Social Media for Law Firms and Solo Attorneys

//Social Media for Law Firms and Solo Attorneys

Social media is a powerful tool for law firms (big and small) and solo attorneys with their own practice. Lawyers and social media are a good combination if the opportunities are leveraged correctly and the legal and ethical risks are mitigated. Let’s take a closer look at the legal social media world and how law firms can navigate it safely and successfully.

Branding on Social Media for Law Firms

If your law firm is interested in mixing social networking and the law, it’s important that you establish a branding strategy. Your brand should clearly state the mission, purpose, culture, values, and vision for your law firm. You should also have a uniform feel and look that matches across your accounts — including your law firm website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc.

Good Design

The best law firms on social media take the time to create a visually appealing brand that rests on a foundation of good design. Your logo, colors, and overall look should send an immediate message to the person looking at the material. You want to communicate a “personality” for your law firm just at-a-glance. Work with a good branding professional to help you create the right design. Smokeball case management software provides free websites for our clients and works with you to create a beautiful, modern website for your firm (leaving one less thing for you to worry about).

Good Social Media Networks for Law Firms

As a busy lawyer, chances are you’re on the go, in and out of court, meeting with clients and staying in touch with your associates using lawyer apps and technology. Social media marketing for law firms doesn’t require you to be everywhere at the same time. Good branding and law firm marketing only require that you choose the right social media networks. The social media lawyer who wants to get the right kind of attention should choose those networks where the target audience can be found. For example, if you’re legal social media campaign is targeting franchise owners, you want to look for them on the platforms where they spend the most time. There has been a lot of research done about what demographics can be found on each social media platform so take the time to read up on that research material before choosing your networks.

Your Unique Voice

Social media marketing for law firms requires you to develop a unique and authentic voice.  Voice is your way of communicating to your audience. Authentic voices are always different and always stand out for those differences. And that’s why they’re able to attract the kind of attention they do. Dig deep into your law firm’s culture, mission, and vision to find your unique voice, and let that voice shine through everything you do on social media.

Build a Reputation

The savvy social media lawyer understands that social media marketing for law firms is just as much about building a good reputation as it is about finding customers. The ideal social network for lawyers will allow others to give feedback, offer peer advice to other lawyers, and respond to client concerns and problems before they escalate. Here are a few tips for protecting and building your legal social media reputation.

  • Social media marketing for attorneys can be time-consuming but it’s important to carve out enough time to contribute to your legal social network. You legal social network will include clients, colleagues, and other law firms and attorneys. Helping them out by answering questions will help build a reputation as a trustworthy, generous, and knowledgeable lawyer.
  • Conflict within your legal social network is inevitable but it’s up to you to make sure that the conflict doesn’t escalate into a full-blown flame war. If you find that someone is becoming combative with you on a social network for lawyers, don’t let it go too far—walk away and/or de-escalate the situation.
  • Respond to reviews privately. One of the biggest challenges social media marketing for law firms presents are reviews that can sometimes be very negative. And if you know anything about social media—you know that the negative often gets the most attention. To mitigate this problem law firms should have a process for responding to negative reviews that satisfy the customer and help protect the law firm’s reputation. Put this process in writing and assign someone the responsibility of handling reviews and online complaints made by clients.

Cultivate Business

Social media marketing for law firms is a great way to gain positive attention and drive new business. Let’s take a look at how social media lawyers can generate more business.

  • Connect to new people. The best law firms on social media understand that social media marketing is one of the easiest ways to introduce your law firm to new people. Make it an important part of your strategy to consistently connect to people who have never heard of your before.
  • Provide valuable information. It takes at least 20 connections with a contact before you can get them to become a new client. This is why your legal social network strategy should include providing valuable content.  Videos, podcasts, and blog posts are great ways to help people understand their legal issues and to build trust.
  • Offer a face-to-face consultation. As people return repeatedly to your valuable content on your social media networks, you want to make sure that you’re asking them to take an action. Consider offering free consultations to new contacts.

Understanding Social Media and the Law

As many law firms rush to utilize and leverage social media it’s important to make sure you’re legal social networking is done within the rules. Let’s take a look at a few best practices for lawyers using social media.

  • Follow advertising rules. In many jurisdictions, websites and social media profiles and posts may be considered advertising. If that’s the case, you will need to follow advertising rules when posting.
  • Don’t make false or misleading statements. This is a common sense rule but it’s worth repeating, always speak the truth on your social media posts. Social media marketing for lawyers can become a career-damaging nightmare if you fail to practice discipline and truthfulness when posting.
  • Don’t post client information. It’s important that you protect client confidentiality at all times. Do not post client names or other identifying information in your social media posts. Even when responding to a client’s online review, do so through the private messaging system.

Whether your a tech-savvy attorney using the best family law software or just starting to use technology more at your firm, if used correctly, social media for law firms can be a net positive. But to get the most out of your legal social network, you will need to have a plan and a policy for how you will interact with people online.

More Social Media Law Firm Resources

To learn more about social media for law firms, check out these additional resources and articles:

Social Media Workbook for Attorneys: Learn How to Use Social Media to Your Firm’s Advantage [Free eBook]
How Can Law Firms Use Social Media to Background Check Candidates?
Does Your Small Law Firm Have Social Media Policies?

By | July 25th, 2018|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.

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