Social Media for Lawyers: Essential Social Strategies for Law Firms
Social media for lawyers can be a challenging but rewarding marketing channel to navigate. After all, how does a law practice balance marketing their brand with the sensitive nature of their clients’ cases? What networks are the best ones to use? How does a firm get actual leads from social media websites. We’ll answer those questions and more throughout this guide.
Why should lawyers use social media?
The American Bar Association surveyed 4,000 ABA members from private practices in the US for its 2018 website and marketing survey. Respondents were comprised of solo and small firms with 2 – 9 attorneys (74%), mid-sized firms with 10 – 49 attorneys (12%), and larger firms with 50+ attorneys (14%).
The ABA survey results showed that 77% of law firms have a website, 76% use social media, and 24% maintain a blog. The social networks of choice for lawyers include LinkedIn (93%), Facebook (63%), and Twitter (14%) along with online directories like Avvo (47%) and Martindale (31%).
Attorney at Work, a publishing company that shares “one really good idea every day for lawyers and legal professionals,” surveyed a smaller group of 400 legal professionals, including 183 lawyers, in 2018 about their social media usage. Respondents were comprised of solo and small firms with 2 – 5 attorneys (67%), mid-sized firms with 6 – 20 attorneys (12%), and larger firms with 12 – 50+ attorneys (18%).
The Attorney at Work survey results confirmed that 85% of lawyers use social media as a part of their marketing strategy. 71% found it somewhat or very responsible for bringing in new clients. The most used platforms for marketing include LinkedIn (77%), Facebook (71%), Twitter (51%), Instagram (25%), and YouTube (19%).
The respondents ranked the following six reasons they used social media for their law firms.
- To stay in touch with contacts and prospects.
- To build a personal brand.
- To publish content.
- To drive traffic to the law firm’s website.
- To discover thought leaders and keep up with trends.
- To read the latest news.
In terms of paid advertising, the most effective channels for solo and small size law firms include Facebook (36%), Google Display and Search Ads (22%), LinkedIn (7%), Instagram (2%), and Twitter (1%). It’s important to note that only 10% of the overall marketing budget spend for 65% of solo and small size law firms is applied to paid advertising.
How do lawyers get clients from social media?
According to current data from the Pew Research Center, 86% of Americans 18 – 49 years old use social media. The most popular social networks include YouTube (73%), Facebook (69%), Instagram (37%), Pinterest (28%), and LinkedIn (27%).
In 2016, FindLaw.com and Thomas Reuters found that 54% of consumers would hire an attorney who was active on social media. For consumers aged 18 – 44, this percentage increased to 69% as they were more likely to rely on social media to make local purchasing decisions.
In addition to having an active presence on social media (which builds brand awareness for your law firm), you need to focus on building a portfolio of great reviews. According to Martindale, 95% of legal consumers say that online reviews matter when choosing a lawyer.
Facebook, the largest social network, gives law firms the opportunity to both socially engage and build reviews for their practice. LinkedIn, on the other hand, focuses on professional networking and allows lawyers to gather personal recommendations.
What precautions do law firms need to take when using social media?
Law firms need to ensure that all employees know the legal and ethical implications of using social media. It’s important to maintain a policy that informs anyone at your law firm who will use social media for advertising, hiring, investigating, marketing, or research of guidelines stipulated by the ABA, applicable state bar associations, and federal agencies like the EEOC, FTC, and NLRB.
In addition to following the above-mentioned guidelines, your law firm’s social media policy needs to address the following items.
- Employees have the right to maintain personal social media profiles and engage in social media communication that is not attributed to or endorsed by the law firm.
- Employees should familiarize themselves with the terms and conditions of each social network they use.
- Employees should treat social media profiles mentioning the law firm professionally.
- Employees should moderate comments from others on social media profiles linked to the law firm to ensure they do violate state or federal guidelines.
- Employee’s participation in social media could affect the law firm’s reputation.
- Employees using social media for the law firm must disclose their true identity and association with the law firm.
- Employees must only use accurate, factual statements that can be verified in their social media bios and comments.
- Employees must use appropriate disclosure and disclaimers per state bar and federal guidelines for posts including advertisements, case outcomes, fees, results, or solicitations for services.
- Employees cannot publish current or former client’s names and other confidential information without written permission and/or approval by the law firm.
- Employees should use proper security measures to ensure the safety of their social media accounts. This should include the use of secure passwords (with a unique mix of upper- and lower-case letters, as well as numbers and characters; ex: BearKlaw$713) and two-factor authentication for social networks and email accounts linked to those social networks.
- Administrators and moderators for the law firm’s pages and groups must moderate comments from others to ensure they do violate state or federal guidelines.
- Administrators and moderators for the law firm’s pages and groups will be made to relinquish control of any access they have to the law firm’s social media properties upon leaving the firm.
Which social networks do lawyers find the most effective?
As revealed in the survey results from the ABA and Attorney at Work, law firms utilize the following social networks for client development, brand awareness, content distribution, traffic generation, and education.
#1 – LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network. It currently has over 645 million users worldwide and receives over 979 million visitors per month, 26% of whom are from the United States. According to the survey by Attorney at Work, lawyers believe LinkedIn is the most effective at bringing in new business. Here’s how lawyers and law firms can utilize LinkedIn to achieve their business goals.
How to Craft a Professional LinkedIn Profile
To get started on LinkedIn, you will sign up with your email address and create a LinkedIn profile.
Be sure to use an email address that you will always have access to as your main one – you wouldn’t want to lose access to your LinkedIn account simply because you changed jobs. You can always add additional email addresses to your account in your account settings as backups and to find LinkedIn connections, which we will cover in the section on how to build connections.
Once you have signed up for LinkedIn, you will want to edit your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn profiles are more than just digital resumes – they are professional landing pages for your personal brand.
LinkedIn’s user agreement and professional community policy states that profiles must be for a real individual and cannot include any misleading information about that individual’s qualifications, experience, education, achievements, services, or other background information. Once you’re familiar with LinkedIn’s terms and conditions, you will want to edit the following sections of your LinkedIn profile.
The Introduction Card
The introduction card appears at the top of your profile. It includes your name, background photo, profile photo, headline, current position, education, services, and a link to your contact information. You will be able to edit most of these items by visiting your profile and clicking on the pencil icon that appears next to the buttons beneath the background photo.
Your profile photo should be a professional headshot in JPG or PNG format, sized from 400px by 400px to 7680px by 4320px. LinkedIn will allow you to crop your image down to a square and displays it in a circle on your profile and throughout LinkedIn next to your activity.
Background photos that appear at the top of your profile should be in JPG or PNG format, sized at 1584px by 396px. Background photos should represent your personal brand as a visual representation of your qualifications, expertise, and services.
You will enter your current real name, with the option to enter a former name if you want to be found by your maiden name, name from a previous marriage, or nickname. LinkedIn profiles should not include organization names or any additional keywords.
Your headline is a 120-character description that appears beneath your name on your profile, in LinkedIn search results, in the LinkedIn newsfeed next to your status updates, on your posts within LinkedIn groups, and on your LinkedIn publisher articles.
As you can see from a sample of LinkedIn search results, some lawyers choose to have very simple headlines, while others add additional details that would help potential clients find the exact type of lawyer they are seeking. One way to approach your LinkedIn headline is from a search optimization perspective: think of keywords your potential clients would search for on LinkedIn, then be sure to include those in your headline.
Your current position and education information will be added to your introduction card once you update the work experience and education sections of your profile.
