Social Media for Law Firms: A necessary part of any great marketing plan
It’s no secret that social media has a huge impact on society by driving trends, movements, and news developments. Everyone with any understanding of digital marketing will tell you that it is a gold mine for cheap exposure. That it is absolutely necessary for your business to succeed in the current day and age. So today, we’re covering the top 7 social media practices for law firms!
We have already seen the impacts of some great social media strategies, such as Wendy’s aggressively comedic Twitter profile. Meanwhile, everyone else is scrambling to keep up unsure of what actually works and if they should even care. What is true is that your business has been fine without social media and it will continue to be fine without it, but you aren’t reading this because you want ‘fine’. You are reading this because you are looking for something cheap and relatively easy that is going to skyrocket your profits.
Social media may be that option. Besides labor costs, there is no immediate overhead when creating a social media marketing strategy. So if you are smart or lucky you can create a ton of buzz without breaking the bank. The American Bar Association reported that 76% of Law Firms maintain a presence in social networks, so you’ll need some ways to stand out. This will require a good amount of creativity and in-depth knowledge of the platforms because sorry to say, no one on Twitter cares about your law practice. And no one will care about it just because you’ve made an account and started making sassy snap-backs at your clients.
They will care though for two reasons; one, because you have something to offer, and two, because through those offerings you are building a human connection. This does not necessarily mean that you will be giving out free swag or services. What you offer can be anything that the client considers valuable, like informational content. And the connection you are building won’t need to be an intimate one. Imagine your social account like it’s Ronald McDonald, albeit a little less creepy. It will be your company’s face and should be consistent enough in its tone & voice to make everyone feel like they are really interacting with your company personified.
#1 Understand The Social Platforms
You may know a little bit already about each platform and how to use it, but for the sake of being all-encompassing here’s a rundown. There is a lot to know about each of these platforms, including what types of media to use, what demographics are best targeted, and what types of businesses will benefit from each. Ultimately, which platform you decide to use will be what works best for you. You can follow all of the examples you’d like, but if you really want to make a name for yourself out there you will have to stop following the pack and start leading your own evolution.
Since 2006, Twitter has been a major player because of its unique approach to text-based content. In 140 (now 280) words or fewer users have needed to grab and maintain the attention of as many users as possible. Today the platform has expanded to include image and video content, but a majority of its interaction still comes from text within comment threads. As a company, your goal will be to catch fire with a viral tweet or charm your audience by making relevant comments on their posts. It is also a great place to respond to customer service issues.
Statistics To Keep In Mind
22% of all US adults have used Twitter
38% of Americans between the ages of 18-29 have used Twitter
Almost half of Americans ages 18-24 are on Twitter
24% of men and 21% of women use the platform
Launched in 2004 by a bunch of Harvard students, Facebook has since become the platform to keep up with your family and friends. As a company, it’s great for building your brand awareness and taking advantage of Facebook Ads. You will want to create a dedicated company profile so that you can reach as many clients as possible. Video is also a great way to reach people on Facebook, as long as you are producing quality content. Nothing turns potential clients away like a poorly made video.
Statistics To Keep In Mind
About ¾ of Facebook users visit the site daily
69% of U.S. adults have used Facebook in the past
63% of men and 75% of women in the U.S have used Facebook
Facebook has the highest percentage of users over the age of 65
One of the newer platforms, Instagram became increasingly popular in no time at all. Its main feature is the ability to post and share pictures that you have taken with your friends. Users also have the ability to post Reels, which are short videos that stay up for 24-hours before disappearing, much like Snapchat stories. In terms of business, Instagram is a must-have for e-commerce brands. There is a place as well for brands that can craft some interesting long-form content in their captions.
That number drops to near 50% for people between the ages of 30-50
Linkedin is primarily known as the main social media tool for B2B marketing. It allows you to connect with companies and their employees. The key to making noise here will be to remain informative. Offer seminars and create your own group for law professionals. It may take a while for you to see any results, but they can be impactful in time.
Statistics To Keep In Mind
27% of U.S. adults have used Linkedin
The largest demographic of users is adults between the ages of 25-29
51% of all U.S college grads have used Linkedin
Pinterest is somewhat of a visual search engine. It allows you to explore posts in the form of pictures, gifs, and videos, and then pin them to your own board for later. Because of this it’s been a great avenue for fashion and home design brands. It is not quite as image-driven as Instagram though and your success will rely more on cool ideas.
An overwhelming majority of Pinterest users are women
There is a relatively even spread of age ranges on the platform up to 65
The Self-proclaimed “Front Page of the Internet”, Reddit is a collection of message boards that rate posts and content with upvotes and downvotes. What makes Reddit’s system different from Instagram is that downvotes will subtract from a posts visibility, so it is decided on a majority rules basis. There are subreddits that allow its users to filter by niche subject and its algorithms allow smaller subreddits to be featured alongside the larger ones. The main forms of marketing tactics here will be hosting Ask Me Anythings (AMAs) and paid advertising.
