A Social Media Guide for Lawyers.
You can’t escape the social media explosion of recent years but it has taken some time to filter down into the legal sector. Those firms that have embraced the use of social media are reaping the rewards and it’s not too late to catch up.
Why do social Media?
Social media by its very nature is social, it is a two way communication tool. What it is not, is a promotion or advertising tool and if you set out with just this objective your social media strategy will fail. But why should you be using social media? Social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs (and we hope that you are blogging) provide a fast and cheap way to keep in touch with clients and prospects, keep an eye on competitors, and keep up-to-date with industry trends.
- Make sure your website is up to date
- Have strong calls to action
- Create data capture forms
Before embarking on a social media plan it is important to have an up to date quality website. A site well optimised with strong calls to action and if possible some form of data capture. You want to use social media to drive visitors to your website and then your website can take over and do the selling.
Strong calls to action like ‘call us now for no obligation advice’ or data capture forms like ‘sign up to our newsletter’ will help convert your visitors to paid clients. Saying that, we do have clients that have mediocre websites and their social media still works well. Many of their social pages act like substitute websites. So if your website is in need of an upgrade, don’t despair, social media can still work for you but if you do have a great website it will work a lot better and faster.
Your Social Media Strategy
Like any project some prior planning will pay dividends. While we manage a lot of our client social media accounts for them we do also create full social media strategies. These provide the blueprint for their social media activity which gives them the direction and guidance to be able to manage their own accounts. So some investment in writing a strategy or plan will make your social media more effective and efficient.
Think about your objectives,
- Do you want to raise your profile?
- Drive traffic to your website?
- Or simply keep clients up to date with your news?
- Any number of objectives is fine just make sure you have them and making them ‘smart’ will give your strategy focus.
You will then create content for your posts to help fulfil these objectives.
Regularity and consistency is key with social media but it takes a lot of resources to keep it up. To help manage your time you should create a timetable of tweets and posts to run over a week or month. Most platforms have the option to schedule the publication of posts at time to suit. Alternatively a management tool like Hootsuite can be a valuable asset as it allows you to schedule content over multiple platforms.
What platforms are right for you?
- There are a huge range of platforms to choose from.
- Who are your clients?
- Are they individuals or are they businesses?
For individuals Twitter and Facebook would be a good starting point where as if you are looking for corporate customers LinkedIn is a must. To help you decide do a little research, what are your competitors using? Join industry groups relevant to your customer base, LinkedIn and Google+ are particularly useful for this. Join in the conversations, start discussions and offer advice but make sure you listen to what others are talking about too.
Social media above all should be fun; it is a marketing tool that allows you to show your firms personality. People do business with people and allowing your human side to show through will help build relationships with potential new clients. However social media will only work for you if you are committed to the project and prepared to invest real time to it. Planning is key and your social media should support your company’s overall business objectives, it is not something to casually pass to the work experience girl to do. Keep measuring the effect of your social media as your presence grows and adjust your strategy as needed.
If you would like any help or advice with your social media Consortium Business Solutions can assist with anything from writing a social media strategy, through day to day management of your accounts and creating one off campaigns. Contact Lara@consortiumbiz.co.uk for a no obligation chat.