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Social Media for Law Firms: What I’ve Learned in 20+ Years


gavel, hammer, and legal scales to symbolize the legal industry

Hi, I’m Barry Sheets, your legal marketing innovator at LeaseMyMarketing. Let’s dive into a topic that might make you pause—social media for law firms. I know what you’re thinking: "Isn't that for influencers and cat videos?" But trust me, leveraging social media can be a game-changer for your firm.


I get it. Wading into social media might feel like uncharted waters, especially given your profession's serious nature. But here's the thing: your peers are not just dipping their toes in; they're already swimming quite successfully.


Many law firms have started integrating social media into their core client engagement and retention strategies, rather than just treating it as an afterthought. By partnering with a seasoned  Law Firm digital marketing agency, they're amplifying their presence and making meaningful connections with their audience.


Social media platforms provide a powerful tool for showcasing your expertise, humanizing your brand, and keeping you top-of-mind when legal needs arise. Let's talk about how this tool can work in your favor and why it's time to take the plunge.


Key Takeaways

  • Social media significantly increases a law firm's visibility, helps attract new clients, and establishes trust through consistent, engaging content.

  • Using tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social simplifies the process of managing and measuring the effectiveness of your social media efforts.

  • Working with a professional digital marketing agency allows your law firm to tap into specialized expertise, optimizing your social media strategy while you focus on your legal practice.


Why Should Law Firms Embrace Social Media Marketing?


Why should your law firm have a strong social media presence? Let's look at the compelling reasons that make these platforms indispensable tools for modern legal practices.


A strong social media presence equals a wider audience reach.


Social media offers a staggering global reach, presenting a golden opportunity for your firm to significantly raise its visibility far beyond local boundaries. With billions of active users across platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, the potential to reach new clients is massive. 


Utilizing social media channels strategically connects you with your target audience where they're already spending a lot of their time.


The American Bar Association highlights some eye-opening statistics: a considerable number of law firms that actively engage on social media report gaining new clients and improving their brand recognition as direct results of their social media efforts. This data is a clear signal that social media marketing should be an integral part of your overall marketing strategy.


Social media allows you to nurture relationships with prospective clients.


It is not only about being visible. Social media allows law firms to establish and nurture relationships with prospective clients. Through thoughtful and engaging content—whether it’s informative blog posts, short form video content that breaks down legal jargon, or quick updates on legal news—your law firm can demonstrate thought leadership and build trust within the legal community.


Establishing a Strategic Presence on Social Media

three lawyers looking at a laptop to update and track their law firm's social media posts

So, your law firm is ready to tap into the benefits of social media, but where do you start? Crafting a tailored social media strategy that matches your firm’s goals and truly connects with your target audience is crucial. 


Let's do a walkthrough on how to set this up effectively.


Understanding your market


First, it’s essential to really understand who your audience is. Are you aiming to engage potential clients looking for specific legal services? Or perhaps you're targeting other legal professionals for networking and professional development? Identifying your audience will dictate which social media platforms are most suitable for your efforts. 


Selecting the right social media platforms


Once you’ve nailed down your audience, selecting the right platforms is your next step. Not every social media platform will be right for your firm. It’s about quality over quantity. For a law firm, having a strong, professional presence on a few key platforms is often more beneficial than trying to cover all bases.


For instance, LinkedIn is invaluable for B2B connections and industry insights, making it perfect for networking and thought leadership. Meanwhile, platforms like Facebook and Instagram might be better suited for broader audience engagement with more visual and personal content.


Developing your social media strategy


With your platforms picked, it's time to focus on content. A consistent and engaging content strategy is the backbone of successful social media marketing. This means planning out what kind of posts you’ll create—whether they're informative blog posts, engaging video content, or updates on legal news. 


Here’s where a content calendar becomes useful. This tool helps you schedule posts to maintain a consistent presence, ensuring you stay top-of-mind with your audience.


Also, integrating search engine optimization (SEO) with your social media efforts can dramatically increase your visibility online. Using relevant keywords and creating shareable content can enhance your firm’s chances of appearing in search results, not just within the social networks themselves.


Introducing a social media policy


Finally, safeguarding your firm’s online presence is vital. A social media policy is essential for legal compliance and maintaining the integrity and professionalism of your firm. This policy should outline the dos and don’ts for your team, addressing how to handle sensitive legal topics and ensuring that all posts adhere to the highest ethical standards.