When you click the contact info link, you can add up to three website links, a contact phone number, a physical address, and a contact email address. You can also add links to up to three instant messenger services and your birthdate.
The final section of the introduction card, available to select users, allows you to add services. Once you choose Law as your business focus, you can add up to 10 legal-related services. LinkedIn users who search for lawyers can filter their results based on services offered.
Once you have completed the Introduction Card, you can use the add profile section dropdown to add the following additional sections to your profile.
About > Summary
The summary section, which appears beneath the introduction card, allows you to write up to 2,000 characters about your achievements and what you have to offer potential employers or potential clients. Blair Decembrele, LinkedIn Career Expert, offered several tips on how to create a great summary.
- Write your summary in the first person.
- Include your experience, skills, motivations, interests, and some personal background details that are relevant to your career goals.
- Add keywords (not buzzwords) will help your profile get visibility in LinkedIn search results.
A great way to get inspiration for your own summary would be to search for lawyers who offer similar services. Choose the ones that rank well in your region and see how they have written their summaries.
In addition to the written portion of your summary, you can add files or links to visual media that support the information you have shared. This includes PDFs, presentations, documents, text files, image files, and videos.
Depending on the content you add to your profile (including recommendations from colleagues and clients), you may wish to include a disclaimer about attorney advertising and typical results in your summary. According to the ABA, “States such as New York, Florida, and Texas (among several others) impose detailed requirements and restrictions on legal advertising.” Be sure to refer to the rules of professional conduct for your state and local bar associations to determine what is required to stay compliant.
Background > Work Experience
The work experience section is similar to what you would have on your resume. This is where you will list your current and previous employers, along with the highlights of your accomplishments. Like the summary section, you can also add files or links to visual media to support the information you shared.
When you add each new work experience to your LinkedIn profile, you can connect them to the LinkedIn company pages of your employers. If a current or previous employer does not have a company page, you can still enter their information. We will discuss how to create a company page later in the post.
Background > Education
Next, you will add your education details. For each school you attended, you will add the degree you completed, your field of study, dates of attendance, grades, activities, and other details that are relevant to your career. You can also add any relevant files or links to visual media.
Background > Licenses & Certifications
If you have any additional licenses and certifications required for your area of practice or by your state, you can include those in the licenses and certifications section. For each entry, you can include the name, issuing organization, issue and expiration date, credential ID, and credential URL as applicable.
Background > Volunteer Experience
For those that volunteer for nonprofit organizations, you can add an entry about the organization you support. Causes include animal welfare, arts and culture, children, civil rights, humanitarian relief, education, environment, health, human rights, politics, poverty alleviation, science, technology, and social services. You can add your role, the dates you participated, and a description of what you do for the organization and why.
The skills section of your LinkedIn profile allows you to add up to 50 skills that you have acquired throughout your education and work experience. In addition to simply adding them to your profile as a keyword booster, you will also receive endorsements for your skills from your connections once you begin to add people to your LinkedIn network.
The simplest way to get endorsements for your skills is to add the ones that are most relevant to the services you have to offer. As you build up your LinkedIn connections, take the time to endorse your colleagues for their best skills. They will likely return the favor.
Note that any endorsements you receive should be based on the skills you possess. If you receive endorsements for skills that are not applicable, you should consider removing them as per your state bar association guidelines. The New York State Bar Association, for example, states the following about LinkedIn endorsements in their 2019 Social Media Ethics Guidelines.
“Certain social media websites, such as LinkedIn, allow users to approve endorsements, thereby providing lawyers with a mechanism to promptly review, and then reject or approve, endorsements. A lawyer may also hide or delete endorsements, which, under those circumstances, may obviate the ethical obligation to periodically monitor and review such posts.”
Accomplishments > Publications
The publications section allows you to highlight any books, articles, journals, or other published works you have written or contributed to on your LinkedIn profile. You can include the name of the publication, publisher, publication date, additional contributors, a URL, and a description. This can include the best blog posts from your law firm’s website.
Accomplishments > Courses
Although you may have covered your main educational achievements in the education section, the courses section allows you to include additional coursework you have taken outside of law school. It’s a great way to highlight the courses you have taken to expand your knowledge outside of traditional college.
Accomplishments > Honors & Awards
If you have received recognition from local, state, or national associations for your accomplishments as a lawyer, you can showcase them in the honors and awards section of your LinkedIn profile. Each honor and award includes the name, issuer, date, and description.
Accomplishments > Languages
If you speak more than one language, you will have an advantage when it comes to getting hired and chosen by clients, according to the ABA Journal. Be sure to include all languages that you are proficient in on your LinkedIn profile to give yourself a leg up on the competition.
Accomplishments > Organizations
In addition to the state bar, there are several organizations that you may wish to join to stay connected to your industry peers. These may include local bar associations, bar associations for your specialty or industry, associations for your ethnicity if you are a minority, the local chamber of commerce, lawyers-only networking groups, and similar organizations. These are all organizations that you can list on your LinkedIn profile to let people know the position you hold within the organization and additional details about what you do and why.
The final section of your profile – the interests section – is comprised of the people, companies, groups, and schools you follow. You don’t have to fill this section up right away – you will naturally do so as you spend more time engaging on LinkedIn. If you are using LinkedIn to follow news and trends in the legal industry, you may follow LinkedIn company pages for the American Bar Association, your state and city bar association, your local chamber of commerce, and similar organizations.
You can also find suggestions of who to follow by visiting the fresh perspectives page. This page will display a collection of people, companies, and hashtags that LinkedIn thinks you will be interested in based on the information in your profile and everything you have connected with so far.
In addition to people, companies, groups, and schools, you can also follow hashtags about specific topics that will be useful for status updates on your profile and company page. While the #law hashtag has a vast audience (5.5m followers), hashtags like #taxlaw (7.2k followers), #familylaw (2.4k followers), and #legaladvice (1k followers) have a smaller, but easier-to-reach audience.
Make It Public
Once you’ve completed your LinkedIn profile, you will want to make it public by editing the public profile settings. This is where you can choose your public profile URL’s username and control which sections of your profile will be visible to everyone. For consistent branding, you would want to use the same username for each social profile you create for yourself as a lawyer. That way, people would know that each of the following profiles is you.
You will want to make everything visible to the public so that anyone looking to connect with a lawyer can get the best first impression about you. The more impressive information you can provide upfront to someone who is searching in real-time, the more chance you have of making a potential connection.
In addition to the public profile settings, you will need to update your account’s privacy settings to set the visibility of your email address, connections, last name, and profile off of LinkedIn. If your state bar prohibits communication with specific individuals related to a case (such as jurors), you may need to change your profile visibility settings to anonymous. This would prevent LinkedIn from notifying those individuals that you have viewed their profile.
Lastly, visit your account’s security settings to enable two-step verification to add an extra layer of protection to your account.
How to Create a LinkedIn Company Page
Before we dive into building your network on LinkedIn, let’s talk about the LinkedIn company page for your law firm. If you don’t have one yet, you will want to create it before you start building your network. That way, the people who visit your LinkedIn profile and connect with you will have the opportunity to visit and follow your law firm’s page as well.
To get started, you will go to the Create a Company Page wizard and choose whether it is a small business (under 200 employees) or medium to large business (over 200 employees). Next, you will add your law firm’s name, website, industry, company size, company type, and 120-character tagline. You will also choose your page’s URL, which ideally should match the username you choose for your law firm on other social networks for consistent branding.
