With multiple platforms and billions of users, the question shouldn’t be whether or not your business should use social media. The question should be how to use it effectively.
If you’ve been thinking about social media and your business, there are steps to take. There are ways to promote your firm while increasing brand awareness. You don’t have to do it alone. Social media management for attorneys is different than it is for most other companies. Your “product” is your skills. Your clients might not think about hiring a lawyer until the worst day of their life. That’s why it’s vital to increase your firm’s name recognition with potential clients before they actually need your services.
Build Brand Awareness
The steady stream of stories about social media might lead you to believe its use has peaked. Nothing could be further from the truth. Social media includes everything from business networks like LinkedIn to photo sharing sites like Instagram. Although social media penetration is already 69 percent in North America, the number of users continues to grow. By 2023, around one-third of the world’s population will be an active social media user. Currently, active users spend well over two hours per day interacting with various platforms.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter can increase awareness of your firm. Posts should be positive and helpful. It can be easy to inadvertently alienate potential clients. Limit access to your firm’s accounts. Some firms hire a social media specialist. If your posts attract likes and followers, you’ll improve your chances of being remembered. Sponsored posts and targeted advertising can also build awareness. Since attorneys are often hired quickly by clients in distress, getting your name out there beforehand is invaluable.
Something for Free
Few people enjoy being sold to. Nearly everyone likes getting something for free. Blogs, vlogs (video blogs), and Q&As can provide valuable information about your firm and about the law.
Attorneys who demonstrate their expertise online have an advantage over those who just offer a simple profile on a website. The American Bar Association reports that over one-third of lawyers with professional social media accounts have gained new clients from the platforms. You may not have thought about posting videos to sites like YouTube, but you should. Keep the posts brief and informative. Perhaps you can interview a client who won a settlement or discuss an aspect of the law with a senior partner. Telling your firm’s story will help potential clients remember you.
Increasingly, search engines like Google recognize social feeds along with traditional websites. Producing more dynamic content may elevate your firm’s ranking in search engine results. Improving firm visibility means improving your chances of attracting clients. Interesting content, including informative blogs, can also help.
The old saying is true. No one plans to fail, they just fail to plan. Joining multiple platforms without a clear strategy is a recipe for disappointment. Instead, plot out how you will use them. Each platform has a different focus, with a variety of demographics. Instagram and Snapchat users tend to skew younger and favor images over text. Facebook’s audience has grown steadily older over the last decade. Determining the demographic most likely to use your firm’s services will determine your strategy. Instead of a scattershot approach, focus on one or two sites. Track both advertising and referrals. Remember, every firm is unique. Not every platform works for everyone. Be bold.
It can be hard to know the best ways to use social media. For many lawyers, the online world is limited to filing documents and updating firm websites. Yet with the right approach, social media can exponentially grow your business.