Legal firms have to be careful about, well, everything. So what about social media?

When it comes to using social media for a law firm, it’s important to first identify what potential uses it may serve. Are you interested in bringing in new clients? Communicating recent results to existing clientele? Perhaps you would rather use it to communicate to folks who work at or with the law firm? Whatever your intentions may be, it’s important to get your law firm into social media as soon as possible. Here’s why.

1. Your competitors are likely already using social media to promote their law firms.

2. You’ll want to ‘claim’ your business on popular social media channels before someone else does it for you.

3. Social media is becoming a much bigger player in the digital landscape and can influence your website’s visibility across other mediums.

Number two above should be enough to get your law firm into social media marketing alone, but hopefully the other reasons have you also persuaded you. So where do you start? With social media, all ‘best practices’ are quickly outdated and constantly changing. That being said, there’s no reason for you to forge a new social media marketing strategy for your law firm alone, check out what’s already working for your competitors. Simply start by searching for an important keyword in Google that defines your business and your target geo such as, “Harrisburg medical injury lawyers.” As you likely already know, legal services is an extremely competitive industry across any marketing channel so it’s likely that the first law firms that show up in Google are seriously invested in digital marketing. Look through their site first to see if this is indeed true, then look to see which social networks they’ve invested in. Search their site for any blogs they may be posting to consistently; are their posts being shared on any particular social networks? This simple investigation will yield you enormous insight into how your competitors are using social media to promote their law firms.

Depending on your law firm’s focus areas, you’ll want to identify which channels are worth investing the time into. Yes, social media requires a heavy time investment so make sure to delegate this work to someone who can handle it! Even if you don’t use every social media outlet, make sure to at least claim your business page in the major networks like facebook, twitter, pinterest, tumblr, foursquare, instagram, and others. Even if you don’t post to these accounts, just setting up a basic profile with a link back to your website can be helpful for organic search engine optimization and general branding.

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Naturally, you’ll want to make sure that everyone in your law firm is investing time in LinkedIn, the most popular ‘professional’ social media network. However, make sure to also claim your LinkedIn Company Page and add as much content to it in the description and services tabs as possible. LinkedIn is a powerful network that is sure to give your attorneys and law firm the right kind of visibility. Don’t be shy about connecting with others on LinkedIn. Even if you don’t know a person, each connection you add will increase your own visibility across the network which is free marketing for you!

While you’ll certainly find great value on the larger social networks, don’t forget to look for social media channels that make sense for your niche. Martindale.com is a site designed specifically to help you promote your law firm and is a good place to invest some time into. There are really an unlimited amount of social media networks out there you could use to promote your law firm so don’t be afraid to ask for help from others in your office who are more familiar with social media if you need to!