Most of what affects SEO is a tightly held secret. Because of this, speculation abounds. One thing you’ll often read is that social media has no effect on SEO. But is it true that social media does not affect SEO? The answer is, “it depends.” Back in 2014, former Google executive Matt Cutts released a video saying social doesn’t count toward search engine ranking. But Cutts mentioned that Google was blocked from crawling at least one social media site. This tells us that Google was crawling the site and is interested in using social signals. Previously, Cutts said that Google did look at Twitter follows and Facebook likes to help determine a brand’s authority. A study conducted by HootSuite suggests that there is a correlation between social media shares and higher rankings. Content that ranks well on Google tends to have a lot of retweets, likes, and shares. The consensus among experts seems to be that social media doesn’t directly impact your SEO rankings, but it does impact elements that influence your SEO rankings. And it is likely that social’s role in SEO is not static and will increase over time. A 2021 Search Engine Journal article puts it this way: “No one outside of Google is ever going to know exactly what the search algorithm does and does not do …. What we can say with confidence today is that social signals have a relationship with organic rankings, but they do not directly influence those rankings.” Think of it this way: Social media and law firm SEO is not a cause-and-effect relationship – it’s more like a Marco Polo interaction in which the two call back and forth to each other. For example, you can use your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter account to linkto posts on your law firm website, thereby spotlighting your online content and driving traffic from social media to your site. This can indirectly boost your site’s search ranking by increasing visitors.
Social Media Is an Important Part of Your SEO Strategy
Econsultancy, a digital marketing research company, published their State of Search Marketing Report, which showed that 74% of companies and 82% of agencies said that social media was a large part of their SEO strategy. While social may not directly boost your law firm website’s rankings, social posts have been overtly added to search engine results. Google results on both mobile and desktop now include Tweets in all English-language searches worldwide. So far, Twitter results will show up when a user Googles an individual or organization. They’ll also show up for searches on trending topics. If a highly topical Twitter account is a good fit for your brand, an active and engaged account can be well worth your time. It’s also worth noting that social media channels are search engines in and of themselves. Each one has a search function that visitors can use to look for terms relevant to your practice. By maintaining a well-optimized profile, you can better assure that you show up in results. Additionally, high-quality social media posts can provide these benefits:
Create Multiple Points-of-Entry Social media provides clients an additional way to find your law firm
Build a Wider Audience Social media allows lawyers to actively engage with the community
Reinforce Your Brand Social media keeps your law firm’s name and brand in front of the eyes of consumers
The best digital strategy is multi-channel marketing. This includes social media.
9 Great Podcasts About Social Media Marketing
One of the best ways to stay abreast of social media marketing trends and learn effective tips and tricks is to listen to podcasts. Following are some of the best social media marketing podcasts that you might want to check out:
Whether you listen in 10-minute bites or settle in for an hour, these podcasts can help you find ways to elevate to the next level your law firm’s social media marketing.
Today’s Social Media Apps
Here’s a quick rundown of today’s social media apps that you should know about. Some are familiar names you’ve undoubtedly heard of, while others are new kids on the block. The best way to choose which social media platforms to pursue is to know the demographic data behind each app. New York Times technology columnist Kevin Roose, host of Hard Fork podcast, and SproutSocial provide a highlight of the current state of affairs:
While likely the best-known social media app, Facebook has had a tough year – its stock price has plummeted 60% from recent highs and younger users are abandoning the app and flocking to greener pastures like TikTok. Facebook is also suffering from Apple’s 2021 changes to its mobile operating system and privacy policies, making it harder for apps like Facebook to generate advertising revenue by tracking users across the internet. User time on Facebook has dropped from 38 minutes to 33 minutes per day in the last five years, and Facebook’s user growth rate has slowed to a halt. Because it’s still the largest social app, Facebook remains a good bet for law firm social media marketing in the near term. But keep an eye out for up-and-comers who are quickly grabbing market share.
