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SEO Secrets

Lawyers on TikTok: Tips for Short-Form Video Marketing

By Annette Choti

As one of the newest and most popular social media platforms, TikTok’s user base is growing rapidly. After starting as a place for short-form comedy videos, TikTok has developed into a valuable marketing tool with the potential to reach millions of consumers. Moreover, the virality potential of this platform is unparalleled, so businesses have a greater opportunity than ever to reach vast audiences by leveraging short-form video content.

While TikTok presents a great opportunity for law firms to market their services, many attorneys are unsure of how to use the app or whether it is worth the investment. Several attorneys, however, have found success on TikTok, leveraging it to attract traffic to their website and establish a relationship with potential new clients.

What Is TikTok?

TikTok is a short-form video-sharing app that has reached 1 billion monthly active users since its inception. A major component of its popularity is its ease of use. Most videos are 15 seconds or less and can be crafted easily using a mobile device. Despite being a global app, TikTok emphasizes localized content and in this way is ideal for community building.

The app is a hot spot for the millennial and Gen Z audience, with 41% of its users aged 16-24. As the app continues to gain traction, the user demographics are shifting to include older individuals and businesses. With this in mind, it is clear why more and more businesses are turning to TikTok to share their brand and diversify their marketing strategy.

The Power of Short-Form Video Content

TikTok garnered serious virality in 2020 and 2021, and other social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube have taken note. As more and more platforms continue to shift to quick, short-form content, marketers are beginning to follow suit. It’s clear that short-form video is popular among audiences, effective, and on an upward trend.

Projected marketing strategies in 2022 reflect this shift. For instance, 30% of social media marketers are placing a greater emphasis on short-form video than any other social media marketing strategy. Moreover, a third of social media marketers plan to leverage short-form video content for the first time in 2022.

How Do Lawyers Use TikTok?

Recently, lawyers have increasingly started to use TikTok to educate their audience and promote their services by:

  • Creating compelling videos and capturing attention through fast-paced content.
  • Building connections with TikTok influencers who can promote their business.
  • Leveraging TikTok advertising to reach a wider audience.

The following attorneys have found their place within TikTok’s legal niche, using the platform to engage with their audience, gain a following and spread valuable information regarding their areas of practice:

Lisbette Baltazar @lisbette_attorney

A California-based bankruptcy attorney, Lisbette Baltazar posts videos about the reality of practicing law as well as in-depth educational content regarding bankruptcy and other legal issues.

Kelly Chang @lawyerkelly

Kelly Chang is a family law attorney who shares informative, humorous videos with her audience of nearly 300,000. Her popular Family Law Pop Quiz series has over 20,000 views. Recent posts include a family law jingle as well as the best state to get a divorce.

Anthony Barbuto @thelawyer

Lawyer Anthony Barbuto brings the fun to TikTok with his dancing, rapping, singing and general entertainment videos. Recent posts feature Barbuto dressed up as a judge, hanging out with his family, giving his wife a foot massage, and sharing humorous law-related video clips.

Caesar Chukwuma @iamcaez

A South Florida-based criminal defense and civil litigation attorney, Caesar Chukwuma is an expert at capitalizing on trends. A handful of his posts have over a million views and he creates informational and humorous content, often blending the two within a single video.

Brad Shear @BradShear

Brad Shear focuses on creating informative content for the younger generation. He posts humorous and educational content that features him fidget training like a lawyer, discussing the rights of students, and talking about interesting loopholes in the legal system.

Cecillia Xie @cecexie

Privacy lawyer Cecillia Xie gained TikTok popularity with a viral video. Much of her content centers around questions about legal careers and providing advice. A TikTok influencer, Xie has created private groups for lawyers to exchange questions and advice. Her recent videos include a comparison of Harvard vs. Yale, what you need to know about law school, and repaying student loans.

Jacob Sapochnick @sdimmigrationlawyer

A San Diego-based immigration attorney, Jacob Sapochnick has mastered the art of leveraging social media for marketing his practice. Much of his content focuses on educational topics such as obtaining a green card in the United States, immigration reform and naturalization eligibility.

