A survey performed by Attorney at Work found that 25% of lawyers use Instagram regularly for marketing. Aside from that data, formal research on law firm use of Instagram is not readily available. So we wanted to figure out how attorneys are using the platform to build their brands and engage with potential clients.
While looking for inspiration, we found the following.
- Hundreds of lawyers and law firms in the US have active Instagram accounts – many have at least 1,000 followers.
- Over half of the top 20 law firms in the US use Instagram.
- Some law firms have over 10k followers with large levels of engagement.
- Attorneys are sharing far more than just information about the law and their services. They are sharing content that people can relate with and actually want to tell their friends about.
- Lawyers are finding that Instagram is a legitimate, if not essential part, of their online marketing efforts.
Why are lawyers and law firms utilizing Instagram?
According to Instagram Business, its platform has over 1 billion users who are active each month. 80% of Instagram users follow a business. Pew Research found that Instagram is the third most popular social network behind YouTube and Facebook amongst US adults and that 63% of its users visit the site at least once per day.
App users love Instagram as well. Google Play lists it as one of the top five free apps with a 4.4-star rating from over 87 million users, and the App Store lists it as number one in photo and video with a 4.8-star rating from over 13 million users.
How are law firms using Instagram to grow their practice?
In our guide to Social Media for Lawyers, we examined how law firms should review the guidelines and rules of professional conduct as set by the ABA and applicable local bar associations when it comes to social media usage. Take into account any rules that may apply to following other users, what type of content you can post to your Instagram account, setting up and maintaining a social media policy, applicable use of disclaimers, and advertising ethics.
As with most other social networks, you can use Instagram to build brand awareness for your law firm within your local community. Through the use of original Instagram post ideas, Stories, and IGTV, you could put your law firm’s name in the mind of potential clients. That way, if they were ever in need of legal service, hopefully the name of your law firm would stand out as they start to research their options.
In addition, through Instagram advertising, you can use retargeting to remind potential clients that you offer the legal services they recently searched for on your website. It allows you to utilize a small advertising budget to potentially achieve a large result. Continue reading to get a comprehensive look at how your law firm can utilize Instagram to increase your reach.
How to Get Started on Instagram
Prior to setting up your law firm on Instagram, you may want to download the Instagram app from the App Store, or Google Play, on your mobile device and create an account for yourself. Get to know Instagram on a personal level and use it like your potential clients would. But more importantly, get a feel for how different types of entities market themselves on Instagram.
Take some time to follow Instagram accounts for the people that inspire you. Follow the big brands that you respect. Follow a lot of local businesses you shop at or see on a regular basis. Follow the top lawyers and law firms that offer similar services from other states. Follow hashtags for your community, for your hobbies, and for things that excite you.
Once you’ve followed some accounts, take some time each day to look at the posts in your newsfeed. Watch the Stories at the top. Visit the Search and Explore tab. Watch some IGTV.
Get a good feel for what you like and what you don’t like about the Instagram community. Also notice posts from the layers and law firms you follow mix into the content from everyone else you follow. This will give you a sense of what to create for your law firm’s content and how it will flow into your follower’s Instagram experience.
How to Set Up a Business Instagram Account
To set up a business account on Instagram for your law firm, if you haven’t already, you will need to download the Instagram app from the App Store, Google Play, or Microsoft Store on your mobile device. You can create a new account using your Facebook account, phone number, or email address.
Instagram will allow other users to discover your law firm’s Instagram account based on this information. Therefore, you may want to use a phone number or email address that you know your clients have in their phones as a way to build your Instagram audience.
Next, Instagram will ask for your name and password. On the following screen, Instagram will show you the username they have automatically generated for you. You can use the link they provide to change it to match your usernames on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.
Instagram will then ask to connect with your Facebook and phone contacts to find people to follow on Instagram. You can skip these steps until you are done customizing your profile. That way, when you start to follow your contacts, they will see your completed profile instead of a blank one.
Next, you will add your profile photo. You will need to download your profile photo from LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter to your phone’s photo album or skip this step and add it later. Once you are finished, you will be taken to your new profile.
Every new Instagram account begins as a personal account. If you already have a personal Instagram account, you can go to your account settings and tap on the link to switch to a professional account.
Instagram offers professional accounts for creators and for businesses. As a business, you can link your Instagram account to your Facebook page, choose the Lawyer & Law Firm category for your Instagram account, and add public contact information.
How to Customize Your Instagram Profile
The best way to make a great first impression with your law firm’s brand on Instagram is to customize your Instagram profile and publish a few great posts before you begin to connect with your target audience. To customize your Instagram profile, tap on your profile icon in the Instagram app and tap on the Edit Profile link.
To upload or change your profile photo, tap on your profile photo or the placeholder image and upload a photo that is at least 180px by 180px. This photo should match the image you use on other social networks so your fans and followers for easy brand recognition.
If needed, edit your name and username to match those used on your other social networks to stay consistent with your law firm’s branding. Then enter your law firm’s website URL.
Next, you will enter a 150-character description of your law firm in the bio. You can use this to simply introduce people to your law firm or to let people know what they can expect from your Instagram profile. Some law firms also use their Instagram bio to include disclaimers about advertising, legal advice, and typical results.
How to Add Local Business Details on Instagram
In the public business information section, you can edit the Facebook page linked to your Instagram account and account category. You can also add or edit your law firm’s contact details and edit which contact details appear on your public profile using profile display.