Social Media Marketing Strategies for the Legal Profession


When it comes to social media for the legal industry, the key to success is crafting content that resonates with your audience while staying true to your firm's brand. 


Let’s explore some of the best practices for creating and interacting with content that not only engages but also builds trust and authenticity.


The 80/20 rule


A balanced approach to your content can make a huge difference. I recommend the 80/20 rule: 80% of your content should be informative and engaging, aimed at providing value to your audience, while only 20% should be promotional. 


This strategy helps maintain a focus on educating and engaging potential clients or peers rather than overwhelming them with constant sales pitches. 


For example, you might share insights into recent legal changes, write-ups on legal concepts, or discuss significant cases in the news for the 80%, and reserve the 20% for announcements about your services, client testimonials, or ads about your firm.


Informative and engaging content creation and interaction


Creating content that is both informative and engaging should be a significant part of your social marketing strategy. This means developing posts that are well-researched and relevant to the interests of your target audience.


Utilize a variety of formats, such as articles, videos, and infographics, to cater to different preferences and increase engagement. Video content, particularly, can be very effective in humanizing your brand and providing a stronger connection with your audience.


Engagement shouldn't end once your content is posted. Interact with users who comment on your posts, ask questions to stimulate discussion, and participate in meaningful conversations to maintain a dynamic social media presence. 


These interactions help build a community around your brand and establish your firm as approachable and responsive.


Positioning lawyers as thought leaders


Thought leadership is another critical element of a robust social media strategy. When you position yourself and other lawyers in your firm as experts in specific areas of law, you enhance the firm's credibility and authority. 


You can achieve this by publishing detailed analyses of current legal issues, offering expert opinions on high-profile cases, or providing practical advice on common legal problems. LinkedIn is particularly effective for this type of content, enabling your attorneys to publish articles and participate in professional groups where they can share their expertise.


A strong thought leadership strategy will improve brand awareness as well as your social media presence. It will also help position your firm as the go-to expert in specific legal fields.


Choosing the Right Platforms for Your Practice

social media concept

I have previously mentioned that choosing the right social media platforms to post your valuable insights and other relevant content should be a part of any solid digital marketing strategy. Let's go more in-depth about this.


So, there are several social platforms available to you. Each of those platforms offers unique benefits and caters to specific audience demographics. You may choose to put all of your content marketing efforts into one or you may use several or all. It all depends on the kind of strategy you are building up.


Here's a closer look at the major platforms, like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 


LinkedIn is the professional's network.


For law firms, LinkedIn is often the cornerstone of a social media marketing strategy. It's a platform where professionals gather, making it an excellent platform for B2B marketing, networking, and thought leadership. 


LinkedIn allows attorneys and law firms to publish in-depth articles, share updates about the legal world, and connect with other legal professionals. It's also a great tool for highlighting firm accomplishments and milestones, which can enhance credibility and showcase your firm's expertise.


Facebook offers broad reach and engagement.


While LinkedIn may be a great place to network with other professionals, Facebook's extensive user base makes it a valuable tool for reaching a broad audience, including your potential clients. 


With features like Facebook Groups, Pages, and the ability to run targeted ad campaigns, law firms can create a community around their brand, share educational content, and engage directly with clients.


This platform is particularly useful for handling more general client interactions and providing updates that appeal to a wider audience.


Twitter is for timely updates and industry news.


Twitter is ideal for law firms that want to stay on top of industry trends and share timely updates. Its fast-paced nature makes it suitable for sharing quick legal insights, linking to more comprehensive blog posts, or commenting on recent legal developments. 


Twitter's hashtag functionality can also increase the reach of your posts, connecting you with specific conversations and enhancing visibility in specific legal topics or issues.


Instagram is made for visual storytelling.


Instagram is the go-to platform for visual storytelling. It allows law firms to make their brand look even more authentic by sharing behind-the-scenes photos, team introductions, and infographics that simplify complex legal information. 


For firms with a strong on-camera presence, Instagram's video features, like Stories and Reels, offer dynamic ways to connect with followers through more personal and engaging content.


Exploring niche and emerging social media platforms


Depending on your target demographic, exploring niche platforms can be advantageous. Platforms like TikTok or Snapchat may be appropriate if you're aiming to reach a younger audience with more dynamic and interactive content. 


These platforms allow for creative expressions of legal knowledge through short-form videos, which can be particularly effective for personal injury lawyers or those in consumer-facing practices.


