Social Media Tips for Lawyers

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Social Media Tips for Lawyers

Social media provides a meaningful opportunity and an effective tool for lawyers and law firms to break out of traditional advertising and reach significant new audiences. It is low cost and has almost no barriers to entry, but requires time and effort to make the most of it. While many lawyers may be wary of this mode of marketing, making an effort on social media is definitely worthwhile and something that more lawyers should consider.

It can be overwhelming to know where to start given the broad range of platforms and types of posting available. However, what really matters is simply to start. There are lawyers making significant impacts on every social platform, from posting in community Facebook groups to engaging in lengthy live tweeting of Supreme Court of Canada hearings to making TikTok videos about family law.

The biggest fear for most lawyers in getting started with social media is anxiety about what to post and feeling that they do not have anything to say. This is a totally normal feeling. The key to successful social media posting is to talk about things you actually know about and care about — that will come through in the post, regardless of where you are posting.

Social media is generally ineffective when used as a billboard for traditional advertising. Simply posting
ads for your firm on social media platforms is better than not using the platforms at all, but is unlikely to gain much traction. Instead, it is necessary to generate content that actually interests your audience and encourages them to engage with it in order to get some traction.

One of the best parts about creating engaging content is pushing yourself to think about ways to make you and your work interesting. Social media is an excellent opportunity to get out your story about who you are as a lawyer and a person. Many popular posts are only tangentially about the law at all. They could be about your backstory and how you got into law, they could be about issues you have run into while attempting to parent and maintain a legal career, or venting about how the court registry still wants wet ink signatures on orders. You can also post substantive law updates, case summaries, and black letter law issues, so long as you make them interesting.

An underrated part of social media is the engagement with other people. Thinking of social media as simply a megaphone to say what you want to say is missing the most important part, which is the connection to other lawyers and clients. This is the “social” part of social media! Liking and commenting on other people’s posts and engaging with their content can be an easy way to get started in social media and can also benefit you in deepening those ties, leading to referrals or new clients.

There are, of course, also drawbacks to social media. The nature of social media posts is that they are public and widely available, which means that if someone takes offense to something you have written, that could potentially also become public and widely available. Some platforms encourage combative behaviour and reward inflammatory posts, which can quickly become counter-productive when trying to increase awareness of your personality and practice.

Overall, social media is an excellent way for lawyers of all seniority levels to express themselves, show off their experience and knowledge, and connect with peers and clients in an interesting and enjoyable way.