How To Use Social Media For Your Law Practice
By Holly Scimeca ©Androvett Legal Media & Marketing
If you haven't noticed by now, social media has become an integral part of today's society. Millions of people depend on social media each day to engage with friends and colleagues, get up-to-date news and information, and promote themselves and their business.
The legal industry is no exception. Attorneys and law firms have taken notice and more of them are creating accounts, with 76% reporting to the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Report that they maintain an online presence. This number is up from 55% just four years ago.
Using Social Media to Your Advantage
When using social media, it is important to keep the audience in mind. For example, depending on your practice area (especially if it's consumer-focused), using Facebook may be the best channel to reach potential clients. In other cases – with business clients, colleagues and legal industry leaders – LinkedIn or Twitter may be best.
Once you have identified the proper channel, here are some ways to make the most of social media for your law practice:
Raise The Profile of Your Firm and Practice
Social media is a great platform to boost awareness of your firm and share your message with a large audience. Celebrate your successes, as you never know who will notice and share your update with their followers, expanding the reach of your message. Potential updates to share include lawyer accolades, courtroom wins and judgments.
Drive Traffic to Your Website
Social posts are also a great way to drive traffic to your firm's website. The text for a post should serve as a teaser, sparking a click-through to a website where visitors can get more details. If you attach tracking parameters to the links you share on social media, you will be able to see a holistic view of where people are engaging with your content and website.
Connect With Potential Clients
Client development is a natural use for social media since certain channels give you the ability to serve up your message to an identified target audience. Targeting parameters are available for geography, demographics and interest areas. Users identify many of these criteria voluntarily when they build out their profiles as a way to connect with others. According to the American Bar Association's Legal Technology report, 24% of lawyers reported that they retained a client as a result of their social media efforts. When using this tactic, keep in mind any rules your state bar may have.
Amplify Public Relations
Social media is a great arm for extending your existing public relations efforts. In past years, newspaper articles or news segments were only available for those who caught the printed paper edition or saw the news segment live. Now that news outlets are focused on posting everything online, you can extend the life of that story and feature your interview or published commentary with an expanded audience. These social media posts help establish you as an expert in the legal industry as well as the community.
Help with Trial and Litigation Efforts
People divulge plenty of information on their social media profiles as a way to connect with others, and part of the desire to connect means that they keep their profiles public. This can be a helpful tool when going to trial or working on litigation matters. You are now able to expand a generic jury questionnaire beyond a paper packet and can get a better sense of a potential juror through the pictures they post, profile updates and identified preferences.
Public social media profiles can also arm you when looking for evidence. All posts are dated and time-stamped, and those documented opinions and events could be useful when building a case.
Not sure where to start? For inspiration, look at what other firms and attorneys in your practice area are doing. Don't expect to master it right out of the gates. The great thing about social media is that it is fluid. If you make a mistake, you can easily update the post without an issue.
See what posts are and aren't working for you. If people are engaging with your posts, ask yourself why? If people aren't, simply adjust the content and frequency of your posts to better connect with your audience.
Every day, it becomes clearer that leveraging social media can be a great way for lawyers and law firms to grow their practice, elevate their expertise, and serve as a new gateway for working on cases. These tips can help build a foundation for your social media presence, but the most important tip of all is to take the first step.
At Androvett Legal Media & Marketing, we regularly work with clients to identify potential audiences, topics and publications for bylined articles and assist attorneys in the preparation, submission and ongoing uses for the published material. If you're interested in learning more about these opportunities and our services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-559-4534.