While social media channels like Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter seem to garner more attention, Instagram is quietly becoming an effective digital marketing channel for many businesses and law firms. With its focus on short content, visual images, and video posts, this communication opportunity appeals to a society that is dependent on mobile devices for information and business research.
According to Instagram statistics, there are plenty of reasons organizations turn here to attract new clients and cement current business relationships:
- It is a powerful research tool: 60% of Instagram users say they have discovered new products and services.
- Consumers want more information on potential business partners: Over200 million Instagram users report that they visit at least one Business Profile every day.
- Video content has a powerful impact: There has been an 80% increase in time spent watching video content on Instagram.
- It helps tell a story: Stories are a powerful way of connecting and engaging with prospective clients. About one-third of the most viewed Instagram stories are from businesses.
But is Instagram the right channel for lawyers who want to expand their reach to potential clients? And how would a law firm use Instagram to attract their ideal clients? Below, we’ll dive into why law firms should use Instagram and how they can get started.
Why Should Your Law Firm Include Instagram in Its Marketing Strategy?
According to Good2bSocial’s most recent Social Law Firm Index, 31% of the 200 firms surveyed are active on Instagram. This represents a 52% increase from the prior year’s report. Most of the top U.S. law firms already use Instagram, with many attracting over ten thousand followers who are heavily engaged with their content. While success rates vary based on content quality and creativity, there are several reasons why your law firm should use Instagram:
- Communicate directly to your target audience: Facebook is great for building an overall brand story, and Twitter is helpful for quick newsy tidbits. LinkedIn works more on the professional networking side. But Instagram really shines at helping your firm communicate specifically with a target audience. Each day you can share a piece of information, video, or graphic image that keeps your law practice top-of-mind and sets it apart from your competition.
- Showcase various practice areas: This builds your brand, and reminds current or past clients of all the services your law firm offers.
- Build a social media presence: If your law firm has established a solid presence on their preferred social media platforms, you have increased the likelihood that potential clients can find you. If your content is interesting enough, they should be more motivated to visit your firm’s website for more information.
- Recruit future lawyers: The lawyers who will work for your law firm tomorrow are today’s social media users. Those who are graduating from law school, or seeking to switch firms will want to know that they are interviewing with a modern firm that provides valuable information.
Getting Your Law Firm Started With Instagram
As with the decision to embark on any law firm marketing strategy, the choice to move forward on Instagram first takes a bit of internal planning. You’ll need to determine your communication strategy, secure buy-in from partners, assign responsibilities, set deadlines, and implement a successful measurement strategy. Results will need to be tracked and analyzed to assess whether any changes need to be made. With those guidelines in place, you are ready for your law firm to get started on Instagram.
If your practice doesn’t already have one, you will first need to establish an Instagram Business Account. You can get the Instagram app for Android from the Google Play store, for iOS from the App Store, or for Windows Phone from the Windows Phone Store, depending on your digital device. Once it has been installed, you can open it and get to work. Sign up and then go to “Settings” to switch to a free business profile. A business account allows you to get real-time metrics and gain insights into your followers. You can also add business-specific information such as a business address, business hours, and telephone number.
Smart Instagram Strategies for Law Firms
Now that you have an account, you can begin posting content that will show up in your feed. You can also follow other accounts and receive information from their Instagram feed. Here are some ways you can make your Instagram posts more interesting:
- Firm Profile: For most firms, their profile photo will probably be their logo, or it can be a personal photo for a sole practitioner. Try to be consistent with the visual identifier you use on other social media outlets. Your name should also be consistent, and be sure to include your law firm’s website URL. Enter a very short (150 characters) description in the bio area to provide a brief overview of your firm. This can include helpful hashtags such as #familylawfirm or #personalinjuryattorney.
- Instagram Photos: Most of your content will probably consist of photos with captions. Captions can be as long as 2,200 characters and may include up to 30 hashtags. Include staff photos, action photos, or industry-appropriate images. A family law firm might want to concentrate on photos of couples, while personal injury law offices would be more likely to feature images of accidents. Add images from awards, speaking events and charitable causes. Above all, be sure to keep it professional.
- Instagram Videos: Video can be used to create brand awareness for your firm, highlight your practice areas, and educate your audience on legal industry topics. There is a variety of ways to use video effectively on Instagram. You can create regular Instagram video posts up to one minute that stay on your feed or use Instagram Stories topost photos and videos that will vanish after 24 hours. Instagram Live videos are similar to Facebook streaming, and allow you to provide up-to-the-minute information from your mobile device. Instagram TV, or IGTV, is a standalone application which allows for longer videos compared to those on regular Instagram feeds.
- Use Hashtags:Hashtags are a helpful way to bring more internet searchers to your Instagram page, especially if they are not already aware of your firm. When prospective clients use social networks to search for potential law firms, they don’t necessarily search for ABC Law, unless they have been referred to you. They are more likely to search for “tax law firms in Atlanta.” If your Instagram posts have similar hashtags, there is a better chance they will find your firm.
Examples of Effective Law Firm Instagram Accounts
Being able to see these tactics in action for real law firms can help you understand how and when lawyers and legal offices use Instagram to attract new clients. Here are just a few law firms who have a successful presence on Instagram:
- DLA Piper (@dlapiper): This large, international law firm attracts more than 5000 followers to its Instagram page. Posts concentrate on content like employee experience and company culture to create a positive image of the firm. Attorneys also share personal stories through the “Voices of DLA Piper” campaign, featuring a #proudtobedlapiper hashtag.
- MCG Legal (@mcg_legal): Striking photos and a consistency of approach make this Instagram account an efficient source of information from the Gold Coast law firm.
- Greenberg Traurig (@gt_law): This Instagram page also goes heavy on employee-based content, and includes testimonials about life at the firm. Both the feed and stories are used to promote a firm podcast by using short audio clips.
This guide provides just a basic understanding of how to market your law firm on Instagram. Of course, there are advanced engagement strategies and other tactics you can use to grow your audience on Instagram. But if you’re just getting started, you’ll want to focus on the basics. It starts with a vision and ends with a consistent, coherent message that integrates smoothly across all social media channels.
Need help creating content for your law firm’s social media accounts? WriterAccess has legal writers who specialize in creating content for law firms like yours. Hire a freelance legal writer today to help with your content marketing.
Kathy R. has thirty years of experience in the marketing, advertising, and communications fields and has written everything from a thirty-second television spot to full-blown client presentations. If there is something that needs to be written, she uses her in-depth knowledge and experience to get the job done and get it done right.