Keeping up with the changing landscape of social media can be exhausting — especially in the context of law firm marketing. As a law firm owner, you likely already have too much on your plate before even thinking about social media marketing strategy.
Trends can change from one day to the next. Take a look at TikTok’s rollercoaster ride of an existence in the US — it went from the #1 most popular app to the verge of extinction nearly overnight.
As the new kid on the block, TikTok came onto the scene full force, jumping to 30 million monthly active users since becoming available in the United States in 2018. That equates to 375% growth in the US, year-over-year.
This explosive growth makes its parent company, ByteDance, the most valuable private company in the world. Now, however, the US government is considering banning TikTok. This is because the Chinese-owned company has access to personal user data of millions of American citizens that could potentially be used as a spying tool.
Enter: Instagram Reels.
It’s the newest competitor for TikTok, just introduced by one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. Instagram already has a well-established user base in the US and seems to be a promising option for the next generation switching over from TikTok.
What does all of this have to do with law firm marketing? As with any social media platform, it’s a great place to gain exposure for your firm. Here’s Crisp Founder & CEO Michael Mogill with his thoughts on investing in social media for your firm:
Since the Reels feature is so new, now is the time to hop on the creation train before it gets saturated with users. The earlier you start, the better chance you have for increased exposure. Let’s get into the details.
What’s the Deal with Reels?
Instagram’s latest feature, Reels, allows you to film 15-second video clips set to music. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s safe to assume that this is Instagram’s release to compete with infamous TikTok.
Since news on TikTok’s status in the US is constantly changing, Instagram is taking advantage of the volatility surrounding the platform by bringing in the big guns. While the algorithm may be different, it’s no surprise that the social media titan has created a feature that poses fierce competition.
Instagram has quite a bit of power behind their platform, especially considering it’s now owned tech giant Facebook. Ideally, the new Reels feature will build on their existing user base by increasing current user engagement and driving new users to the platform by enticing TikTok users to stray away from their original platform.
Ultimately, this would mean more users on Instagram and more reason to develop your law firm’s social media marketing strategy.
Why Does This Matter for Law Firm Marketing?
The Reels feature was introduced, as mentioned earlier, as a competitor for the booming TikTok population. While TikTok users are generally considered a young audience, Millennial demographics on the app have been increasing throughout 2020.
As of April 2020, it was estimated that TikTok has over 11 million Millennial users in the United States.
Instagram’s users, however, are already a well-established segment. There are over 100 million Instagram users in the US alone. Considering that half of all Millennials in the US are on Instagram, that’s upwards of 40 million US Millennials on the app.
In essence, if you’re not promoting your firm on Instagram, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity — especially if Millennials fall into your target demographic. Implementing Instagram into your law firm marketing strategy is essential, and if it doesn’t seem important to you now, it will in a few years once you’ve fallen behind.
If your law firm is ahead of the curve and already using Instagram, you’re off to a great start! There is, however, a huge difference between just having an Instagram page and actually promoting your firm on Instagram. The former won’t do anything for your bottom line if you are not doing the latter.
Patrick Daniel Law does a great job of staying active and creative on their Instagram account:
Whether you want to participate or not, social media strategy is as important for law firms as it is for any other modern business. And it’s not going anywhere.
Once you understand the importance of social media for law firm marketing, you have to master the art of content.
Instagram is a visual-based platform, meaning that any Instagram post requires a video or photo to accompany it. Whether you’re using Reels, Stories, Live, or the regular post feature, there is some technique involved.
Your goal for a reel should be to create a quick, relevant, and engaging video for your firm. Consider your brand voice before creating content — is your firm funny, serious, helpful, or something in between?
Start by brainstorming some videos for your firm. Here are some ideas to kickstart the process:
- Introduction video for each member of your firm. Have them talk about their position, their background, hobbies, what their favorite part of their job is, etc.
- FAQ video. Create one video per question that your clients frequently ask you, and explain each answer in a way that prospective clients can easily understand.
- Community video. Highlight different nonprofits and businesses in your local community that you are partnered with or just have a good relationship with. Don’t forget to tag them and have them share your posts to increase your engagement.
- Client spotlights. Give your clients the chance to talk you up after winning their case.
- Behind the scenes. Anything exciting happening at your firm (like a news interview, a team outing, or prepping for a case) deserves some attention.
Creating informative content positions you as a leader in your industry, and odds are, you’re communicating this to a group of people that most other law firms are not. If you’re on the right platforms for your target audience, you are getting your foot in the door with potential clients before many others are able to.
Once you have some effective video ideas, it’s time to execute your video. The best part about creating reels is that you can edit, film, and upload video clips all natively within the platform, making it an easy and quick way to create content.
Follow these instructions to create a basic reel:
- Swipe right from your regular feed, as if you’re creating an Instagram story.
- Select “Reels” at the bottom of your screen.
- On the left side of the screen are controls for audio, speed, effects, and a timer.
- Audio: access Instagram’s music selection, and select the portion of the song you want to use.
- Speed: set your video to play faster, or in slow motion.
- Effects: just like in stories, browse new effects in the gallery or access your saved effects to use in your video.
- Timer: set the duration of each clip.
- You can also insert a photo or video you’ve already taken on your phone from the bottom left corner of your screen.
- If you want to edit or delete a previous clip, just press the back arrow on the bottom left side of your screen.
- Once you’ve recorded your video, hit the next arrow on the bottom right side of your screen.
- From here, you can add to your reel similarly to how you add to an instagram story. Access the sticker, draw, or text tool in the top right corner.
- Play back your video to ensure you’re happy with the finished product. If you’re satisfied, tap the next arrow on the bottom right of the screen.
- Next, you can add a caption and relevant hashtags.
- Lastly, specify which frame from the video you want to use as your cover photo — or upload a custom cover photo of your own.
- When you’re all done, your reel will automatically share in your Reels tab and the Instagram explore page. You can also decide to share your reel to your story or post to your feed as well.
Check out this video from Later to see these instructions in action.
Remember: Instagram Reels do not have to be professional quality videos. In fact — they shouldn’t be. Reels are meant for quick, fun, and personable content.
If you’re looking to step it up a notch (or several notches) and create professional videos for your firm to air on more high-quality video platforms, like TV, YouTube, or for other social media advertising purposes, we can help.