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Contact South West Web Marketing Social Media for Law Firms

Are you a lawyer or a legal business wanting to use social media to promote your law business?

Social Media For Legal Businesses And Law Firms

Despite a few high profile tweeting lawyers, social media had been largely ignored by lawyers and legal businesses until early 2012 when the Law Society issued social media guidance for lawyers. By June, Legal Futures was reporting that Twitter was becoming the key referral source for these lawyers, with a 663% increase in people asking for recommendations on the social network.

How Legal Businesses Benefit from Social Media Marketing

Social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and various blogs provide a quick way to keep in touch with clients and prospects, keep an eye of competitors, and keep up-to-date with industry trends.

Many lawyers are now using social media to gain exposure for their law firms and gain advantage over their legal competitors. If you want to do the same, it's imperative that you start with a great looking website that has a consistent message and a branded image that can extend across all your social media profiles. Once you have configured your social media profiles, the number one strategy for delivering highly targeting traffic to your site is to create great content. The home base for all that online content should be your businesses blog, which should be hosted on your own website.

10 Steps to Establishing Your Legal Firms Social Media Profile

1. Find out What People are Saying about Your Legal Business

The first step you should take is find out what conversations are already going on about your law firm or your lawyers in public, and online. Head over to Google and do a search for your brand name. Next, see what bloggers are saying by doing the same search on the Google Blog Search. Finally go to Twitter and search for your brand name there. Each conversation or result that you find is an opportunity to influence or engage. If no-one is mentioning your law firm, why not? You're probably not interesting or remarkable enough...

2. Find out Where People Discuss the Topics Relevant to Your Legal Firm

We find that most law firms start out by assuming that the best social media platform for them is LinkedIn, but that's not necessarily the case. It's best to do some research first. Create a list of keywords that reflect your law firm's areas of business. Phrase them in the way your clients might talk about those topics. Next go through each of the major social networks and search for those terms. So for example if your firm deals totally with "continuing healthcare claims" or "care home funding" you specifically need to be looking at the primary and long tail keywords that deal with that niche.

3. Choose Your Platforms and Plan Your Approach

Based on your research, now it's time to choose the social media platforms you are going to invest time in. Don't spread yourself too thinly. Start with one or two platforms to begin with. Take the time to plan the approach you are going to use. At this point it may be worth taking a look at what your competitors or market leaders in your sector are doing. If you can spot what types of activity is proving successful for them, you may be able to easily copy their approach - not verbatim though!

4. Set Some Goals and Events

How will you know if you have been successful, or if the return has been worth the effort? Make sure you set yourself some specific, measurable goals before you start. Your initial goals can be fairly modest. To begin with a first goal may simply be learning the platforms, better understanding your clients and their motivations, and learning what types of content works best for you.

As you move forward you may want to set some goals around growing your audience of fans and followers. This should only be a short-term objective though. As in the long term your social media goals should be directly tied directly to your business goals.

5. Plan Your Content and Set a Policy

This sounds rather formal - but it needn't necessarily be. What you really need to define is what the constraints are on what you are allowed to say in public. For a legal firm make sure you’re not breaking any data protection issues or broadcasting confidential information.

Plan what you are going to talk about. Think why it might be interesting to your target audience. Think why they might want to share it. Effective use of social media means creating content that is provocative. That is, it provokes a reaction in the readers such that they want to share it with their friends or engage with you on the topic. The worst thing you can do is sit on the fence. It's better to have a strong opinion and be prepared to defend it. In the case of "continuing healthcare funding" using your firm's ability to get funding for "care homes" is a positive thing and well worth noting.

6. Set a Routine

For your social media to be effective you need to have a routine. Plan what effort you can commit to it and keep to it. Maybe it's just an hour a day. Schedule some time for that, plan the routine tasks that you will do - e.g. deleting spam, and responding to comments. Be sure to plan the time for creating new content.

7. Get Everyone in Your Legal Business Involved

One of the challenges of social media can be getting it to scale. The best solution we have found is to make it a little bit of everyone's job. Encourage everyone to get online and do their bit. Encourage your fellow solicitors and colleagues to connect with clients and prospects, and ask them to re-tweet and re-post your good news stories to their followers.

8. Build Social Media into Your Business Events

With your staff up and running on your social media, start to build social media marketing into your day to day business events. When you host an event, encourage attendees to tweet thereby spreading your message for you. When you visit trade shows, get involved with the seminars and events of the day. When you go to a conference as an attendee, you can use your social media network to boost your conference ROI by connecting with the organisers, speakers and other attendees.

9. Create your Legal Blog

Your law firm's blog is tremendously important. Think of your blog as your news point of origin - the place where you want to send people to read more about you and your amazing law firm. All the other places you frequent in social media, those are your outposts - the places where you go to reach out to a new audience and let them know you exist.

Create a blog and a content plan so you know what you plan to publish and when you plan to publish it. Write content to attract your target audience and plan how you will use your social media outposts to spread your message.

10. Find Leads and Build Relationships

By now you'll have people talking about you on social media all the time. They may be sharing your blog posts, discussing the events you've hosted, or simply chatting with your lawyers. Each one of these is a lead. Make sure you have a process for tracking them and following up with them and good luck.

Tags: Social Media for Law Firms, Legal Business Social Media