LinkedIn can be a great platform for attorney social media marketing. With over one-third of U.S. adults using LinkedIn, many attorneys can find an audience there.
But LinkedIn is unique from other social media options. You need a plan to grow your following and ensure that the right people see your posts, profile, and comments.
Here are some of the most impactful marketing tips for lawyers that all attorneys can apply to improve their LinkedIn marketing results.
1. Set Up and Optimize Your Profile
Before trying to grow your audience on LinkedIn, you need a profile that speaks to who you are, what you do, and who you help.
You're more likely to build a following and authority on the platform when your base profile is rich with a professional picture and banner, has details about your current role, and includes keywords related to your practice area.
Here are some basic tips to get started with your lawyer LinkedIn profile:
- Use an optimized headline
- List your professional experience
- Include details about any certifications or special training
- Write a summary section about how you help your ideal clients
- Include skills and get recommendations from contacts
- Create a custom URL for your profile
- Verify your contact details
2. Find Your Target Audience
All attorneys can get some value out of LinkedIn, but the value you get may be limited by the type of law you practice.
That's because of what makes LinkedIn unique: it's more professional and business-first than other social media sites.
Think of LinkedIn as most helpful for networking with peers and other professionals. Referrals are possible on LinkedIn regardless of your practice area, but those who focus on professional services or business law may also find their audience on the platform.
In those cases, you could market directly to prospective clients. The majority of active LinkedIn users are between ages 18-34, so there are also age considerations for using this to market legal services.
3. Build Your Network and Seek Out Connections
You can't get your marketing messages out to people on LinkedIn or digitize your referral network without making connections with people.
As you add new connections, drop a short note to them to explain why you're reaching out. The more personal, the better. Some people will accept your connection request without a note, but it certainly helps to share one.
Here are some examples of simple connection notes that work well:
- Looking to expand my network in the Atlanta area with other independent professionals.
- See you also went to Virginia Tech—go Hokies! Would love to connect here.
- Love the content you post on your page. Would love to be connected so I can see all of it.
- Nice to meet you at ______ event. Let's connect here, too!
Avoid spammy messages or overt sales pitches in your connection requests. Connection requests with notes like "I need more referrals from area lawyers" or "Want to jump on a quick call?” are doomed to fail.
To get traction with your target audience and show LinkedIn you're serious about using it, try to hit at least 500 connections. At that point, more people are likely to see your messages, and others may be more likely to accept your connection request, too.
One easy way to get started with connections is to import contacts from your work email. Upload them and send out connection requests in bulk to save time and grow your following quickly.
4. Join Groups
LinkedIn groups are typically not as active as Facebook groups. Still, they can be a decent way to find new connections and add to an existing conversation in your practice area.
You might join groups of other lawyers to see what tips and tricks they're using in their practices. If you're a business lawyer, you might join founder's groups to see what kinds of legal questions pop up most frequently.
Within a group, the best ways to engage are by:
- Posting new content
- Commenting on other members’ content
You could start by carving out about 30 minutes weekly to check in on your groups and add to the conversation.
5. Post Regularly
Posting on your profile regularly increases the chances that you'll appear in LinkedIn search results.
When the LinkedIn algorithm spots someone whose posts get good engagement, like comments, shares, and likes, that post is more likely to be shown to people outside your existing network.
The best kind of content on LinkedIn positions you as a thought leader. That doesn’t mean your posts need to be long, though. You can mix text-based content, short videos, and other media to see what gets the most traction with your followers and the algorithm.
Here are some common examples of posts that work on LinkedIn:
- A contrarian opinion that sparks a conversation with others
- Running a poll to see what other people think about a hot topic
- Breaking down a step by step process or mistake you've seen clients make
- Behind the scenes in your office
- Success stories or unique approaches
With regular content, you get your message across to your audience, including referral partners. These posts keep your name top of mind. The best time to post on LinkedIn is noon. If you can't make that work, posting during business hours is the next best option.
In this example, the lawyer builds on general questions in employment law by sharing content from a high-authority resource. She also adds her own two cents about what she sees in practice.
Promotional posts are okay when used occasionally. Compared to other social networks, LinkedIn has more wiggle room for you to share the occasional firm news, awards, or direct promotions. Because LinkedIn is a business platform, some business celebration is expected there.
