Social Media Online Marketing Tips for Lawyers and Law Firms



Social Media Online Marketing Tips for Lawyers and Law Firms


The Negative Aspects of Social Media for Lawyers

When someone says social media in the workplace, what’s the first thing you think of?  Most people immediately think of wasting time on Facebook, and they’re not wrong.  Facebook is one of the biggest social media time-wasters in the workplace, second to only Tumblr (a visual microblogging platform and social media site).  Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat round out the top 5 biggest social media time-wasters.


Social Media can be a Positive Influence in your Law Firm

Yet, social media in the workplace can actually be a benefit to your business if managed correctly.  Social media can be a great way to target and engage with potential clients.  This is done is two main ways: targeted advertising and communication.  But before we can share our tips, your law firm needs to decide what you want to accomplish with your social media use.  The main goals generally include increasing traffic to your website and increasing your client base.


Using Social Media for Targeted Advertising

First, let’s discuss targeted advertising.  Everyone knows that Google offers pay-per-click  (PPC) advertising, but did you know that Facebook offers the same thing?  If used properly, Facebook PPC can be significantly less expensive than similar advertising efforts on Google.  Plus, Facebook has been investing heavily in their marketing algorithms to ensure that your target audience views your advertisements.  On Facebook, you can even target potential clients based on their age, gender, job, location, marital status, and more.  Ultimately, this means that you can target your advertisements with laser focus, and for less money than a similar advertising campaign on Google would cost.


Using Social Media for Effective Communication

Next, let’s discuss communication.  Facebook and Twitter are the two main social media sites that we will discuss, but people also use Google+, LinkedIn, and other sites.  Hopefully, your law firm already has a Facebook page and Twitter profile, but you likely aren’t fully utilizing these to your advantage.  For example, you may have a Facebook page, but aren’t regularly writing posts that your followers want to read.  Or, you may have a Twitter profile, but don’t really know what to do with it.

People on Facebook probably don’t want to know that you just won a big case, and they definitely don’t care that you just hired a new lawyer, so don’t bother with regular posts of this nature.  It won’t increase your followers (and thus, visibility), and it might even cause you to lose a few.  Instead, provide your followers with information that they’ll care about.  Give your professional commentary on a relevant news story.  Maybe have a lawyer tip of the week.  Perhaps you can mention a lesser-known field of law that your firm handles.  Giving your followers information that they want to read will help increase your followers and visibility.  Every follower is a potential client as long as you keep your name in his or her mind.

Twitter is a little bit different from Facebook in that you have a 140-character limit.  This means that your posts are severely limited in length, so you may have to get creative.  If you post blogs or articles on your website, you can link to these, or to one of your Facebook posts.  Twitter automatically shortens any links you tweet to 19 characters, so you don’t need to worry about the length of your link.  I would recommend posting your lawyer tip of the week on Twitter, since a short message is better suited to this medium.

Your Twitter campaign may also want to take advantage of hashtags, which basically is a relevant and searchable label you can attach to your tweet.  You can do this by typing the pound, or number, sign, followed by your label.  There are two main kinds of hashtags: the alliteration, and the simple label.  Alliteration hashtags tend to refer to a specific day, such as #ThrowbackThursday or #LawTipTuesday.  You could also use a hashtag to label your tweet, such as #news or #lawyer.  I do want to caution you, however, against using too many hashtags in a tweet, as that is often viewed in a negative light.  Keep hashtags relevant to the subject matter, and try to limit yourself to no more than two or three hashtags per tweet.  On the subject of self-limitations on Twitter, research suggests that shorter tweets tend to get more views and retweets (people sharing your message with their own followers), so try to keep it short and to the point.  Facebook has also recently introduced hashtags to their own site, although the feature is certainly more engrained in Twitter culture.


Online Marketing to Engage your Followers

Now that you have people viewing your Facebook page and Twitter profile, try to draw them in and communicate with them.  If people post relevant comments on your Facebook post, feel free to respond appropriately and interact with your followers.  This will further answer any questions they may have, and will make your followers remember you even more.  Same goes for Twitter – if someone responds to one of your tweets, feel free to respond back when appropriate.  This open dialogue will go a long way in convincing potential clients that you are open and willing to help.


Monitor your Social Media Outreach

Like any public relations or marketing strategy, you should monitor your social media marketing strategy, and make any necessary adjustments.  Google Analytics and Klout are common ways of evaluating your social media presence, and Facebook also offers their own ways of evaluating the performance of your overall fan page as well as individual posts.  These tools are all free, so I would definitely recommend taking advantage of them.


Have you had a positive or negative reaction to social media and online marketing for lawyers and law firms? We want to know about them! Comment below…


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