Approximately 4 billion people worldwide use social media, which is more than half the current global population. It’s no surprise that many companies incorporate social media into their marketing strategy and increase their social media advertising budget. In 2019, social media advertising revenue was reported at a whopping $92.2 billion and was only expected to grow as the internet becomes faster and more widely available.
Most retailers, restaurant chains, and corporations see social media as a staple, but still, some law firms continue to view social media as being too unprofessional of a platform for their purposes. The truth is that law firm social media marketing is crucial for a law firm’s brand growth and building client relationships. Do a quick search on big-name law firms. Most, if not all of them, have active and thriving social media profiles. If you insist on staying out of social media because you perceive it as unprofessional, you’re bound to fall behind your other competitors. If you’re part of the 30% of law firms who still don’t use social media in their marketing strategy, consider making a change now.
It may seem silly to ask how to use social media, but it’s a valid question, especially considering one wrong move on social media can spell death for your company. There are so many horror stories of brands fumbling on social media due to a lack of self-awareness and unprofessionalism. We may perceive social media as a casual platform, but for a business, it still acts as a front for their company and should be used with the utmost mindfulness and respect.
On top of using social media carefully, firms should also know how to use it effectively. The main challenge here is that there are so many social media sites, each with its own site demographic and user behavior and preferences. How do you know which one is right for your firm?
Choosing the right platform
Different social media platforms are like different tools. It’s not a question of “which is best?” but a question of “which is right for my law firm’s goals?”. An effective law firm social media marketing strategy utilizes different platforms to their fullest potential.
To this end, one question to ask is: what is the point of each social media site? YouTube, for example, clearly caters exclusively to video content creators. It’s not a very efficient platform for interacting with your audience or sharing text-based information. If you want to expand to other content besides video, then YouTube alone won’t be enough. Facebook, on the other hand, is good for establishing a community, which is great for building consumer trust and creating a network of clients. Facebook’s post format also lends itself well to long captions, consolidated photo albums, and announcing company events.
A good rule is to stick to the top 2-3 social media sites in your country. It won’t be efficient to maintain five different social media platforms when your highest engagement comes from only two sites. Sticking to the most used social media platforms will guarantee your social media presence’s largest possible audience. This is usually Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. For law firms specifically, you may also consider LinkedIn since it’s a social network geared towards professionals.
Maintaining a social media presence is a full-time job. When in doubt, you can hire a social media manager, ideally one with prior experience working for legal firms. If you want a more in-depth and cohesive social media strategy, you can enlist the help of a social media marketing agency. An agency will have the expertise derived from years spent studying social media landscapes and having a ready-made strategy for your chosen platform.
How to use each platform
- Twitter is good for initiating and joining conversations through hashtags and keywords. Twitter’s character limit means it’s conducive for short and to-the-point promotional material. Twitter utilizes a chronological news feed, so post during peak hours to ensure that your Tweets always end up at the top of your followers’ feeds. Use eye-catching photos to cut through the stream of Tweets. Interact with your followers and answer as many questions as you can throughout the day.
- LinkedIn is great for attracting potential employees and top-bill clients and giving them compelling and relevant information about your firm. Include keywords in relevant page elements like your “about us”. Fill out key fields like website URL, address, contact information, etc., and ensure they stay updated. Build your career page to bolster recruitment efforts and to feature your company culture. Encourage your staff to make LinkedIn profiles and connect with your company page.
- YouTube is great for uploading videos educating your clients on the law and other legal processes. Having a steady stream of well-produced videos will give you an audience that’s always interested in what you have to say. Feature your attorneys and other key personnel to give prospective clients an idea of who they’ll be working with should they choose to avail of your services. Establish a posting schedule you can commit to. YouTube audiences are more likely to subscribe if they know you stick to an upload schedule.
- Facebook offers more versatility than most social media platforms, allowing you to make photo albums, post videos, write long posts, and advertise your posts to targeted individuals. Focus on generating high-quality and engaging content that will generate lots of shares and reactions. The more engagement you get, the more likely you’ll be featured in newsfeeds of those outside your immediate audience.
As mentioned, social media platforms are tools, and each has its own drawbacks and limitations. This is why it’s best to mix and match your law firm social media marketing strategy so that one platform can compensate for the other’s shortcomings. When you’re on social media, stay aware of current events and be mindful of sensitive topics or offensive language. Treat those who approach you with respect and stay professional at all times, and you’ll surely find success in gathering a stable audience.