Social media has become a part of everyday life for countless people across the globe. Over the last fifteen years, social media has become a vital platform for business owners to market their businesses to customers, and this includes law firms. According to a 2017 survey from Attorney at Work, 70% of law firms are using social media as some part of their marketing plans to grow their businesses.
Knowing the ins and outs of the plethora of platforms available is key to growing your client base, especially with the more tech-savvy crowd. But which platform will get you the most ROI and keep new leads coming in the door?
Here’s a helpful guide on what social media is, why it’s helpful to your business, and which social media networks have proven most effective at bringing in new clients for law firms.
Social media refers to any number of websites or applications that allow users to share information or content and network with like-minded individuals or businesses. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit are good examples.
Each one has a specific focus, whether it's staying in touch with friends and family on Facebook, micro-blogging on Twitter, or sharing carefully crafted photos on Instagram. An astonishing 3.6 billion people use social media, almost half the world’s population, and that number is projected to keep growing.
The benefits of using social media are two-fold. The first benefit is that using these platforms to promote your business helps you develop an online persona and create a network. This digital presence tells the social media world what your firm is all about and allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors with far more nuance than a physical storefront or televised ad. Keeping this persona fresh with relevant content and regular posts lets possible clients know that your firm is active and allows you to network with other firms and individuals in the legal field. An active social media presence is also integral to good SEO, which will help raise your rankings on web search results.
The second benefit is that advertising on these platforms can help grow your client base. Almost all social media platforms have advertising packages available that collects information provided by the platform’s users and then targets them with ads specific to their needs.
For example, if your web search history includes several searches for a personal injury lawyer, your preferred social media site might show you relevant ads for a few local attorneys. These advertising systems are simple to learn and cost very little to start and are a great way to target potential clients.
When it comes to choosing which social media site to focus on, here are the top contenders:
LinkedIn. LinkedIn is one of the most popular the social media platforms for those in the business community because it’s built for business. Its primary focus is networking and establishing connections within a specific field, and it does this job extremely well. With around 660 million active users, LinkedIn is a great place to build and promote your business persona as well as attract referrals, network with other legal professionals, and gain valuable insight into industry trends. Eighty-four percent of lawyers have a presence on LinkedIn and consider it the best social media platform for networking.
LinkedIn has a robust advertising campaign management system that allows you to target other professionals in your chosen field. This system can be used to build brand awareness, generate leads, or bring in new job applicants.
Facebook. Facebook is the world’s largest social media site with at least 2.7 billion monthly active users. Where LinkedIn focuses on the business community, Facebook’s main focus is social circles and family connections. The value of using Facebook for your firm comes from the massive pool of users that are active on the site at any one time and the ability to use the information these users have provided about themselves and their activities to target new clients and promote your business.
It’s this large user base and a comprehensive suite of advertising tools that make Facebook a must for consumer-facing firms and solo operations. Setting up a targeted advertising campaign on Facebook can be done in a few minutes with very little initial investment.
YouTube. Part social media site and part at-home video production studio, YouTube allows users to produce and upload video content to a network of subscribers all over the world. According to Omnicore Agency, 73% of adults are YouTube users. Second only to Facebook in the number of monthly active users, YouTube is a powerful tool for reaching a captive audience and communicating with them about your brand and your firm’s activities.
YouTube can be slightly intimidating to some businesses because although it provides a good suite of production tools to help you edit and upload videos, it takes some skill and practice to produce videos that meet the standard regular YouTube users demand. Once you’ve got the tools and knowledge to do so, YouTube can be an effective way to reach potential clients or differentiate your firm from your competitors.
Twitter. Since 2006, Twitter has grown to over 330 million monthly active users that send over 500 million ‘tweets’ per day. Each post is limited to 140 written characters or 140 seconds of audio or video. Twitter allows individual users to communicate directly with celebrities, political figures, corporations, journalists, and other entities and is famous for its ability to disseminate news and information with lightning speed.
Twitter is great for smaller firms or solo operations because of its ease of use and direct communication format. Many firms use Twitter as a kind of short-form newspaper, showcasing interesting news or events in their respective areas of practice.
Whichever social media platform you use to market your firm, having a good social media strategy with regular posts and updates is of utmost importance. With time and a good plan, using social media for your firm can help you put your best foot forward, reach more people, and convert more leads.
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