3 Tips for Managing Your Firm’s Reputation and Building Trust on Instagram
You might think that negative stereotypes and poor public opinion come with the territory of being an attorney. But what if you could help dispel those misconceptions through the simple use of Instagram?
Let’s start with a reality check that probably won’t surprise you. A 2018 Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey found that 43 percent of Americans don’t trust lawyers. In addition to this mistrust, there are certain obstacles that attorneys face. For instance, the amount of time you have to make a positive impression in the online world is minimal, and it can be a difficult place to garner trust in comparison to the intimacy of face-to-face interactions.
Don't Trust Lawyers
Are you ready for the good news? Instagram gives you a way to combat those negative stereotypes by providing a visual platform where you can build trust and foster connection with potential clients through pictures. As the fastest growing network with the highest engagement rate, Instagram can assist you in reaching your target market and improving public perception for your firm.
Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry. Below are some essential tips that will help you pave the way to Instagram success.
#1 PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BIO
Your bio is one of the most important features of the Instagram platform. It is the first thing your followers see, so it’s vital to make a good impression. You will have exactly 150 words to successfully communicate who you are, what you do and how you can be found. Therefore, choose your words carefully and try to include a little personality. See how Kyle M. Moore, Esq. added a personal touch to his bio.
The only place where you can include a link to your website is in your bio so take full advantage of that opportunity. In addition to your website link, you have the option to add hashtags and profile links. This makes it possible to include multiple Instagram handles for different parts of your practice or hashtag categories in which you post. One final but important word of advice, make sure to create a business account and not a personal account so that you can better track your analytics.
#2 USE HASHTAGS
If you are new to social media, the big thing to know about hashtags is simply that they are labels for the content you post.
Hashtags serve to categorize your posts and attract your target audience by using phrases that interest them and are relevant to your post or practice. They are essential if you want to grow awareness for your firm.
For example, “Motivation Monday” is a social trend where users begin the work week with inspirational posts using the hashtag #motivationmonday. Big Horn Law, who represents victims of motorcycle accidents, used the hashtags #doesyourlawyerride #motorcycleaccident and #motivationmonday to get their brand out there and connect with social trends.
Let the public know that you are active in your community by posting pictures from a charity event, using their hashtag. Now anyone who searches that event’s hashtag on Instagram will see your post. Take the example of Greenberg Traurig who sponsored an event for The nsoro Foundation with the hashtags #GTCares, #StarfishBall2019 and #nsorofoundation.
One last tip is to add a few lines of space between your captions and hashtags to prevent looking too spammy on mobile. This way the hashtags won’t be viewed in plain sight. See the previous example post from Greenberg Traurig. Notice how they added a few lines of space between their post and hashtags, effectively hiding the hashtags until you scroll down the post.
#3 BE CONSISTENT
In the land of Instagram consistency is key. Think about it – having a consistent presence is one of the main ingredients for any brand to be successful, and it’s no different for attorneys on Instagram. Seeing you in their daily feed keeps your firm top of mind for any future legal needs.
Consistency is also the best way to increase engagement. By interacting daily with followers, you are creating relationships and building trust. Make sure that you are responding to individual comments and to avoid any long lulls in your posting cadence, create a schedule of once daily and stick to it. Your followers will appreciate your predictability.
To maintain a clean, homogeneous look across your profile pay attention to the images you post. Make sure they have a similar aesthetic and steer clear of filters and stock photos. Instead, focus on high-quality images that portray your firm’s authenticity. Give your followers a glimpse behind the scenes of your firm and share your personality, interests and community involvement. Follow the example of Caralee Fontenele who maintains a visually appealing and consistent look throughout her Instagram page.
Last but certainly not least, be on your best behavior. You will from time to time receive a negative comment. It is crucial that you always maintain your cool and respond with professionalism and integrity. How you handle negative comments will speak volumes to potential clients. Remember that you are writing your response for the next reader.
There’s much more to managing your firm’s Instagram presence. That’s why Super Lawyers has published their latest playbook Not Just for Travel or Food Bloggers: How Top Attorneys Can Use Instagram to Connect with Potential Clients. Whether you’re a Super Lawyers selectee or not, you’ll get expert guidance on how to make Instagram work at your firm.