For example, a personal injury lawyer might use TikTok to share quick tips on what to do after a car accident, using a format that's engaging and easy to understand. Meanwhile, a corporate law firm might find more value in sticking with LinkedIn for its professional audience.


Social Media Tools and Techniques for Optimization


Effectively managing a social media strategy involves not just creating great content but also optimizing how that content is handled day-to-day. To increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your law firm's social media efforts, leveraging the right tools is essential.


Here’s a rundown of some top tools that can help streamline your social media management tasks, from scheduling posts to analyzing their impact.


Hootsuite 


Hootsuite is one of the most widely recognized tools for social media management. It allows you to manage multiple social media accounts from a single dashboard, which is especially useful if your law firm is active on various platforms. 


With Hootsuite, you can schedule posts in advance, monitor conversations across your channels, and track the performance of your content. This tool is incredibly beneficial for maintaining a consistent posting schedule without logging into each social media platform individually.


Sprout Social


Sprout Social is another powerful tool that offers extensive features to enhance your social media strategy. It provides detailed analytics that helps you understand your audience better and gauge the effectiveness of your posts.


Sprout Social’s strengths lie in its ability to manage engagement; it consolidates messages from all platforms into a single inbox, making it easier to respond promptly and keep track of interactions. This can significantly improve your firm's responsiveness and engagement with potential clients.


Buffer


Buffer is a user-friendly option for scheduling posts, tracking the performance of your content, and managing all your social accounts in one place. It’s particularly effective for law firms that are new to social media or those looking to streamline their process without the need for complex functionalities. 


Buffer also provides insights into the best times to post based on your audience's activity, which can help increase the reach and visibility of your posts.


Canva


Visual content is crucial for engagement on social media. Canva is a graphic design tool that is perfect for creating professional-looking graphics that can enhance your posts. 


With its drag-and-drop interface and vast selection of templates, Canva makes it easy for your marketing team to create images, infographics, and even video content that are tailored to your firm’s branding.


Integrating tools into daily social media management


Integrating these tools into your daily social media management can transform how your law firm approaches its digital marketing efforts. By using tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or Buffer, your team can save time by scheduling content in advance, which allows for more strategic planning and focus on content quality rather than just content delivery.


Furthermore, the analytics features provided by these tools can guide your content strategy. Look at the posts and check which generates the most engagements or leads to new client inquiries, then tailor your future content to match these successful elements.


Social Media Dos and Don'ts 

Male lawyer doing a live webinar to explain some legal concepts

Social media is usually easy to do, but it can be tricky for law firms due to the professional and ethical standards that must be upheld. To help your firm effectively engage while maintaining a solid reputation, here are essential dos and don’ts, incorporating examples and considerations from both successes and pitfalls observed in the industry.


Do: Maintain professionalism at all times.


Always remember that social media is a public forum. Every post, comment, or share should reflect the professionalism of your legal practice.


For example, while it’s great to show the human side of your firm through behind-the-scenes content or celebrations, ensure that everything shared matches the dignity of your profession.


Don't: Share confidential or sensitive information.


One of the biggest pitfalls for law firms on social media is inadvertently sharing confidential information. Always double-check content for details that might compromise client confidentiality or firm integrity. Even something as seemingly harmless as a background document in a photo could contain sensitive information.


Do: Use clear, accessible language.


Avoid legal jargon that might confuse your audience. The goal is to educate and engage potential clients, not overwhelm them. 


For example, instead of using terms like "tort" or "litigation," explain these concepts in plain language that anyone can understand. This approach not only broadens your audience but also helps establish your firm as helpful and approachable.


Don't: Engage in arguments or controversial discussions.


Stay clear of public arguments or politically charged discussions. Such engagements can quickly spiral and negatively impact your firm’s reputation. If you encounter criticism or negative comments, address them professionally and privately if possible.


Do: Focus on educational content


Share insights on common legal issues, updates on law changes, or general advice that can help demystify the legal process for potential clients. This not only builds trust but also encourages engagement by providing real value to your audience.


Don't: Over-promote your services.


Following the 80/20 rule—80% informative content and 20% promotional—ensures that your social media feeds are not just advertisements for your services. Over-promotion can alienate your audience, whereas balanced content fosters a stronger connection and keeps your audience engaged.


Do: Monitor and respond to engagement promptly.


Monitoring your social media channels for comments, questions, and feedback and responding promptly can significantly enhance your firm's reputation for customer service. Social tools can help manage these interactions efficiently, ensuring that no message is overlooked.