You will also add your company logo in a JPG or PNG file format at 300px by 300px. After you save this information, you can visit your company page and add additional elements, like a 1,536px by 768px cover image that represents your law firm’s brand and legal services.
In addition, you can add a 2,000 character overview about your law firm that describes what your firm offers its clients. Many law firms include a disclaimer at the end of the overview text, such as “Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.”
Once your law firm’s company page has been created, you can link it to your LinkedIn profile by editing your current job under work experience and selecting the company page when it appears. Encourage anyone at your law firm who has a LinkedIn profile to do the same so that they can help increase brand awareness for your law firm. You should be sure to add a link to your company page to your website if you want people to follow your law firm on LinkedIn.
How to Make Connections
Now that your profile is complete and linked to your law firm’s company page, you can start making connections on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn network is comprised of first, second, and third degree connections.
- 1st degree connections are those who you have directly connected with via LinkedIn invitation. You can connect with other members on LinkedIn if they send you an invitation or you click on the connect button next to their profile. Once connected, you can message 1st degree connections privately through LinkedIn’s inbox messenger, view their full profile information, and get their latest updates in your news feed.
- 2nd degree connections are those who are directly connected to your 1st degree connections. You can invite 2nd degree connections to become 1st degree connections by clicking on the connect button next to their profile.
- 3rd degree connections are those who are directly connected to your 2nd degree connections. You may be able to invite some 3rd degree connections to connect, based on their privacy settings.
Anyone that is not within your network is considered out of network. Based on their privacy settings, you may or may not be able to see their profile information, send them a message, or invite them to connect.
Before you start making connections, be sure to refer to the rules of professional conduct from the ABA and your state bar association about the solicitation of clients. The State Bar of Georgia’s Institute of Continuing Legal Education offered the following advice:
“A Facebook ‘friend request’ or LinkedIn ‘invitation’ that offers to provide legal services to a non-lawyer with whom the sending lawyer does not have an existing relationship may be considered a prohibited solicitation. Lawyers need to be aware of automatic invitations and reminders platforms send which could each be considered a separate violation of RPC 7.3 and analogous state rules prohibiting solicitations.”
With applicable rules of professional conduct in mind, the simplest way to start building your LinkedIn network of 1st degree connections is to import contacts from your email accounts and send invitations to people you know. This may include friends, family, alumni, colleagues, and former clients. LinkedIn will connect with Gmail, AOL, Outlook, Yahoo, or allow you to upload a .csv, .txt, or .vcf file from another email service.
After you’ve imported your contacts, you can select who you want to invite to your network of 1st degree connections. Once people start to accept your invitations, you can go to my network page and see more suggestions for you to invite based on your current 1st degree connections.
How to Request Recommendations on LinkedIn
1st degree connections are important on LinkedIn as they are the people who can leave recommendations on your profile. You can ask anyone you have worked with to write a recommendation about you by visiting their profile, clicking on more beneath their header image, and clicking on the request a recommendation link.
LinkedIn will prompt you to define your business relationship with your connection, to select your job title and company when you worked with your connection, and to write a custom message asking for your recommendation. Once you receive the recommendation from your connection, you can review it for accuracy and publish it on your profile.
How to Publish Engaging LinkedIn Updates
LinkedIn profiles and company pages can share status updates with text, links, photos, videos, and PDF attachments. On LinkedIn profiles, updates will appear in the articles and activity section.
On company pages, updates will appear as part of the page’s home news feed.
Updates will also appear in the news feed for those who are 1st degree connections of the profile or followers of the company page. If you want your updates to make it to the top of your connections and followers news feed, Pete Davies, Senior Director of Product Management, offers these tips:
- No media format has more weight than another in the LinkedIn newsfeed algorithm. Any update has the potential to receive strong engagement if it is engaging to your target audience.
- Adding your opinion to anything you share and asking others for their opinion will increase the likelihood of increasing engagement.
- If you know a few people who would make great conversation starters, @mention them in your update.
- Respond to your comments in a way that encourages further conversation.
- Use specific hashtags to draw in LinkedIn members who are interested in a particular topic. It will be easier to reach audiences of hashtags with smaller followings than ones with millions of followers. Think #businesslaw instead of #law.
If you need some inspiration, visit the profiles and pages of lawyers and law firms similar to yours to see what they are posting and how much engagement they receive with each post. You can use the LinkedIn search bar and search for content with specific keywords written by authors in specific industries. You can also visit hashtags related to your law firm’s services for the same analysis.
To ensure the success of your law firm’s updates, encourage employees of the law firm on LinkedIn to like and share updates from the company page. This will increase the law firm’s reach to 1st degree connections of each employee who shares it, along with those following the hashtags used in the post.
How to Publish LinkedIn Articles
In addition to status updates, you can publish in-depth articles from your LinkedIn profile. These would be similar to blog posts, shared in the articles and activity section of your profile, as well as the news feed of your 1st connections.
Some lawyers use LinkedIn articles to publish unique content, while others use them to summarize and drive traffic to content already published on their law firm’s website. To post a new article, you will go to the LinkedIn publisher interface and create a new post. LinkedIn allows you to add a header image in JPG or PNG format at 744px by 400px. You will then add your headline, which is the article title, followed by the content. In addition to formatted text, you can include images, videos, slides, links, and code snippets.
You can save your article as a draft to work on later or publish it for your LinkedIn audience. Your article will have a unique URL based on the headline that you can promote on LinkedIn and other social media networks.
How to Network with LinkedIn Groups
To increase your reach on LinkedIn, grow your LinkedIn connections, and keep up with the latest news in the legal industry and your local community, you can participate in LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn allows you to participate in a maximum of 100 groups, 30 of which you can own/manage.
You can get started with LinkedIn groups by using the LinkedIn search box to find groups for the American Bar Association, your state and local bar associations, and legal groups for your specialty.
Select the groups you want to join and click on the request to join button within each group to become a member. Your membership will be pending until an administrator of the group approves your request, and you can have up to 20 pending group requests at any given time.
Once your membership has been approved, you will receive a notification that welcomes you to the group. You can then begin to post discussions and reply to discussions within the group. Updates within groups are similar to updates that you post on your LinkedIn profile or company page. They can be text only or can include links, images, video, or documents.
As you participate within the groups, you should get a feel for the types of discussions allowed and the types of discussions that attract the most engagement. You will also get to know groups will allow you to do things like promote your law firm’s content.
If you find groups that allow lawyers to promote their LinkedIn articles or law firm’s blog content, and the posts receive engagement (likes and comments), you may want to start sharing some of your own content within the group. This will allow you to get traffic from the group to your content or website.
After you spend some time participating in LinkedIn groups, you may decide that you want to create a LinkedIn group for your law firm. If you do a search for law firm groups on LinkedIn, you will find some that have a handful of members, and some that have hundreds of members. Some groups are for employees and alumni of the law firm only, while others are for those who want to discuss issues around the legal topics the law firm specializes.
To create a group, go to your groups page and click the create a new group button. You will then add a 1,774px by 444px cover image, 60px by 60px logo image, group name, group description, and group rules. Be sure to refer to include applicable disclaimers and rules of professional conduct by the ABA, state, and local bar associations to ensure that discussions do not cross any ethical boundaries.
Once you have created your group, you will have the ability to invite members to the group, control whether the group is publicly visible or by invitation only, and moderate discussions within the group. It’s important to have at least one additional group manager that can help with membership approvals and discussion moderation so that the group maintains fully regulated.
