Which Social Media Sites Should My Law Firm Be On?
In a world where social media has taken over and become a huge part of advertising, one popular question being asked by attorneys and firm administrators is, “How can I use this to my firm’s advantage?” By creating profiles on different platforms, you are able to share blog articles, news, and spread the word about what you offer organically with the goal of growing a following. While you can also utilize paid ads to help increase your social media engagement, this article will only focus on cost-free ways to do so.
The first thing you have to consider is what kind of online presence do you want to establish? Your website is the place people ultimately go to find out information about you and your firm. This information can include:
- Where you are located/what area(s) do you cover?
- What are your hours?
- Who are your team members?
- What type(s) of law do you specialize in?
- Testimonials/Case verdicts/blog articles that further support your firm’s experience and your mission.
Defining Social Media’s Purpose
While your website can offer a lot of insight into the qualifications of your firm, your social media presence can serve as a gateway into the heart of your business, and a window that shows what the people who work there are like. So you always want to make sure your online tone matches how you sound when people come to you to represent them.
The first thing to figure out is what kind of social media personality you want to have. Are you strictly informative, sharing blogs, cases and news that show and support how your firm would handle a case — by the books and strongly fighting for your clients? Or are you more personable by showing the “family” side of your firm. This can include sharing funny memes linking to informative blogs, pictures of the “office pet” and “Happy birthday to our favorite intern!” (In other words, letting your clients know that the moment they come through the door, they will be treated as a member of your firm’s family). Or perhaps you want to offer a mix of the two? Once you have a better idea of your online personality, you can figure out where you want to focus your content.
Considering Your Platforms
Now comes the time to consider which platforms are best suited for your firm. Facebook is often the first platform many firms and businesses link to. With 1.62 billion users visiting Facebook daily, the platform remains to be a prominent source for looking up businesses. Choosing to share links, pictures, or just simple text, is one of the easiest ways to show your personality. By using the right hashtags, your posts have a better chance of appearing in the sidebar of Facebook to prospective clients who are geographically close to you who have been searching for/hashtagging something similar.
Twitter is a simple platform for your firm to utilize, but its limited character count can prove to be a challenge. This was the original platform that really took advantage of the use of hashtags though. So use the right ones, along with your content, and you’ll pop right up in someone’s “recommended for you” notifications.
LinkedIn is great if you are looking to hire. It helps potential employees see what the firm is about, what expectations you have for your employees, and what office-life may be like. That being said, it may not be the best place to attract clients. Sharing testimonials, successful case outcomes and certain blog posts are recommended for this platform since it’ll give an idea of the standard a future attorney will be held to, but don’t anticipate a large influx of potential clients to come from LinkedIn.
Instagram can be a bit tricky. You must post an image and cannot just post text on this platform and those images have to be a certain size. Also, your links in your caption can’t link outside of the platform. In this case, however, people have managed to work around it by updating their profiles consistently and placing the links there (where you CAN redirect to your intended location). By doing this, anyone who is interested in your article, or where the link may lead, will have to visit your main page. This increases traffic to your main profile, which in turn gets your profile more “hits” and “views” (which causes the algorithm to place you higher in the “suggestions” on the homepage when people search or use your hashtags or adjacent ones).
Snapchat and TikTok are still newer platforms when it comes to business profiles, but if used correctly, can make an impression. Snapchat users can post stories to share content, however they don’t last longer than 24 hours, so you need to make sure the following is there. TikTok, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same time constraints and content has a longer shelf-life.
TikTok is a modern “Vine” which centers around videos that last between 15-60 seconds, and then play in a continuous loop. The content of the videos can range from informational to pranks to dance trends on this platform, so, with the right strategy, you can express the personality of your firm effectively on TikTok. The struggle with TikTok is putting aside the time to create the videos. However once created, they are saved to your device and can be shared to most other platforms as well.
Have a Strategy
While having a social media presence may help in increasing your firm’s visibility, actively posting to social media can oftentimes be a waste of time and energy if there is no strategy in place. It is imperative to have a comprehensive social media plan that dictates what kind of content to post, when you should post it, and on which platforms the content will go on. Building up your audience is also a key factor in having a strong social media presence. Without an active audience to reach, and something useful to say, it’s often not worthwhile. Before even trying out the different social media platforms, make sure to set goals for what your firm would like to achieve by using these platforms.