Social media has become the new search engine for online users. Facebook and Twitter have search capabilities that make it easy to tap into conversations, content, and events related to a particular topic.
Users search for legal services on social media applications just as easily as they can through any of the major search engines.
In their attempts to master Google, law firms fail to recognize this underlying shift. Firms who want to grow their practices must leverage the advantages that these tools offers.
The Evolution of Social Media Search
Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms are taking advantage of the changing search behaviors of online users. Facebook is improving its search capabilities, which provides firms with greater visibility among those users most likely to need legal services.
The hashtag is another social media feature that’s impacted search marketing. Hashtags let you instantly tap into the conversations related to your practice area and services.
Law firms create hashtags that draw attention to a particular conversation. Simply adding a “#” before a keyword lets the platform index your posts. This makes it easy to identify a particular audience that you want to target.
How People Search
Each day, millions of online users are searching on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,
Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram among many other platforms. Law firms must optimize their content for the social media they use.
Online users often bypass Google or Bing and go directly to their social media app of choice. This is primarily the result of the “second screen” phenomenon, which occurs when television viewers simultaneously use a second device to enhance their viewing with social media.
Other common practices include the use of Facebook and Twitter’s trending features. This provides a quick snapshot of what users are talking about the most.
Platforms such as OpenTable, Yelp and, Pinterest are used to search specific genres such as restaurants, local retailers, and design tips.
In many cases, users find it easier and faster to search on social media than on Google or Bing. The growing use of mobile devices has only fueled this transition.
How to Keep Up With Social Media Search
Law firms are using social media for promotional offers, raising awareness for offline events, and remaining top of mind among current and future clients.
The first step to leveraging social media as the new search engine is to increase your presence on platforms that are relevant to your law firm.
Understanding your target audience helps you identify the platforms that they use. Use hashtags and keywords to search for posts related to your services or industry. For example, you might enter “law firm in Georgia” to see posts related to local law firms.
Notice what questions people are asking and what pain points frequently come up. You should include hashtags in your content. This increases the likelihood of being noticed by anyone using those hashtags in their own social media activity.
As more people continue to search through social media, new tools and strategies will emerge to help law firms optimize their content for a greater return on their investment.
Recognizing the changing search landscape puts you ahead of your competitors and reap the benefits that this new capability offers today’s law firms.
Let us know how you’ve used social media to improve visibility for your own practice. If you’re not gaining any traction on social media, let us know your biggest obstacles in the comments below.