How to Increase Engagement on LinkedIn
To increase engagement on Linkedin beyond posting status updates on your LinkedIn profile, company page, and within groups, you can participate in discussions by commenting on the following.
- Posts with the hashtags you follow
- Posts by companies you follow
- Posts by people in your 1st degree network
- Posts that people in your 1st degree network have commented upon, connecting you with your 2nd and 3rd degree connections
- Posts by influencers you follow
- Ads that appear in your news feed
- Articles by people in your 1st degree network and influencers you follow
When you comment on posts, ads, and articles, those comments may appear in the news feed of your 1st degree network as well as the notifications of the original poster. Your comments will also be seen by people outside of your network, allowing you to attract new connections and followers, thereby increasing your own reach.
How to Use LinkedIn Profinder
LinkedIn Profinder is a marketplace that matches professionals with clients seeking specific services. Professionals who add themselves to the Profinder marketplace will have a publicly-accessible profile under the services they have specified, and they will receive proposals from clients who are seeking help in those service areas. In the Profinder terms of service, LinkedIn specifies the following:
To add yourself to the Profinder marketplace, you will have to complete the onboarding process. The process simply asks you to choose your industry and which services you have to offer. LinkedIn Profinder allows lawyers to add up to ten services to their Profinder profile. The following are the available legal services in the Profinder marketplace.
Once your application is approved, your LinkedIn profile will appear in the Profinder marketplace. Note how background images, profile photos, headlines, recommendations, and number of connections stand out in the marketplace listings for each lawyer.
Potential clients will be able to submit proposals to multiple lawyers in their area that include details relevant to the legal service they have chosen. They will specify whether the service is for themselves or a business, a one-time or ongoing need, how quickly they need help, and if they want to work remotely or in-person.
Once the proposal has been submitted, you will be in competition with multiple lawyers and law firms in the same vicinity. LinkedIn offers several tips for winning a proposal, the most important of which are as follows.
- Be personal. Show the client you read their request instead of using a copy and paste template.
- Include relevant experience, but keep disclaimers about prior results and outcomes in mind.
- Set yourself apart with your USP, but note include your attorney advertising disclaimer if needed.
- Offer a free phone consultation to make a genuine connection with your potential client.
Most importantly, if you want to win business from LinkedIn’s Profinder service, keep an eye on your email so you can respond quickly to each proposal.
How to Advertise on LinkedIn
To further increase brand awareness on LinkedIn, consider LinkedIn advertising. LinkedIn advertising allows you to reach your target audience with news feed ads, right rail sidebar ads (text, spotlight, and follower ads), and message ads for the following objectives:
- Brand awareness – Put your company, products, and services in front of more people using news feed, text, spotlight, and follower ads.
- Website visits – Generate clicks to your website using news feed, text, spotlight, and message ads.
- Engagement – Increase likes, comments, shares, follows, and click-throughs using news feed and follower ads.
- Video views – Increase video views using news feed ads.
- Lead generation – Acquire leads for your law firm using news feed and message ads.
- Website conversions – Send traffic to your website that complete a specific goal using news feed, spotlight, text, and message ads.
- Job applicants – Get more job applicants for open positions at your law firm using news feed, job, and spotlight ads.
To create an ad, you will need to set up a LinkedIn ad account. Next, you will set up a campaign group. A campaign group is simply a collection of ad campaigns that have a common goal or theme. If you have a large law firm that serves different industries or covers a broad range of practice areas, you can set up campaign groups by industry or specialty.
Once you have set up your first campaign group, you can create a new ad campaign. The first step will be to select the ad objective.
Next, you will define your target audience. LinkedIn allows you target audiences using attributes such as location, industry, company size, age, gender, job title, skills, seniority, and other demographics.
Alternatively, you can target matched audiences using data from your website and mailing lists. This allows you to retarget people who have visited your website, subscribed to your email list, or submitted their email address through your lead generation form. If you want to target audiences using matched audiences, you will need to set them up prior to creating your ad campaign.
Once you have defined your target audience, you will choose your ad format and placement. Each available option will give you a detailed description of where the ad will appear for your target audience.
To ensure that you achieve your ad objectives and reach your target audience, you will need to set an appropriate bid for your campaign. LinkedIn allows you to let them automatically bid for you so that your ad has the best chance of being seen above your competitors for the same target audience. LinkedIn provides a guide to the pricing options that correspond to each ad objective.
You will also schedule the ad’s runtime. Your ad will run for the timeframe you selected or until your budget has been spent.
The last step before creating your ad design is setting up conversion tracking. This is optional and enables LinkedIn’s ad analytics to track goal completions in relation to your ad campaigns.
Alternatively, you can use custom campaigns and UTM parameters discussed in the last section of this article for Google Analytics to track conversions from paid search and social ad campaigns. This will allow you to get an overview of which platforms drive the most conversions in one place.
On the following screen, you will create your advertisement. Based on the ad format you selected, you will configure your ad accordingly. For a single image ad, you will:
- Name your ad.
- Add introductory text (up to 600 characters).
- Enter a destination URL.
- Upload an image at least 400px wide. LinkedIn suggests images be 1200px by 627px.
- Add headline text (up to 200 characters).
- Add description text (up to 300 characters).
After you save your first ad, you can create additional ad variations with slightly different introductory text, headline text, description text, or images. This will allow you to do A/B testing to see which ad variation delivers the best results. Be sure to include any applicable disclaimers based on the rules of professional conduct dictated by the ABA and your state and local bar associations.
When you are satisfied with your ad campaign settings and creatives, you can click the launch campaign button. LinkedIn will review your ads to ensure they meet their ad guidelines. Once LinkedIn has approved your campaign, it will run based on the schedule you specified.
You can review your ad performance anytime in your campaign manager and adjust your ads based on performance and goal achievement. If you created multiple ad variations, be sure to review them regularly to see if certain ones need to be paused to focus your budget on the ones that are performing the best.
#2 - Facebook
With 1.59 billion active daily users and 2.41 billion active monthly users, Facebook is the largest social network worldwide. It receives over 20 billion visitors per month, 18% of whom are from the United States. According to the survey by Attorney at Work, lawyers believe Facebook is the second most effective at bringing in new business. Here’s how lawyers and law firms can utilize Facebook to achieve their business goals.
How to Craft a Professional Facebook Profile
According to Facebook Terms of Service, Facebook profiles are for personal use only and should not be used to represent a business. With that said, Facebook profiles do have a few features that would allow you to promote your law firm to the public and your personal connections.
If you choose to associate your Facebook profile to your law firm, you would need to consider how your personal use of your Facebook profile would reflect upon your law firm. For example, if you’ve used Facebook throughout high school and college, you may have some posts that may not be considered professional. If you have children, you may have posts you no longer want publicly accessible.
Limit Past Posts
The fastest way to make your Facebook profile professional is to change any past public posts to friends only. To do this, go to your privacy settings and select the limit past posts option. This will edit all of the public posts or friends of friends on your profile to have a more restricted visibility setting.
If you want a past post to be shown publicly, you will have to go back and edit it again to be shown publicly. Past posts with a more restricted setting will remain restricted.
Create a Close Friends List
But what if you want to become friends with work colleagues? Another way to make your profile more professional is to go through your current friends list and identify the people you trust the most. The people you trust to see photos from your college party days or your child’s birthday parties. The people you trust to read your personal posts and not share them beyond your inner circle. These are the people you would add to your close friends list.
