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Social media has forever changed the way lawyers market themselves, offering them the chance to humanize their practices and engage directly with millions of online users on a single platform. Instagram has grown drastically since it was founded in 2010. What was once a place to share selfies is now a massive marketing platform where users not only go to engage with companies and brands, but to research new services. Lawyers who make the mistake of dismissing Instagram as too intimidating or chaotic are missing out on the opportunity to reach potential clients in new and creative ways.

Getting started with an Instagram marketing campaign requires research, experimentation, and patience. It will take time to determine how to present your firm’s strengths on Instagram and how you want to connect with new clients. If you do not have a strong brand identity, you may have difficulties launching a consistent campaign.

Instead of jumping into the deep end, reach out to the Instagram marketing experts at SLS Consulting, Inc. Since 1999, we have helped law firms and attorneys build their brands, and since social media marketing took off in the early 2010s, we have learned new ways to market our clients on a variety of platforms, Instagram included. If you want to branch out your firm’s social media presence, contact SLS Consulting, Inc. at (323) 254-1510 and learn how we can help.

Why Attorneys Should Pay Attention to Instagram

There is no doubting the value of a strong and consistent social media campaign, but most law firms stop at Facebook. Despite Facebook owning Instagram and sharing several main features, most firms have not made the jump over to Instagram, often due to the lack of immediate similarities between the two platforms. Where Facebook is more text-focused, Instagram marketing relies heavily on photos, videos, and infographics. But even with these barriers to entry, it is possible for a law firm to successfully engage with new audiences on Instagram, and often to their benefit.

83% of users have reported that they discover new services through Instagram, with an additional 80% using Instagram to research services and 81% making a decision to use a service after discovering it on Instagram, according to a Facebook Business survey. Instagram has untapped potential for lawyers to share impactful and relevant legal information with potential clients. Stories, timelines, suggested content, and now reels are great areas for law firms to market their expertise, knowledge, and services. A short video breaking down a new law or city ordinance can go a long way to drawing in new clients.

While you might be intimidated about marketing to millions of users across a wide variety of locations, Instagram also plays a role in local marketing. Firms can share geographic-specific posts and optimize their hashtags to specific regions in order to connect with their target audience. It also gives you the opportunity to network with other local businesses and boost your presence in your geographic region.

But this all depends on your willingness to unlock Instagram’s capabilities and commit to building your brand on the platform.

Instagram Is Just One Part of the Puzzle

The road to success is paved with many steps. If one is out of place or cracked, it can cause you to stumble along the way. The same goes for a marketing campaign. You want to optimize every channel, including your social media accounts. Your brand should be consistent across each platform while also keeping in mind the unique tools at your disposal.

When it comes to Instagram, it is important to always remember how it fits into your larger goals. Instagram, like Facebook, allows you to rapidly share updates about your firm, talk about recently passed laws, and engage with new and old clients with ease. This all helps build your brand awareness both online and with your local communities. You can also easily share photos, stories, and reels with Facebook, Twitter, and even Google My Business (GMB), helping you optimize your marketing feeds. Instagram, like Facebook and Google, also has paid advertisements, which may allow you to diversify your marketing budget and retargeting efforts.

Best Practices for Lawyers

As you start building out your Instagram profile, your firm should remember to keep these elements in mind:

Consistent Profiles: Anytime you create or update an online profile, whether it is your Instagram account, GMB, or other public listings, it is important to ensure that all of your information is consistent. Firm names, addresses, phone numbers, and other relevant information should match every profile.

Define Your Brand: Instagram offers more creative ways to showcase a business’s brand when compared to Facebook and Twitter, which rely heavily on text. If you understand how you want to present your firm online, then it can help you develop a unique posting style that makes your posts stand out.

Invest in Quality Images: Photos are the powerhouse of Instagram and you will want to keep image quality in mind when you are posting, but that does not mean you have to rely on office photos or professional shots for content. Infographics are an invaluable way to share important information and catch users’ eyes. You should consider working with a graphic designer who can help you create original and branded content for your timeline and feed.

Pay Attention to Your Audience: Keeping an eye on your direct messages ensures you are on top of all of your leads. Make sure to check it at least once a day and also keep an eye on the comments on your posts. You should also track any branded hashtags or tagged photos, as there may be potential leads hidden in these posts.

Posting Standards: As of 2021, Instagram has optimized aspect ratios for all images, which include:

  • Posts: 1080 x 1080 (1:1 ratio)
  • Profile Photo: 360 x 360
  • Landscape Photo: 1080 X 608 (1.91:1 ratio)
  • Portrait: 1080 x 1350 (4:5 ratio)
  • Story: 1080 x 1920 (9:16 ratio)
  • IGTV Cover Photo: 420 x 654 (1:1.55 ratio)
  • Reels: 1080 x 1920 (9:16 ratio)

Important Rules for Law Firms and Social Media

Several state bar associations have ethical guidelines for lawyers on social media that you should be mindful of. For example, the New York State Bar Association has specific rules for advertising and solicitation that do apply to social media accounts like Instagram’s paid ads. Lawyers are also not allowed to use “specialist” in any of their social media content unless they are a board-certified legal specialist in a specific practice area. Before starting your account, make sure to review your state bar association’s code of ethics.

What Can SLS Consulting, Inc. Do for You?

Keeping track of your social media accounts and ensuring they are consistent with the rest of your legal marketing efforts requires time, energy, and dedication. While you have all of these qualities in spades as an attorney, juggling an Instagram campaign on top of your caseload is a Herculean effort. Instead of bearing this weight alone, reach out to the social media experts at SLS Consulting, Inc.

With our more than 20 years of experience, we have watched closely as social media developed in real time. We understand the best practices to succeed on Instagram and other social media platforms. We can sit down with you in a free marketing strategy session and discuss how we can boost your firm’s caseload with a dedicated social media campaign. To get started, call us at (323) 254-1510.