Some lawyers might question why it’s important to get their law firm on Instagram when LinkedIn is considered the “professional” social platform. While this is true, the reality is Instagram is where the people are. With more than one billion users per month, lawyers that use instagram are able to promote their services with visual media to the social network’s user base, connect with their existing audience, potential new clients and network with referral sources.
In order to most effectively use this marketing tool, we’ve outlined steps below to properly build a lawyers instagram account. If your law firm already has an Instagram account and is appropriately utilizing the channel (per our instructions below), then skip ahead to learn how to build your lawyers instagram audience.
Phase 1: Let’s Build Out Your Law Firm’s Instagram Account
As with any marketing venture, it’s important to start with a plan for your firm’s Instagram account. Think of your target audience, the goals you want to accomplish on this platform, and the image you wish to portray to users. From there, develop an editorial calendar to identify what type of media you plan to use, what information you want to share, and who at your firm will be responsible for sharing each post. Commit to a regular posting schedule, changing up the type of content used for effectiveness testing, increased engagement, and greater exposure.
Next, build out your business profile.
This might seem like common sense, but as you build your firm’s account, it is important to be mindful of brand consistency while remaining visually appealing, as Instagram is an image and video-heavy platform. Upload a high-quality photo or logo file for your profile image, make sure your bio aptly describes your law firm and what areas of law you practice – and don’t forget to include your website URL.
Then create and share content.
To be successful on a social platform like Instagram, you must do more than simply promote your law firm and its services. Of course, it is important to share self-promotional content like blog posts, speaking engagements, client testimonials, and firm successes on your channel, but Instagram is the perfect platform on which to share more behind-the-scenes footage as well. Balance the “work” images and videos you are sharing with personal touches showcasing your law firm’s culture, such as attorney spotlights, staff birthdays, behind-the-scenes looks at photoshoots, “day-in-the-life” videos with attorneys, or even pictures of community activities in which your firm participates. Be sure to share videos and photos not just on your feed, but also in Instagram Stories, Reels, and/or Live videos as well.
If you’ve used Instagram before, you have likely already noticed it is a hashtag-heavy platform. Hashtags can be an incredibly useful tool that helps users discover your account and content. Use hashtags that are relevant to your practice areas and relate directly to the content you are sharing. Find out which hashtags are trending by using monitoring tools like Hashtagify or keeping an eye on the “explore” page of the platform, as this will show you what content is trending based on the algorithm. Avoid using too many hashtags, tags that are irrelevant to the firm, or made-up hashtags that have no value. This can cause your account to be flagged as spam, which will both decrease the reach of your account and cause you to lose credibility with your followers.
Phase 2: Let’s Build Your Instagram Audience With Employee Engagement
Now that your law firm’s Instagram account is fully and properly built out and you have developed a posting strategy, it’s time to start building your audience. One of the best ways to do this is to encourage employee engagement with your law firm account. When done right, employee engagement on Instagram can serve as a great means to increase brand awareness and more importantly showcase the “who” and “why” behind your law firm and the work it does. Follow our tips below for how employees should (and should not) engage with your law firm’s Instagram account.
Establish engagement ground rules.
First and foremost, if staff members are ready to engage with the firm account, make sure they are following it in the first place. Send out an email or memo that highlights the firm’s social accounts and encourages employees to follow them. The firm should also outline a set of clear ground rules for how staff should and should not interact with the law firm’s account from their personal Instagram accounts. Many places of business will create social media policies and procedures in order to make sure everyone is on the same page with what is appropriate and encouraged.
All staff members must understand that even when using a personal account, professional connections of the firm, including clients and/or potential clients, could see their social media activity as they engage with the firm. This means it’s important to be professional and treat every interaction with the firm’s Instagram account as if they are dealing with someone professionally.
Additional examples of what should be included in a law firm’s social media guidelines include:
- Use professional, respectful language
- Give your posts a thorough review to catch grammatical and/or spelling errors before sharing
- Add a disclaimer that your content reflects only your own personal opinions when you mention the law firm. For example:
- “Opinions are my own and not the views of my employer”
- “My posts reflect my own personal opinions”
- “My opinions are my own”
- Focus on the good, stay positive, and be honest
- Avoid saying anything negative about competitors or community partners
- Avoid involving yourself in any negative comments on the firm’s account
- Do not share breaking news or important public relations matters involving the firm unless you are resharing it from the firm’s account
- Do not share any confidential or private information regarding you, your colleagues, or the firm’s clients or cases
Clarify how employees can engage.
Once these crucial rules are established and circulated, employees can start engaging with the firm’s Instagram account. Whether your firm is full of social media gurus or some team members have never used the app before, there are a few simple ways that anyone can start engaging with the firm’s channel:
- “Like” or share a post from the firm’s account on your account’s stories or main feed
- Leave positive comments on the firm’s posts
- Engage with any polls, questions, and/or links shared on the firm’s stories
If employees are ready to go beyond simply interacting with the firm’s Instagram account and wish to share firm content on their individual accounts, there are many important things to remember including:
- Always tag the firm when sharing any of its content
- Share direct links to new blog posts or the firm website in Stories when referring to specific content
- Be sure you understand the attorney advertising rules of the state in which you live and work and where your firm is headquartered and ensure your content is in compliance
Additional post ideas for employees can include:
- Sharing photos and/or videos of team meetings, work lunches, employee awards, and other firm happenings in and out of the office as long as they are appropriate
- Sharing photos and/or videos of community involvement activities, whether it’s one firm member or the entire firm (and tag the event host)
- Promote upcoming firm events
- Share positive experiences you have at work. For example:
- Client thank you notes
- Online testimonials that involve you/your work (be sure to respect the privacy of the client and only tag the firm)
- Staff birthday celebrations
- Firm holiday celebrations
- Use relevant hashtags in your posts that mention the firm and capitalize each new word in CamelCase
Final Tips for Employee Instagram Posts:
The optimal days and times to post to a law firm’s Instagram account include:
- Mondays at 11:00 a.m.
- Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Thursdays and Fridays at 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
- The best days to post on Instagram are Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- The worst days to post on Instagram are Sundays
For the best-looking images and videos:
- Make sure there is good lighting – a ring light is helpful if your space lacks natural light
- Use a tripod for photos and videos to ensure stable, high-quality footage
Lawyer Instagram Help from Legal Marketing Experts
These tips should provide a good start toward getting your law firm up and running on Instagram. While it might seem like a daunting task to start using a completely new platform, your law firm is at an advantage in terms of growing its audience. With attorneys, paralegals, and other staff members, growing an engaged audience might not take as long as you think.
Of course, managing posts and engagements can be an entirely separate job in itself. If your law firm lacks a designated marketing manager or an in-house marketing department, we can help. Contact law firm marketing expert Stacey E. Burke today to learn how our team can thoughtfully and strategically build your law firm’s Instagram account and run the channel or train your employees to be digital advocates for your business today.