To add people to your close friends list, go to their profiles or hover over their names on Facebook. Next, hover over the dropdown that shows you are friends with them. This should give you the option to click on close friends and add them to the list. Alternatively, you can look for Friends List in the left sidebar of Facebook. Click on the close friends list and, in the right sidebar, type in the names of friends you want added into this list.
Once you’ve done this, you will need to take the time to go through your past posts and edit the privacy settings of posts you want restricted to your close friends only. To do this, click on the privacy icon dropdown to the right of the date the post was published. Keep clicking until you see the close friends list and select it. Once you’ve modified your past posts, remember to use this list for future post privacy settings when applicable.
Add a Cover Photo and Profile Photo
To create a consistent personal brand between your LinkedIn and Facebook profile, consider using the same cover and profile photo for each. While Facebook doesn’t offer specific dimensions for your profile’s images beyond a minimum of 720px wide for the cover photo and 320px by 320px for your profile photo, it does say that Facebook page cover photos are displayed at 820px by 312px on a desktop and 640px by 360px on smartphones.
Edit Your Intro
You can include links to the following in the intro section of your Facebook profile by editing the corresponding sections of your Facebook profile’s “About” section and making them publicly visible.
- Your law firm’s Facebook page by adding it as your current workplace. We’ll discuss how to create a Facebook page if you don’t have one yet in the next portion of the article.
- Your law firm’s website by adding it under your contact and basic info.
- Your LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and other social links by adding them under contact and basic info.
By adding these publicly to your Facebook profile, you give people a chance to connect with you and your law firm beyond Facebook, helping you keep your Facebook profile personal.
Another way to deter people from wanting to become your friend on your personal profile is to allow people to follow your public Facebook posts. To do this, edit your public profile settings. You can allow anyone to follow you, but only allow comments from friends to limit public spamming or harassment.
In terms of ethical considerations, the State Bar of California Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct offered a few specific examples of public status updates posted by a fictitious attorney. They analyzed each statement in regards to whether they constituted a communications for professional employment, violated rules on client testimonials, or otherwise required disclaimers for attorney advertising. If you’re unsure of what to publish publicly for your followers on Facebook, be sure to refer to your state and local bar associations rules of professional conduct and any specific social media guidelines for reference.
How to Set Up a Facebook Page
If your law firm doesn’t have a Facebook page, it’s definitely time to set one up. Facebook pages are the perfect blend of social network and local marketing. They allow you to engage with your local community and collect reviews for your business that appear in Google search results.
To get started, you will go to create a page on Facebook and enter your law firm’s name and enter lawyer and law firm as your page’s category, then enter your address and phone number. For best results in local search, be sure that your name, address, and phone number match your website and other local directories.
Facebook will guide you through setting up the basics for your page. You will add your profile photo, which should match the logo you used for your LinkedIn company page or your professional headshot if you are a solo practice. Facebook suggests that your profile photo should be 320px by 320px. Then you will add your cover photo, which Facebook says will be displayed at 820px by 312px on a desktop and 640px by 360px on a smartphone.
On the following screen, you will be given a tour of your new Facebook page. The tour will encourage you to invite your friends to like your page, learn how to use ads to promote your business, and offer you additional tips to optimize your page. Amongst these, here are the ones that are most important to follow before you start inviting people to like your page.
Your Page’s Username
Create your page’s username by clicking the link under your page’s profile photo. Ideally, your username should match the one you created for your LinkedIn company page for consistent branding across social networks.
The Call to Action Button
Click the add a button feature under your cover photo to add a specific call to action on your Facebook page. There are many options to choose from, including a simple contact us button that links directly to your website. You can also choose from the following options.
Think about the option most people choose when they visit your website. If that it is to call, then choosing the call now option may be best for your Facebook page as well. If you are comfortable with fielding messages via Facebook Messenger, you can utilize the send message feature.
The About Section
Your page’s about section is where you will enter all of the applicable details about your law firm. You will get to describe your law firm in a brief 255-character description as well as an in-depth story. You can use the latter to include any attorney advertising and other disclaimers needed to meet state and local bar associations.
In addition to your description, add your law firm’s main email address, website, and social accounts. You can also add public transit details to help clients find your office easier.
The Services Section
Visit your page’s services section and enter details about your law firm’s practice areas. For each service, you will enter the service name, description, appointment duration (for a free consultation), and an image that represents that service.
Visit your page’s general settings, click on messaging, and decide if you want your law firm to receive private messages through Facebook Messenger from potential clients. Also visit the settings for templates and tabs, click on the settings next to any tabs that you want to remove from your page’s sidebar, and turn the tab off.
Once your law firm’s company page has been created, you can link it to your Facebook profile by editing your current job under work experience and selecting the company page when it appears. Encourage anyone at your law firm who has a Facebook profile to do the same so that they can help increase brand awareness for your law firm. Also be sure to add a link to your Facebook page to your website if you want people to follow your law firm on Facebook.
How to Publish Engaging Facebook Posts
In January of 2018, Facebook’s Head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri, announced that Facebook was making changes to the way they prioritized posts from family, friends, and pages. In particular, they stated that, “Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.”
They did, however, offer two tips. “People who want to see more posts from Pages they follow can choose See First in News Feed Preferences to make sure they always see posts from their favorite Pages.” and “Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed.” So the key is to let your page fans know how to follow you and make sure your posts generate discussion.
If you want to be obvious about it, you can pin a post to the top of your Facebook page for new fans to show them how it’s done. Hover over your page’s following button, highlight the option to See First, and share the image as an update. Click the three dots to pin the post to the top of your page’s news feed so new fans know what to do.
This will ensure that every post your page publishes appears at the top of your fans news feed. Hopefully, if more fans see your posts, more fans will engage with your posts.
Facebook allows you to publish posts with one or more images or videos. You can also publish live video, which Facebook notes receive six times as much engagement as regular videos.
These posts will appear on your page’s news feed and in your fan’s news feeds.
You can expand your post’s reach by adding relevant hashtags, but Facebook doesn’t allow you to see the follower count of hashtags to understand their popularity or clear listing of relevant posts like LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and other social networks.
To help promote your standard status updates, you can publish stories. Stories are photo or video posts that last for 24 hours. You can use them to let your fans know about a new post on your Facebook page as they have the added advantage of appearing at the top of your fan’s news feed on desktop and mobile during their 24-hour lifespan. You can create one on desktop and mobile.
To create the perfect story, you’ll want to make an image or video that fits a 1080px by 1920px screen, ensuring that no important text or calls to action appear within the top or bottom 250px. You can use the tech specs for Facebook story ads to learn more.
How to Increase Engagement on Facebook
In addition to engaging with your fans on your page, you can increase brand awareness and reach audiences beyond your page by commenting on other Facebook pages using your law firm’s Facebook page. You can start by going to any Facebook page, clicking on the dots near the like button, and selecting the option to like the page as your page.
When you see a discussion you want to join on the page, use the dropdown to change from your Facebook profile to your page. Once you see your page’s profile photo, you will be commenting as your page. You can then engage in discussion as your page instead of as your personal profile.
How to Network with Facebook Groups
Similar to LinkedIn, Facebook has a groups feature that allows you to use your personal profile to network with public and private communities with shared interests. Facebook also allows select Facebook pages to join in Facebook groups as well as create them, allowing you to further increase your law firm page’s engagement and brand awareness.
To get started with groups, you can use Facebook’s search bar to find groups for the American Bar Association, your state and local bar associations, and legal groups for your specialty.
