Establishing a brand online is key to developing name recognition and building trust with current and potential customers. In today’s digital landscape, brand identity is strongly tied to social media presence. By building their own personal brands and by establishing a social media following, individual lawyers can enhance their own reputations and facilitate greater reach for their firms. This is unfortunately not always an easy task – social media for lawyers can be competitive, but there are several strategies you can use to make your name stand out.
Social media for lawyers
Polish your social profile
First you need to make sure your personal social media profiles are polished and ready for viewing. Choose a high-quality, professional portrait for your profile picture and consider using it across all accounts – maintaining a consistent image will facilitate consistent branding. Finally, when writing social media bios, think carefully about how you want to present yourself to the world. It’s important to include relevant keywords when describing your skills and services, but spend time and effort making your bio as original as possible.
Know your audience
Your target audience will dictate which platforms you should focus your energy on first. Remember that LinkedIn and Twitter tend to be used more by professionals, Facebook by older generations, and Instagram by millennials. So if you’re a senior citizen advocate, there’s probably no need to try and build your personal brand on Instagram.
Your audience will also determine the angle you take when providing information to your subscribers. Based on the above, as a senior advocate, it would make sense for you to present yourself as a source of assistance rather than an opinion leader. You’ll want to keep this theme and tone consistent throughout the content you post, so your audience knows what to expect by following you. Ultimately, they will associate you with your brand, making you more aware when they search for information.
Create relevant content
Your practice area can often serve as a theme for your social media content. If you work in more than one specific area, choose the one that excites you the most or lends itself best to creative, engaging, and informative content. Again, consistency is key – try to stick to posts on or related to this topic.
Keep in mind that the content will be different for each social platform. Twitter and LinkedIn should be used primarily for sharing information, news updates and blog posts, while Facebook and Instagram are still primarily social platforms that encourage a more personal approach. Video can be particularly effective here in humanizing your online presence, through Q&A sessions, “daily” clips, and how-to videos.
Engage with your followers and new communities
It is essential that your social presence is not one-sided in order to be successful with social media for lawyers. To help gain followers and build connections, be sure to like and reply to comments, retweet, and follow others. Additionally, join groups on Facebook and LinkedIn will allow you to interact more with personal and professional communities. Use the search bar on each network to find groups related to your specific area of expertise, then you can share your ideas and build authority around your personal brand.
Make posting easy with social media tools
Maintaining an online presence and building your personal brand on social media can take time. For busy lawyers, this poses a problem. However, there are many social media tools which can facilitate consistent display and maintenance. HubSpot, Hoot Suite and Dampen all connect to your social networks and allow you to cross-post to different social networks and schedule posts; removing the need to log into multiple websites. Most major social media networks including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are compatible with these apps.
keep it positive
Now you know a few things you should do on social media to build your personal brand and the best social impression for yourself. But how to ensure that this impression is positive? Think of your social media interactions as part of your resume and a reflection of your professional attitude and overall personality. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to voice your opinions as much as you want, consider creating two sets of social media accounts: one for private use (to keep in touch with family and close friends) and one for business use. Your replies and shares should be highly calculated on your business account as you will use them to create new relationships and business opportunities.
Do not over-post or over-promote
These two actions are a sure way to lose some followers. In terms of posting frequency, set a social media calendar and schedule posts to help establish a consistent yet appropriate posting routine. The frequency also differs by platform – aim for 3-4 Twitter posts per day, but limit LinkedIn and Instagram to once a day or every other day. It’s also important to have a healthy balance between promotional and non-promotional. contents. You can share the rewards and recognition you receive with your followers; Just make sure self-promotion doesn’t make up more than 30% of your posts.
Look to others for inspiration
If you don’t consider yourself a social media guru, don’t be discouraged – there are plenty out there that can help you grow your brand. Social media today is full of influencers in many industries, including the legal field. You can watch these experts to get a sense of best practices for becoming a thought leader and partner with them to share content and industry connections.
How you represent yourself on social media as a lawyer is of the utmost importance, whether you are an independent lawyer or a lawyer in a large law firm. A well-established personal brand will not only increase your visibility as a lawyer, but will also help define your purpose and values as a person.
This post has been edited and reposted as of October 10, 2020.