Social media platforms can feel overwhelming, and many lawyers are unsure which ones will give them the largest return on their efforts. While many lawyers have used LinkedIn and Facebook to their advantage, law firms now realize their social media marketing strategy should perhaps include Instagram, too. To help you succeed, here are a few quick Instagram tips for lawyers.
Table of contents
- Should Your Law Firm Be On Instagram?
- How Instagram Works
- More Than Selfies: Understanding Instagram Benefits
- Keep Your Business and Personal Instagram Accounts Separate
- Create an Instagram Posting Strategy for Your Firm
- Consider Using Scheduling Software
- Action Steps to Make the Most of Instagram Benefits
Should Your Law Firm Be On Instagram?
Today not even the traditional profession of law can escape the pervasive influence of social media. While platforms like LinkedIn have long been recognized as staples for professional networking, the visually-driven Instagram is emerging as an unlikely hero for lawyers seeking to enhance their personal brand, connect with a broader audience, and even demystify the legal process for the general public. While the notion of lawyers turning to Instagram may initially seem incongruous, it underscores the importance of adapting to the digital era’s evolving communication landscape.
This article delves into the multifaceted benefits Instagram offers to legal professionals and provides actionable tips to harness its potential. If your law firm has ignored this social media platform and its billion-plus users, it may be time to reconsider.
How Instagram Works
Instagram is a visual social media platform, mainly intended for sharing photos and videos versus text. You can post a photo from your photo library or take a photo or video within the Instagram app. If you see an image that interests you, you have the option of clicking on it to read more about the image and related content. You can follow individual people (prospective or past clients) and other businesses (like other law firms or legally related businesses to increase referrals). Beyond selfie sharing, however, Instagram has added robust tools for businesses, including Instagram rooms, direct messages, reels, stories, guides, a shop storefront, and analytics.
More Than Selfies: Understanding Instagram Benefits
Instagram can be used in many ways and provides various benefits, including:
- Building your law firm as a brand through an additional social media presence.
- Capturing the attention of users who may be prospective clients.
- Continuing to connect with previous clients.
- Networking within your legal community to receive referrals.
- Recruiting new employees or lawyers for your firm.
Keep Your Business and Personal Instagram Accounts Separate
You will want to set up a professional Instagram account for your law firm instead of a personal account. Professional Instagram benefits include the ability to run ads and promotions and use Instagram’s analytics tools.
You can set up your business account through your Facebook business account or sign up using your business email and phone number. (Be sure to link your Instagram account to your already established business Facebook page.) Remember that Google and other search engines are attempting to put together who you are as a law firm. Therefore, you should always use your exact law firm name throughout your social media platforms, website, directories and Google My Business page. Optimize your Instagram profile so that it’s easy for people to find you: Include your website URL, profile image (use your firm’s logo), and law firm description or tagline. Be sure to include links back to your website pages in your description.
Create an Instagram Posting Strategy for Your Firm
Once you have created your business Instagram account, you will need an Instagram posting strategy in keeping with your law firm’s brand and culture. Consider the following ideas as you start posting content on Instagram to connect with potential clients, past clients, and others in the legal field:
- Introduce your law firm and all your lawyers and team members.
- Highlight current legal decisions that affect your areas of practice.
- Post images of your firm’s philanthropic activities and charity events.
- Discuss local community events.
- Celebrate your firm’s victories.
- Provide videos and images of your firm’s office or employees.
- Share client testimonials.
- Provide valuable information about your practice areas (without giving actual legal advice).
Remember, even though you are using an Instagram business account, you can — and should — showcase your firm’s personality and connect on a personal level. But stay professional!
Consider Using Scheduling Software
One of the most important things you can do on Instagram is to post in a timely manner and do so consistently. The best way is to use scheduling software such as SmarterQueue, which allows you to batch content all at once and schedule it to post automatically on Instagram — and other social media platforms at the same time! Adding Instagram to your social media strategy will not be that difficult if you use a scheduling tool. It can save you an incredible amount of frustration and time.
Threads + Instagram
Threads, as an extension of Instagram, is an intimate and focused platform primarily designed for “close friends.” It allows users to share multimedia messages quickly and privately with their inner circle.
However, a word of caution. Once you download and install Threads, it is permanently linked to your Instagram account. That means you can NEVER delete Threads without also deleting Instagram. Choose wisely if you want to install this social media platform.
If you make the decision to jump into Threads, here are some suggestions regarding your posting activity options:
- Building Trust with Personalization: Threads is all about closer connections. Lawyers can use this platform to create a segmented list of clients or potential clients and share relevant legal updates, insights, or even behind-the-scenes glimpses of their day-to-day work. This can foster trust and present the lawyer as both approachable and knowledgeable.
- Immediate Updates on Cases: Clients are always keen to know about the progress of their cases. Threads can be an excellent platform for sending out quick, timely, and encrypted updates to individual clients, ensuring they feel in the loop without the formality of emails or letters.
- Networking with Peers: Beyond clients, lawyers can use Threads to maintain a close network of fellow lawyers, legal assistants, and professionals in the industry. Sharing experiences, discussing tricky legal scenarios, or simply staying in touch can be made seamless with Threads.