When you request to join a group, if the group allows pages to join, it will give you the option to join as your profile or page. If no option is given, you will be joining as your personal profile. Some groups will ask you a few entry questions to ensure that only quality members are allowed to join.
Once your membership has been approved, you will be able to join in and post discussions within the group. Be sure to review the discussions within the group to see whether they are receiving legitimate engagement (not spam) and what types of content they will allow you to post prior to engaging.
How to Advertise on Facebook
To reach more people on both Facebook and Instagram, consider Facebook advertising. Facebook advertising allows you to reach your target audience in the news feed, in-stream videos, stories, messenger inbox, and extended Facebook audience network. Facebook offers almost a dozen ad objectives, including the following.
- Brand Awareness – Increase people’s awareness of your brand, products, and services with ads in the news feed, videos, and stories.
- Reach – Get your ad in front of the most people possible with ads in the news feed, videos, stories, and the audience network.
- Traffic – Generate traffic to any URL with ads in the news feed, and stories.
- Post Engagement – Reach the people most likely to engage with posts on your page with ads in the news feed and videos.
- Video Views – Increase video views with in-stream video ads.
- Conversions – Encourage people to complete specific goals on your website with ads in the news feed and stories.
- Messages – Connect with people privately and directly through ads in Messenger.
- Lead Generation – Collect leads for your law firm directly from Facebook with ads in the news feed and stories.
To create an ad on Facebook and Instagram, you will need to set up a Facebook advertising account. Once you’ve set up your ad account, you will be taken into the ad manager to create your first ad. First, you will choose a marketing objective.
Next, you will name your ad campaign and choose whether you want to do split testing of your ad’s creative, audience, or placement or simply create a single ad. You will also decide on campaign budget optimization options.
From here, you will move on to define your target audience. You can specify your audience’s location, demographics, interests, and consumer behavior.
Similar to LinkedIn, Facebook also allows you to create custom audiences to target ads towards people on your email list or people who have visited your website. If you would like to run ads towards these types of audiences, you will need to set them up prior to running your ad campaign, as Facebook will need some time to process your data.
When selecting ad placement on Facebook and Instagram, you can choose to let Facebook automatically place ads in the areas it thinks the ad will perform best, or you can choose to edit the placements manually to control whether the ads appear on Facebook or Instagram, desktop or mobile, news feeds or stories, and other placement areas.
This will allow you the ability to refer to Facebook’s ad specs and create the highest-quality ad creative for each placement you choose, ensuring the best performance for each placement.
Once you’ve selected your placement options, you will set the budget and schedule for your ad to run and continue to uploading your ad creative.
Based on the placements you have chosen, you will be able to customize the text, images, and video options for each ad you want to create. Facebook will assist you with the sizing and preview options for desktop and mobile placements so you can create the best possible ads for your marketing goals.
Once you are satisfied with your ad creatives, you can submit your ad campaign to Facebook for review. After Facebook has approved your ad, it will go live based on the schedule you set for it. You should visit your ad manager periodically to review each ad’s performance if you set up multiple ad sets for split testing to ensure that the best performing ad is running to utilize your budget accordingly.
#3 - Twitter
The third most popular social network used by lawyers and law firms, as noted by the ABA and Attorney at Work surveys, is Twitter. The network receives 4 billion visitors per month, over 22% of which are from the United States. Since only 1% of survey respondents found the paid advertising side of Twitter to be effective, we’ll focus on the organic engagement side of Twitter marketing.
How to Create a Twitter Profile
Unlike Facebook and LinkedIn – where you have to manage engagement with personal profiles, business pages, and networking groups – Twitter offers one profile for both personal and business use. Whether you are creating an account for yourself for personal use, for yourself as a lawyer, or for your law firm’s company, you will have the same options for creating a Twitter profile and posting Twitter updates for all three.
To sign up for a Twitter account, you will enter your name and email or phone number. Once you receive your verification code, you will enter a password and add your profile photo. Your profile photo should be 400px by 400px. Next, you will enter a 160-character description that appears on your profile.
Your 160-character bio can include hashtags, links to your website (formatted as yourwebsite.com to save characters), and links to other users with their @username. This would allow employees who maintain professional Twitter profiles to promote the law firm’s profile. Some law firms also include any applicable advertising disclaimers or links to disclaimers on their website.
After you’ve configured your interests and followed some popular people on Twitter, you will be taken to your new Twitter profile. To create your username, you will need to go to your account settings. Remember to create a username that matches your LinkedIn profile if you are creating one for yourself as a lawyer or one that matches your LinkedIn and Facebook page if you are creating one for your law firm for branding consistency.
While you are in your settings, visit the security section to add two-factor authentication to your account to keep it safe.
When you go back to your profile, click on the Edit Profile button to add a header image (1500px by 500px), location, and website. Your completed profile should look something like this.
How to Publish Engaging Tweets
Twitter gives you 280 characters to share text, links, images, and videos in status updates on their network. Your updates can also include hashtags to increase their reach and mentions of @usernames of those involved in the story or likely to generate a conversation.
How to Increase Engagement on Twitter
- Add your @username to your website, business card, and other social profiles so others can find and follow your profile.
- Use the search Twitter box in the #explore tab to join in public conversations around specific keywords and #hashtags.
- Keep your tweets focused on one message and include a link to direct followers to in-depth content.
- Tweets with photos and videos receive more engagement than text alone.
- Use the #explore tab to see if you can incorporate trending topics and hashtags in your tweets on a daily basis.
- Learn more about your followers by asking questions and running polls.
You can also grow your followers by following others. Search for the American Bar Association, your state and local bar associations, and legal groups for your specialty. Also look at the suggestions Twitter has to offer of related accounts to follow.
#4 - Instagram
The fourth most popular social network used by lawyers and law firms, as noted by the Attorney at Work survey is Instagram. This visual-based social network receives 3.39 billion visitors to its website per month, over 16% of which are from the United States. It’s 1 billion+ active users per month are more active on smartphones, considering it is the #2 Photo & Video app on iTunes and the #2 Social app on the Google Play store.
Since Instagram advertising is done in conjunction with Facebook advertising, this section will focus on the organic side of Instagram marketing.
How to Create an Instagram Business Account
For lawyers, law firms, and anyone looking to promote a business, Instagram offers a business account feature. There are a few subtle differences between a personal and business profile on Instagram, including the ability to add a physical address and have access to Instagram analytics inside the app.
To create a business account, you will need to download the Instagram app on your smartphone and sign up with your email address or phone number. Instagram will ask for your name and password. It will automatically create a username for you, which you can change to one that matches those you created earlier for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Instagram will then ask to connect with your Facebook and phone contacts to find people to connect with, steps you can skip until you are done creating your profile. Next, you will add your profile photo or skip this step and add it later. Once you are finished, you will be taken to your new profile.
From here, you can go to your account settings and tap the link to switch to a professional account. Choose the business account option to get the ability to add your local business details. You will also get to connect to your Facebook page, which will add your Facebook page category (Lawyer & Law Firm) to your Instagram profile.
After you’ve converted to a business account, you can continue to customize your Instagram profile to include a 150-character bio and link to your website. At this point, your new Instagram business account is ready for use. You will just need to confirm your email address if you haven’t already.
How to Publish Engaging Instagram Posts
Instagram allows you to post photos and video using the Instagram smartphone app to your business account. Instagram suggests that businesses keep their captions short, include hashtags, and tag their location to reach audiences in their area. Keep the subject in clear focus, use good but natural lighting when possible, and experiment with backgrounds for maximum effect.
