Social media has evolved continuously over the past decade. What once seemed new, novel, and somewhat useless (remember MySpace?), has become an essential tool for just about every business.
And even though not all platforms might seem like a good fit for all industries, being present on all the major ones can benefit companies tremendously.
This is true even in the case of law firms.
You might be thinking that Instagram is such a visual platform that it’s not really suitable for lawyers. Not true.
Instagram for lawyers can help both them and their firms grow significantly.
While it’s true that many attorneys prefer LinkedIn for networking and Facebook to connect with potential clients, Instagram is not a platform you want to overlook.
Why Instagram For Lawyers?
There are more than 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram, meaning you can be 100% confident that your audience uses it. The app has been around since 2010 and has matured to the point where it’s an excellent way for firms to promote their business.
It’s also important to note that Instagram tends to be favored by younger audiences. If you want to connect with Millennials and Gen Z, you need to be utilizing Instagram for attorneys.
In light of their enormous user base and younger audience, Instagram is a effective way for law firms to:
- Grow their businesses
- Recruit talent to their firm
- Catch the attention of potential new clients
- Remain engaged with former clients who might need their services again
According to a 2019 survey performed by Attorney at Work, more than 50% of the top 20 law firms in the US are on Instagram, with some of them experiencing large levels of engagement and boasting over 10K followers.
But (and this is important), of all the lawyers surveyed, only 25% in total said they regularly use Instagram. This means that the competition isn’t nearly as high as on other platforms, like LinkedIn. By hopping in now, you have a competitive advantage.
What makes Instagram for lawyers unique is that it’s possible for attorneys to go beyond sharing pure information about their services and the law. The app allows you to connect with existing and potential clients on a much more personal basis.
By using a mix of Instagram features such as stories and reels combined with photos and videos, law firms can share content that people can relate with and even share with their friends.
How To Build Your Audience On Instagram
If you’re thinking about starting using Instagram for lawyers to promote your firm, you need to make sure you build the right audience for this platform.
Start by downloading the app on your mobile device and create a personal account. This will help you get to know the platform like some of your potential clients would. You’ll also be able to get a feel for how different businesses market themselves on Instagram.
Follow the accounts of people you know, as well as those who inspire you, like top lawyers and firms that offer similar services from other states or local businesses that you shop at regularly.
You can also follow hashtags on Instagram, so make sure you follow a couple of them for your hobbies and community. For example, if you’re into cycling, type in #cycling into the search section and then follow that hashtag.
Spend a couple of weeks by looking at the posts in your newsfeed every day, and watching the stories at the top to see what you like and what you don’t like about Instagram.
Pay close attention to posts from law firms and lawyers that you follow in order to see how they engage with their audience.
Getting Your Law Firm Running On Instagram
Once you have spent enough time getting familiar with the platform, it’s time to get your law firm running with Instagram. You should first do a bit of internal planning by determining your communication strategy and assigning responsibilities, particularly if more than one person will be responsible for handling the Instagram account.
When it comes to Instagram for lawyers, the best type of account for a law firm is a business account, which you can easily set up for free. Create an Instagram account with the name of your law firm and then switch it to a free business profile in settings.
By opting for a business account, you’ll get access to real-time metrics and be able to add business specific information such as a telephone number, business hours, and business address.
One of the most useful benefits of having an Instagram business account is the fact that you can gain insight into your followers, such as where they’re from, age range, gender, etc. You can also see how they engage with your content.
This data can help you grow your engagement because you will be able to see what’s working and what’s not.
Start Posting Engaging Content
After you set up your account, it’s time to start posting content that will show up in your feed and in the feed of anyone who follows you. You can also start to follow and interact with other lawyers and law firms on Instagram.
Keep in mind that the look and feel of your Instagram account should draw in followers and potential clients. This means that you need to have a professional profile photo, not just a random pic you snapped with your phone.
The profile photo could be of you individually or the logo of your law firm, depending on how you want to present yourself. You should also make sure that you complete your profile by adding a short, compelling biography and a link to your website.
When posting content, you need to make sure that it is both interesting and insightful. In other words, if you really want to resonate with your audience, you need to consistently provide value for them. They should want to see what you post.
