Does the term social media fill you with dread? Despite being a first-class communicator the thought of using social media to promote your law firm probably fills you with dread. Which platform is best? What’s a tweet? How do you get likes on a post?
Even if you understand social media, do you have time to embrace its benefits? Sidestepping it instead in favour of tried-and-tested communication methods is tempting.
Three reasons your law firm needs a social media strategy…
- Half the global population uses social media. Can you afford not to tap into an audience this big?
- Nearly five billion people worldwide actively use social media with millions more joining every month*
- 33% of users go to social media to learn about a product or service
Law firms that fail to engage with their audience on social media will fall behind their savvy competitors. So here’s the question: why wouldn’t you want to tap into a five-billion-strong audience for free?
Social media will help you:
- Reach and convert more clients
- Build links with your community
- Drive more traffic to your website
- Spot emerging trends faster
- Connect with other lawyers
But first, your law firm has to create a social media strategy. That’s where our six-step guide comes in.
Building your social media strategy in a few simple steps
Every law firm is different. This means tailoring an approach that suits your practice area and target audience. But these considerations – although important – must be cast aside until you’ve built your foundation.
Here are some best practice rules your law firm should follow to enjoy social media success.
#1 Curb your enthusiasm
It’s tempting to start posting or tweeting immediately. Instead, reign in your enthusiasm. What rules should you follow? Using terms like ‘expert’ or ‘specialist’ could be prohibited.
Understanding the rules will ensure communication is ethical and compliant. From this process will emerge a tone of voice you can use to safely engage with your audience.
#2 What’s your overall aim?
What does your law firm hope to gain from its social media strategy? Defining these aims first will ensure focus But goals must be realistic and achievable. So review your plan carefully before enacting it.
Your goals could include one or more following:
- To establish yourselves as thought leaders in a specific area
- To improve awareness of your brand within the community
- To drive prospects to specified pages on your website
From these goals will flow a strategy that’ll guide your social media marketing.
#3 Know your competitors
How are rival law firms using social media? Build your strategy by watching them. Perhaps you could adapt their tactics to suit your practice. Some of their methods may be less appealing (or less successful).
There’s no shame in learning from industry influencers. So follow them for inspiration – and don’t be afraid to incorporate their methods into future campaigns (albeit uniquely).
#4 Start with baby steps
Every social media platform is different. Understanding how each one works will take time – so start with one or two accounts. This will give you time to AB test messaging until you find an approach that works.
Start small and you’ll be able to spot and resolve issues (for example, compliance violations) that could have been catastrophic had you scaled too quickly.
#5 Create your content plan
Spontaneous posts work within reason. But you’ll also need a solid content plan. Use your competitor research and industry knowledge to plot out your strategy before engaging with prospects.
Before starting, ask yourself:
- Which storytelling device is best – video, slide decks, images?
- To what degree should I respond to prospects in my feed?
- What topics are my audience most likely to respond to?
- Should I share posts and, if so, based on which criteria?
Start with these questions and your law firm will establish a solid foundation for its social media strategy.
#6 Schedule then measure
Having created your content plan it’s time to set a schedule. Using a planning tool is best. This will remove stress from the process. You can also automate your posts – giving you time to review content before it’s published.
Scheduling content also demonstrates commitment. Your law firm’s social media strategy will only succeed if you post consistently. Scheduling and automating posts will ensure this happens.
Don’t forget to track and measure content. That way you can tailor future posts to audience wants and needs – ensuring time and money are well invested.
Which social media platforms are best for law firms?
New social media platforms manifest daily. Meanwhile, existing ones evolve to meet the changing needs of online users.
Although not a top haunt for legal firms, YouTube is a great way to personalise your brand. If you’re a natural storyteller – and have a tale or two to tell – this platform could reap rewards for your practice.
- Share your expertise and offer snippets of guidance
- Showcase your premises and introduce team members
- Promote charitable causes your firm supports
If your law firm wants to use YouTube as part of its social media strategy (i) invest in high-quality equipment; (ii) ensure you have an engaging story to tell; (iii) find someone at ease in front of a camera.
If you’re looking for a social media business platform. LinkedIn is it. Promoting your law firm couldn’t be easier. Create a professional profile to communicate with your audience – and, if desired, a dedicated company page too.
LinkedIn’s not just about business, though. Hobbies, pets, and family are popular topics too – so don’t be afraid to show your personal side. It can help create a stronger bond with your audience.
Image- and video-based content isn’t right for all law firms. So think twice before using it as part of your social media strategy unless it suits your area of practice.
However, there’s nothing wrong with using Instagram to showcase your offices, recruit new staff members, or promote local causes your firm supports.
Facebook has over 2 billion monthly users. Succeeding on this social media platform is challenging, though. Its algorithm prioritises family and friends in the News Feed – plus you’ll be competing against your rivals.
Your audience is actively looking for law firms online right now. But if you’re not there, how will they find you? Instead of handing free leads to competitors, create your social media strategy by following the steps in this guide.
Don’t expect perfection. Mastering social media is a learning curve. Put your content out there, observe how your audience reacts, and adapt your strategy accordingly. Eventually, you’ll find your rhythm and start getting traction.
Social media trends change constantly. So monitor your feed, listen to customer feedback, and watch your competitors closely. If this sounds like a lot of work, it is. That’s why busy law firms often trust their social media strategy to marketing experts.
Boss your social media strategy by booking your free consultation today
Whether you’re a total beginner – or part way through developing your social media strategy – we’ll help your law firm target the right customers, in the right place, in the right way. Contact us to take the next step.