It’s important to note that businesses that have provided physical address can have photos tagged to their location, as shown in this example below of DLA Piper’s location in San Diego.
How to Increase Engagement on Instagram
Hashtags are the way to increase engagement on Instagram. Instagram allows you to see the number of posts along with the top and most recent posts for most hashtags when you search for them on your app and on the desktop. If you are researching from your desktop, you can hover over the posts to see the number of likes and comments each one has received.
Researching hashtags on Instagram will allow you to learn more about the types of photos and video that resonate with your target audience. It will also give you a chance to join in the conversation with other Instagram users that might be interested in following your account. Plus, if you follow the hashtags, you can get some daily inspiration and possible conversation starters delivered to your own news feed daily.
In addition, you can also search for the American Bar Association, local associations, and other local Instagram accounts that are relevant to your law firm and its services on Instagram. Instagram will offer some suggestions each time you follow someone new that will help you find even more law-related Instagram inspiration.
#5 - YouTube
Last, but not least in the top social networks category is YouTube. Although not everyone considers it more of a video-sharing network than a social network, it receives 24 billion monthly visitors who watch a billion hours of video per day, 16% of which are from the United States.
While only 2% of lawyers find it effective for generating new business according to Attorney at Work, it is still a Google-owned property and an important part of many businesses’ video marketing strategy. For law firms that already have TV advertisements or produce video for other social networks, a YouTube channel can be another place to share video content.
How to Create a YouTube Channel
Sign in using the same Google account as your law firm’s Google Analytics, Gmail, and other Google services, or create a YouTube channel for your law firm. YouTube will ask you for your first and last name, but if you are creating an account for your business, click the link to create a business account instead to enter your business name.
On the following screen click the button to customize your channel. Hover over your channel’s profile photo and channel art areas to add yours. Your channel art/header image should be 2560px by 1440 px.
Next, click on the about tab for your channel. This is where you will enter a description for your channel in which you can talk about your law firm and add any applicable advertising disclaimers. You can also add a contact email and links. The first will be spelled out and the next four will be added as an icon on top of your channel art.
How to Publish Engaging YouTube Videos
YouTube offers a lot of tips on how to create engaging YouTube videos in their Creator’s Academy. Some of the best tips law firms can apply to their own video content include the following.
- Target specific audiences for each video.
- Use Google Trends and Twitter Trends to find trending topics to include in your YouTube video topics. You can also use Google Trends to research for YouTube specifically by searching for a keyword and changing the Web Search dropdown to YouTube search.
- Create videos that answer common issues for your industry or service area.
- Apply the same SEO skills you would use on your website content to each YouTube video to ensure it gets discovered in YouTube search and on Google.
- Talk to your audience directly and ask their opinion on what you should create video content about next.
- Upload videos on a regular schedule.
How to Increase Engagement on YouTube
YouTube isn’t only about videos. Just like other social networks, you can increase your law firm’s brand awareness simply by finding relevant conversations to join. Use the YouTube search box to find videos about relevant legal topics, look for quality discussions within the video comments, and jump in where you see fit. You can also search for and subscribe to channels like the American Bar Association, local bar associations, and similar groups to get ideas on how to create great law-related videos on YouTube.
What about other social networks?
Once your law firm has established a solid presence on the top social networks, you may be interested in expanding your firm’s reach further. If your law firm has the bandwidth and the marketing budget, adding another network to your social media marketing portfolio could increase your law firm’s brand awareness. Here are a few additional networks to consider.
With 300 million users each month, Pinterest is a social network that allows users to save (pin) their favorite images and videos from the web in private and public collections (boards). While the most popular topics on Pinterest include travel, health and wellness, hobbies, celebrations, food, home, style, beauty, and parenting, there are law firms with hundreds of followers that receive thousands of viewers each month.
Law firms, like Majeski Law, LLC, generate Pinterest engagement by sharing images from their website and other trusted sites on topics related to their legal services. It allows them to build brand awareness without direct advertising of their services.
To get started on Pinterest, you will need to create a business account for yourself or your law firm. In your Pinterest settings, you can edit your profile by adding a profile photo, display name, username, a 160-character description, and location. You can claim your website, which will add it to your profile, along with your Instagram account and YouTube channel. To protect your Pinterest business account, add two-factor authentication in the security settings.
After you have set up your profile, you can start adding images and videos to your Pinterest business account. Do this by the Pinterest save button to your browser, visit your website and other trusted sources, and choose content that will best represent serve your target market.
Some great examples of law firms on Pinterest include Hoffman Law Firm, The Peck Law Firm, and The Williams Law Firm. Also, be sure to familiarize yourself with Pinterest’s general TOS and TOS for businesses.
Quora is a Q&A social network that receives over 600 million visitors per month, 27% of which are from the United States. Users can seek answers and follow questions, topics, and other users. Legal topics include law (1.9m followers), law in everyday life (486.3k followers), crime (479.4k followers), criminal law (338.2k followers), copyright law (257.2k followers), and legal ethics (272.3k followers).
Lawyers, like Dana H. Shultz, that contribute valuable answers and quality blog posts on the Quora network can build a strong profile with thousands of followers and millions of content views.
To get started on Quora, sign up with Google, Facebook, or email. Once your account is created, visit your profile to add your profile photo and edit your details. If needed, hover over the name on your profile to reveal the edit link to change it to your real name or the legally incorporated business name of your law firm.
Click on the areas beneath your name to add your profile credential and description to add additional details about yourself or your law firm. Your profile credential is limited to 60 characters and works similarly to your LinkedIn headline. It is shown alongside your content throughout Quora, although you have the option to modify your profile credential to align with individual Q&A topic participation.
Your profile description can be as long as you would like, but it is typically cut off at 140 – 200 characters in length. Within your profile description, you can include links to your business website as well as links to your additional social media profiles. Think of it as your LinkedIn summary.
In the right sidebar, you will add your employment information, educational background, current location, topics that you know about, and languages that you speak. These will help users better understand your expertise, or why you are qualified to answer questions and create content on the Quora network.
Before you begin to participate in Q&A, be sure to review Quora’s general TOS, acceptable use policy, and its features for law firms that want to add customized legal disclaimers to their answers. You can modify this disclaimer to include any specific wording to meet the requirements applicable state bars and federal agencies for your law firm.
Reddit is a popular social network that allows users to create communities based on specific interests where they can share news and meaningful discussions. With 1.68 billion visitors per month, 38% from the United States, it definitely has the potential to be a platform for increased reach.
But unlike Quora and the other social networks mentioned earlier, there are a few crucial things that Reddit doesn’t allow. You can create a profile for yourself or your law firm, but you can’t include a clickable link to your website. You can post content, but the network and most topic-based communities (known as subreddits) won’t allow you to post self-promotional content.
With that said, there are law firms, like Gifford Law, that have found a way to make the most of Reddit to gain popularity on the platform as indicated by the karma points listed on the profile. There are also many legal subreddits including legal advice (931k members), law (93.3k members), and lawyers (invite only).
To get started on Reddit, you can sign up for a new account using your email address. Visit your user settings to customize your profile. Start by connecting your Twitter account and adding a link to it to your profile in the account tab. In the profile tab, add your real name or law firm name as your display name. You can include 170-characters about your law firm, plus a profile photo (avatar image) and banner image. Be sure to scroll down and make your profile visible to everyone (r/all) so it can be seen and discovered by anyone who sees your content on Reddit.
