The Go-To Guide to Social Media for Attorneys in 2023
Love it or hate it, marketing is a big part of running a successful law practice. One of the best ways for lawyers to reach their audience is through social media. But achieving and maintaining success on social media takes time and effort. Whether you’re looking to get started or you’ve tried but given up, this guide will help.
According to a 2022 study from the American Bar Association, 89% of law firms surveyed have some sort of social media presence, with the highest percentage of that group (87%) using LinkedIn. In this guide, we’ll focus on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. Other social media platforms such as Twitter and TikTok are also viable, but they’re not as focused for organic social media growth for lawyers.
Let’s dive in.
LinkedIn is basically “Facebook for Businesses.” As such, it’s a great choice for law practitioners who want to showcase their skills, accomplishments, and experience. To succeed in LinkedIn, you need to take your networking skills to the next level. Here are some tips that can help you achieve the best growth on this platform:
- Have a strong profile,
- Ensure your network includes diverse, relevant people,
- Provide value with your posts,
- Connect with those in your network, and
- Focus on building and maintaining relationships.
If you’re starting from scratch, search for friends and colleagues on LinkedIn. You can also follow businesses, so give Texas Bar Practice a follow while you're there!
Make sure to follow and connect with users on LinkedIn. If they’re older acquaintances you met once during an annual meeting, send them a brief message introducing yourself. Before long, your network will grow. Make sure to like, comment, and reshare on your connections’ posts.
What to Post on LinkedIn
Unsure about what to post? The best, most shareable LinkedIn posts are often personal, relatable, and engaging. Speak from the heart, and you’ll surely gain an audience. Try coming up with a list of topics you’d like to read yourself. You can keep it light and celebrate new hires or birthdays, but you can also provide insight on how to run a law firm or show a sensitive side and post about certain struggles and how you overcame them.
Another major benefit of LinkedIn is the ability to share full-length blog posts. Even if you don’t have a website, you can still reap the rewards of writing and sharing informative blog posts. If you write a blog post that you’re particularly proud of, you can even pay a small fee for LinkedIn to share it to a wider audience. This may help you gain steam at the beginning, but it’s better in the long run to gain a healthy following organically before diving into paid ventures. It doesn’t hurt to look though!
Facebook needs no introduction. With over 3 billion monthly active users, it’s by far the most popular social media platform in the world, and it’s also very popular among lawyers. Although LinkedIn is quite similar to Facebook, the latter provides lawyers with easier opportunities to connect with potential clients.
What to Post on Facebook
Due to their similarities, you can post what you would normally post on LinkedIn on your Facebook page. Facebook also offers advertising options you can take advantage of to reach a wider audience.
You can use Facebook to build a community where you can engage with followers, share valuable legal insights, and communicate with your audience on a more personal level.
All too often, law firms or solo practitioners may have Facebook accounts, but they rarely use them. If you created an account a few years ago but haven’t posted anything in months, then it’s time to bring it back to life!
A Brief Look at Facebook Ads
Meta, which is Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, has a very streamlined, easy-to-use ad portal known simply as Meta Ads. Whether you want to gain leads, drive engagement, or build awareness, Facebook ads will be able to help. Take a look at the options and build a budget for your ads. Start off small to see if this is a viable option. If the results are favorable, you can devote a larger budget to your ads.
With two billion monthly active users, Instagram is one of the five most popular social media platforms out there. As such, it’s an excellent choice for lawyers who want to grow their practice and reach a wider audience. Since Instagram focuses on photos and videos, you can have a bit more fun with what you post. As far as social media platforms go, Instagram is more casual so you can use it to show a more “human” side of law.
Here's how you can get started on Instagram:
- Post regularly: Images, videos, reels—your posts should be relevant and relatable. Make sure to write a caption and use hashtags that relate to your post. If you’re at an event, take pictures and make a post with multiple images. Tag friends, acquaintances, and location.
- Like, comment, share, and engage with other users: Even if your posts are the best in the world, you’ll still need to engage with other users to boost your growth. Make sure to follow relevant accounts and like, comment, and share posts. By staying active and posting regularly, your account will reach a broader audience.