If you include your email and/or phone number in the public business information section, a contact button will appear on your profile. Instagram users who tap on this will be able to email and/or call you from your profile.
If you include your street address on your profile and make it visible, visitors to your profile will be able to tap on it to get directions to your law firm’s office.
They can also click through to your law firm’s location page if you linked your Facebook page to your Instagram account and if your Facebook page is set as a local business. The information on this page is pulled from what you provided in your Facebook page’s About section such as your business category, price range, website, and phone number.
Instagram users that visit your Location Info can also see the latest photos that have been tagged to your location. This means that anyone on Instagram can take a photo and tag it to your location.
As a part of monitoring your law firm’s social media reputation, you should review the photos that appear on your location info’s top and recent photos regularly. While you cannot remove photos that are tagged with your law firm’s name and location, you can review the photos, reply to comments, and privately contact photo owners as needed.
How to Create Compelling Instagram Posts
Once you have customized your Instagram profile, you will want to publish at least three photos or videos to your account before you start connecting with others on Instagram. These three posts should give your first Instagram account visitors a reason to follow you.
Instagram is all about creating visual appealing posts. Instagram’s ad inspiration page offers ideas on the types of content other businesses are creating to engage their audiences. They also offer three apps that you can use to enhance your creatives.
- Layout – Allows you to take two or more photos or videos and organize them into a collage. Get it on the App Store or Google Play.
- Boomerang – Allows you to take a burst of photos, which the app will stitch together to play forwards and backward as a GIF. Get it on the App Store or Google Play.
- Hyperlapse – Allows you to take a handheld timelapse video without professional camera gear. Get it on the App Store.
You can also start by simply taking great photos using your smartphone’s camera. Or create professional graphics by using tools like Canva that allow non-designers the ability to generate customized images using hundreds of easy to edit templates.
Suggested photo and video sizes for Instagram posts, as per Instagram Feed Ad design specifications, are as follows.
- Square: minimum of 600px by 600px – 1:1 ratio
- Landscape: minimum of 600px by 315px – 1.91:1 ratio
- Vertical: minimum of 600px by 700px – 4:5 ratio
The maximum image size should be 1936px by 1936px, but you can upload larger and Instagram will resize it proportionally. While you only need the minimum resolution for mobile users, desktop Instagram users will appreciate the maximum image/video size.
Video posts can be up to 60 seconds in length. You can use your smartphone to capture great video too. If you are recording yourself speaking to your smartphone or camera, be sure to invest in a tripod, microphone, and a natural lighting ring. These three pieces of equipment help you create a higher quality video.
Once you have created an eye-catching photo or video for an Instagram post and saved it to your phone’s photo album, you can share it on Instagram.
Go to your Instagram app and tap on the plus icon at the bottom of the screen.
Select the photo or video from your library.
The icons at the bottom of the photo or video will allow you to remove the square cropping, add Boomerang video features, add a collage layout, or add up to 10 photos or videos into one post as a carousel.
On the next screen, you can edit your media with filters and image adjustments.
Then you will continue to the caption.
Your caption is the text that will appear below your photo or video. It can be up to 2,200 characters long and include up to 30 hashtags. Note that Instagram only displays the first one to three lines of your caption beneath your photo or video. Users will have to tap on the more link to view the rest when scrolling through their newsfeed.
This makes the first 35 – 150 characters the most crucial part of your caption. If you want Instagram users to read the rest of a longer caption or follow a call to action, you must encourage them to do so within the first part of your caption.
Save anything that is not a call to action and your hashtags for the latter part of your caption. You can also add your post’s hashtags to the first comment of your post if you have a public Instagram account.
You can research the best hashtags to use by using Instagram search in the app or at instagram.com on your desktop browser. Search results for hashtags will show the number of posts for each hashtag plus related hashtags in most cases.
By including hashtags, you have the potential to reach the followers of a hashtag plus those who visit the most recent or top posts of that hashtag. You can also boost your law firm’s reputation by making your law firm its own hashtag.
After you have crafted your caption and added your hashtags, you can add your location, and tag Instagram accounts that are relevant to your post. Hashtags, location, and tagged Instagram accounts can help your post gain the popularity to reach the Search and Explore tab of the Instagram app, helping new audiences discover your law firm.
You can let Instagram share the post to your law firm’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you haven’t connected your Facebook or Twitter account to your Instagram profile yet, you will need to do so before it can share your post to those accounts.
You can also configure advanced settings for your post, which include the option to turn off commenting. Once finished, you can publish your post on Instagram.
After you publish your Instagram post, you can go back and edit it at any time by visiting the post on the app. Tap on the three dots above the photo or video and use the edit link to edit the caption, add additional hashtags, or modify any other details.
The only thing you cannot change without deleting the post is the photo or video itself, so make sure that is perfect before you publish your post!
40 Examples of Instagram Posts for Law Firms
To get your Instagram started on the right foot, you may need some inspiration. The following are examples of Instagram posts from US law firms that have engaged audiences of over 1,000 followers. We have captured these posts on a desktop browser so you can analyze the use of captions, hashtags, and location tagging on each post.
1. Share important facts and statistics that are relevant to the services your law firm offers. In the following post, the law firm placed their hashtags in the first comment.
2. Promote positive mentions of your lawyers and law firm in the media. All that is missing in the following post is the location tag.
3. Commercials aren’t just for television anymore. Upload your latest videos to reach online audiences on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to get more out of your traditional advertising budget. While the post below includes the law firm’s contact information, it could use a location tag and hashtags relevant to the content.