Before you start joining subreddits, be sure to review Reddit’s user agreement and content policy. For each subreddit you want to participate in, look in the right sidebar for additional rules and guidelines created by moderators of that specific community.
How to Set Up a Social Media Calendar for Your Law Firm
To ensure that you are able to effectively keep track of your social media profiles, it’s important to have a social media calendar for your law firm. Ideally, anyone who uses social media for your law firm will have a social media calendar to help them manage their role in your organization’s social media strategy.
For example, let’s say that a few lawyers at your law firm are responsible for maintaining your law firm’s presence in LinkedIn groups. Their social media calendar may be simple as a daily reminder to check in on those specified groups to create or comment upon new discussions. The following was created using Google Calendar.
Next, you have someone that you have monitoring your law firm’s social media accounts for comments every couple of hours. This person is in charge of replying to direct inquiries, moderating inappropriate comments, publishing new posts, and looking for new mentions of the law firm. Their social media calendar may look more intense, based on how the engagement level your law firm’s social media community.
Here is an idea of what kinds of activities you should include in your social media calendar.
- Add new posts to social media profiles, pages, and groups.
- Moderate public comments and reviews.
- Reply to public comments and mentions, private messages.
- Look for opportunities for meaningful discussions in groups and Q&A networks.
- Review employee social media usage and posts as needed.
- Review analytics for paid social media campaigns and adjust spend accordingly.
- Promote new blog content.
- Review state and federal guidelines and update social media policy accordingly.
- Review analytics for organic social media activities and adjust the time spent on platforms accordingly.
- Plan new organic and paid social media campaigns.
- Update social account header and channel art for new campaigns.
If the social media calendar idea isn’t appealing, you can choose a checklist instead. You can approach this by bookmarking all of the law firm’s social media accounts and groups that you are responsible for on your browser in a folder. Do this to ensure that you visit each as often as needed throughout the day. The following was created using Google Chrome.
Another approach is to have a printed or digital checklist that you can use to see your daily social media tasks. While repetitive, it will ensure that each social media entity gets the attention it needs to achieve the results desired by the law firm. The following was created using Trello.
Buffer, a social media management tool mentioned in the next section, also offers a social media activities checklist that you download for use as a starting point to building one for your law firm.
While there are many social media management tools with built-in calendar features, all of the above-mentioned solutions are free to use. They can help solo and small-sized law firms organize their social media marketing activities easily and affordably.
How Lawyers Can Utilize Social Media Management Tools
According to the Attorney at Work survey mentioned earlier, 38% of attorneys utilize social media management tools to help them publish content on social media. Third-party social media management tools allow you to take one status update and publish it to multiple channels at once, reducing the amount of time you have to spend on social media activities.
There are pros and cons to using third-party tools for social media updates. The obvious pro is that it’s a time-saver. You can publish more updates to social media in a fraction of the time. Instead of taking the same text, image, and link over to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn separately and using each interface to construct your status update, you go to one platform, create one update, and it gets distributed to all three networks.
The time you save the redundant task of creating duplicate status updates across multiple networks can be applied to doing something more meaningful, like having engaged discussions. The type of discussions that can create valuable connections that ultimately lead to business referrals and client development.
The con of using a third-party social media management tool is the detachment from social media. Some enjoy the efficiency of the tool so much that they stop visiting the social networks, decreasing their engagement and thus, decreasing the benefits of social media itself.
If you can remember that the point of using a third-party social media tool is to give you more time to engage on social media, not more time to use social media less, then it will improve your social media marketing. With that in mind, the top third-party tools for social media publishing include Buffer, which starts at $15 per month for ten profiles and HootSuite, which is free for three profiles or starts $29 per month for ten profiles. Both tools allow you to publish to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.
How Attorneys Can Measure the Effectiveness of Social Media Marketing
Each social network offers analytics for business advertising, pages, and accounts to measure your social media marketing activities, but the best way to measure the effectiveness of your law firm’s social media marketing as a whole is to rely on your website analytics. Google Analytics is a web analytics tool that measures website performance, allowing you to learn more about your law firm’s website traffic.
Specifically, Google Analytics will give you a non-personalized view of how many visitors your website receives, where they come from, and what they do on your website. With the right setup, you can use it to answer the most important questions about your social media marketing strategy.
- Which social networks drive the most qualified traffic (potential clients) to our law firm’s website?
- Which social media ad campaign was most effective for driving qualified traffic to our law firm’s website?
If you want Google Analytics to measure the ROI of your online marketing, you will have to go beyond the basic Google Analytics setup process. You will have to add conversion tracking to your website to ensure Google Analytics knows which user interactions are most valuable to your business. You can do this on the Google Analytics Admin page, where you will find Goals under the View column for your law firm’s website.
Select the Contact us template if you would like Google Analytics to measure contact form/lead submissions as successful goal achievements on your website.
From there, you will select Destination as the Goal Type and enter your law firm website’s thank you or confirmation page URL as the destination a user will land upon once they have completed your contact us form. This will add a goal completion to your Google Analytics reports. You can click the Verify this Goal link to see if you have set it up correctly. Assuming you have received inquiries through your contact form that have landed upon your thank you or confirmation page, Google Analytics will give you a conversion rate percentage from the last seven days.
After you start receiving contact form submissions, you can start reviewing your Google Analytics data to see which traffic sources are generating the most leads for your law firm website. To see the traffic channels in relation to your conversions, you can visit your Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels report. This will show the breakdown of traffic from the following sources.
- Organic and paid search
- Social networks
- Referral (websites linking to yours other than social networks)
- Direct (someone types your URL into their browser’s address bar or uses a browser bookmark)
To see specific social networks that have sent traffic to your law firm’s website, you can visit your Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals report, or visit the Acquisition > Social > Conversions report to see a report where social networks assisted in a conversion.
The best way to track your social media marketing campaigns with accuracy is through the use of custom campaigns. Google Analytics has a free tool where you can quickly create custom campaigns for tracking visitors from specific marketing and advertising campaigns in your analytics reports.
Using custom campaigns will allow you to get granular with your analytics data. For example, let’s look at how Google Analytics reports your website visitors from Facebook in the Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium report when you search for Facebook.
If you want to make a distinction between website visitors who have clicked on your Facebook page, Facebook ads, and other marketing initiatives, you can use custom campaign UTM tags to do so. When you create a link for your next Facebook ad, you could use the following tags.
This would allow you to see in the above report that your Facebook visitor came from an ad campaign. It would also allow you to use the Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns report to view traffic for your personal_injury ad campaigns. If you were running ad campaigns on multiple platforms (Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn) and used UTM tags for each, you could click on personal_injury in the All Campaigns report and see the breakdown of traffic as well as goal completions for ads from each platform.
To ensure accuracy in these custom campaigns and the rest of your Google Analytics reporting, be sure to read about custom campaigns and refer to default channel definitions. Also, keep track of your custom campaigns in a spreadsheet for future reference. It will allow you to use consistent naming conventions for each of your campaigns and refer back to the ones you want to view reports or track results for future reference.
Examples of Law Firms with the Best Social Media Presence
As you create a successful presence on social media, you should see a steady growth in your audience size and engagement on each social network, referral traffic to your website from each social network, and a rise in your social media profile links in search results. Social networks can also be included as a part of your law firm’s knowledge panel.
As you can see, visual components like a consistent logo and header/cover image allow you to create a branded presence across social networks that have very different layouts and color theme options. Be sure to incorporate these items into your social presence to build brand awareness, clarity, and trust with your target audience and potential clients.