Should lawyers use social media marketing?

Should lawyers use social media marketing?

25 July 2019 By Ekaterina Elliott
Ekaterina Elliott

Social media marketing has always been a contentious strategy for law firms deciding to go digital. Advertising for a legal service has remained a complex and somewhat taboo topic, given the difficulty to run a successful, new age marketing campaign and remain professional, writes Ekaterina Elliott.

But times are changing and progressive as law firms are using social media not only to grow their online reputation, but to attract new, high-paying clients.

Successful law firms understand that people’s relationship with emerging technology is shifting, and have found a way to leverage it to their advantage.

An adoption of trendy and topical conversations doesn’t have to mean a superficial and weakened business core or identity. It can speak volumes about how a law firm interacts, engages and conducts itself with clients and future partners.

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How a law firm interacts, engages and conducts itself with clients and future partners online is vital to setting themselves apart from the competition. Below are a few marketing tips for lawyers wanting to explore how social media can help them generate new business.

Direct relationships through social

Social media makes it extremely easy for lawyers to develop the right type of relationship with their audience. It allows law firms to position themselves as genuine, knowledgeable and trustworthy, which leads to new clients.

Engagement through social media is a delicate play of both informative and emotional content, which aims to portray both the intellectual and human side of a law firm. By allowing conversation to flow freely through a social media channel, your law firm can expect to enjoy better brand recognition and a slow but steady stream of referrals from your interactions.

Any marketing strategy for lawyers should involve reputation management and social media is a great tool to develop the right kind of relationship between law firm and prospective clients.

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Types of content

This is the tricky part, and potentially where most law firms and businesses in general fail. The type of content you share through your social media channels will be crucial in building your online reputation and speaking to the right people. Too many law firms think it’s just about themselves – they share announcements regarding new staff, cases won, a new office or a mention in the paper.

This type of content is self-serving and is of interest mainly to those already familiar with the firm.

Social media doesn’t work like this. To stand out and attract new eyeballs, a business needs to lead. Law firms need to be sharing news or opinions about a contemporary legal issue. They need to comment on the status quo and make bold, original predictions. They need to speak openly about their values and share genuine insights about the legal world and issues that people care about. In essence, to provide value to the potential client.

The type of content that gets shared and builds momentum is content with flavour and fire. Potential clients care about how you will treat them, so show them what you stand for by sharing unique and memorable content.

Finding your voice – social media strategy essentials

Apart from types of content, your voice will be the most important asset in your social media marketing toolkit.

Again, so many businesses fail using social media because they speak like a 1950s insurance commercial, without any sense of realism or relatable emotion. Law firms need to invest into developing their vision, brand and motto. If this sounds too fluffy or unnecessary, think again.

Maurice Blackburn, a leading Australian law firm, is a prime example of how to skillfully execute a successful social media strategy. They share vocational updates as well as news and insider information, sprinkled with a human element. Their copy is simple and has the right quality of connectivity in it so it resonates with any reader. They aren’t attracting other lawyers – they’re attracting new clients, who happen to be human and appreciate an easy, conversational tone when scrolling through their favourite social channel.

Here’s a social media marketing tip – it’s less about what you say, but more about how you say it.

From boutique to top-tier

The glory of a great strategy isn’t reserved just for the few who have the budget to invest into brand development and a reputable social media agency.

Far from what the agencies will have you believe, first and foremost social media is a commitment. It’s a decision from the core of the firm to want to show themselves in a particular light.

It’s the partners at Clayton Utz and the principal partner at a one man firm who have realised they need to connect with people, and are ready to do it.

It’s not about how often you post, it’s about the quality of your content and how you say what you say. Any boutique firm can enjoy the same quality of social presence as a top-tier one, as long as they are both committed.

The investment will depend on how ferociously and urgently the firm desires their social media presence to develop, which is driven by the firm’s desire to connect with the right audience.

The future of social media and law

Blink and you’ll miss it. The ever changing nature of Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social channels means it’s tempting to think one has to be on top of the tools at all times.

While this is true, it’s far more important to be on top of your audience, their needs and how they interact with the platforms.

Sure, privacy issues will come and go, new ways to optimise will be introduced but what is and will remain the most important aspect to executing the perfect social media strategy is one’s understanding of their audience.

For this, you need a great strategist with experience and an original way to communicate with your people.

Social media will continue to play an important and necessary role in developing relationships between lawyer and client.

The future is bright, if you know how to properly butter your croissant.

Ekaterina Elliott is a lawyer, novelist, entrepreneur and freelance digital marketing consultant. She is known for her strategic thinking and providing digital marketing solutions to the professional services industries. Ekaterina writes regular online content and is soon to release her first fiction book.

Should lawyers use social media marketing?
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