The best posts of this type do double duty, like the example above from the Connecticut Trial Firm. By sharing their recognition as a great place to work, they humanize themselves and hint at their company values. This could be a deciding factor for someone who wants to work with a team of lawyers who built a great work culture and treat staff well.
6. Use Hashtags
If you want to boost the potential audience for everything you post, use hashtags.
Like on other social media platforms, hashtags on LinkedIn have followers. Using hashtags relevant to your content and your target clients and followers feeds back into the algorithm. Your post might get picked up and shared with a broader audience following one of your hashtags.
Hashtags you follow appear on the lower left side of the menu bar when you're logged into LinkedIn. Click on "discover more" to find which hashtags have a good following and add them to your posts as relevant. Generally, you want hashtags with at least several thousand people following them.
More than 10-15 hashtags per post can do more harm than good. Hashtag overuse dilutes your messages and swallows valuable character space in your posts.
Here are some example hashtags to consider for a PI lawyer:
7. Share Original Content Your Audience Cares About
Sharing and commenting on other people's material will only get you so far. And only posting promotional information like awards announcements can make your profile a one-note affair.
The best lawyer LinkedIn profiles mix it up by posting original and relevant material for their followers. This works not only to generate brand awareness for your firm, but it feeds the LinkedIn algorithm.
Here’s an example of how posting relevant content can work on LinkedIn:
If you add a bunch of restaurant managers to your LinkedIn and then post content about divorce law, most of those people will not engage with your content.
LinkedIn will interpret that as evidence that your posts are not interesting or relevant. Once the algorithm determines this, it won't show as many of your posts to the vast majority of connections.
Meanwhile, if you're a business lawyer or employment attorney who helps restaurant managers with legal issues, your content is likely more on point. It will get better engagement from your audience.
This makes it more likely that more people in your audience will see and engage with your posts.
Ensure that your content is aligned with all aspects of your practice areas. An injury lawyer could talk about:
- New AAA or NHTSA studies
- Developments in autonomous vehicle technology
- New laws on drunk or drugged driving
- Best ways to avoid an accident in bad weather
- What to know about contacting an insurance company post-accident
- Signs of TBIs
This variety of content provides value and generates interest. If your potential clients are on LinkedIn, you can probably repurpose content from your blogs, podcasts, and other marketing materials. Lawyers building out a referral network may have a more difficult time since most of their marketing content is focused on clients.
Connecting what you do with topical events can help you create dynamic content. In the example above, Lawyer Neel Shah draws connections between strategy for the Super Bowl and the value of a comprehensive estate plan in this video on LinkedIn.
8. Use Both a Law Firm and Professional Profile
Most of the efforts discussed thus far relate to how you use your personal profile on LinkedIn. But you can get two bites at the apple on LinkedIn by setting up a law firm profile, too.
As an individual, you can share posts from your law firm page to your personal page and add a few comments to help it stand out.
Using two accounts can get more eyes on your law firm's content and position you as a knowledgeable expert. When you add your thoughts to a piece of content the firm shares, you can highlight additional knowledge and perspective.
In many cases, a law firm marketing manager or an outsourced marketing expert can handle the second account. You can then share those posts on your own profile, too, for more visibility.
9. Engage with Other People
Once you're connected to other people and following hashtags of interest, you’re ready to allocate some time to commenting on other people's content.
This boosts your chances of being seen by others and building your own network. Other viewers and commenters on the main post see your material and may connect with you.
Even just a handful of weekly comments on other people's profiles work well when your profile is optimized. Provide value with thoughtful responses or share anecdotes of your own.
10. Talk About More Than Your Practice
One-note accounts that only talk about their business may not get as far as accounts that are authentic. Varying your content keeps people following and paying attention.
If you're involved in community service, advocacy work, or public speaking, these are opportunities to share what you're doing outside of the office.
Maximize Your LinkedIn Presence Now
LinkedIn might fit in as both a law firm social media marketing tool and a business development opportunity in your law firm, depending on your practice area and target clients.
If you need help determining where social media fits into your attorney marketing plan, we can help. Rankings.io has been helping law firms grow their client roster for years. We understand what works best for lawyers. Contact us to learn more about how to get started with LinkedIn, other social media, or SEO.