Don't: Ignore ethical guidelines.


Always consider the ethical implications of your social media activities. Ensure all posts comply with the advertising rules and guidelines set forth by your state's bar association. 


For instance, avoid making guarantees about outcomes or misleading potential clients with overstated claims about your success or capabilities.


Advanced Strategies: Paid Advertising and SEO 


As your law firm becomes more comfortable with the basics of social media, it's time to explore advanced strategies that can further enhance your visibility and engagement. 


Paid advertising on social media and SEO enhancement are two potent tactics that can significantly boost your firm’s online presence.


Paid social media advertising will help you reach your ideal audience.


Paid social media advertising is an excellent way for law firms like yours to reach a broader audience. Unlike organic social media activity, paid ads allow you to specifically target demographics based on factors like age, location, interests, and even behaviors. This way, your content reaches the most relevant potential clients.


Here's an example: if you specialize in family law, you can target users in your geographic area who may be searching for these specific services. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn offer sophisticated targeting tools that can help you reach these users at a critical moment in their decision-making process. 


This ability to customize your audience ensures that your advertising budget is spent efficiently, maximizing the return on investment.


Your social media marketing efforts enhance your SEO, too.


A robust social media presence can also significantly enhance your law firm's SEO efforts. Active social media accounts contribute to your overall online visibility, driving more traffic to your website. 


The increased traffic signals to search engines that your content is valuable, which can improve your rankings in search results.


Moreover, social media can be a source of backlinks to your website. While these links are typically no-follow and do not directly influence search rankings, they do increase exposure and traffic. 


For example, a well-crafted blog post shared on social media that receives a high level of engagement may catch the attention of other bloggers, news outlets, or publications who might link back to your website in their own content. These organic, follow links are invaluable for SEO.


Additionally, social media platforms themselves often appear in search results. Maintaining active, keyword-optimized profiles and posts can help your firm appear in search queries, complementing your existing SEO strategies. This is particularly important for maintaining relevance and visibility in a competitive market.


Integrate paid ads and SEO into your social strategy.


To effectively integrate these strategies, start by aligning your social media goals with your SEO objectives. The content you create for social media must be informative, keyword-rich, and aligns with the interests of your target audience.


When setting up paid campaigns, use insights from your SEO data to refine your ad targeting. For example, if certain keywords or topics drive significant traffic to your site, incorporate these into your ad campaigns to attract similar users on social media.


Regularly review your analytics and use tools provided by the social media platforms, along with your own website analytics, to track how well your social media efforts are supporting your SEO goals. This data can help you continuously refine your strategy, ensuring that your firm remains highly visible and attractive to potential clients.


Summary


Social media offers a powerful platform for law firms to enhance visibility, engage meaningfully with potential clients, and establish their expertise within the legal community. However, mastering the use of various social media tools and strategies requires time and dedication. 


Given the complexities involved, partnering with a professional digital marketing company can be a practical solution. Such a partnership allows law firms to focus on their legal expertise while the marketing professionals handle the intricacies of social media strategy, content creation, and audience engagement. 


A collaborative approach ensures a strategic and ethically sound online presence, facilitating sustained growth and community engagement.


Ready to Amplify Your Firm’s Digital Presence?


Navigating the complex world of digital marketing can be daunting, but you don’t have to tackle it alone. My team and I can help. 


With over 25 years of marketing expertise, I lead LeaseMyMarketing's Law Firm Growth Initiative. My experience and strategic insights will help your law firm establish a strong digital presence.


Let me help elevate your digital strategy and set your firm apart from the competition. Reach out today, and let's start crafting a plan that puts you ahead of the curve!


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the best social media platform for law firms?


The best social media platform for a law firm depends on its specific goals and target audience. LinkedIn is ideal for professional networking and industry content, while Facebook is great for broader client engagement and community building.


How can law firms use social media?


Law firms can use social media to increase their market visibility, engage directly with potential clients, and position themselves as thought leaders by sharing informative content, legal updates, and insights into the firm’s culture and successes.


How often should a law firm post on social media?


The ideal posting frequency for a law firm on social media varies depending on the platform and the firm's capacity to produce quality content. A good rule of thumb is 3-5 times a week on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook to maintain engagement without overwhelming followers.


How is social media good for law?


Social media benefits law firms by providing platforms to showcase expertise, communicate directly with potential clients, and build an online community that can lead to increased client retention and acquisition. It's an effective way to enhance a firm's reputation and reach in the legal industry.


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