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Social Media

A strategically crafted social media plan for attorneys and law firms will ensure the avoidance of the potential pitfalls of social media while reaping the benefits of a well-executed social media campaign. 

There are many examples of an attorney’s poor judgment on social media that lead to their licenses being suspended. Some of the ethical considerations which a well-thought-out plan will avoid are unintentionally creating an attorney-client relationship due to social media interaction; prohibited solicitation; and prohibited communication.

According to the ABA, 81% of law firms have a presence on at least 1 social media platform and 77% of attorneys participate on at least 1 social media platform for professional purposes themselves. 

Social media is here to stay, and if you are not using it professionally, know that your competitors are. Your social media plan for attorneys and law firms is part of your overall digital marketing plan, which includes SEO, organic growth and paid ad strategies, and your content marketing plan.

 

Social Media on phone

Let’s utilize the power of social media for your career development and networking, to demonstrate your expertise, to provide value to your clients and potential clients, and to help your law firm grow.

What does a strategically crafted social media plan for attorneys and law firms look like?

First Step: Follow the rules of professional conduct and legal ethics

Many bar associations (such as ABANYSBA, NCBA, and CalBar)  have created guidelines to help attorneys safely navigate social media. Make sure to understand the specific jurisdictional rules pertaining to social media for attorneys. 

Second Step: Pinpoint your objective(s)

Social media can help with a number of different areas such as building awareness of your law firm, provide valuable information for your clients and potential clients, establish your expertise, and even post job applications. Your objective(s) will help to determine the best social media platform(s) to meet your goal(s). 

Third Step: Set goals

How do you know if your social media is being effective? Set measurable goals in connection with your objective(s). For example, if one of your objectives is to increase awareness of your law firm, one of the measurable goals could be the growth of website traffic.

Setting Goals

Fourth step: Research your target audience

Who is your target? Is your target audience tied to your objective? (Hint: it should be.) Social media created without a target audience in mind will not help you reach your objective(s) and goal(s).

Fifth Step: Research the competition

Figure out what the attorneys and law firms in your practice area(s) are doing with their social media. See what is and is not working. What are their strengths and weaknesses? What makes your firm different?

Research for social media

Sixth Step: Best Social Media Platforms

While there are a number of social media platforms, the two platforms that attorneys and law firms should first consider having an active presence on are LinkedIn and Facebook. LinkedIn is a professional social media platform on which you can showcase your expertise, share your original content, and build relationships and connections with other professionals. 

With over 2 billion active users, you will most likely find your target audience on Facebook. Your target audience is on Facebook and you can provide your current and potential clients valuable content on your Facebook page. Your overall objective might need the inclusion of another platform(s) such as Twitter (share insights, updates, or retweets), Instagram (photo-based platform which is good for sharing inspiration, graphics, information, and quotes), and/or YouTube (to demonstrate expertise).

Finding clients on Facebook

Seventh Step: Create Content Plan

Once you have your objective, know who your target audience is, and which platform(s) you will be publishing on, you are now ready to plan for the content to be created. Will you be creating original content? Will you be sharing valuable content? If your social media plan contains creating original content, who is creating it, and what type of content is being created (written and/or video and/or audio)?

Make a plan

Eighth Step: Set a publishing schedule

A successful social media plan includes a consistent publishing schedule. How often will your content be posted? Who will be responsible for maintaining the content publishing schedule? There are tools that can be used for social media scheduling, but the tools need to be managed by someone.

Ninth Step: Social equals engagement

Never lose sight of the fact that the foundation of social media is people. One of the overarching goals of social media is to engage with people, be it to build professional relationships or to answer questions from current and potential clients. Who will be responsible for engagement on social media? Will more than one person handle responding to questions and interacting with others?

 

Tenth Step: Measure the results

How do you know if your social media plan for attorneys and law firms is working? On a regular basis, analyze the data, evaluate the results, and adjust as needed. Make sure that you are making progress on achieving your original objectives.

Measure results

As your social media achieves your desired results, for example, an increase in website traffic, you will want to add more targeted goals for your social media marketing. 

While you may want to continue to gain web traffic, you may also want to add being a thought leader in your area of practice as a new social media targeted goal. Work through the above 10 steps with each new targeted goal. 

If you would like to discuss how a strategic social media plan could help you and your law firm, schedule an appointment by clicking the link below.