Social media is an important part of socializing in the digital age. Most businesses use it to advertise their services and engage with their target audiences.
The two worlds of law and social media marketing aren’t always compatible. It is difficult for marketers to follow all regulatory rules and not break them.
This article will provide a guide on how lawyers and marketers should use social media marketing to grow their law firms and not break the law, as well as which tools can assist them in doing so. Follow these tips to increase your reach and gain new clients.
Social Media Marketing Guide for Your Law Firm – Attract Clients
Social media is a great way to get in touch with clients. Make sure that all of your social accounts are professional-looking and easy for people to find you on! Lawyers should always have their contact information linked somewhere easily accessible on social media sites.
What is Social Media for Lawyers
We all use social media, and it seems that we all use it in the same way. However, if you work as a lawyer, you cannot afford to act like everyone else. Lawyers and law firms have a responsibility to utilize social media in an ethical manner so that no one is harmed.
It’s vital to clarify why lawyers’ social media profiles are different from regular social media accounts. We’ll do it down below.
The American Bar Association (ABA) has developed rules for lawyers’ ethical usage of social media. This set of recommendations includes themes such as social media confidentiality, discussing hypothetical or anonymized cases online, and engaging in behaviors that appear to be a conflict of interest. It also goes into detail on using social media to advertise and seek clients.
In essence, the ABA considers any communication to a potential client that discusses the lawyer’s services to be advertising and is subject to ABA Rule 7.3: Client Solicitation.
Just remember that the ABA’s instructions are just that. You’ll still need to check your state bar association’s standards to make sure your marketing activities are legal. The ABA instructions, on the other hand, should give you a clear idea of the limits you’ll need to follow.
How to Do Social Media for Lawyers
If you want to use social media as a lawyer or law firm, you should follow some common guidelines. They are as follows:
Consideration of jurisdiction
Individuals in any part of the country might be reached via social media posts. If a lawyer shares material outside of their practice jurisdiction, this could be a problem. Lawyers are forbidden from disclosing information that might lead the public to believe they are admitted to practice law in a jurisdiction where they are not licensed under American Bar Association (“ABA”) Model Rule 5.5(b)(2). As a result, lawyers must be cautious about the content they publish and where it is shared. When publishing on social media, lawyers should consider the following guidelines:
- Double-check the information before publishing. On a public platform, avoid sharing information that could be interpreted as legal advice. Lawyers should provide clients with e-legal assistance privately in the form of a direct message or email. When lawyers are able to provide free legal advice to the public online, they must ensure that the recipients live in areas where they are licensed to practice law.
- Be aware of platform sharing options. Make sure the information you post on sites like Twitter or Facebook, where people can share information from around the world, is general and contains no legal advice. Generalized legal news updates and case summaries are examples of suitable themes.
- Be open and fair about licensing and representation. Knowing what language and behaviors constitute an attorney-client relationship is critical for lawyers. “A person who consults with a lawyer about the possibility of forming a client-lawyer relationship with respect to a matter is a prospective client,” according to ABA Model Rule 1.18(a). Lawyers should include a notice of where they are licensed or a warning that their information is not intended to form an attorney-client relationship or give legal advice when publishing on social media platforms. This is especially true for lawyers who maintain a blog or post on social media platforms.
Legal services advertising
If you choose to advertise your services on social media, keep in mind that any information about your services distributed through any media, including advertisements, must be accurate and not misleading.
In addition, Rule 7.2 comment 12 states that “any communication about a lawyer or law firm’s services include the name of, and contact information for, the lawyer or law firm. Contact information includes a website address, a telephone number, an email address or a physical office location.” When placing an advertisement, this is a simple requirement that lawyers should not ignore.
Responsibility for non-lawyers
Lawyers are also liable for the activities of non-lawyers they hire, retain, or associate with throughout the course of their practice. This usually comprises law clerks and paralegals who work on case files with them closely. Lawyers are required to keep an eye on non-lawyers to ensure that they are acting ethically.
When a non-lawyer engages in unethical behavior on social media, lawyers may be held liable if they command, ratify, or refuse to take remedial action. Lawyers must ensure that their support personnel is aware of acceptable social media habits in the workplace because of this obligation. Hosting team meetings and training will help non-lawyers understand what is expected of them in addition to managing these employees.
How to Promote Your Firm Through Social Media for Lawyers
Follow these methods to get the most out of social media and effectively promote your law company.
- Research your potential client
Start using social media with your target client in mind. Making regular posts that do not correlate with your audience’s interests is wrong and will not lead to any success. Your audience should be able to relate to your content. Take the time to get to know them, do some research, and come up with a unique strategy that works.
Start with the one or two social accounts that your audience utilizes the most if this is your first time utilizing social media for lawyers. This is where you should begin your research. To identify accounts that meet your target client’s demographics, look at recent social media usage statistics.
- Choose social media channels that are relevant to your niche and target audience
Keep in mind that not all social media platforms will have your desired target segments represented. Choose a platform according to your needs and capabilities. LinkedIn and Facebook are definitely the first places you should put your marketing flag if you’re a corporate law firm. Twitter and Quora would also be good places to start.
- Create a content marketing strategy
Social media marketing isn’t just about publishing whatever’s on your mind whenever you feel like it. You must post quality content on a regular basis to gain an audience and keep them coming back. What forms of content media to employ, how often to publish on social media, and how to measure the effects should all be part of your strategy. You’ll be able to adjust and remove content that doesn’t resonate with your audience this way.
- Position your firm as an expert in this field
Being seen as an expert in your field instills confidence in your potential clients. Clients are more inclined to contact you if they trust you. It’s easier to establish yourself as an expert thanks to social media.
Link to materials from credible sites that are related to your professional area and provide value to your audience. Your personal blog posts should be linked to and commented on. Respond to clients’ questions on your blog postings. It’s all about demonstrating your knowledge and commitment to sharing it with others.
- Engage with your audience
You should interact with your audience on social media to be successful. Everyone wants to be noticed and appreciated. Request feedback, respond to their queries, like their posts, and congratulate them on their accomplishments. Always remember to communicate with others in a respectful and ethical manner.
- Use social media tools
Managing social media for lawyers is not an easy job. You should be careful, consistent, and useful. Different social media management tools aid marketeers in different niches in staying consistent, increasing brand awareness, and attracting clients for law firms or consulting firms.
How Much Should Lawyers Pay for Social Media Marketing
While maintaining a marketing department can be costly, you can save money by using social media marketing tools. The average monthly cost ranges from $9 to $125. Such solutions can assist you in staying on budget and easily managing all of your accounts across all social media platforms, allowing you to add multiple users and grant them access to administer an account.
Law firms should use social media platforms if they want to promote their legal services and gain clients. Of course, there are some concerns, as you will not be able to manage your social media profiles in the same way that other businesses do. All information shared should be double-checked and follow the instructions from the higher authorities. This could appear complicated at first, but with a little forethought and the right tools, you can use social media to your firm’s advantage.