As a brand, the way you present yourself is important. When it comes to social media marketing making sure you hit all right notes can be difficult. So, here are some of the top social media marketing offenses you should avoid!
Think about every lawyer you’ve been in contact with. Does the word “social” come to mind? Being social and public tends to go against the image of lawyers in general, so the idea of being on social media might be completely against their brand. But, the “fad” of social media isn’t going away. In fact, it’s evolved to the point where the credibility of your business hinges on the fact of whether you have an active social media presence or not. So, the question isn’t if you should be on social media, it’s what have you missed out on by not being on social media.
Building a name for yourself as an individual or as a business has never been easier, cheaper, and faster than it is today. You’re probably already on at least one social media platform as a private citizen, so why would you not use it to up your professional brand value? Lawyers and law firms are building a reputation as industry-thought leaders just by being available through their social media platforms. And as you know, reputation is everything.
There are a couple of ways to keep an active and visible brand presence:
Curate and share relevant content: Share and comment on what’s happening in the news related to the type of law you practice. This opens up a world of potential clients to engage with. But before you post something, ask yourself “why is this important to me and my practice?” And “how does it relate to my current and potential client base?”
Create content of your own: Start a blog or recording a video series. Something that is your own and about you and your businesses. This gives your business a more human aspect. (See below!) Just make sure if you are creating your own content you don’t accidentally break any ethical laws like prohibited solicitations or breaking attorney/client privilege. (The American Bar Association has a great article that breaks down some of these issues.)
Some lawyers have a reputation for having an almost robotic approach to the way they promote their business and themselves. It’s no wonder why someone who has the weight of the legal world on their shoulders would not approach social media in the same way. But, social media can actually give you and your firm the freedom to show a more human and relatable side to potential clients. By starting a company blog, or creating any kind of relevant and engaging content, you give potential clients an idea of the kind of people they’d be working with. In 2016, around 26% of law firms maintained legal blogs and participated in some form of social media. The trick is to not let the law office sound like the courtroom.
“Too many of the blog posts, videos, and articles I see in the legal community feel like a closing argument. Your storytelling needs to reflect the human experience,” Media Strategist Drew Keller told Forbes Magazine when speaking about lawyers on social media.
Taking advantage of what is trending around social media is one of the most effective (and efficient) ways for new clients to find and come to you! And there’s no better way for potential clients to find you than to utilize popular ‘hashtags.’ For example, during the Eric Garner protests, many lawyers were using the hashtag #ShutItDown to tweet their contact information and to offer legal services to arrested protesters. The reach of engagement like #ShutItDown goes far beyond the clients who directly benefited.
A record of law practices that participate in trending social justice movements, famous trials, and ongoing legal issues is now easily searchable through social media. This brings more visibility to people in search of a lawyer or firm with very little investment of time or money.
In order to be successful with marketing your company, you need to have a team with the skills and the knowledge of strategic marketing planning. Those skills might not align with the skills of a lawyer or paralegal. So, make sure you have a team in place that will evaluate your clientele and match it with what is trending in the legal community and in digital marketing.
If having an in-house team requires too much overhead, consider hiring a company specializing in MaaS (Marketing as a Service). Companies like this (including Effectivo.Social) have a dedicated group of marketing professionals who will get to know your firm and the type of clients you’re looking to bring on. From there, they tailor the content to fit your needs and your budget. Best of all, you’ll have an active social media presence without taking time away from your clients and their needs.
Having an active social media presence creates new opportunities for your firm and endless amounts of new ways to interact with potential clients.
Are you or your law firm looking to jump into the social media world? What are some of your concerns? What do you expect to get out of it? If you need some answers, Effectivo.Social is here to guide you through.