4. Seek out the best events in your area for sponsorship and vendor opportunities. Post some photos on Instagram using the event hashtag to reach local audiences at the event and audiences attending the event virtually.
5. Share quotes by famous people – authors, philosophers, celebrities, etc. Use graphics tools to create high-quality graphics and add your law firm’s name for increased brand visibility when others re-share your post.
6. Celebrate everyone’s achievements and awards at your law firm. Show your potential clients that your law firm wins cases thanks to having a strong team throughout.
7. Promote health and well-being within your law firm. Then let your law firm inspire others using Instagram and let your post reach more people using relevant hashtags for the event.
8. Stay tuned in to current events and offer advice that can help your community in times of crisis.
9. Show behind the scenes footage of your law firm at work, whether you’re filming your next testimonial or just chatting in the boardroom.
10. When possible, give the latest updates about cases that are getting the most media attention.
11. Merge your personal passions with your law firm’s Instagram marketing strategy. Be sure to research hashtags to take advantage of as many popular hashtags related to your post as possible (up to 30).
12. Introduce yourself and your team of lawyers with professional-quality photography. If you are linking to your employee’s personal Instagram accounts, and if they are linking to the law firm’s in their bio, that employees are well versed in your law firm’s social media policy.
13. Share client testimonials that meet the requirements of applicable state and local bar associations. Add your law firm’s colors and branding to make a strong impression on potential clients. You can also add the testimonial text itself to the caption since the caption allows up to 2,200 characters and hashtags can be moved into the first comment.
14. Celebrate your law firm’s milestones with colleagues, friends, family, and your Instagram audience. Include the location and celebratory hashtags to get more engagement on your post.
15. Answer the questions clients ask most often to help people feel comfortable before they tap the contact button on your profile. Use the caption to include both the question and the answer, with relevant hashtags in the comments.
16. Take photos that grab the attention of your target demographic. Get to know their interests and post the images that they will find the most visually appealing to ensure that they notice your posts in their newsfeed or in the newsfeed of the hashtags they follow. Be sure to include the location tag for a potential boost in engagement.
17. Create a mascot for your law firm and use it to make your posts stand out from other law firms. Consider adding hashtags related to the type of animal (if applicable) and boost your engagement with animal lovers in your community and beyond.
18. Yes, you can share content created by others on Instagram. The key is to ask the content creator for permission first and give them the appropriate credit in your post. Never steal content from others on social media and publish it without permission and credit.
19. Share your wins and case results with the proper disclaimers as per your law firm’s social media policy and local guidelines.
20. You can educate your audience as it relates to the services your law firm has to offer. As shown in the following post, make sure to include your law firm’s name in case the post is saved by or shared with a potential client.
21. Invite your Instagram audience to celebrate your personal wins along with your professional ones. Potential clients may feel more comfortable hiring someone that they feel shares their personal values and life experiences.
22. Let people know when local celebrities stop by your office. Be sure to tag celebrities and influencers you collaborate with in the photo or video itself when possible so that your law firm’s post will show up on their Instagram account as well under tagged photos.
23. Create law-related humor for your Instagram audience to relieve the tension. If you choose to share comics by other artists, be sure to get their permission and give them credit in your post caption and tag the artist.
24. Promote publications by your lawyers and law firm using quotes, reviews, and other snippets. In the following example, the law firm could have also included hashtags relevant to the story, their location, and tags for the publishing company.
25. Use positivity to motivate others. Even the most minimalist graphics like this one can stand out in the newsfeed of your followers and of those who follow motivational hashtags. In the following example, the law firm could have included more hashtags related to motivational and inspirational quotes and their location.
26. Publish employee testimonials to help potential clients learn more about the people who would be helping them with their case. In the following example, the law firm just needed to include their location.
27. Share photos, videos, and news of how your law firm supports your local schools and nonprofit organizations.
28. Create additional content, link it to your Instagram bio, and include a call to action in your caption. In the following example, the law firm is only missing the location on their post.
29. Look for ways to post about trending topics and events in your area. But be sure to utilize event hashtags in your post caption as well to get the most reach! That’s all that is missing from the following post.
30. If you can’t capture a photo from one of your events, work with someone who can and ask if you can share their photo on your Instagram account.
31. Share information about local laws that your community may now know about or may find surprising as a way to spark discussion.
32. Thank your Instagram audience when you hit a certain number of followers, a high volume of engagement, or another milestone. Also, be sure to use the opportunity for gratitude-related hashtags on your post. The following post could have included #thankyou, which has over 33 million posts.
33. Create a set of images that represent your law firm’s logo or name. This can be a great start for a law firm’s first three to six posts, but note that it will be out of order unless you publish three posts at a time going forward.
34. Call upon the talents of the photographers within your law firm’s team to create beautiful posts that capture your local community. Be sure if you do that you take advantage of the opportunity to add the location and tag content curators who might share your post based on the theme for additional exposure.
35. Don’t just talk about being an award-winning law firm. Show your law firm winning the awards and celebrate all the behind-the-scenes fun with your audience. Be sure to include the event location and hashtags.
36. Share posts that use your target audience’s language in the caption and the hashtags. All that’s missing from the following post is the location.
37. Share images that evoke emotional responses for your potential clients. Be sure to include proper disclaimers in your profile bio or caption as needed. This works especially well if you are already directing post viewers to your bio to click on your website link. You can also just include the domain name in your captions, especially if it’s short and easy to remember from the Instagram app to the browser.
