Social media can be a very powerful tool when used correctly. The problem is that many law firms are not utilizing social media platforms the way they were intended. There is no cookie cutter strategy to follow in order to become successful through social media. However, there are definitely tactics that companies are using that simply don’t work and could be potentially hurting them.
1. Don’t use your profile as a soapbox or form of advertisement.
The majority of law firms (and businesses in general) use social media as a way to post blog articles and marketing copy in an effort to advertise their law firm or business. Social media is not like a television commercial; it is much more like a business conference. You would not go to a business event and talk all about yourself without acknowledging anyone else in the room. You would network with others by asking questions and discussing relevant topics. That is exactly what law firms and businesses should be doing on social media. You cannot expect someone to search for you and find your page, you must reach out to others.
2. Don’t be an emotionless robot.
Get creative with the material that you share on social media. Don’t think that you should post things directly related to your law firm 100 percent of the time. Think about it from the perspective of your audience. If it is not useful information, or if it doesn’t spark their interest, they are most likely going to ignore it. The goal is to engage people so that they comment, like and share. Post a funny photo related to law, business, or relevant topics in the industry. Share your opinion on a popular case in the news. Just don’t get stuck in a boring routine of posting the same marketing copy day in and day out… be more interesting and people will want to engage with you.
3. Don’t use the same strategy for every social network.
If you post the same exact material on Facebook as you do on Twitter it gives people no reason to follow you on all networks. In fact, each social network offers slightly different audiences and are not meant to be used in the exact same way. For example, Twitter is a way for people to get news and updates quickly, it is not meant for lengthy explanations. LinkedIn is a more professional platform and your posts should reflect this. It is fine to post some of the same content on all networks, but incorporate different posts as well.
4. Don’t only do enough to get by.
Many law firms post on social media simply because they know they should, but they do not take advantage of the many benefits social media can offer. Adding content to social media just for the sake of adding it is not going to help you or your law firm. If no one is interested in what you have to say then you are basically posting updates for no reason. Take full advantage of the vast audience that is at your fingertips. Use Twitter as a search engine to find people discussing topics related to your law practice. Participate in LinkedIn Groups and Google+ Communities by offering your expertise and knowledge in the subjects being discussed. There are so many ways to communicate with potential clients on social media. If you are ignoring these outlets, you’re missing out.
5. Don’t become overwhelmed.
It is not easy to find the time to post continuously on all networks, respond to comments, ask questions, and still run your business. However, other lawyers and business owners are finding their own way to keep up and they will pass you by if you don’t stay active. Start off slow and set a specific amount of time per day strictly for social media posting. For example, you may want to set a goal to follow 10 people and comment on five posts a day. As time goes on you will find your own rhythm and will be able to schedule time accordingly. Use social media apps to help you track updates and even type up a week’s worth of posts in one sitting.
As I mentioned before, there is no straight, clear-cut strategy, but managing social media does require time and effort. Social media networks give you the ability to communicate with people you may not normally be able to reach otherwise. Make sure you are taking full advantage of this huge opportunity and not letting potential clients pass you by.
If you need assistance with your law firm website or social media, contact PaperStreet today.