Statistics To Keep In Mind
11% of U.S adults have used Reddit
The number of males almost double females
#2- Hire a Dedicated Social Media Team
You’re busy and you don’t have time to be running your business and its social accounts. And if you think you do, then you could be doing a lot better. How much thought are you putting into your content? Posting the same content across every channel every couple of days is not going to get you anywhere. Plus, there is analytics to monitor and an evolving social landscape to keep track of. Nothing shows how out of touch you are more than jumping on an irrelevant hashtag. Even worse if you have misunderstood the point so badly that it becomes offensive.
Do you have worst-case scenario plans? Some faux pas is inevitable but how you handle them can be the difference between a minor setback and complete customer fallout. There will be stances to make on important issues as well, as it’s becoming less and less acceptable to just stick your head in the sand. What about customer complaints? Fewer people are going through dedicated customer services channels in favor of venting their frustrations where everyone can see them. Your team will need a dedicated and professional way of dealing with all these issues if you want your social strategy to be a benefit instead of a liability.
Nobody has all the answers, but you should at least have a team behind you trying to figure them out. Maybe your team only needs to be one individual with social channels as their focus that can get support from the rest of your team when it comes to what to post. You don’t need to set up a CSI crime lab just to analyze how each of your posts is performing. There are a number of free and paid social media analytics tools that will be indispensable when it comes to understanding your strategy.
We’ve talked a lot about strategy but when it’s all said and done, none of it will matter without good content. This is where your clients get to not only understand what you think is valuable but give them a reason to come back for more. Now you’re probably asking yourself what good content actually is. The best thing you can do here is focused on at least being informative if you can’t be entertaining. Which, no offense, will probably be easier for some of you to manage anyways.
Some of the most effective Tik-Tok content has been created by lawyers explaining law technicalities that no one knows about. In most cases the people watching will never be in these situations, but novel pieces of information to humans are like shiny pebbles to otters. We love to collect and show them off for all of our friends to see.
In general, the best practice here is to be informative always and be entertaining when you can. If you have a very good understanding of what your clients find entertaining then go for it, but in most cases, it will fall flat. Maybe by no fault of your own. Most businesses have a wide customer base with a variety of interests. It would literally be impossible to cater to all of them.
The value you provide to them could also come through what content you curate as well. Let’s use Twitter as an example; by retweeting a ton of informational content about law practices from other sources people will come to believe that you are tuned into the industry. In the future, if they are ever looking for information in this area you will be their first stop. All of this without even producing the content you are sharing, and still while giving the proper credit where it’s due.
#4 Stick With What You Know
Just because you are planning entertaining and informative content does not mean you should be branching into areas that you know nothing about. Your main goal is to be relevant to your potential clients, so do that. Don’t be posting random memes that you find on the internet just because other people think that they are funny. And don’t be posting facts about cereal just because Quaker Oats is trending on Twitter. Always ask yourself how anything can be tied back into your brand’s values.
If Quaker Oats is trending maybe that’s your chance to post about the interesting history of cereal-based legal proceedings. Follow that up with a relevant meme about your own post that will actually engage your audience now that they feel a part of the loop. In just two posts you will have engaged, charmed, and informed your audience giving them something they can share with their friends.
Tactics like this show that you are not only in tune with what your clients need but will establish you as an authority in your field. This is crucial when it comes to marketing your Law Firm because clients want some evidence that you actually know what you’re doing.
#5 Create Your Brands Tone
Wendys is usually mentioned as the golden standard for companies who have perfectly crafted their company’s social persona. It calls out customers and competitors alike with comments that usually border on insulting. Chances are you could come across a good amount of their Tweets without ever going on Twitter. Why? Because their content is entertaining, genuine, and consistent.
Their ability to do this rides almost entirely on their tone of voice. It is all on brand, and everyone knows what to expect. This is how they manage to insult their competitors without it seeming petty or awkward. Of course, maintaining a persona like this is difficult to pull off and there’s a reason everyone doesn’t do it.
What you can do to start is create a brand guide that will allow anyone skilled to pick it up and adopt your tone and voice. This guide will also include your brand’s color pallets and what kinds of visual content you prefer.
#6 Utilize A Content Calendar
Behind the scenes of every great poet is a schedule. This may seem counterintuitive to “keeping your finger on the pulse” of the social media landscape. Like how every author has dumpsters full of terrible drafts, any social media manager has worked their delete button thin from all the content that gets scrapped. There is merit in being able to adapt to the recent news and trends, and there will be a section of your strategy dedicated to this.
The majority of what you post though will come from your calendar. Which, usually, will extend outwards for about a month. This allows you to properly promote upcoming deals or events, and in general, makes it easier to cover all of your bases. This way you will also have an immediate resource to check past posts for anything that can be improved.
#7 Don’t Be Afraid To Stand Out
A lot of the advice in this post could be misconstrued as telling you to just play it safe. There is after all danger in upsetting your clients by posting something off-color. In large part though, having any amount of common sense will protect you from the worst of these issues, and your disaster response plan will cover the rest.
The human attention span has dropped to an average of 8 seconds (that’s 1 less than a goldfish), and most of their content is consumed by scrolling. Your posts will not only need to halt their endless scrolling but keep them engaged long enough to get your message across. This is difficult on its own and becomes even more so as people become blind to certain marketing techniques. If you can remember any one thing from this post make it “be original but be yourself”, and with that in mind your content will stand out.
We hope our 7 Social Media Practices For Law Firms helped! Click here to book a call with us, we’d love to talk to you!