38. Share personal and professional growth with your audience and potential clients to give them a feel for the person they would be working with at your law firm. If you’re showing a highlighted portion of a book, like the following post, include relevant hashtags in your caption, tag the book’s author, and tag the book’s publisher.
39. Show your local community and potential clients the expertise behind the leadership at your law firm. Monitor the responses to your posts so you don’t miss out on any opportunities to reply to your follower’s questions and boost your post’s engagement.
40. Record a video of exactly what steps your law firm takes for clients so that people know what to expect when they hire your law firm to help them with their case. Don’t forget to include any hashtags relevant to the service or the process.
These are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of types of posts you can publish on Instagram. You can use the Search & Explore tab on the Instagram app to get inspiration from other popular Instagram users that post about topics outside of legal and local interests to see how Instagram can be used to attract larger audiences.
How to Build Your Target Audience on Instagram
Once you’ve added a few posts to your Instagram account, you are ready to start building your Instagram audience. The simplest ways to attract engaged Instagram users to your profile are as follows.
Begin by adding your Instagram profile link to your website alongside the links to your other social media profiles. Most law firms do this by adding the Instagram icon (download the official one here) to the header or footer of their website. This ensures that website visitors who may not be ready to contact them just yet can easily follow them on social media until they are ready to work with them.
Next, you can suggest the addition of your Instagram profile link to your law firm’s knowledge graph on Google. If your law firm does not have a knowledge graph, you may need to enhance your site attributes in Google My Business.
If you have a large following on other social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, publish a post on each to let your audience knows they can follow you on Instagram as well.
Better yet, let your followers on other social networks know about your Instagram profile by sharing some of your best Instagram photos along with a link to your Instagram profile. Note that you’ll have to share the full link to your Instagram profile – the Instagram @username will not link automatically on another social network.
If your law firm sends out an email or direct mail newsletter, add your Instagram profile link or username alongside your other social media profiles.
In the Instagram app, go to your profile and visit the settings. Find the Discover people option and connect to your contacts and Facebook to find people you know.
Instagram will search your Facebook and phone contacts to see if there is anyone you may know on Instagram to follow. Assuming you are not violating any professional rules or guidelines by connecting with particular individuals, you can start to follow them on Instagram.
These people will be notified that you have followed them. Be sure to do this during a time when they are likely to be online so the notification is at the top of their list so they can easily follow you back.
To really stand out – especially if the Instagram account is popular – like and/or comment on one of their posts first. Then follow the account so that your follow button is still on top of the notifications list.
Once you have followed and engaged with your contacts, you can use the Search & Explore tab on Instagram to search for the Instagram accounts of local bar associations, local chambers of commerce, and other legal associations that you regularly interact with that could be great resources for your law firm.
You can also peruse the Instagram accounts other law firms in your area follow by visiting their profiles and looking at their following list. This may give you some ideas of where to go on Instagram to find inspiration and potential clients.
How to Utilize Hashtags
In addition to using hashtags in your posts to increase your brand visibility and reach people beyond those following your Instagram account, you can follow hashtags on Instagram. Following hashtags allows you to do the following.
- To gain inspiration for future Instagram posts.
- To discover new Instagram users to follow and who may follow you in return.
- To build brand visibility and reputation by engaging in discussions about topics relevant to the services you provide within the community you serve.
Use the Search & Explore tab in the Instagram app to find hashtags related to legal keywords, cities, local events, local news, and other interests that your potential clients may also be following. You can review the top posts and most recent posts for each hashtag to determine if they are a good fit for your law firm’s marketing goals and follow the hashtag or look at related hashtags.
As you browse your newsfeed, you will begin to see the top posts from the hashtags you follow. You can engage with these posts or tap on the hashtag to see the latest posts with that hashtag. It’s a great way to be reminded to engage with other Instagram users about topics relevant to your law firm.
Not sure what hashtags to follow? Check out the hashtags that other law firms in your area follow. The hashtags Instagram users follow appear at the top of the list.
When you tap on hashtags in the list of people an Instagram account is following, you can scroll through the full list of hashtags that account has followed. Unless an Instagram user sets their account to private, all of the people who follow an Instagram account and all of the people that Instagram account follows – including hashtags – can be viewed by anyone. Use this to your advantage when finding inspiration and doing competitor research.
How to Increase Engagement on Instagram
If you want to get more engagement on your Instagram posts – likes and comments in particular – you are going to have to do two things.
First, you are going to have to publish your posts at a time when your audience is most likely to be online. This means you can’t save your Instagram posts for midnight if you know most of your potential clients are on their apps during normal business hours. You can visit your profile Insights (which we will discuss later in the post) to see the times your followers are most likely to be online.
Second, you are going to have to engage with other users on Instagram. When you publish a new post on Instagram, you know that you will have to engage with the people who comment on your post.
One good way to increase comments – especially if you don’t have anyone commenting yet – is to say thanks to the people who simply like your post. This will get their attention and may encourage them to start commenting on your post instead of just liking them.
Another way to increase engagement on your posts is to engage with people who have recently published similar content. Tap on the hashtags for the post you just published, look at recent posts for that hashtag, and engage. This may not work with certain hashtags, where the only people posting are competing law firms. But it will work for posts with local hashtags, event hashtags, and general interest hashtags.
The idea is often when other Instagram users will notice your likes and comments in their notifications, they will reciprocate by visiting your profile to like and comment on your most recent photo. If they like other posts on your account, they may even follow your law firm.
