Whether it is LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, social media is being increasingly used for social media marketing and online reputation management across all major industries. Social media marketing is inexpensive, convenient, and a practical method for small and growing law firms. It can also help to build, maintain, and protect your law firm’s reputation.
Social media holds untapped potential for attorneys. Yet, many of you are wary of using it for professional purposes. Social media started as a casual platform to interact and share posts with friends and family and network with others within your industry. Today, its reputation as a marketing medium for law firms and professionals is towering high because people actively turn to social media for almost any query, contact information, reviews and recommendations, and other business information they are looking for.
Why Use Social Media?
Social media is about interaction, engagement, building relationships, and humanizing your brand. It gives your business round-the-clock online exposure. It is not necessary to have an account on every popular social media platform, as every platform is not right for every type of business or law firm. Attorneys should use social media platforms where your target audience is and where your existing clients are.
Some ways attorneys can use social media:
- Find out the latest news and trends in the legal industry
- Find out the latest news about your client’s industry
- Nurture referrals
- Follow influential people in the legal industry
- Form groups for discussions
- Find more clients
- Share legal news
Below are a few types of social media platforms attorneys should be using.
Every Attorney Should Have These Types Of Social Media Platforms
1) Social Networks
Social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are used to connect with brands and people online. For attorneys starting out or lawyers who own their own firms, social networks are a great place to conduct market research, promote brand awareness, lead generation, relationship building, and conduct customer service, to name a few. These platforms help your law firm connect with people online to share information and ideas, and transform our daily lives into a social experience. Here are some tips on how to build your professional Facebook profile for an attorney and tips for attorneys on how to grow your number of followers on Twitter.
2) Discussion Forums
Social media platforms such as Reddit, Quora, and Digg are used to discuss, find, and share news, information, and opinions. These networks can be excellent resources for your market research. The discussion platforms are where people and potential clients go to find out what everyone’s talking about and weigh in on it—and users on these sites generally are not shy about expressing their opinions. While social relationship networks are increasingly implementing measures to reduce anonymity and create a safe space online, discussion forums generally allow users to remain anonymous.
3) Consumer Review Networks
To find, review, and share information about brands, products, and services, you should have profiles on Yelp, Consumer Affairs, Clutch, and other consumer review websites. Consumer reviews give people a place to review brands, businesses, products, services, and just about anything else. Reviews are a type of content that adds a lot of value to many websites and online services—think about the buying experience on Amazon or the experience of searching for a local business on Google Maps. Consumer review networks take it one step further by building networks around the review as a core part of the value they provide.
4) Blogging and Publishing Networks
Blog publishing sites such as WordPress, Tumblr, Medium, or Hubspot allow your law firm to publish, discover, and comment online. A blog doesn’t just help increase awareness of your business and generate more engaging content for your social networks; it can also help carve out a niche for your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
Blogs allow your company an opportunity to write informational and well-researched content about topics in your industry. The content put on your blog will allow you to have an opinion on important topics and make a difference. Blog posts can also include reviewing a book, reviewing an old or new law, writing about law reforms and how it can help your clients, or discussing legal issues facing your clients’ industry.
5) Lawyer Marketplaces
Avvo is a dedicated marketplace for attorneys where people can search for an attorney for their needs. Within the platform, potential customers can look through lawyer profiles, receive legal help, and ask legal questions and receive answers from lawyers within hours. Here are a few tips for attorneys to stand out on Avvo.
UpCounsel is another platform for attorneys to get hired. Both first-time and seasoned entrepreneurs use UpCounsel to form legal entities, draft initial business contracts, and generally ensure their companies get off the ground with a solid legal framework. Startup clients use UpCounsel to manage both their day-to-day needs (contracts, employment, corporate maintenance) as well as more specialized projects like patents, immigration, and venture financing. Larger enterprise clients often have dedicated legal teams but use UpCounsel to keep up with general overflow work or tap into their network for projects that require a very specific degree of expertise. Take a look at an UpCounsel profile of a San Francisco attorney.
Make Your Social Presence Known
Social media gives its users an online presence, which can be an asset to lawyers and their law firms. It will take some time to develop various social media platforms, however, the returns are guaranteed. A sustained and continuous engagement with your clients on social media builds credibility and expand clientele. Interact with potential and current clients and in turn they will get to know you better. And remember, social media is all about being social, so get out there and make your presence known.