Essential LinkedIn Tips for Lawyers to Stand Out
LinkedIn is one of the major social media platforms and the largest online professional network. Currently, LinkedIn has over 900 members across 200 countries, allowing professionals and business owners to connect with their audiences and grow their networks — a vital part of client acquisition for lawyers.
From what to post to networking and everything in between — continue reading to learn how lawyers can effectively use LinkedIn to amplify their practice.
Why Is Social Media Marketing for Lawyers Important?
On average, people are expected to spend over eight hours on social media in 2023, and some of that time is spent interacting with businesses — including law firms. If you’re not on social media, particularly LinkedIn, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to boost business and connect with current and prospective clients.
Social media not only gives prospective clients a chance to learn about your law firm before signing on as a client, but it boosts your brand awareness. Prospective clients may see a post on your LinkedIn account, click on it to visit your website, and schedule a call or consultation.
LinkedIn for lawyers is important for networking as well. Sharing important news and articles on your social accounts allows you to establish yourself as a thought leader and build connections with other industry professionals.
Do Lawyers Use Social Media?
Yes! About 86% of law firms are active on at least one social media platform, and 87% of law firms use LinkedIn for marketing and career development.
Solo lawyers and law firms use social media platforms similar to other businesses for brand awareness, online visibility, lead generation, and organic traffic. Like B2B brands, law firms produce content that educates and sparks conversation, establishing themselves as an authority in the legal industry and boosting engagement.
Lawyers may also use LinkedIn for networking and to expand their personal reach, revealing opportunities for future career opportunities.
Ethics of Social Media Marketing for Lawyers
The American Bar Association has rules governing social media marketing. Here are some of the most important guidelines lawyers should keep in mind:
According to Formal Opinion 18-480, lawyers have a duty of confidentiality with online communications, even if the information is public record.
Lawyers must also be mindful of describing hypothetical situations, since some details may be enough to reveal the identity of the client.
Model Rule 1.7 requires that lawyers avoid engaging in conduct online that could create a conflict of interest. For example, lawyers should not engage in ex-parte communication with judges on social media.
There are other social media rules, both from the ABA and state bar associations. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the ethics surrounding social media use for lawyers and law firms in your jurisdiction.
Why Should My Law Firm Use LinkedIn?
LinkedIn has numerous benefits for law firms. As the market gets more competitive, an online presence is a necessity for law firms in all practice areas — and that includes how active you are on social media. If your law firm is not online, you could be missing out on key brand development opportunities to grow your practice.
You can also build your book of business and grow your professional network. LinkedIn is designed to promote your professional persona and build more connections in the legal industry, which helps gain more referrals.
For law firms, LinkedIn can also be a platform where you showcase your use of modern technology or processes that enhance the client experience. Services like a client portal or methods for clients to pay online or with a payment plan are attractive benefits to clients that can be a deciding factor in choosing a law firm.
Best Practices for Lawyers on LinkedIn
Before you get started on LinkedIn, you have to determine your goals and audience. Are you looking for professional opportunities or to promote your practice? Consider what you’re trying to accomplish with your social media profile and who you’re going to reach, then tailor your profile to suit your audience.
Clean Up Your Profile
LinkedIn is a professional platform, different from the casual nature of Facebook or Instagram. It’s important to maintain your professional image and set the tone for your target audience. Clean up your profile and choose a professional headshot with professional attire. Include a compelling headline, and write a clear, concise summary that describes what you do.
Choose a Post Schedule
Consistency is key to being successful on social media. Choose a schedule that works for you to share content regularly and engage with your audience. It’s more important to post relevant, unique content routinely than to post a lot of random content.
Network and Make Connections
When you first start on LinkedIn, you can invite your existing contacts to connect with you. Then, send connection requests to people you meet online or in person, then search for users in your industry to build your network. You can also join LinkedIn Groups, which allow professionals in the same industry to connect and share information for virtual networking.
Outlook on Legal Marketing
According to Thomson Reuters’ US Law Firm Brand Index, the US legal market is one of the most competitive in the world, driven by growth potential. Because of this, law firms have to differentiate themselves to stand out and attract new clients. One of the best ways to do that is with social media marketing on professional platforms like LinkedIn.
Kamron Sanders authored this article.