Social Media Marketing Strategies
Tips for promoting your practice online.
By Gwendolyn Seale
As solo or small firm attorneys, we find ourselves wearing many hats
besides the traditional lawyer one—we are also the secretary,
department, and more increasingly, the marketing manager. Given the widespread use of social media, it does not come as much of a surprise that a 2016 survey by FindLaw noted that the majority of consumers would likely engage an attorney who is active on social media. Effectively marketing on social media can be time-consuming, and as wearers of many hats, solo and small firm attorneys likely do not have the time to manage firm profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. If money is not an issue, it may make sense to hire a marketing specialist who can create content for your firm profiles and run ad campaigns. However, it is not wholly necessary to constantly update firm pages to successfully market on social media. Ultimately, we are selling ourselves to the consumers, and what better way to sell ourselves than by marketing what we do on our own personal Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter accounts where we already have some following?
Balance Out Your Social Media Profiles
When utilizing social media, be sure to “balance out” your profiles. This means that your content should fall fairly evenly into three main categories: 1) posts about interesting new developments in your practice area, 2) posts regarding upcoming speaking engagements or recently published works, and 3) personal posts. Regarding the first category, if there is legislation or new cases that impact your field, post about them with limited commentary so your audience will infer that you are well-informed of current happenings in your area. To the second point, post about upcoming speaking engagements, as it will begin to establish you as an expert in your field and may lead to viewers attending the events. Posting about recently published works (with links when possible) will also demonstrate that you are an authority—and if your Facebook and LinkedIn followers enjoy the article, they will likely share it. Finally, make some personal posts—time spent with family, your pets, and anything else that interests you. It is crucial to have a balance of content in these categories so you do not appear overly self-absorbed or like you spend more time having fun than actually working.
Producing and distributing video content is virtually effortless today since our devices have a camera and anyone can create a YouTube channel. Dustin Sanchez, a Houston-area-based attorney who is also a marketing specialist for lawyers, strongly suggests that solos and small firm attorneys should utilize YouTube and post video content on social media, because producing video content will help you get over the fear of being on camera and establish you as an authority in your field. He suggests that keeping YouTube videos to five to eight minutes is reasonable, but that if you plan to post videos on Facebook, make them much briefer, as people’s attention spans on that platform are incredibly short.
Join Lawyer Groups on Facebook
Not only will you find invaluable information on the Texas Lawyers Facebook page about a host of practice areas, but also it is a great way to meet attorneys from around the state and market your expertise. There are also Texas lawyer Facebook groups that are specific to a variety of hobbies. Join these groups because a significant portion of their content pertains to asking for referrals.
If a marketing specialist is not in the cards for you, it is possible to promote your practice on social media by balancing out the content on your personal profiles, creating video content, and engaging with other Texas lawyers on the Facebook pages mentioned above. Always remember to adhere to the advertising rules promulgated by the State Bar of Texas when marketing on social media. Hopefully, some of these tips will assist solos and small firm lawyers when it is time to wear the marketing manager hat.TBJ
is a 2016 graduate of SMU Dedman School of Law and practices entertainment law at Mike Tolleson and Associates in Austin. Her practice consists of drafting and negotiating contracts related to music, film, and sports entertainment and assisting clients with copyright and trademark matters. In addition to her practice, Seale has published articles and presented CLE courses on topics such as demystifying YouTube’s monetization policies, legal issues surrounding music festivals, understanding music aggregators, and the evidentiary significance of emojis.