Social Media Guidelines for Law Firms and Lawyers

the ultimate guide to social media for law firms

If you’re in the legal field, you might think B2B social media marketing doesn’t apply to you. 

Many law firms opt to stay away from modern forms of marketing for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the most common is simply not having the time or energy to come up with a consistent cadence of appropriate social media content. Another key reason is not wanting your firm to come across as heavy-handed, salesy, or unprofessional. These are valid reasons and concerns, but in today’s day and age, not having a social media presence is a big mistake. 

Law firms are still businesses, and for virtually every business, social media is one of the main channels through which prospects find businesses. In fact, an American Bar Association tech report indicated that in 2020, 81% of law firms had a social media presence, and 29% of attorneys confirmed client retention due to their presence on different platforms. 

We often advise companies with the wise words of this famous song from the Disney classic, The Little Mermaid: “I wanna be where the people are.” No matter what your industry, you need clients and customers. And social media is where they spend a lot of their time. 

So here’s how you can get started with social media marketing for your law firm, or amplify your existing efforts. 

Why every law firm needs a social media presence 

While you shouldn’t share case-sensitive information online, or the daily goings-on in the courtroom, social media is a great place to share thought leadership and industry news.

Think about it this way—while the ins and outs of your daily job might come second nature to you and your colleagues, your clients probably don’t feel the same. And when people partner with a law firm, trust is a big part of their decision-making process. 

Showcasing your expertise on social media will help prove your credibility and win the trust of your target audience—the people you want to work with. It’s a great place to set your law firm apart from the rest. 

Remember, if you aren’t building your brand through social, your competitors probably are. Maintaining your brand presence online will only help you build brand awareness and gain clients in the long run. 

Understanding your target audience

A big part of building a successful social media marketing strategy is understanding who you’re trying to reach. You can’t be all things for all people, so it’s best to identify who you want to talk to before you get started.

Law firms provide different services to a variety of clients, so it’s best to identify your target audience based on the realm of work you’re already doing. Don’t paint with broad strokes—focus on what you do well, and craft language and strategies that will help you find clients tied to that sector of legal services.

For example, if you’re a civil litigation attorney, you probably don’t want to invest your time talking about environmental or criminal law. 

You can start identifying your target audience by evaluating the type of clients you already work with. Are the majority of your clients’ stakeholders men between the ages of 45-65? Do they typically have a certain type of job or income? Are they centralized in a particular location or all over the map? All of these factors will help inform who your target audience is. 

Related Reading: The Importance of Connecting With Your Audience in Marketing

Determine which platforms your law firm want to focus on

A big part of identifying your target audience is knowing exactly where they are. You certainly don’t want your efforts to go to waste, so make sure you’re focusing on the social platforms your clients use. 

It should come as no surprise that most law firms find LinkedIn to be their preferred platform, followed closely by Facebook. Building out a LinkedIn content strategy might seem challenging, but there are lots of great opportunities for your law firm on the platform. 

Related Reading: How to Build a Bulletproof LinkedIn Content Strategy 

LinkedIn is an amazing place to share your thought leadership and establish yourself as a go-to resource for clients. And the LinkedIn algorithm doesn’t have to be intimidating—in fact, in just four easy steps, you can use the algorithm to your advantage: 

  1. Optimize post time. 
  2. Prioritize user engagement. 
  3. Keep it on-platform.
  4. Take advantage of new features.

Related Reading: Hack the LinkedIn Algorithm in 4 Easy Steps.

As with any algorithm, LinkedIn favors consistency along with certain types of content. But the biggest metric it will measure? How much your message resonates with your audience. 

This is one of the many reasons we advise companies to establish their goals and target audience before diving straight into social media. If you know who you’re talking to, you’ll have a much easier time getting engagement and floating to the top of people’s feeds.

Experiment with social media marketing trends 

If you want to loosen up and have more fun with social media, it might be time to see what emerging platforms and trends can help your law firm build a great presence on social. 

A lot of people think TikTok is just an app for funny voice filters and dance-offs, but it’s grown to be incredibly influential over the last few years. TikTok is known for its short, engaging videos that closely follow trends. Many of the lawyers using TikTok are reaching a whole new audience, potentially attracting prospective clients, and establishing a lot of credibility for their firms. Law firms should take note of some amazing content creators on TikTok who are changing the game for law firms. 

Some of our personal favorites? Lawyer Mike, who is full of entertaining tips and tricks, Erika Kullberg, who reads the fine print, so you don’t have to, and Divorce Lawyer Denise, who helps her followers navigate the complexities of divorce law.

Related Reading: Hacking the TikTok Algorithm 

Become a go-to source for recent news

Laws and policies across industries and disciplines are full of complexity and nuance. If you can position your law firm as a trusted source that people can go to for education, updates, and thoughtful conversations—you’ll see your follower count grow alongside your credibility. 

Placing your law firm or your attorneys at the center of relevant topics can be as easy as tweeting news stories on relevant topics a few times a week, and turning a few of those tweets into longer posts for LinkedIn each week. From there, you can expand to long-form LinkedIn and Facebook posts, or even blog posts digging into the details of changing policies, industry shifts, and more.

Related Reading: How to Hack the Twitter Algorithm

Trust us—good thought leaders who are engaged in news and current events always succeed in the social media game. Plus, if you focus on becoming the go-to source for news, you’re likely to reach a lot of potential prospects and create a strong word-of-mouth following. 

Create an effective social media policy to keep your firm safe

Once you get going, putting a strong social media marketing strategy in place is a matter of having the time and creativity to generate content, post, and engage with your audience. But before you dive in, because of the sensitive nature of the legal field, it’s important to make sure your firm’s enthusiasm doesn’t lead to a social media marketing misstep. Oversharing, like letting details about a client or case slip into social media copy, or being too forthcoming or brash can lead to trouble. 

The simplest way for a law firm to keep itself and its employees out of trouble? Set up clear guidelines for social media use. 

First, you need to clearly define your goals and which platforms you’ll be using. Next, clearly state who is allowed to speak on behalf of your firm. You might allow your employees to start their own social accounts, but make sure they state that their opinions and views are not reflective of your firm. Finally, make sure you state what the consequences are for breaking the social media policy. And be specific! These guidelines will help you keep tabs on your social presence and ensure that your firm’s message is precise and true to the values you uphold. 

Need help building your firm’s social media presence or taking it to the next level? Let’s talk! 

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