Building a Profile on Social Media: Tips for Attorneys
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Social media has proven to be an extremely important tool in attorney marketing efforts. Considering how much time the average person spends on social media each day, this isn’t particularly surprising; according to Oberlo, social media users spend an average of three hours each day on social media and messaging and more than 50% of social media browsers use it to research products and services. According to the American Bar Association, 35% of lawyers who engage professionally with social media have been successful in attracting clients.
That said, the pressure attorneys face regarding social media is a little more intense than what those who use it purely for personal purposes may face. Lawyers are expected to maintain a high level of professionalism at all times, and often face inherent personal bias from people who have been taught by the media to distrust attorneys. Social media plays an important role in any legal marketing strategy, but it’s important to know what specific type of information potential clients will hope to find on an attorney’s profile.
Elements to include on an attorney social media profile include the following:
- Education: It’s a good idea to include when and where you received your education. If you received a degree from a big-name university, this could increase your reputation automatically. However, in a field like law which requires rigorous training and education, it’s important to include when and where you graduated to reassure potential clients that you are in fact legally qualified to practice.
- Years of experience: If you are just starting out in your law practice, this information may not need to be included in your profile. However, if you have been practicing law for several years or more, it could be a useful thing to include. As time passes, remember to update this part of your profile to make sure you are getting the most out of your commitment to your career.
- Awards and/or certifications: If you have received additional awards or certifications regarding your practice, include them on your profile. This can help build on your credibility before you ever even speak to a potential client.
- Relevant location: It’s important to let any visitors to your profile know right away whether or not you are located in an area in which you can serve them. Let your visitors know right off the bat where you are licensed to practice; this can save valuable time both for your and for the client.
- Practice area: It is vitally important to include your chosen practice areas in your profile. This can avoid off-base inquiries and helps to attract clients looking for help in a particular area. It’s also a good idea to discuss your practice area in simple terms that visitors to your profile will be more likely to search for and recognize. For example, if you practice product liability law, consider dropping key words like “defective product” or “dangerous product” in your profile to clarify for your visitors exactly what you do.
- Specializations: If you specialize in a certain type of case, include that information on your profile. Anything which might positively set you apart from another attorney in your field is worth including on your professional profile.
- Professional, updated profile picture: This is another recommendation which is often overlooked. It’s important to choose your profile picture carefully; just about every social media platform requires a profile picture, and attorneys are expected to conduct themselves with more professionalism than most. This means avoiding any form of selfie as a profile picture, using only pictures that present you in your best light as a legal professional. Similarly, it’s important to update your profile picture over time. Attorneys often take professional photos at the start of their career, but fail to later update them to show how they actually look in the present; this can be confusing and a little uncomfortable for clients meeting their attorney for the first time and expecting a different face than the one across from them.
- Introductory video: Depending on the platform, there may be an option to upload an introductory video of yourself. If this is an option, it’s a good idea to take advantage of it. Video marketing is one of the fastest growing and more popular types of attorney marketing, and has proven to be far more successful than hoping for potential clients to read written content. Filming a professional introductory video is a great way to make a personal connection with visitors to your profile, and may significantly set you apart from others in your field.
Depending on the platform, some of the above may not be immediately visible on a profile. However, it’s a good idea to include whatever information that is not requested by the platform in the “about me” or biography section of the profile. The above information will likely be the most important when it comes to whether or not a potential client feels confident enough in your subject area authority to reach out.
To learn more about social media marketing for attorneys and law firms, reach out to a legal marketing expert.