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Social Media is a powerful tool for law firms, and the power of social media extends beyond just law firm business pages! Personal profiles for your attorneys can help build their personal professional brands while still marketing your law firm. Keep reading to learn more.
Social media helps your law firm grow. Business profiles are free on each of the major social media networks and can help you connect with clients in the spaces where they are already spending their time. Through social media, you can market your practice, create more authentic connections with your audience, and promote brand awareness.
However, the power of social media does not stop at a law firm’s professional profiles. In fact, optimizing personal professional profiles for the individual attorneys within a law firm can also have a big impact on overall legal marketing success.
The Personal Professional Brand
Prioritizing your personal professional brand can be highly beneficial, especially in the legal field. As a lawyer, you know your reputation plays a crucial role in marketing your practice. Prioritizing and optimizing your personal professional brand directly ties in with the process of building and promoting that reputation.
Through your personal professional profiles, you can more authentically connect with clients: past, present, and future! You can give them a glimpse into your daily work and professional skill as a lawyer with whom they will individually interact, rather than your larger law firm.
The Relationship Between Your Personal Professional Brand and Your Law Firm Brand
Generally speaking, your law firm brand and your personal professional brand can coexist and should be complementary to each other. These two brands are not necessarily identical presences but also should not be in tension with each either.
What does this mean for a lawyer? You need to align your law firm brand and your personal professional brand. If you cannot find a middle ground to align your personal professional brand with your law firm’s brand, you will likely need to carefully evaluate the social media focus of that personal brand.
For instance, if you do not think you can avoid posting about controversial topics on your personal pages, you may not want to integrate personal pages into your professional brand. Likewise, if your law firm is conservative but you are personally liberal, you may want to avoid allowing those ideals to clash publicly.
Notably, you do not have to give up your voice online entirely to create a personal professional presence on social media. Even if your law firm brand is somewhat at odds with your personal social media presence, you could still focus on building a personal professional presence apart from your truly personal pages.
While this may not be ideal, having private personal pages with a small group of trusted people and also creating well-optimized personal professional pages can allow you to still focus on creating a professional brand that complements your law firm without compromising your private social media practices and commentary.
In other words, there can be a distinction between your truly personal social media presence and your professional personal one. If your truly personal accounts are professional, reflect your brand, and nicely complement your law firm brand, you can consider a unified presence by making those pages public. However, if any one of those things is not true, you should keep your truly personal accounts private (locked down as much as possible) and create separate personal professional pages.
Building Your Personal Professional Brand
You want to ensure that each of your personal professional social accounts is valuable to your practice. For instance, you need to complete your profiles as much as possible. Try to keep your presence consistent on each platform: the same professional headshot, similar tone and messaging, accurate contact information, etc. Remember, though, to not copy-paste your biography info on multiple platforms, as this can cause a duplicate content SEO issue and lead to some profiles not ranking in Google searches for your name. If you want your various profiles to rank well in Google and other search engines, you should create unique versions of this your biographical narrative for each platform.
You should also have a content strategy that prioritizes consistent posts and updates to your profile. You should not only post whenever you feel like it. Instead, you need to consistently share valuable, relevant content that engages your audience and encourages connections. If you think creating a presence on every platform will stretch you too thin, choose to create profiles only on core platforms whose demographics align with the audience you want to reach.
Plenty of data about the demographic usage of certain platforms is available readily online, from younger audiences to seasoned professionals. Think of your ideal client and build your presence on the platforms they use. If you need content ideas to help you get started, we recommend checking out our previous Justia Onward post: 7 Tips for Posting on Social Media That You Can Learn From Other Law Firms.
When you have a personal professional presence, you do not need to limit page access to only colleagues you know (or others with whom you have a personal relationship). Instead, you want to also use these platforms to network and expand your reach.
For example, you could connect with other lawyers or business representatives on LinkedIn – even if you have not met or don’t know each other well! You can join the conversation on Facebook about a new legal topic. You can share videos publicly on TikTok! The possibilities vary by platform but if you are truly prioritizing your personal professional brand, you should not consciously limit the audience you reach.
Engagement and conversation are the secret ingredients of social media branding success! As such, you want to promote positive engagement. The number one rule of social media in any setting, but especially on a professional profile, is to not feed the troll! If someone is trolling you, do not add fuel to the fire. Instead, simply ignore it and, if extremely inflammatory, consider deleting or hiding offending comments.
We have more information on rule number one, and three additional rules for social media reputation management, in this previous Justia Onward post.
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
Your personal professional brand complements your law firm brand and helps you further expand your practice. Plus, social media accounts are generally free so it doesn’t cost you anything to begin expanding your presence!
In future posts, we will walk through the steps of setting up your personal professional profile on each major platform. In the meantime, however, you can set up your law firm profiles if you have not already optimized those for growth and branding efforts. Justia Onward has resources about getting your law firm’s presence started on key social networks, including LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter.Related Posts
- 4 Rules of Social Media Reputation Management for User Feedback
- 7 Tips for Posting on Social Media That You Can Learn From Other Law Firms
- How to Create a Facebook Page for Your Law Firm
- How To Leverage Twitter for Your Law Firm