Can attorneys advertise on social media?
Attorneys can advertise their services on social media. However, they must not make false or misleading statements. For example, implying they’re allowed to practice in a jurisdiction where they aren’t licensed.
How social media benefits your law firm
But how exactly does social media benefit law firms?
Helps law firms build authority and generate awareness
Law firms can use social media marketing to enhance their reputation and build authority, publishing regular thought leadership content that demonstrates their expertise. Plus, firms can also publish client success stories to publicize their great work.
Allows lawyers to engage with their community
Social media helps lawyers stay up-to-date with the latest developments in their field. By joining dedicated groups, lawyers can engage with their peers, build up their network, and ensure they stay informed about the latest industry developments.
Attracts new clients
All marketing activities must aid client acquisition—whether on social media or billboards. Statistics from the ABA show that 35% of lawyers have attracted new clients via social media, while 52% regularly use social media channels for client development purposes.
5 skills to look for when you hire a social media consultant for lawyers
Employing a social media specialist will generate the greatest possible ROI from your firm’s social media efforts. That said, not all social media consultants are equally effective. Keep these five must-have traits in mind when hiring a social media consultant for your firm.
1. They post new content consistently
In today’s information age, content quickly becomes stale. Law firms can’t simply publish a few monthly posts and hope they garner great results. Instead, they should partner with a consultant who understands the value of consistently posting new content.
2. They can provide proof of growth
Social media consultants must show how they drive ROI for their clients. Therefore, firms should ask consultants how they measure success: The metrics they focus on, tools they use, and timelines they follow. Seek out consultants who have a firm understanding of how to prove ROI—and who habitually link social media spend to increased law firm profitability.
3. They have a different strategy for each platform
No two social media platforms are the same. Long-form story-led LinkedIn posts might generate great results, but they’re impossible to replicate on Twitter. The best social media consultants understand the nuances of each platform and are adept at repurposing ideas, themes, and content across channels for maximum impact.
4. They admit organic social growth takes time
While paying for ads and sponsored posts might generate results in the short term, building organic social growth is a slow and steady process. However, that doesn’t make it any less valuable—it’s virtually free and is entirely within your firm’s own control.
Seek out social media consultants who recognize the value of organic social growth, but who also understand it’s not a quick win. Be wary of anyone promising “overnight” organic social growth.
5. They have a plan to optimize your profile/page
The best social media consultants pay just as much attention to the basics (such as optimizing your profile/page) as they do to the perhaps more exciting content conveyor belt. There’s little point in driving people to your firm’s profile if they’re disappointed with what they find when they arrive.
What to do before you hire a social media consultant
Just as potential clients should do their research before hiring a lawyer, law firms should also conduct their own due diligence before bringing a social media consultant on board. It’s far better to take your time and hire the right person over picking the wrong fit quickly.
Follow the steps below when hiring a social media consultant for your law firm.
Ask for testimonials from past clients
This is a standard practice across most industries, from law, to accounting, and everything else under the sun. The best social media consultants boast an array of client testimonials clearly explaining why they were hired and the results they generated. If a potential consultant struggles to provide you with testimonials, or shares vague case studies without quantifiable success metrics, look elsewhere.
Request current and past examples of work
Testimonials are great—but they’re not the be-all end-all. Ask social media consultants to share current and past examples of their work, which will demonstrate whether they’re right for your firm. Perhaps you see despite marketing themselves as a general law firm social media consultant, they only appear to have worked for personal injury law firms in the past—and likely aren’t suitable for your practice area.
Ask your potential social media consultant about the legal industry
It’s not enough for consultants to be well-versed in social media best practices. To help law firms, they must have legal-specific knowledge. This is paramount. Law firms can’t adopt a ‘fake it till you make it’ mentality, or afford to work with those who do.
Ask potential consultants about the legal industry. Find out which practice areas they’re familiar with and dig into their expertise to ensure they truly know what they’re talking about.
Get everything in writing
When hiring a social media consultant, law firms should create well-defined contracts that include key success metrics. For example, contracts should outline the number of posts the consultant plans on drafting/publishing, and include additional operational considerations (e.g. will they have access to the firm’s accounts?). It’s worth also including milestones as well as compensation bonuses. For example, if the firm receives five new qualified leads within the first 60 days, the consultant gets a 5% bonus.
Final notes on how to hire a social media consultant for lawyers
Social media helps law firms stand out—they can demonstrate their expertise, build credibility, interact with their community, and gain clients. By hiring a social media consultant for lawyers, firms can optimize their social media strategy while minimizing the time and energy spent on keeping various channels up to date.
However, firms should be careful about who they partner with. They must seek consultants with a proven track record of happy clients, demonstrable expertise in proving ROI, and considerable legal industry knowledge. What’s more, they should partner with consultants who are honest and upfront—who don’t promise the world or try to pull the wool over the firm’s eyes.