- Use and follow relevant hashtags: Another great way to take your posts further is by using relevant hashtags. Not only adding them to your captions, but also following them. When you follow a hashtag, you’ll see posts other users make with these hashtags in your own feed. You can then follow these users, interact with them, or take inspiration from their posts.
Reels: How Video Has Taken Over Instagram
In recent years, videos have become quite popular on Instagram, often overtaking image posts. You can take advantage of this and post short-form videos covering legal issues or providing a lawyer’s perspective on current events.
Of course, it’s necessary to do so with caution as you don’t want to find yourself in hot water over something you said. A way to avoid issues is by answering common, surface-level legal questions, such as “Do you need a lawyer, or should you handle legal issues on your own?” or “Should I talk to the police without an attorney present?”
Make sure your videos are short and to the point. You can also ask your audience for input on questions they want answered.
Apps and Websites to Make Your Social Media Presence Stand Out
Running your law practice’s social media accounts can quickly feel like a full-time job. That's why it’s necessary to implement tools that can streamline your social media management process.
Here are a few of our favorite free-to-use options:
Canva – Free-To-Use Graphic Design Tool
When it comes to social media, it’s necessary to stand out from the crowd. To do so, you need to make sure your posts are visually and aesthetically appealing. One of the best, easiest ways to take your posts to the next level is by using Canva.
Canva is a free-to-use online graphic design tool you can access by simply going to canva.com. From there, you’ll see countless templates specifically designed for various social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. There is a paid subscription to Canva available that gives users access to a larger collection of stock images and graphics as well.
What’s great about Canva is that you don’t need to have any previous graphic design skills or experience. Simply drag and drop what looks best! There are also many how-to videos on YouTube that can help make your Canva creations even more breathtaking.
Buffer – Social Media Scheduling Made Easy
In order to thrive with social media, it’s necessary to be consistent. This means posting on a regular basis. Of course, we don’t mean posting hundreds of times every day, but you should maintain a semi-regular posting schedule. To achieve and maintain a posting schedule, consider using a social media account management app.
Buffer is one of many social media account managers, but it stands out due to its free option. With Buffer, you can manage multiple social media accounts—including Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more—and schedule posts to go live weeks or months in advance all in one place. This way, you can plan ahead and create months’ worth of content. Then you can schedule it all at once. Set it and forget it! Until next time, that is.
Facebook also offers a scheduling option through the Planner on the Meta Business Suite, although this only lets you schedule posts on Facebook and Instagram.
ChatGPT – A Way to Come Up with What to Post
At a loss for what to post? Ask ChatGPT for some ideas! ChatGPT is a free-to-use AI system that works like a chatbot. You can ask something like “Create a weekly social media plan for a personal injury law firm” and ChatGPT will quickly produce post ideas for the next seven days, including relevant hashtags and other tips. It doesn’t get much easier than this!
Of course, if a suggestion doesn’t sound good, feel free to do away with it or ask ChatGPT for a more specific outline. You can even ask social media-specific prompts so your posts can go even further!
Breathe New Life into Your Law Practice’s Social Media Accounts!
By keeping your social media profiles active, you can reach a wider audience and boost your client base. It may seem like a lot, but you can start off small by focusing on only one social media account. You can also share the same post on multiple accounts, so you don’t have to duplicate work.
To learn more about social media ethical issues and practice tips for lawyers, make sure to check out these online courses from TexasBarCLE:
- Ethical Issues in Attorneys Use of Social Media (Online Course)
- No Tweeting After Midnight: Ethically Communicating with Clients in the Digital Age (Online Class)
- Law Practice Management: Online Advertising // 3rd Party Financing for Litigation // Modern File Clerk: How to Document // Ethical Use of Contract Lawyers // Navigating the New Grievance Rules (Online Class)
- Practice Tips Series: Jumpstart Your Law Practice with Social Media
Otto Nicli is part of the State Bar's Web team and serves as the blog writer for the Texas Bar Practice website. He also plays a part in marketing and video production. In his free time, he enjoys watching Top Chef with his wife, collecting records, reading, and going to shows.