that appear as the first result get the most clicks, and the lower you go down the line, the fewer clicks a video gets.
You want any video you make to get the most clicks possible. Therefore, you want to rank number one for your chosen keywords.
To achieve this, you need to optimize each video you create for YouTube’s algorithm.
Start by targeting a keyword relevant to your niche and using it in your video description, tags, title, and video file.
A bonus to using YouTube is that you can monetize your channel after gaining enough subscribers and watch hours. This means you can let YouTube run ads on your videos, and you get paid for it.
2. Include a CTA (Call to Action) in every video
Think about the goal or action you want viewers to take after watching your video. It could be something like booking a consultation or visiting your website.
At the end of the video (or wherever it’s relevant), encourage viewers to do so with a Call to Action (CTA).
CTAs are simply short “pitches”— usually only one or two sentences long — that prompt readers or viewers to do what you want them to.
Try to incorporate this naturally into your video, as you don’t want to sound pushy or salesy.
3. Post videos on other social media platforms
To improve efficiency and expand your YouTube video’s reach as far as possible, repost it on every social channel you have.
For example, you can share it with your Facebook followers on your lawyer Facebook page. Or you can post it on LinkedIn with relevant hashtags to promote it to your current connections and people who follow the hashtags.
Include it somewhere on your website so more visitors can discover your YouTube channel.
The options are limitless. Promoting your YouTube content gives your video more views and gives your platforms more content.
4. Film educational and entertaining content
Give your viewers more than just one type of content.
While problem-solving, educational content is always a superb way to generate leads and establish industry authority, people love to use YouTube for entertainment.
For example, you can search for challenges that are trending and film a “lawyer tries the X challenge” video. Or, discover trending music videos and do a reaction, similar to the channel Criminal Lawyer Reactions.
Covering entertaining topics will get you more views, watch hours, and possibly subscribers, which builds your YouTube channel’s authority.
There has never been a better time to use Twitter as a marketing tool.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 82% of B2B marketers used Twitter as part of their content marketing plan in 2020, and 27% of them used Twitter ads.
It’s easy to see that Twitter is becoming more and more popular — for users and businesses. Its ad revenue was up by 15% and its engagement by 27% in Q4 of 2020.
Here’s how to take advantage of Twitter for your law firm.
1. Post videos on Twitter
Although most famous for its 140-character posts known as tweets, videos are quite popular on Twitter.
82% of users watch videos on Twitter — specifically native videos.
In this context, native videos are videos uploaded and played directly from Twitter. A shared YouTube video, for example, would not be considered “native video.”
Twitter found that native videos drive more engagement than those shared by third parties onto the platform. Native videos on Twitter receive 2.5x replies, 2.8 retweets, and 1.9x favorites.
2. Follow relevant people
The easiest way to gain followers on Twitter is to become one yourself.
What I mean by this is: Follow relevant accounts, such as law firms, different types of lawyers, legal experts, key figures, colleagues, bar associations, law schools, and the like.
Many people follow back people who follow them, especially if your account is relevant to their interests or career.
You can also get an idea of who would be interested in following you by going through your competitors’ following relevant accounts. These people are more likely to follow you back since they have similar interests.
After doing this for a few days, you’ll likely end up with a considerable following that’s relevant to your niche and interests.
3. Post new content and share existing content
There are many ways to engage on Twitter, perhaps more than other platforms. Unlike most social channels, being active and consistent on Twitter doesn’t mean you have to post something new every day.
Instead, you can be active by liking, sharing (known as “retweeting”), retweeting with a comment, and replying to other people’s tweets.
Your Twitter profile actively shows your followers tweets you like and comment on (which is much different from other platforms).
Take advantage of this feature and be active when using Twitter — not just when you make a new post.
Although it isn’t among the top three social platforms recommended for lawyers (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter), Instagram is becoming increasingly valuable and should be paid attention to.
The reason for this?
Instagram’s audience is younger than Facebook’s, with 71% of its users under the age of 35.
As a result, there may be fewer leads you can gather, unless teenagers are part of your target audience.
However, teenagers using Instagram in 2020 could become your target audience over the next 10 years. And with the declining Facebook usage, Instagram might creep its way onto the “top 3” as its replacement over the next few decades.
1. Connect Instagram to your Facebook page
When posting on Facebook, you can easily share the same content on Instagram with the push of a button.
And it works the other way around, too (Instagram posts can be automatically posted on Facebook simultaneously).
Since Instagram probably won’t be high on your social media priorities, you won’t want to spend as much time on it as the others. However, you can still stay active (and quite passively, too) thanks to this feature.
2. Use relevant hashtags on every post
Instagram lets you use up to 30 hashtags without getting penalized, which is significantly higher than most platforms.
But with this privilege comes great responsibility. Every time you make a post, you should strive to use all 30 of your hashtag opportunities — even if the follower amount for a few is very low.
However, just because you can have 30, doesn’t mean you should. You may want to consider your posts could come off as spammy to users by using 30 hashtags.
So it’s recommended that you test out different amounts for your industry.
Another thing to keep in mind: aim primarily for the “low hanging fruit.” These hashtags have between 1,000 to 50,000 posts and are usually more than one word long.
The benefit of using “low hanging fruit” hashtags is that your posts won’t be as easily drowned out.
When using a hashtag with over 1 million posts, it’ll be difficult for people to see your content since the tag is being used almost constantly.
3. Post “Stories”
“Stories” is one of Instagram’s most famous features, and businesses should be quick to jump on the trend.
A story is a shorter version of a post that’s displayed for about 10 seconds and then can no longer be viewed after 24 hours.
Stories can include photos, videos, or even just plain text, and they’re extremely popular. The platform found in 2018 that 500 million accounts use the Stories feature every day. And one-third of the most viewed stories are from businesses.
But what should you post as Stories?
To make your brand feel more personal, share pictures and videos of your workdays, teams, and office. While it might sound simple, doing so gives your business a more human appeal and makes you more approachable.
You can post fun content like videos from your office party, annual Halloween party, or on an employee’s birthday.
Stories are also a great way to promote new content you post, as you can include a snippet of new posts directly in the story.
Take Advantage of Social Media Marketing as a Lawyer
Social media has been popular since its birth, and its influence over our lives is ever increasing.
No matter which platforms you decide to use, simply start being active. By doing so, you’re bound to start building an audience.
Experts predict the future will become even more digital, and it’s important for your brand to adapt.
While many have already made the move, others haven’t — so there’s no better time than now.