Social Media

Person using instagram on their phone
By Postali

You may think Instagram — also known as “IG” — is just for selfies and influencers. However, businesses across industries have reaped the benefits of having a presence on one of the fastest-growing social platforms.

Only 13% of lawyers in a 2020 survey conducted by the ABA reported having an Instagram account. These early adopters already have an edge — and in such a competitive industry, you need to do everything you can to stand out. A visual platform like Instagram might just be the thing that helps you split from the pack.

What Is Instagram?

Instagram is a social media app where users can upload and share photos and videos within their network of followers. Photos and videos can be viewed on an iPhone or Android, and users can engage by liking and commenting on them.

Facebook (now Meta) bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion, and the platform currently has 1 billion active users. Since Facebook owns Instagram, both of your accounts can be integrated — meaning what you post on Instagram will populate on your Facebook feed if you choose to allow it.

Why Should Your Firm Have an IG?

So, if Instagram is such a great idea, how come such a small number of lawyers use it? This, in large part, is due to the misunderstanding that Instagram is strictly for non-professional use. While this was true in IG’s infancy, recent trends show many businesses promoting themselves on the social platform.

Currently, there are over 200 million active business accounts on IG. These businesses range from cupcakes to apparel; however, the same basic principles for promoting any brand on IG apply to your firm.

You can take advantage of Instagram’s visual platform to crush the stereotype that lawyers are buried in legal paperwork and lack personality. When users scroll past a photo of you or your legal team’s smiling faces, they will instantly connect with you and desire to see what you’re all about. With millions of active users spending an average of 30 minutes a day on the network, it’s hard to justify passing up Insta.

How to Use IG to Benefit Your Practice

Using Instagram is simple — and people as young as 13 can create an account, so if your teenager can do it, you can too. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about Instagram — from basic profile set up to its unique features.

1. Set Up Your Profile

First and foremost, make sure that you set up a business profile rather than a typical non-professional account. This allows you to choose a category like “Criminal Defense Lawyer” so users can easily find your profile.

Without further ado, here’s your official profile checklist:

  • Profile Photo – You can go with a professional headshot or your firm’s logo for your profile pic. We recommend a headshot for solos since users connect more with faces on IG. For mid-to-large-sized firms, it’s okay to use your company logo.
  • IG Handle – Not to be confused with your profile’s name, your handle is how people find your account. So, it’s crucial to keep it branded and as similar to your other social platform handles as possible. Also, there’s a 30-character limit, so keep it short but informative. Keep in mind that the handle you want might be taken so be prepared to modify it if needed.
  • Title – Your title appears under your logo and should include some keywords like your business name, practice area, and location. Users can also search your title to find your profile.
  • Bio – Your bio should explain who you are and who you serve. Remember to include your geographical area as well. Also, add a CTA at the end with a couple of trust points like years of experience or cases won.

Anatomy of an instagram profile

2. Post Engaging Content

With a new profile set up, it’s time to start populating it with content — but what should you post? As stated earlier, think of ways to take advantage of Instagram’s primarily visual platform. Create the following posts to gain exposure and get engagement.

1. Give Followers a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Your Firm

Everybody loves to put a face to the name. Posting a group photo of your legal team immediately humanizes your firm and allows you to connect with your audience. To take it a step further, you can even post a photo of you or your team out doing a fun group activity or participating in a community event.

It’s essential to show followers that even though you’re a fierce advocate in the courtroom, you also like to have fun and engage with the local people you serve.

2. Don’t Shy Away from Sharing Your Accomplishments

As a successful firm, you’re no stranger to winning cases and receiving awards. When you do, don’t forget to share it with your followers. That means recent case results, firm or individual employee awards, or any media coverage you receive. These posts help promote your firm without being too salesy.

3. Avoid Constantly Selling Your Firm

Just as essential as it is to know what to post, it’s also helpful to know what not to. There is a time and place to close a sale and book cases for your firm — but Instagram isn’t it. Like all social platforms, you should put more focus on starting the conversation instead of pushing your services. Consider the 80/20 rule — 80% informational content and 20% transactional content.

4. Think About the Overall Look of Your Page

On less-visual platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, it’s easy to get away with creating stand-alone posts. However, since Instagram is so visually appealing, it’s crucial to think about how your page will appear as a whole when users land on your profile.

At first glance, users will see all your posts collectively until they individually click on one. This first glance should reflect your brand’s colors and overall aesthetic.

Examples of good posts

3. Take Advantage of IG’s Unique Features

Don’t limit yourself to just pictures. Instagram has several versatile features you can use to post content and interact with your followers. Here are some helpful tools to include in your IG content strategy:

  • Stories – IG Stories gives users the ability to post photos and videos separate from their page posts that disappear after 24 hours. Stories are great for improving visibility for current posts, breaking down blogs into small points, and showing behind-the-scenes content of a day at your firm. Also, stories attract a lot of eyeballs — they have reached 500 million total daily active users.
  • Highlights – If your story has a specific theme or you’d like it to become a permanent part of your page, you can add it as a highlight. Limit yourself to 3-5 highlights max. Topics could include case results, client reviews, or FAQs.
  • Live – With IG Live, you can broadcast yourself in real-time and users can tune in to hear what you have to say. This is an excellent way to interact with your audience personally — consider doing a live Q&A where users populate the live video with questions.
  • Direct Messaging – The direct messaging feature allows you to send messages to your followers. For your firm’s business profile, you can set the direct messenger up like a chat box on your website. This feature also syncs with your Facebook account. It’s recommended that you include a disclaimer in your chat box stating that the information you give shouldn’t be construed as legal advice.

Instagram has many excellent features — but don’t feel like you need to use them all. Test each one out and do what’s best for your firm.  

Partner with Postali Today

Instagram’s massive following and aesthetically focused style gives your firm opportunities to present yourself in a way you can’t pull off on other platforms. From posting high-quality images of your legal team to your profile, to creating engaging IG Stories that humanize your firm, Instagram is a good call for firms of all sizes.

But with having all the tools to develop an effective IG strategy comes the responsibility to properly execute your plan. Our digital marketing strategies have built award-winning sites for firms nationwide. Collaborate with a partner who knows social media through and through to ensure your marketing efforts pay off by contacting Postali today.