Twitter is going through an identity crisis of its own as on-again-off-again billionaire suitor Elon Musk finally purchased the app in October and took it private. He has promised to make changes to Twitter that may not be popular among employees, though could offer greater flexibility and new bells and whistles. It’s anybody’s guess. The largest user group are ages 18-29 (42%), and more males than females use this app. One-third of Twitter users are college-educated and earn more than $75,000 a year. Having a Twitter account for your law firm is beneficial if you’re active on it regularly, adding topical posts and interacting with users.
If your law firm creates a lot of videos including client testimonials and attorney interviews, consider launching a YouTube channel for your law firm as part of your social media strategy. YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine, receiving more than 2 billion logged-in users per month. It feeds more than 1 billion hours of video to users each day.
TikTok is wildly popular among tweens and teenagers. A video-sharing app, TikTok is the current “It Girl” in the world of social media apps. There are 1 billion active users in the U.S., and the number continues to skyrocket. User growth jumped 87% in 2020 and another 18% in 2021. The largest user group are ages 10-19 (25%), and users spend an average of 89 minutes per day on the app. Nearly 40% of Gen Z say they’re directly influenced by brands they see on TikTok. Businesses are scrambling to determine how they can use this emerging app to market their services.
Instagram is a free photo and video-sharing app that influencers and everyday consumers use to post about themselves and their friends. Instagram’s largest user cohort are ages 25-34 (31%), and it has doubled its user base to 2 billion in three years. So if you want to reach Gen Z and Millennials, your law firm needs an Instagram profile.
LinkedIn is the somber and serious neighbor of flashier social media apps, but it carries a gravitas that the others may lack. Populated mostly by high-earning B2B working professionals, it’s a place where people share ideas about business trends, emerging markets, and notable research and studies. Often overlooked, LinkedIn can be a great place for lawyers to network online, generate leads, and establish themselves as thought leaders in their areas of legal specialty.
Snapchat has suffered a crushing 80% drop in stock price, but happily the number of daily active users on Snapchat grew 19% in the third quarter of 2022. The largest user group are ages 15-24 (48%). SnapChat may or may not be a good place to spend a lot of your social marketing efforts, but it’s a great place for trendspotting among younger consumers.
BeReal is a new, up-and-coming photo-sharing app that’s popular among a younger crowd. It focuses on authenticity, and it allows users to post only one photo per day to show followers what they’re doing in real-time. Users receive a notification at a random time once a day telling them it’s “Time to BeReal.” They have just a 2-minute window to post a photo of what they’re doing, offering an unfiltered snapshot of their daily life. Downloads of the app are growing fast.
Gas app, launched in August 2022, is banking on positivity and differentiates itself by being a place where users can give each other uplifting feedback. Primarily designed for teens, its purpose is to counter social media trends showing that 38% of teenage girls who spend five hours online are clinically depressed. The app employs anonymous polls with positive superlatives to offer each other compliments. Currently available in only 12 states, demand on Apple’s app store is growing rapidly. This is an app to watch in the future.
Getting active on social media is a great way to spread the word about your legal practice and bring new prospects to your site. Social posting should definitely be part of your overall law firm marketing plan. Here are some ways to make social a bigger and more effective part of your online marketing:
Send out links to your blogs and video content. Promoting on several platforms can bring more and different visitors to your site.
Monitor social media channels for news and discussion that is relevant to your legal practice areas. Retweet when appropriate. Answer questions when you can.
Proactively share news and insights on social media highlighting statutory changes or case law developments.
Send replies on Twitter when you have relevant comments to add to the conversation. This sort of engagement is humanizing and can showcase your legal expertise.
In quality digital marketing, all your channels work together to build brand familiarity and trust. By utilizing your site, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other channels, you can create a larger presence online and reach more prospective clients.
Gladiator Can Give You a Head Start
Need help kicking off your social media and digital marketing efforts? Gladiator Law Marketing would be happy to have a conversation about potential strategies. Our award-winning team of SEO, design, social, content, and digital professionals can build a custom campaign and website that generate results. We have many satisfied clients who will sing our praises. Call us for a free consultation at 888-683-3212.