The following is a guest blog post by John Allen, Global SEO of RingCentral.
When thinking of marketing on social media, we tend to picture retail brands showing us products or a news outlet sharing their latest story. With a solid social media strategy in place, it's obvious that modern advertising can be a great investment.
So, why shouldn’t your law firm take advantage of this trend, too?
Using social media and other handy tools like marketing software or enterprise communications is a great way to accelerate growth and to let people know who you are and what services you provide. With the right tactics, you can even build more business leads and create partnerships.
Social media is a big part of people’s lives, so most companies have increased their digital ad spend on social media advertising. This includes law firms. In fact, a recent Attorney at Work survey revealed that 70% of legal firms use social media as part of their marketing strategy.
With so much competition, it can be challenging for law firms and legal practices to differentiate themselves on social media platforms. So here are a few steps you can take to help your legal practice stand out amongst the crowd:
This may seem like a bit of a “well, obviously” moment. But making yourself stand out on social media isn’t always as simple as it may seem. Like anything successful, you need to put the effort in.
Ask yourself who your target audience is and which platform they are most likely to use (or do market research if you don't know). If you have a sales team, consider how they can best contact clients over social media. If a client wants instant answers, will you be using a VoIP landline alongside live chat?
The list goes on. Think about how your practice is set up and what you’re hoping to accomplish through using social media. It could be that you want to increase your visibility or maybe you want to talk to leads on a more personal level. Set realistic goals for yourself and create an achievable strategy.
It may be tempting to go overboard and use every single platform available. But in all honesty, you aren’t likely to find clients on a platform like Pinterest, even if you have gone to the effort of making a little crocheted judge complete with wig and gavel. For law firms, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter will probably be most suited to you. Yet, this is dependent on what kind of firm you are and the clients you want to communicate with.
Then, consider how often you would like to post. If you are uploading quick posts, then you should try to do this daily. However, if you are posting more long-form pieces like links to white papers or long blog posts, then you should do this weekly to monthly. Try to mix longer posts and videos with short daily updates.
People are always more drawn to information with a visual. Of course, there is nothing wrong with ‘sharing’ or ‘re-tweeting’ information that is relevant. But creating original and appealing content is always best.
It could be that you choose to write a blog about points specific to the legal field or you might decide to create a series of visual posts.
This is a great chance to get creative and demonstrate your uniqueness. The possibilities are endless. When thinking visually, you could take facts about your firm and add them to pictures. You could even commission a graphic designer to make a short cartoon giving legal advice.
You can also consider video-based solutions and make a series of YouTube videos. In doing so, you can tell the world what it is your firm does and how you do it. Creating videos gives you the prime opportunity to put some personality into your message.
The type of videos you choose to create could range from advice pieces to interviews. Why not even throw in an interesting story or discuss trending topics in your field? Or loop multiple into a call with a cloud pbx system and conduct engaging interviews or round-tables. Asking questions in the content you share is also a great way to connect with others.
No matter what content you choose to create, you will need to consider the tone of voice and vibe you want to give off. The goal of your content is to engage your audience and make them interested in you and your services.
One of the disadvantages of online communication is that the competition is high. However, by finding unique ways to connect with your clientele online, you’ll be able to help your law firm distinguish itself and demonstrate why you’re the right firm to hire.
Always remember, too, to consider the cybersecurity risks of the platforms you use and the content you share.
If social media was designed for people just to look, it would be called voyeuristic media. This means you should take advantage of the ‘social’ aspect of social media and communicate with your audience.
According to The Social Sprout Index, almost 50% of customers use social media to address their problems.
A firm in the telecom sector could probably easily tell a customer how to set up multiple phone line system at home using social media. But for lawyers, due to privacy or legal reasons, it can be a little harder to advise clients via messenger or comments. This isn’t to say it is impossible, though.
However, it is easy to answer more ‘basic’ questions and show that you are listening to what people want.
An example might look like this:
Potential client: “Hi. I think I might have been unfairly fired at work. My boss found out I was pregnant and fired me. Can you help?”
You: “Hello. That sounds like a very stressful situation. This seems like unfair dismissal and you could have a case. Let’s talk over messenger and we can find out a bit more about the situation. Thank you”.
As you know, when people are having to seek legal help, it can be worrying. Communicating with people sympathetically shows your support every step of the way.
You should also aim to respond to people quickly so the client doesn’t disappear or head straight over to the competition. If you're struggling with quick responses, you can have Smith.ai agents respond to your Facebook page messages.
In this day and age, there is no excuse for law firms not to take advantage of social media. It can not only help you differentiate your law firm, but it can also help to connect you with a larger pool of potential clients and give you the opportunity to demonstrate your brand, your unique services, and your personality. Remember to get your social media strategy right from the start. Think about your target audience and the platforms they are likely to use. You then need to put out the right content, such as videos and blogs, and make sure you are keeping it original. Lastly, interact with clients and answer questions the best you can.
By doing what you can to leverage social media to your advantage, you are sure to place your law firm well ahead of the competition.
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