Social media has become one of the most popular facets of online technology, and it seemingly sprouted out of nowhere in the past 20 years. In its infant years, it was mostly used just for people to talk, and meet new friends. Bland, simple website design didn’t facilitate much else. Nowadays, however, social media is becoming one of the best ways to market your business to the world, and it’s never too late to jump on the bandwagon. If you manage your social media intuitively and contemporarily, you can boost your law firm’s online presence tremendously, and not only build a bigger client base, but also your reputation.
Learn how it works
Start off by learning about the popular sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, and even Youtube. Learn how your content is presented differently depending on the platform.
For Twitter, you want short, powerful statements, since there is a character limit of about 140 characters. That last sentence was about 105 characters, to give you an idea of how short it has to be. You can share snippets of advertising content, or you can post brief synopses of articles, or tips to handling certain legal situations.. Another useful trick to Twitter is linking out to your website’s content. You can link content which shouldn’t take up any of your limited characters, leaving you plenty of space to give a brief synopsis of what the content is.
Facebook doesn’t have a character limit, but you still want to keep your content concise. You can still share content from your website, but it’s presented more fully, instead of just a clickable link. Use this to your advantage. All of these social media platforms allow you to pay to sponsor your content, increasing your reach to a broader field of potential clientele. However, it’s important to learn how exactly they determine who to show your sponsored content to. Facebook, for example, lets its users choose from a variety of interests, but also bases it on which types of pages they “like”, or follow. Instagram does something similar. All of these networks can be of great value as you learn the differences and inner workings of each one.
Share your content regularly, so that there is always a steady stream of information coming from your various social media accounts. Regularly dedicate time (either yourself or whoever you delegate to manage the accounts) to curate content that is relevant, useful, and high quality. There are several types of social media automation, such as Hootsuite, that can take content you write and post it for you to your various accounts. In some instances, you can tailor your content to be published at the peak times of activity so you can be certain more people will be active on social media to see your content. You can even hire a full-time social media manager to do it all for you as well. This “automation” allows you to have more time to interact with clients.
Having set times for content to be shared regularly is half of the consistency battle. The other half is making sure your content is consistent across each page. Every platform is different, of course, but you want all of your posts to work together, so that those who follow your firm on multiple platforms don’t get confused. Variety is important, and you should embrace that, but you can treat the variety like branches of the same tree.
Interact with your clients
It’s right in the name: social media. Once you have a good schedule for posting content consistently across your platforms, as previously stated, this frees you up to be able to respond to your clients as they interact with your pages. You can reply to comments and questions people leave in regards to your posts, which gives a sense of reality and humanity to your social media pages, further endearing current and potential clients to who you are as a firm. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about jam-packing everything into your posts/articles, because you know that you’re available to answer questions as needed. It’s quite helpful for both parties.
Piggybacking off of that point, it’s important to not only interact with clients, but to produce content that creates such an environment that you can engage with clients. You can’t just make an article for your legal blog, link to it on Facebook and Twitter, and leave for lunch, metaphorically speaking. It can be the bane of many a small firm to share lots of content on their social media that is either low-quality, or they simply never check back on their pages to see what their followers are saying about the content, or perhaps even a combo of the two. Always, always stay on top of your social media pages and work to engage with your clients.
All social media platforms give you the power to measure your analytics. You can see how many people visit your respective pages at what times, and you can see what kind of content is getting you the highest interaction. Carefully and closely follow your metrics to fine tune your social media management. You can also use this metrics management to see exactly where you should be hitting the hardest. Look at it like mining: having pages on all the major platforms is like creating a web of tunnels to look for gold. When you hit a vein, that’s where you can start to focus additional time and resources to extract every bit of gold possible. If more people are seeing and interacting with your Instagram posts, make that your flagship for a time. Focus on tightening the gap between lawyer and client online. Don’t put all your eggs in that one basket, but once you find where your content is most efficacious, hit that area, and hit it hard.
All of this centers around having the ability to set attainable goals. All the content, metrics, time, and money in the world won’t be of much help if you don’t have goals. Your goals should be focused on measuring your success, so obviously you should set goals you know you can achieve. Stretch yourself to grow, but don’t set unreasonable expectations. That only creates a cycle of defeat, which is a surefire way to fail a social media campaign. Think of your goals as railroad tracks. Even a bullet train won’t get anywhere without tracks to glide around on. Make sure you aren’t causing any unnecessary “friction”, or anything that causes you to waste your time or money on an ineffective aspect of social media management. With all this in mind, goals are like tracks, but also shouldn’t limit your potential. If you set short and long-term goals, but start seeing different, better options, don’t be afraid to tweak your strategy then and there.
It’s all about the balance between goals that you will hold yourself to and being able to modify your approach as needed. Nobody becomes a social media expert in a day. Sometimes you’ll set goals that you find out a month or two later aren’t as attainable as you thought. You may have to adjust those goals to make it attainable. That being said, here’s two final things to remember:
-Sometimes you don’t achieve your goals. That doesn’t mean you need to constantly lower your goals to make sure you’re achieving them every month. That defeats the purpose of having a goal in the first place.
-Additionally, if you happen to achieve your set goals early, don’t increase them. You reached your job. Take that victory, and take everything you get for the rest of the time period as just a nice bonus, and adjust your goals accordingly for the next time period.
If you set goals that are attainable, you’ll have greater positivity and confidence in your goal-setting for the future. The evidence will be clear as day: you set a goal that you achieved. Celebrate that. Take that success and multiply it.
If you keep all of these tips in mind, you’ll be able to have an increasingly successful online presence, which will drastically improve your reputation with your clients, both current and in the future.