Depending on the type of content you share, you may also be able to leverage content curators to extend the reach of your content. Content curators are Instagram accounts that will share the best photos from other Instagram accounts that fit a particular theme.
For example, a law firm that captures and shares high quality photos of their local community can find content curators that share the same. Follow the curator’s directions to see if you can get your law firm’s photos featured by the curators to boost your law firm’s visibility.
The following photo reposted by a local news station with 144k followers that curates the best photos of Arizona received 5,800 likes and many more views.
Ultimately, the goal is to increase visibility for your law firm and engagement with your Instagram profile through profile visits, post views, likes, comments, and saves. Increased engagement will help each of your posts rank higher in the newsfeed algorithm, appear in the Search and Explore tab, or appear in the top posts for a particular hashtag.
Another great way to increase engagement for your Instagram posts and profile is through the use of Instagram Stories.
How to Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are photos and videos that you can share throughout the day in a vertical, slideshow format. Unlike regular photo and video posts, these do not appear in the regular Instagram newsfeed or in the grid on your Instagram profile.
Instead, they appear at the top of the newsfeed for those who follow your Instagram account. Instagram displays the most recently updated stories first, giving you a chance to put your law firm’s brand ahead of the newsfeed algorithm on a daily basis. Each photo or video you post stays on your story for 24 hours.
Instagram users will know you have a new story based on the circle surrounding your profile photo, as shown throughout the Instagram app. Stories can be viewed on the Instagram website on desktop browsers as well.
The best part about Stories is that once an Instagram user starts watching a story from one user they follow, Instagram will automatically play stories from other users they follow right after. This means that if your law firm continues to publish stories throughout the day, they could be seen more frequently than posts in the newsfeed.
According to the Instagram Stories Ad design specifications, photos and videos should be a minimum of 600px by 1067px – ideally, they would be 1080px by 1920px. You can create stories using your smartphone’s camera, Instagram Stories templates from services like Canva, or by sharing your latest post to encourage your followers to check it out.
You can also share posts from Instagram accounts you find inspirational and informative. The more you share, the more visible you will be in your follower’s Instagram Story viewing.
There are a few ways to post a photo or video to your Instagram Stories. If it’s a new photo or video from your camera or photo album, tap on the camera icon at the top of your Instagram app screen or on your profile photo at the top of the newsfeed, under which it should say your story. This will allow you to take a new photo or video or select one from your photo album.
If you want to share an Instagram post to your Instagram Stories, tap on the paper airplane icon to send the post to your story.
To further increase engagement through the use of Instagram Stories, you can tap on the square sticker icon to add interactive elements to your Stories. These include open ended questions, yes or no polls, sliding scale polls, and quizzes. If you intend to share answers or results, let your audience know in advance.
You can also use stickers to add locations and hashtags to your Instagram Stories. This increases the chances that your Instagram Stories could appear in the Stories for a particular location or hashtag.
As an added bonus, you can create Instagram Stories that become permanent fixtures on your Instagram profile by the story as a highlight. Highlights appear above the photo and video grid on your profile and can be used to showcase unique, branded content about your law firm.
For those that feel comfortable with live video, you can use Instagram Stories to post live video streams where you talk to your audience. With Instagram Live, you can post a video that is up to one hour long and lasts in your Instagram Stories for up to 24 hours unless you save it as a highlight.
If you are recording yourself speaking to your smartphone or camera, be sure to invest in a tripod, microphone, and a natural lighting ring. This equipment will create a better viewing experience for your live broadcast audience. It is not a requirement for those who are documenting a live event, however.
When you go live on Instagram Stories, Instagram will let you know how many followers you have online. Instagram will also let your followers know when you go live so that you get as many viewers possible, unless you go to your story settings and block them from viewing your live broadcast.
As you are live on Instagram, you can engage with your audience by reading and responding to their comments. As you are engaging with your audience, be sure to acknowledge the person and repeat their question or comment so everyone can follow the discussion. Alternatively, if you don’t want people to be able to comment, you can turn off comments.
At the end of your live broadcast, be sure to end your broadcast. If you want to save the video on your Instagram profile beyond the 24 hour expiration, save it as a highlight. It will appear above your profile’s posts, as shown in the example above.
For law firm’s that want to create videos longer than the 60-second post limit or don’t want to be live for 60 minutes, IGTV is the next option to try.
How to Use IGTV
IGTV is Instagram’s solution to Instagram creators and businesses that want to create longer videos outside of Instagram Live Stories. IGTV allows you to upload up to 15 minutes of video from your mobile device and up to 60 minutes of video from a web browser.
Videos for IGTV must be 720p and 30fps. They can be vertical with an aspect ratio of 9:16 or horizontal with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Video files should be in MP4 format and should be no larger than 650MB for up to 10 minutes of video and no larger than 3.6GB for up to 60 minutes of video.
While you may be able to get away with a lower quality video for a live Instagram Stories broadcast, IGTV viewers will expect a better viewing experience. As mentioned in earlier sections, invest in a tripod, external microphone, and a natural lighting ring for your smartphone or camera to create better videos. Especially for IGTV.
You can also create a custom cover photo for your video to encourage people to click on it when it appears in the Search and Explore tab, in the IGTV tab, or on your profile’s IGTV tab. The cover photo should be 420px by 654px.
To ensure that your audience sees your IGTV posts, be sure to promote them using your Instagram Stories. IGTV shows number of views on your list of IGTV posts, so increasing your number of views is a plus.
