Click Here to Like this Litigation: Social Media for Law Firms
7 tips for creating a more effective social media strategy
Nearly every profession has adopted social media as a way to brand companies, attract clients, and generate more income. The legal field is adapting to and using these platforms, though at times it is a struggle to pair the deeply conservative nature of law firms with the very open (sometimes too open) nature of the social media universe.
Done correctly, however, social media can become an effective marketing tool for law firms and other legal services.
We’ve put together these 7 tips to adopting or improving your firm’s social media strategy:
1. Determine your purpose for using social media.
You won’t be able to adopt an effective strategy – or improve what you’ve already started – unless you know what you want to accomplish with social media. Are you looking to attract more clients? Perhaps you want to establish your firm as an authority in a certain area of law, such as real estate, intellectual property, civil rights, workers compensation, or corporate law? Once you have established goals, you will be better able to come up with a plan to meet them.
2. Decide which social media channels you want to develop or grow.
There are many different platforms available today so you will need to decide which channels you want to use. Facebook is still a top choice. With 2.07 billion users (as of the third quarter of 2017), it provides an almost unlimited pool of potential clients. Along with a page for your firm, you can also take advantage of paid advertising through boosted posts and targeted ads. Choose to target by areas of specialty, geographic region, profession, business owners and top executives, gender, income, marital status, and a wide variety of hobbies and interests.
Another channel you should cultivate is LinkedIn. It is the world’s largest social media network for working professionals, with 467 million users. It has individual and company profiles as well as Groups formed around many different interests. Create a firm profile and use it to connect with others in your field as well as businesses in your area. Your profile should have complete descriptions of services, areas of expertise, and a method of contact. You can also list individual attorneys within the firm and include personal profiles for them. With a premium LinkedIn account, you will have the ability to contact other users directly.
Other social media channels to consider include Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, as well as other mediums. Pick a few channels and develop them well, rather than try to incorporate all of them.
3. Always stay active and engaged.
The first word in social media is “social.” Once you have established accounts, you must keep up with them with regular updates and posts. A page that looks active will help attract new followers and keep them engaged. On Twitter, make good use of hashtags, which are basically search terms that other users type in when they want to view tweets about a particular subject. For example, you might use the hashtags #insolvency, #CorporateLaw, or #LegalNews.
You will also need to monitor your social media pages to ensure that other users don’t post anything inappropriate, controversial, or illegal.
4. Be a trusted resource, not a sales center.
The purpose of social media is not to “sell” something, at least not all the time. If the majority of your posts do nothing but try to market legal services, you will turn people off. Your posts should establish your firm as an authority and resource where people can go to find answers to their legal questions. You want to engage with followers by posting original, relevant content. You can also share content from trusted sources such as news organizations, newspapers, trade magazines, and legal publications which will be of interest to your target market. For example, if your firm specializes in real estate law, you’ll want to post content about the state of the real estate market, both nationally and in your local community. Another good idea is to post questions that encourage followers to answer and engage with you. If a follower posts a question or makes a comment, always answer, if possible. If the matter needs to be handled more discreetly, find a way to contact that person privately.
If you want a good idea of how to balance “selling” versus “engaging, follow the 80/20 rule. According to WiseStamp, “80% of the content that you share should be about your customers; answering their questions, retweeting links and sharing articles that they will find valuable. The remaining 20% can be sales oriented shares.”
5. Have a clear call to action on all your pages.
It’s all well and good to post and share great content, but remember your purpose of using social media is ultimately to attract clients. Make sure that you have clear “contact” tools on each page or ad that you have, including a website, email and phone number. Facebook pages have “contact” buttons which can be formatted to take a user directly to a website, landing page or email. Always include a direct link to your website in every post that you make or share as well.
6. Blog regularly.
Blogging is an inexpensive, easy way to speak to potential clients and establish your firm as an expert. Like Tip #3, you will need to ensure that the blog is maintained on a regular basis. You should post at least once a week. They should be educational and engaging, but never “salesy”. If you aren’t going to have a dedicated person responsible for creating posts (or if you don’t want to outsource the task) it might be a good idea to have attorneys or other legal professionals take turns writing original posts. Each person could have a designated day so the burden doesn’t always fall on one individual. Blog posts can then be used as content on all your social media channels. Followers can also share the posts on their channels.
7. Incorporate pictures and video.
We’ve all seen pictures or videos that have gone viral. Visual content tends to create higher engagement, as images are often faster and easier to absorb than written words. Channels like Facebook also tend to give more weight to visual content, meaning it is more likely to show up in people’s news feeds. You also create opportunities for your content to be shared by your followers. Video content can include interviews with attorneys, staff introductions, weekly Q&A’s, stories about the firm, community events and more. Consider starting a YouTube channel to create and collect a video library.
Social media is one of the best ways to attract and engage potential clients. Develop your policy to ensure you aren’t missing out on this important marketing tool.
At Boss Certified Realtime Reporting, we’ve been providing nationwide court reporting services for trials, depositions, mediations and more since 1995. If you’d like help or more information, you can call us at 954 467 6867 or complete our contact form to let us know how we can assist you.