Of the internet’s users, roughly 3.48 billion are active social media users. That figure becomes even more astonishing when you consider that it represents nearly half of the world’s population and 4 out of 5 Internet users. Clearly, social media is an important component of many internet users’ daily lives. The question, then, is how law firms can best use this knowledge to generate more effective online advertising. Leveraging the connections inherent to social media is a great way to begin to strengthen your firm’s online marketing.
Use Social Media to Engage with Clients and Potential Clients
Simply filling your feed with interesting content is not enough in a world full of online interactions. Actively engaging with the users who like, comment, and share their thoughts on your law firm’s social media accounts can be pivotal to maintaining your brand.
When engaging with mentions or comments — whether they’re on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other sites — make sure to represent your firm in a polite, professional, and friendly manner. Another factor that plays a big role in how you respond to criticism is timeliness. Especially for complaints, responding in a quick and efficient manner, usually within the hour, shows potential and current clients that you are actively engaged with your brand and its customers. Having a bank of pre-approved statements for general praise or criticism your firm may receive can be a major help when it comes to responding to users online. You may also want to track feedback on your social media channels to begin analyzing what sorts of things clients tend to praise or critique and look for ways to improve in these areas.
Use Social Media to Attract More Clients
Social media is also a huge boon when it comes to attracting new clients. While Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are five of the most popular platforms for businesses to use when marketing, it’s important to consider how each platform can serve you and your brand. Facebook’s size and flexibility almost assuredly make it an auto-include for any business, but some industries may do less well on mediums like Instagram or Pinterest, which rely more heavily on visuals than a channel like Twitter or LinkedIn. Speaking of LinkedIn, its focus on professional communities can make it a great way to position your firm as an industry leader. Other networks like YouTube, which offers video sharing capabilities, and Snapchat, which is a short, mobile-only, visual platform predominantly appealing to millennials and younger generations, may play a role in your firm’s advertising, but require some creativity to execute well in the legal industry. If you’re just starting out or considering adding a channel or two to your current stable of social media accounts, the three that fit most naturally for most legal firms are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
In addition to the organic work that you do to support your brand, consider taking out some paid social ads on networks that you seem to be the most engaged. Whether you’re purchasing ad space on Facebook, Twitter, or another channel, all social media advertising platforms allow for targeting segments that are more likely to be interested in your firm’s services. For example, if your firm has a high success rate in divorce cases, you may want to exclude married or recently engaged users from seeing your ads. Similarly, if your firm focuses on elder law, it wouldn’t make sense to share your ads with younger users. If your practice only extends to a certain geographic area, you can adjust these parameters as well, so that your paid efforts are hitting customers who have a higher chance of actually engaging with your firm. These kinds of granular decisions can play a big role in building a following and attracting more clients.
Use Social Media to Bolster Your Law Firm’s Reputation
How many times have you looked up a company or a product’s reviews online before deciding to move ahead with that service or purchase? Your behavior is not unlike your customers, so consider turning on Facebook reviews to help users positively market your firm’s reputation. Facebook reviews can improve brand awareness and helps potential clients discover your business. Consider the following statistics from BrightLocal’s 2019 Consumer Review Survey:
- 90% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 33% looking every day
- 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 52% of 18-54-year-olds saying they ‘always’ read reviews
- The average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a business
- The average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading reviews before making a decision
Since Facebook’s algorithm takes in a host of factors when determining what to display in a user’s news feed, reviews are an important aspect to enable. Beyond enabling reviews, it’s important to engage with your reviews, whether they are positive or negative. This goes back to our point about creating an active, personable presence online. Negative ratings on Facebook open the door for customer service experiences that illustrate to online users that you take ownership of your business and value your clients.
In addition to enabling the reviews feature on Facebook, using social media accounts to broadcast positive press that your firm receives is another way to build up your reputation. Linking to a newspaper article, interview, or award can help increase your firm’s prestige. A law firm in good standing with some recent renown will seem much more appealing than a law firm that relies solely on customer testimonials or their own published statements.
Having a generalized marketing agency handle your legal advertising can be dangerous if they don’t have expertise in the industry. JustLegal Marketing’s exclusive focus on the law firms websites and lawyers SEO, paired with our extensive knowledge marketing our own law firm, allows us to mitigate these risks. Discover more ways to improve your firm’s online advertising on the JustLegal Marketing blog.