How to Get Verified on Instagram
Another step towards growing a large audience on Instagram and achieving a higher level of visibility is to get verified. Verification is given by Instagram to confirm “an account is the authentic presence of the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents.”
While verification is not necessary when marketing a law firm on Instagram, and it doesn’t give you a boost in rankings, it does help your law firm stand out in areas like search results.
To apply for the blue verification checkmark, go to your account settings and look for request verification. It will ask you for your name, category, and applicable documents to verify your identity and your organization.
Instagram will review your information and let you know within a couple of days to a couple of weeks. You will get a notification in your Instagram app’s notification section with their decision. If your request for verification does not get approved, you will have to wait 30 days to submit your request again.
To ensure the best results, you will want to build an engaged following and a strong profile full of content prior to requesting verification. If you have already verified the Facebook page for your law firm, be sure that it is linked to your Instagram account prior to submitting your application. You can learn more about getting your Facebook page verified here.
How to Use Instagram Insights for Engagement Analytics
Instagram provides Insights for business accounts within the Instagram app. You can find them by tapping on the number of profile visits you received, an insight that appears at the top of your profile.
You can also access Insights by going to your profile settings. There, you will find data you can use to improve your Instagram marketing strategy. .
In the Content tab, you can tap on See All link next to Posts to see analytics on all of the engagement goals people have completed after seeing one of your posts within the past 7 days to 2 years. These goals include calls, comments, emails, engagement total, follows, directions, impressions, likes, profile visits, reach, saves, shares, texts, and website clicks.
You can tap on the understanding your insights link to see Instagram’s explanation of impressions vs reach vs engagements.
Posts in the Content tab can be sorted by the most number of any one of these engagement goals. This would allow you to see what types of content resulted in the achievement of a specific goal, such as gaining a new follower or getting a call to your law firm. You can then align your upcoming posts with your current social media marketing goals.
Similarly, you can tap on the See All link next to Stories to see the analytics on all of the engagement goals people have completed while viewing one of your stories within the past 24 hours to 14 days. Stories can also be sorted by the most impressions, link clicks, calls, or other engagement goals.
Other engagement actions that you can use to measure your Stories success with audiences are Forward, Back, Exited, and Next Story. These tell you if people who start viewing your Stories actually like them enough to go back and view it again or if they are trying to fast forward them to get to the next account’s story.
In the Activity tab, you can view the total number of interactions, profile visits, reach, and impressions your law firm has received over the past week. If you’ve done any major pushes to attract new followers or engage with new audiences, this tab will let you know if there have been any improvements in profile visits, reach, and impressions compared to the previous week.
In the Audience tab, you can analyze your total number of followers and get a summary of your follower’s location, age, and gender. If you are trying to attract followers from your local community, this tab will let you know if you’re on the right track.
At the bottom of the tab, you can see when your followers are most likely to be online. The graph breaks down your follower’s activity by days of the week and by times each day.
As we mentioned earlier, this allows you to determine the best times to reach your audiences with new posts and new Stories each day. It also gives you the best times to connect with your target audience by engaging in discussions on hashtag posts that you follow and posts in the Search and Explore tab.
How to Advertise on Instagram
If you want to continue to boost your brand visibility, you can invest in Instagram Ads. You can create Instagram Ads that appear in the Instagram newsfeed as well as Instagram Stories. You can target new audiences that fit a specific demographic or custom audiences that have engaged with your Instagram account and visited your website.
To get started, you will need to set up an advertising account for your law firm using Facebook Ads Manager. Once you have set up your advertising account, you will need to decide who you want to target in your Instagram ad campaign.
How to Create Custom Audiences
If you want to target new audiences that meet a specific demographic, you can begin advertising immediately. If you want to target people who engage with your Instagram account or visit your website, you will need to create custom audiences and wait for Facebook Ads Manager to collect data prior to launching an ad campaign.
For those who want to use custom audiences, you will need to create your custom audiences in advance. Visit the Audiences section of your Facebook Ads Manager and click on the Create a Custom Audience button. Select the option for website traffic or Instagram business profile, based on the audience you want to target.
If you want to retarget people that have visited your website, Facebook Ads Manager will give you a code to add to your website. This code, called the Facebook Pixel, will allow you to target Instagram ads to people who have visited your website within the last 180 days. You can use these ads to remind them about the services they recently searched for on your website.
Custom audiences under a certain size (usually 1,000) will be considered too small to target. Facebook offers tips to help advertisers that want to target website visitors learn how to increase their audience sizes without including a specific number to hit. Not every visitor will count if they can’t be linked to their Facebook and Instagram account.
If you want to target people that have engaged with your Instagram business profile, you can choose audiences that have taken any of the following actions.
- Engaged with your law firm anywhere on Instagram.
- Visited your Instagram profile.
- Engaged with any post or ad from your Instagram profile.
- Sent a message to your Instagram profile.
- Saved a post or ad from your Instagram profile.
Once you have created these audiences, you have to wait until Facebook Ads Manager can collect enough data to use them in your advertisement campaign. Visit your Audiences dashboard regularly to see review your data.
How to Create an Instagram Ad
To create an Instagram Ad, visit the Facebook Ads Manager and click the Create Ad button. Facebook Ads Manager will ask you questions to help you create your Instagram ad.
The first is to define the marketing objective for your Instagram ad. Do you want to increase awareness for your law firm’s brand, drive traffic to your website, or generate engagement on your Instagram profile?
