If you’ve been hiding under a rock, you might not be aware of the newest social media platform that everyone’s flocking to: TikTok. If you’re not yet familiar with it, TikTok is a social media app where users can create, share, and watch short video clips. While it can be accessed online, its primary interface is via the TikTok mobile app.
I last wrote about TikTok in October, and in that post I discussed why lawyers should consider incorporating TikTok into their marketing efforts. I explained:
(I)f your firm handles any of the following practice areas that serve a consumer client base, then don’t overlook TikTok as a marketing tool: wills, trusts, and estates; family law; matrimonial law; criminal defense; tax law; employment discrimination law; personal injury law; or bankruptcy law. If your firm focuses on those types of matters, then a decent portion of your client base is there on TikTok, waiting to learn from you.
I also provided a list of lawyer TikTok accounts to consider following. After I wrote that column, I reached out to some of those lawyers and asked them if they’d be interested in sharing their knowledge and experiences with TikTok. They agreed, and last week I moderated a webinar panel that consisted of three lawyers: Alex Su (Head of Community at Ironclad), Taly Goody (Goody Law Group), and Jacob Sapochnick (Sapochnick Law Firm). Between the three of them, they have hundreds of hours logged on TikTok, more than 450,000 followers, hundreds of videos, nearly 11 million “likes,” and millions upon millions of video views.
During the hour-long seminar, they each provided a ton of useful tips and practical advice for lawyers interested in expanding their law firm’s social media footprint. What follows are some of their top recommendations for lawyers seeking to utilize TikTok to its fullest extent for legal marketing purposes.
Post Often And Stay Consistent
First, the panelists emphasized the importance of posting frequently to the platform, especially when you first join. By doing so, you establish a presence and allow the algorithm — and your desired audience — to figure out what you’re all about.
Choose Content With Your Target Audience In Mind
Speaking of an audience, the next recommendation was to determine your goals before creating an account. Identify who your target audience is and what message you want to get across to them. Then, start posting videos to see if they connect with your desired audience. But don’t get too attached to a particular style of video or format. The panelists explained that it’s important to be flexible and open to the types of content that resonate with your followers. You may need to adjust course as you go depending on the response that you get.
Follow The Trends
Another important piece of advice offered by the panelists was that trends are important on TikTok. Make sure to follow the trends by tracking ones that appear on the FYP (for you page) and in the “discover” section of the app. Use trending sounds and hashtags as jumping points for your own videos. Think creatively and see if a particular trend can be tweaked so that you can tailor it to your particular goals and followers. Trends are important not only because your audience will appreciate your take on it, but also because the algorithm favors videos that incorporate trending concepts.
Interact With Your Followers
Also important is to ensure that you interact with your followers whenever they leave comments on your videos. Answer their questions or respond to their comments. And use their questions to help you think of ideas for new videos. You can even respond to a particular comment by making a video centered around it as described here.
Beware Of Potential Stumbling Blocks
Also discussed were some of the pitfalls that you may encounter when using TikTok for marketing. First, there’s the issue of advertising disclaimers. Because the content that you post may be considered lawyer advertising in your jurisdiction, it’s wise to include a disclaimer. Some of the panelists use a hashtag in the text of their video captions, and others include it in their TikTok bio.
Another issue is that some of the background music includes inappropriate language. The panelists suggested using your judgment in that regard, keeping your audience in mind and your particular goals. One workaround is to locate TikTok creators who remove swear words and other questionable language from music so that you can safely use it in your videos.
Reap The Benefits
Last but not least, once you’ve gained some momentum with your TikTok account, sit back and reap the benefits of your hard work. Because TikTok interaction can really pay off. According to the panelists, it’s been incredibly beneficial. Jacob shared that his immigration law firm is booked out for months for paid consultations because of his TikTok marketing. Likewise, Taly recently settled a personal injury case that originated with a TikTok follower. And Alex explained that he generates close to half a million dollars in the sales pipeline every month, with a good number of those converting to closed deals.
Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York attorney and Director of Business and Community Relations at MyCase, web-based law practice management software. She’s been blogging since 2005, has written a weekly column for the Daily Record since 2007, is the author of Cloud Computing for Lawyers, co-authors Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, and co-authors Criminal Law in New York. She’s easily distracted by the potential of bright and shiny tech gadgets, along with good food and wine. You can follow her on Twitter at @nikiblack and she can be reached at email@example.com.