7 Tips for Creating TikTok Content

You may be wondering how to actually navigate the platform and optimize your reach through short-form content. If used correctly, TikTok can be used to attract leads, increase your client base and establish credibility in your target market. If you are new to the platform and unsure where to start, here are tips that can be easily implemented in your content.

1. Identify Your Target Audience

Similar to other marketing platforms, it is key to refine your ideal audience before you begin posting content on TikTok. Every post you share should educate and nurture your target audience. It can be helpful to create a profile of your typical or ideal client. Note their age, gender, profession, language and marital status. Use this profile to inform your TikTok videos. Use music that resonates with your target client and make your content accessible by including multiple languages, if applicable.

2. Create Quality Content

After you have established a clear and simple client persona, you can begin creating content that will engage and attract users. Your material should add value by answering frequently asked questions and educating clients on the more technical aspects of the legal system. Consider posting an array of content within your specific practice as well as news commentary, changes to the law and general advice. Bear in the mind these pointers as you begin crafting TikTok content:

  • The shorter, the better. Create short videos that are authentic, personal, shareable and even humorous.
  • Include text that is easy to read and pops out in your videos. TikTok’s video editor offers a variety of options.
  • Feature a call to action in each post.
  • Ensure that your videos are well lit and high quality.

3. Post Frequently

The TikTok algorithm prefers creators who post every day, at least once per day, particularly in the first few weeks. TikTok automatically highlights new accounts in the beginning, but gaining traction requires consistency. User activity suggests that midafternoon and late night, around midnight, are the best times to post.

4. Leverage Trends

Following trends is critical if you wish to optimize your content. This is less difficult than it seems, and merely requires a short browse of the “Discover Page.” Here, you will see the content that is viral, ranging from music to memes to dance. Incorporating some of these trends in your content is a fantastic way to get noticed. It may seem silly at first, but do not be reluctant to show your humor when leveraging these trends. And don’t forget to use relevant hashtags in your material to attract more viewers. Trending hashtags can also be found on the Discover Page.

5. Connect With Influencers

Influencer marketing is a valuable way to reach new audiences that you may otherwise not have the opportunity to connect with. Begin by searching for law-related accounts that have amassed a large following. TikTok allows for messaging between accounts, so you can build professional relationships with influencers that way. Try collaborating with legal influences by creating a video with them or, alternatively, use the duet feature to compare or contrast your services with their own content.

6. Engage With Your Audience

After you publish a video, don’t just click out and forget about it. Rather, respond to comments and engage with your audience. Additionally, try to occasionally comment on the videos of fellow lawyers as well as other accounts that you follow. The TikTok algorithm favors engagement.

7. Repurpose Your Content

Before posting a video, ensure that you save the content. That way, you can repurpose the same video on other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Note that Instagram, in particular, does not appreciate when accounts repost content directly from TikTok. To avoid problems, ensure that the TikTok watermark is not included in any Reel that you post to Instagram.

8. Experiment Often

TikTok is new and constantly improving. It is important to keep up-to-date on what is popular on the platform. Experiment with your content and see what attracts viewers. Moreover, do not get discouraged if success doesn’t come immediately. Continue creating, engaging and posting regularly. Much of the success on TikTok and other algorithm-based platforms is in trial and error.

All Things Considered …

TikTok has the potential to promote your brand and connect you with peers as well as potential new clients. If you are considering implementing TikTok as part your law firm’s social media marketing strategy, ensure that you take time to view how other businesses — particularly law firms — leverage the platform. Note how users interact and the type of content that is popular. It is not difficult to gain traction on the app, and if your content is consistent and high-quality, you will see the benefits.

Illustration ©iStockPhoto.com

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Annette Choti Annette Choti

Annette Choti graduated from law school 20 years ago, and is the CEO and owner of Law Quill, a legal digital marketing agency focused on small and solo law firms. She is the author of “Click Magnet: The Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide for Law Firms” (2022). Annette used to do theater and professional comedy, which is not so different from the legal field if we are all being honest. She can be found on LinkedIn or at annette@lawquill.com.

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