Avoid Self Promotion
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make on Instagram is consistent self-promotion. While it’s certainly okay to share awards or recognition that you’ve received, along with information about your services, this type of content should not take up your entire feed.
Remember, Instagram offers your law firm a chance to distinguish itself. Unlike LinkedIn, this is a place that doesn’t have to be all about the business.
On Instagram, you can let existing and potential clients get to know you on a personal level. You can take them behind the scenes and provide helpful tips and insights. You can provide them with knowledge that will benefit them and that they wouldn’t know otherwise.
Connect With Your Followers
Instagram is a great place to connect with people over common interests. For example, posting a picture celebrating your local sports team’s big win can generate a ton of engagement from local users.
Now, is that content specifically related to law? No, of course not. But it shows that you understand what matters to your local community and care about it.
By occasionally posting content that is based around a common interest, you can easily build a network of followers on Instagram. This can lead to new clients or result in referrals.
Connecting with your followers over common interests can help you develop a persona that potential clients will remember.
Many people often look for empathy in a lawyer. Being real and authentic with your followers on Instagram shows your humanity, which is exactly what most people want in a lawyer.
Become A Master Of Hashtags
By using hashtags effectively, more users will be able to see your posts. You can use a mix of geographic hashtags that allow you to build local engagement and specific hashtags for lawyers to engage with your peers.
Instagram organized around hashtags, because that’s how photos and videos are categorized. When using Instagram for attorneys, it’s always a good idea to include location specific hashtags because they will help you attract the right audience (those in your location).
Picking the right hashtags on Instagram is not always easy, because you can choose up to 30 hashtags for each post. You can achieve the best results by picking a mix of very popular hashtags along with those that have a much smaller following.
For example, you may want to use 10 hashtags that have millions of followers, another 10 hashtags with hundreds of thousands of followers, and the last 10 hashtags would be reserved for smaller hashtags of only thousands of followers.
By doing this, you increase the chances of your post being seen by different audiences. Posting with small hashtags also increases your chances of getting featured in the top section of that particular hashtag, which will bring your post in front of the eyes of more users.
Create Compelling Content
Instagram is all about the visual. This means that you need to create professional, attractive looking graphics and photos that will come together to give your feed a cohesive and professional look.
The good news is that smartphone cameras have gotten to the point where you can easily take high quality photos without needing to hire a professional. On top of this, you can easily create high quality graphics and quotes using tools like Canva, which allow you to customize your Instagram posts with hundreds of free templates.
If you want to post videos, you can use your smartphone to capture them as well. The key though is to make sure that they are professional.
For example, if you want to record yourself speaking, it’s important to pay attention to things such as light and sound. You may want to invest in a microphone, a tripod, and lighting, which will help you create a high-quality video.
Utilize Stories And Reels
Instagram is more than just posting photos and videos in a feed. Over the past few years, the introduction of stories and live video, as well as the newest addition in the form of reels has expanded possibilities for businesses.
For example, you can use the question feature in Instagram stories to do a Q&A about your firm and the services you offer, or about common legal questions people have. You can answer the questions on video so that your audience can become more familiar with you and see the expertise that you provide.
What’s even better, live video on Instagram allows you to interact with people and give your followers a glimpse into the daily life in your office.
The new reels feature, which is similar to the very popular TikTok app, opens up creative ways to use Instagram to your advantage. You can create fun videos to show your human side and interact with your followers.
Use Instagram As A Recruiting Tool
You’d think that LinkedIn would be the only place to look for new talent, but keep in mind that most Instagram users are under 35, and that there are many talented lawyers among them.
By showing off your company culture on Instagram through photos, videos, or reels, you can potentially attract new lawyers to the firm.
Using Instagram for attorneys effectively takes some planning and time. It takes time to get a good feel for how the platform works and to understand what kind of content resonates with your followers.
But it’s worth the effort.
Being active on Instagram is an easy way to not only show that you are knowledgeable in your particular area of the law, but also that you’re forward thinking and engaged in your community.
Using Instagram successfully can result in more engagement from potential clients and also new lawyers expressing interest in joining your firm.
So don’t wait. More and more lawyers are joining Instagram every day. If you want to stand out from the competition, you need to get started.