As law firms look to harness the potential of social media, a fundamental question arises: Should they tread the organic path, or explore the possibilities offered by paid advertising? The answer depends on your goals—but the likely answer is both.
There are many misconceptions about organic vs. paid social media. Some people think paid social media is the surefire way to instant success, and that pouring money into advertising guarantees immediate results and substantial engagement. On the other hand, some believe that organic is the only way to grow authentically.
Each approach has its merits (and drawbacks). In this article, we’ll explore the truths and misconceptions surrounding both organic and paid social media for law firms, helping you make informed decisions for your firm’s online presence.
Organic social media
Organic social media is anything on social media that is not paid or boosted with advertising spend. It refers to the content itself as well as the interactions that it inspires, like comments and shares.
Instead of relying on financial investment to get visibility, organic social media content earns attention by being interesting enough for people to interact or re-share it. This could be an informative blog post or a client success story.
Smaller financial investment
Humanizes the law firm
Builds authenticity and trust
Subject to algorithm changes
Many law firms use organic social media to connect with potential clients, share legal insights and establish themselves as trusted experts in their field. It’s about long-term results.
You can leverage this cost-effective approach to engage with your audience, offering valuable information and building strong relationships. However, the challenge lies in maintaining a consistent and compelling online presence, considering the time and effort required for effective organic social media marketing. Good legal marketing habits take time to establish, but consistency is absolutely critical for organic content.
Paid social media
Paid social media is anything you pay money to post or promote on social media. Your money allows you to target specific audience categories to increase visibility and reach.
While it does cost money, you can connect with a larger audience and pursue more specific marketing objectives with paid social media. For instance, you could run a lead generation ad campaign targeting specific demographics or interests. Paid social media is typically used for short-term results.
Thorough analytics and tracking available
Repeatable campaigns if successful
Knowledge of social advertising and certain skills required
More rules for the content
Limited long-term effects (once you stop paying, you stop getting results)
Setting an appropriate budget is the key to success with paid advertising. You’ll need to consider your firm’s financial capacity, campaign objectives and the competitive landscape. Remember, more competitive keywords or broader audiences usually require a higher investment.
Start by identifying your goals, whether it’s lead generation, brand awareness or driving website traffic.
Keep track of ROI. Monitor important metrics, like leads generated, conversions or engagement rates, and compare these against the ad spend to assess the effectiveness of a campaign.
It’s important to pick the right social media networks, too.
Combine organic and paid social media for best results
Get the best of both by combining organic and paid social media.
Organic posts help firms build trust and a real connection with their audience. Utilize organic content to share valuable legal insights, engage with your audience and establish yourself as a trusted authority in your field. This will foster a genuine connection and build long-term credibility and brand loyalty.
Examples of organic social media:
Informative blog posts on family law
Video content on divorce proceedings
Worksheet on child custody terminology
Paid ads boost visibility and engagement. You could boost one of your organic posts, promote a webinar, geotarget people in your area for local awareness or advertise your firm’s participation in a local community event.
Law firms should assess social media performance with tools like Google Analytics to track engagement, including likes, shares and comments.
By striking a balance between organic and paid approaches and leveraging valuable tools and metrics, law firms can optimize their social media performance, reaching a wider and more engaged audience while maintaining authenticity and trust.
Review and next steps
Social media can be a powerful ally in your firm’s growth journey. Every law firm is different, so your marketing strategy should be uniquely adapted to your needs and your budget.
Most firms will benefit from a combination of organic and paid social media, but it depends on your goals.