While most objectives will ultimately help raise your brand’s visibility amongst your target audience, the difference is that Facebook will choose to show your ad to the people most likely to complete the objective you choose. If you choose Instagram engagement, Facebook will show your ad to people on Instagram most likely to engage with your posts through likes and comments.
Next, you will name your ad campaign, configure additional options for A/B testing and budget optimization, and finish setting up your new ad account. A/B testing will allow you to create multiple ad creatives to see which ones perform best, while budget optimization allows Facebook to manage your advertising spend to get the highest return for the lowest cost.
In the Audience section, you will choose to target a custom audience that you created from your website traffic or Instagram business profile, or you will create a new audience. You can create a new audience that includes or excludes people based on demographics such as:
- People who live in a specific location, people who have recently been in a specific location, or people who are traveling in a specific location.
- Age, gender, and language(s) spoken.
- Education, household income, life events, relationship status, employers, industry, and job titles.
- Interests in business, entertainment, family, relationships, fitness, food, hobbies, shopping, sports, and technology.
- Behaviors related to digital activities, politics, shopping, sports, and travel.
- People who like your Facebook pages, people who use your apps, and people who have responded to your events.
In the Placements section, you can allow Facebook to automatically place your ads throughout Facebook, Instagram, and the Facebook Audience Network (additional websites and apps that partner with Facebook), or you can choose to only place your ads in the Instagram newsfeed or Instagram Stories.
Next, you will specify your ad budget and schedule. Based on the marketing objective you chose in the beginning, Facebook will tell you whether you are being charged based on number of impressions, number of clicks, or number of actions.
Last, but not least, you will create the Instagram ads themselves. You will start by linking your law firm’s Facebook page and Instagram account to your ad. If you chose an Instagram newsfeed ad, you can create an ad that displays a single image, video, or slideshow based on templates that the Facebook Ads Manager provides.
Don’t feel tempted to create complex ads for your first Instagram ad campaign. Major brands often use a single image and a short piece of ad copy, as shown in the ad below from the Wall Street Journal.
Some brands use a carousel of photos, as shown in the following ad from Sunbasket.
Instagram Stories ads do not need to be too complicated either. Brands like Wix use simple graphics and copy in a Stories ad to capture leads for their website builder service, as shown in the ad below.
Once you have added your media items, you will enter your ad copy, set up a call to action button and URL (if you want ad viewers to visit your website), and preview how your ad will look on Instagram. Be sure it is fine tuned towards the audience that you have targeted.
If your goal is to get website traffic, you can add UTM parameters to your URL to track some of the traffic from your Instagram ad campaign in Google Analytics. As discussed in social media for lawyers, Google Analytics can help you monitor your social media ad campaigns to see which ones drive the most goal-oriented traffic to your website. Without UTM parameters, however, you will not know if the traffic came specifically from the ad campaign.
Once you are satisfied with your ad creative, you can continue to build more designs (for those that selected A/B testing in the beginning) or confirm your ad to submit it to Facebook for review. After your ad is approved, your ad will go live based on the schedule you set up.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Advertising Budget
After your ad campaign starts running, you can watch its performance in your Facebook Ads Manager dashboard. If you setup multiple ad variations for A/B testing, you will want to monitor their performance and eventually concentrate your budget on the version that generates the best results.
If you used UTM parameters, you can visit your Google Analytics periodically to see if your ad campaign is driving traffic to your website. For ad campaigns with brand awareness as a marketing objective, website traffic generation would be an additional bonus result of your ad campaign.
How to Use Third-Party Instagram Tools for Scheduling Posts
One way to manage your Instagram posts is to schedule them using third-party tools. Third party tools allow Instagram business account users to craft their Instagram photo and video posts on a desktop browser. You can then schedule posts to be published in advance on peak days at the peak times, regardless of what you are doing.
There are dozens of popular social media management tools to choose from. We’ve narrowed our list down to a few third-party tools that cost under $50 a month. Their best feature? They let you schedule posts to multiple social networks simultaneously, including Instagram. This will allow you to focus less on publishing content and more on engaging with your audience.
Later Social Publishing
Later is a social media publishing tool that allows you to schedule posts to your Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook accounts. With a free account, you can manage one account per social network and have up to 30 schedule scheduled posts per network. To access premium features, including Instagram video posts and Stories, you can upgrade to the Plus plan for $9 per month.
Later offers a calendar view, allowing you to see your content as a media library. You can also set up a preset schedule for your posts on each social network and add posts to the schedule as you create them.
Later also comes with a visual planner for your Instagram account, allowing you to preview what the photo and video grid on your Instagram profile will look like after all of your scheduled posts are published. You can rearrange your posts on this planner to ensure your grid looks like you intended.
Premium users at $19 per month will have access to the hashtag suggestions. Just enter your first hashtag idea, and Later will suggest the best ones to add to your list.
If you’re looking strictly for publishing features that will help with your Instagram strategy, Later has some of the best features for the best price. The only drawback is that they do not connect to LinkedIn at this time, which is an important part of most law firms’ social media strategy. If you are looking for a tool that includes LinkedIn, continue reading.
Later has received 4.5 out of 5 stars from 150 reviewers on Capterra, 4.5 out of 5 stars from 23 reviewers on G2 Crowd, and 4.1 out of 5 stars from 28 reviewers on Product Hunt.
Buffer Publish Pro Account
Buffer is a social media publishing tool that gives you the ability to create a preset schedule for publishing to each of your social accounts. For example, you may know your Instagram followers are typically online from 8am to 4pm based on the graph under the Audience tab of your Instagram Insights. Therefore, you can set schedule for your Instagram posts to be published during the following times.
