The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing for Law Firms

Have you considered using social media as part of your law firm marketing strategy? Or does the thought of posting on Facebook or tweeting fill you with dread? Maybe your law firm created a LinkedIn account a few years back, but your last contribution was November 2017.

Why should law firms embrace social media marketing?

If you haven’t considered using social media as part of your law firm marketing, you should. According to Social Media Perth:

  • In January 2021, Australia had 20.5 million social media users.
  • The average time spent daily on social media is 1 hour and 46 minutes (that’s one-third of the total time people are spending online).
  • 98% of Australian internet users aged 16-64 still use a conventional search engine. Over 1 in 3 users turned to social media to find information about brands they were considering.

More specifically to law firms:

  • 70% of law firms said that social media is part of their overall marketing strategy (SproutSocial, 2019).
  • 35% of lawyers who use social media professionally gain new clients as a result (SproutSocial, 2019).

With more and more people turning to social media to research products and services, you’re likely missing out on a lot of work if you’re not showing up there. And it’s not just your potential clients using social media, it’s your competitors!

While the task of setting up a social media marketing strategy might seem daunting, the potential benefits are certainly worth the work. Social media is about engaging with an audience, creating conversations, communities and networks, and joining groups.

The broad reach of social media provides many opportunities for law firms to disseminate valuable information and connect with potential clients and referrers. Here’s how.

Social media platforms are prime real estate for marketing law firms.

Social media helps build relationships.

People do business with people, and social media is all about getting in front of your audience and showing them who you are.

According to HubSpot, 2021’s ultimate social media trend is ‘The Consumer is King’ (HubSpot Social Media Trends 2021, “A Detailed Report To Drive Your Social Media Strategy Forward”). What this means is that your clients need to be at the centre of your social media marketing strategy. Once you have identified their motivations, needs and conversations, your law firm will easily be able to connect and build more authentic relationships with them on social media. Now is the time to listen and communicate with your clients on social media to gain the competitive edge.

As your audience gets to know you, not only as an expert in your field, but as a real person, they develop trust in your brand, and your law firm will be top of mind when they need your services.

Social media helps drive traffic to your website.

Being visible on social media provides more pathways for people to find your website and learn about the legal services you offer. Think of social media as another channel to get your name and brand out there and direct visitors to the valuable content and updates you publish on your website.

Social media helps boost your search engine rankings.

Search engines now take social media activity into consideration as they evaluate website rankings. Increased traffic to your website occurs as links are circulated and shared across various social media platforms. More traffic to your website means improved search engine optimisation (SEO).

Social media increases the value of your resources.

Social media gives your content more bang for its buck. If you’ve gone to the trouble of creating blog posts and articles on your website (see article Why Blogs Produce 67% More Leads Per Month For Law Firms), social media enables you to distribute this content for maximum reach. By adding links on social media channels to content published on your website, you exponentially boost your blogs’ potential to convert website visitors to leads.

Which social media platforms should my law firm use?

There are many – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok and now Clubhouse. There is a growing list of social media platforms and choosing the right one or combination for your law firm marketing will take some research.

You need to find your audience and choose your channels, and there’s plenty of information available on the various social media platforms to help you do that. There are also many statistics available for each platform based on user location and characteristics such as age, gender, interests, and education. This can help you discover how to connect with your ideal audience, choose appropriate platforms, and target your social media marketing efforts accordingly.

Start here for an introduction to social media for law firms and an overview of some of the more popular platforms available.

How to use social media for your law firm marketing

Once you’ve decided on your social media platform or platforms, it’s time to think about some of the ways you can use it to reach out and make connections. So, what can you do on social media? The opportunities are many.

Primarily, you can use social media as a distribution channel to provide topical legal content or firm updates and disseminate this to your audience. By linking to useful, valuable content about everyday legal issues on your website you’re not only increasing visitors and improving rankings, but you’re establishing a reputation as a trusted professional in your field. Social media is also an excellent way to create brand awareness or provide updates about new services or team members within your law firm.

By creating or joining groups, you can engage directly with your audience about trending legal topics or ask for feedback about legal services generally. This can help build strong community relationships.

The more familiar you become with social media, the more ways you will find to integrate it with your existing law firm marketing efforts, to engage with your audience and reap the benefits.

What’s the cost?

Your investment in using social media to market your law firm is essentially the time and effort you put into identifying, creating (or obtaining) content, and preparing and implementing your social media marketing strategy.

Developing a social media marketing strategy

Your social media marketing plan forms part of your overall law firm marketing strategy and should complement your existing marketing efforts. Communicating regularly with your potential clients requires planning and commitment. You will need content which should already form part of your law firm website and which should be regularly updated to ensure it is relevant and valuable.

Key to social media marketing success for law firms is planning and scheduling your social media activity. This involves implementing a strategy that reaches and engages with your target audience and builds a following. Implementing a social media schedule, and appointing a team to manage it helps keep your plans on track and avoids stale content, sporadic posts and unanswered comments.

Quick tips for a successful social media marketing strategy

  • Understand your audience and choose your social media platform accordingly. There’s always the temptation to try and be on every social channel available, but as more niche platforms appear, you may spread yourself too thin.
  • Plan and schedule your social media activity well in advance to ensure sufficient quality content is available and time dedicated to engage frequently with, and respond to, your audience.
  • Appoint a responsible person or team to manage your social media marketing strategy and make sure they have been allocated time in their schedule to commit to the process.
  • Be genuine and authentic, not spammy or self-promoting. Follow the 80/20 rule – 80% information and education, 20% about the business. Offer valuable information to help your audience so your posts are read, and not simply scrolled past.
  • Analyse the results. Most social media platforms include analytics to track and analyse your social media data and provide a snapshot of what is working, and what isn’t. These tools may help you find the best day, time, and frequency for activity to build a social media schedule that works for your firm and gets the results you want.
  • Develop a social media policy for your law firm which covers any relevant rules or restrictions on law firm advertising and deals with ways to address any negative comments. This policy can be reflected in your social media marketing strategy so you can confidently move forward with your plans.

Where to next?

Whether or not you’ve dabbled in social media before, it cannot be ignored as an important part of your law firm marketing strategy. Although first-timers might find social media a bit overwhelming, there are plenty of resources to get you off to a great start.

We are a law firm marketing agency. We formulate effective marketing strategies for busy lawyers to help them grow their practice through social media marketing, digital marketing, e-newsletters, and quality content. We are the most experienced law firm website hosting provider in the world, and build, host, and manage law firm websites for optimum performance and conversion with the visitor and user in mind. If you need assistance to get started with a social media marketing plan, or need quality content for your website, call Peter on 1300 881 811.

About the author
Peter Heazlewood

Peter Heazlewood

Peter Heazlewood is a management and marketing consultant, he specialises in helping law firms develop their practices using business planning marketing and performance reporting techniques refined in his own successful law firm. Peter lives in Sydney with his wife and is the father of five adult children.
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