- Showcasing Legal Seminars or Events: If a lawyer is participating in or hosting a legal seminar, workshop, or any public event, they can share snippets or exclusive previews with their Threads circle. This not only promotes the event but also establishes the lawyer as an active member of the legal community.
- Seeking Feedback: Threads can be an informal platform to seek feedback on legal articles, journals, or even new service offerings. Given the close-knit nature of the platform, lawyers can expect genuine and constructive feedback.
- Sharing Testimonials and Success Stories: Every success story or testimonial can significantly boost a lawyer’s reputation. By sharing these success stories selectively on Threads, lawyers can make them feel more personal and genuine.
Remember, the key to harnessing Threads or any other social platform is authenticity. By maintaining an authentic voice and ensuring client confidentiality, lawyers can use Threads as a potent tool in their digital arsenal. The digital age demands constant adaptation, and lawyers who can evolve with these changes will find themselves ahead in the race to establish a prominent online presence.
The truth is that the verdict on the effectiveness of Threads is still undecided, and you may want to spend your social media efforts on more established social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Best Practice Areas for Instagram
Not every law firm practice area works well on Instagram. Instagram tends to favor industries and professions that can leverage aesthetics, stories, and human connection. For law firms, this means areas of practice that can tap into personal stories, emotive visuals, and relatable content tend to do better on the platform. Here are some law firm practice areas that can thrive on Instagram:
- Personal Injury Law: Visuals showcasing client testimonials, before-and-after recovery stories, and community outreach can resonate with followers. Information about safety tips and preventative measures can also be beneficial.
- Family Law: Emotive narratives around child custody, marriage, and divorce can be shared. Tips on navigating family disputes and stories of successful reconciliations or fair settlements can be compelling.
- Immigration Law: Sharing success stories of clients achieving their dreams, infographics explaining complex immigration processes, and testimonials can garner positive engagement.
- Real Estate Law: Pictures of property, closings, and happy clients can be very visually appealing. Tips about property buying, selling, and renting can also be shared.
- Criminal Defense: While discretion is crucial, general information about rights, the importance of defense, and anonymized success stories can be shared.
- Estate Planning: Visuals related to planning for the future, securing family assets, and stories about the importance of early planning can be compelling to a wide audience.
- Entertainment Law: This can be especially impactful if the firm represents or interacts with celebrities, musicians, or artists. Behind-the-scenes glimpses, contract signings, and event appearances can make for engaging content.
Remember, the key to Instagram success, regardless of the practice area, is authentic engagement with the audience, consistency in posting, and a clear brand voice.
Consider Using a Legal Marketing Agency
Hiring a legal marketing agency to manage an Instagram account for a law firm offers numerous benefits. Law firms, which are traditionally seen as highly professional entities, often need guidance to navigate the informal and visually-focused landscape of Instagram. A digital marketing agency can bridge that gap and create a compelling online presence for the firm.
Agencies often have experienced graphic designers, photographers, and videographers who can create high-quality visuals that reflect the brand’s ethos while still being engaging for the Instagram audience. Additionally, regular posting is vital for maintaining engagement on Instagram. With an agency handling the schedule, law firms can ensure consistent content without being burdened by daily management.
Instagram is all about hashtags, and the proper usage of hashtags can increase post visibility. Agencies can conduct research to find the most effective and trending hashtags relevant to the legal industry.
Also, and perhaps most importantly, understanding what works and what doesn’t is crucial. Agencies can provide regular insights and analytics on post performances, follower growth, and engagement metrics, enabling the law firm to understand their ROI and areas of improvement.
At the end of the day, law firm marketing agencies can develop a comprehensive content strategy that aligns with the firm’s objectives, whether it’s brand awareness, client acquisition, or thought leadership.
Action Steps to Make the Most of Instagram Benefits
If you are considering using Instagram for your law firm, you are making a great step toward increasing your digital footprint and online presence. Consider taking these action steps this month:
- Set up your business Instagram page and complete your profile.
- Link your business Facebook page to your business Instagram page.
- Develop a posting strategy to ensure you are publishing consistent content.
- Consider using scheduling software to batch content to save time.
A final tip: Make sure you have the time in your schedule not only to publish content, but also to engage with other users on these social media platforms and build organic relationships. Using scheduling software will make this easier.
Published March 31, 2021 | Updated August 28, 2023
You Might Also Like These Articles on Attorney at Work:
- “5 Free and Quick Tips to Get Started on Your Digital Marketing Plan” by Annette Choti
- “Legal Blogs: Quick Tips to Ramp It Up” by Annette Choti
- “Using Social Media to Protect Your Referrals and Enhance Your Brand” by Mark Homer
- “Dominating Legal Content Marketing” by Ruth Carter
Image © iStockPhoto.com.
Don’t miss out on our daily practice management tips. Subscribe to Attorney at Work’s free newsletter here >
Subscribe to Attorney at Work
Get really good ideas every day for your law practice: Subscribe to the Daily Dispatch (it’s free). Follow us on Twitter @attnyatwork.