Your new queue will allow you to add posts into the time slots you have created.
Buffer’s Publish Pro Account for $15 a month will allow your law firm to create queues for up to 8 social media accounts including your Instagram profile, Twitter profile, Facebook page, Facebook group, LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn page, and Pinterest profile. You can have up to 100 posts in your queue at any given time.
In addition to publishing your posts to multiple social networks from one platform, you can also get 30 days worth of limited post engagement analytics. This will allow you to see the engagement (likes and comments) for your posts across multiple networks in platform.
Buffer has received 3.9 out of 5 stars on Facebook, 4 out of 5 stars on PC World, and an Editor’s Rating of Excellent with 4 out of 5 stars on PC Mag.
HootSuite Professional Account
HootSuite is another social media management tool that allows businesses to manage scheduling posts to multiple social networks in one place. With a free limited plan, you can try HootSuite with three social profiles and have up to 30 scheduled posts. If you like it, you can upgrade to a Professional Account for $29 per month, where businesses can manage up to 10 profiles and have an unlimited number of scheduled posts.
You can schedule posts in advance to profiles, pages, and groups on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest directly with HootSuite. They also have a dashboard with a column view you can use to monitor and engage in discussion with mentions, hashtag posts, and newsfeed posts from each of these networks.
This can help your law firm get more engaged in discussion in one place. You can even click on user to learn more about them before you follow or engage with them in discussion on the applicable social network from within HootSuite.
HootSuite has received an Editor’s Rating of Excellence with 4 out of 5 stars on PC Mag, 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 2,100 users on Capterra, and 4.4 out of 5 stars from 124 verified users on Gartner.
Examples of the Best Lawyer and Law Firm Accounts on Instagram
Now that you have a better understanding of how to use Instagram for your law firm, here are ten examples of how lawyers and law firms in the US use Instagram. We chose mobile screenshots this time to show you the first impression Instagram users will get when they view your profile in the Instagram app.
Note how the use of longer bios, long URLs in the website link, address links, and highlights from Instagram Stories move your Instagram content grid further down the screen. You will want to check out your law firm’s profile using another Instagram account to see how it appears and if your most important content is really where you want it to be.
1. Lerae Funderburg of Funderburg Law maintains two Instagram profiles for her law firm. Both are business accounts. She utilizes Instagram Stories and highlighted posts, IGTV, and regular Instagram posts to keep her 10k+ audience engaged.
2. Elizee Law Firm utilizes Instagram’s Action Button that lets your clients tap on a button on your Instagram profile and connect directly to one of thirty appointment setting, booking, or reservation services. If you use one of these services, you can an action button to your profile under your edit profile settings.
This law firm also does a great job branding their Instagram Story highlights and posts with their eye-catching brand colors.
3. For law firms that don’t want to post new content regularly, but want to make a great first impression, there’s the collage approach taken by The Hachar Law Firm. They have taken a square image of their logo with a description of their services, cut it into nine squares, and uploaded each image in the right order to appear on their profile grid as shown below.
If they wanted to keep this introduction on their profile grid, but post new content, they could always post Instagram Stories, save highlights, and share video using IGTV.
4. Emojis may not have any benefits for search, but they do lead to more interactions. Negrete Law Firm uses emojis to add creative bullet points to their profile bio and to add some extra detail to their Instagram Stories highlights.
5. White & Case is another law firm that does an exceptional job at branding their posts with their eye-catching brand colors. They also create easy to read thumbnails for their videos, giving people who don’t have autoplay turned on a reason to start watching.
6. As the law firm with the largest audience, Cycle Law regularly shares content that their audience loves. In this case, it’s almost exclusively video content of high-performance motorcycles and sports cars doing extreme things on Instagram Stories, IGTV, and standard Instagram posts.
In this case, it’s all about brand visibility. Maybe not all of this law firm’s followers are in California. But the ones that are will think of this law firm first if they were in an accident.
7. Another way to get the word out about a personal injury practice is to share facts and statistics that may not be commonly known. That’s what K&L Law Offices has done with their latest Instagram content campaign. The goal is that if the facts are shared, the posts have the law firm’s website address for a potential client.
8. Mekhtijev Law Firm in New York uses their brand color for Instagram Story highlights that cover press releases, closings, reviews, and awards for their law firm. These all make a great first impression for potential clients visiting the law firm’s profile. They can continue through to a collection of bright and bold images of the law firm’s people, places, and behind the scenes celebrations.
9. Some law firms take a more minimalistic approach to their Instagram profile. As you can see with Baez Law Firm, the less information you include on your profile (the bio, the website link, the address link, etc.), the more your eyes can focus on the Follow, Message, and Contact buttons as well as the three rows of content.
Of course, unless the visitor knew about your law firm already, they wouldn’t know anything about what services you offer or where to find your website. A simple one line description and your URL isn’t too much of an additional distraction in exchange for a potential client converting from an Instagram visitor into a lead.
10. Education is a great marketing angle to use for your law firm on Instagram. Lexington Law uses Instagram as a platform for credit education and has built a sizeable audience through the use of Instagram Stories, IGTV, and standard Instagram posts.
As you can see, there are lots of ways you can approach Instagram marketing for your law firm through the use of standard Instagram photo and video posts, Instagram Stories, and IGTV. Take some time to decide what types of posts you feel best suit your brand and start creating compelling Instagram content for your law firm!