23 octubre, 2019

The guide to winning social media for law firms

For years, social media has been a popular marketing channel for consumer brands. You see companies like Wendy’s, Airbnb and MoonPie dominating the landscape with their exceptional social media marketing strategies.

With the immense popularity of these consumer brands, it may sometimes seem like certain industries like the legal industry are ignoring social media as a marketing channel. But that’s no longer the case as the use of social media among independent attorneys and law firms is becoming increasingly popular.

In fact, 96% of respondents in an Attorney at Work survey say that they use social media. And 70% use it as part of their overall marketing strategy.

That said, some law firms may still be struggling to use social media effectively. This could be a huge missed opportunity as effective social media marketing for law firms can help you attract prospective clients and build valuable connections.

That;s why we’ve put together this guide to help you improve your social media marketing game.

You’ll be able to understand how social media can benefit your law firm and how you can make the most of it.

Let’s dive right in.

The benefits of social media for law firms

Before we take a look at the rules and best practices, let’s first try to understand the value of social media for law firms. Why should you bother with it in the first place? And is it really worth the time and effort?

Here are some of the ways your law firm can benefit from social media:

1: Create brand awareness

People are spending more time on social media. The Sprout Social 2019 Index found that 44% of consumers have reported an increase in personal social media usage. So a strong social presence helps you get your message in front of the right audience and increase brand awareness.

2: Engage your target audience

People use social media to not just connect with their friends and relatives but also to consume content and engage with brands. This makes it a valuable platform to engage your target audience and turn them into prospects. You could use social media to provide them with informative and engaging content, answer their questions, resolve their issues and more.

3: Attract prospective clients

Social media is highly effective for law firms to attract new clients. The American Bar Association found that 35% of lawyers who use social media professionally have been able to gain new clients as a result. Additionally, 49% of respondents in the previously cited Attorney at Work survey have also been able to get new clients through social media.

4: Establish thought leadership

One of the reasons why social media has been effective for attracting prospective clients is because it helps you showcase your expertise. You can use it to share valuable information that will help you prove your credibility and win the trust of your target audience.

5: Improve your SEO efforts

While social signals aren’t a direct ranking factor, there is a correlation between improved social signals and improved search engine ranking. Additionally, Google continues to increasingly bring in dynamic content such as social feeds into search results, so a strong social presence may lead to you controlling more visible space on search results for your firm’s name. Plus, a developed social presence contributes to overall improvements in online visibility and increases in traffic.

7 ways to use social media for lawyers

With social media being so valuable for law firms, you can’t afford to miss out on this channel to market your services. Here are some of the essential ways to get started using social media for lawyers.

1: Get the basics right

Like every channel, you need to start by nailing the basics of social media marketing. This includes:

  • Choosing the right social media platform to invest in. You might want to start out slow by focusing on a couple of platforms that your audience uses the most.
  • Setting realistic and measurable goals. What do you plan to get out of your social media marketing efforts? Do you want to increase brand visibility? Maybe you want to attract new clients or you just want to engage your target audience. Either way, have a clear idea of what you wish to achieve through social media marketing.
  • Developing a content strategy and calendar. What kind of content will you create? How often will you post?

If you’re completely new to establishing yourself on social, use our checklist of social media basics to make sure you get this step right.

2: Share original graphics with useful facts and stats

Visuals play a critical role in social media marketing as they are more likely to stand out over text content. So your social content strategy should focus on creating visuals that will immediately attract and engage your prospects.

You can share inspirational quotes, useful legal tips, basic legal information and industry updates through original graphics that stand out. This is especially important if you’re going to use image-heavy platforms like Instagram. Make the most of free design platforms like Canva and Snappa for this.

Take for example how Allen & Overy creates original graphics to share useful quotes from their associates. Each graphic includes the respective associate’s photo, which puts a human face to their firm.

3: Monitor conversations around your firm

One of the main uses of social media for lawyers is in brand listening. You can conduct branded keyword searches on social media to look for content and conversations around your firm. This is a great way to understand what people are saying about you and how they might be feeling about you.

You can even identify conversations where you can weigh in and demonstrate expertise, such as finding news and discussion about topics that are most relevant to your firm’s specializations.  If there are controversies going on in the legal space, being aware of social conversations can also help you avoid being caught off-guard or getting negative PR.

Make the most of Sprout Social’s social listening tools for more effective brand listening. You’ll be able to monitor conversations around your firm in real time and identify trending topics in your industry. This can help you gain valuable audience insights and take necessary action at the right moment.

4: Create informative YouTube videos

Informative YouTube videos are also a vital element in social media marketing for lawyers. Videos not only make your information much easier to understand but also allow you to inject your personality into the content. This makes them a lot more engaging than other content formats.

Plus, you’ll be appealing to the huge portion of the audience that prefers to consume video content over text content. So make sure you regularly create YouTube videos to explain relevant topics, tell interesting stories and discuss trending topics. You could even conduct interviews with industry thought leaders and use their clout to attract new viewers.

Clifford Chance does a great job of creating informative YouTube videos. They regularly create videos on trending topics and interesting discussions.

5: Share valuable blog posts and news updates

The best way to use social media for law firms is to create content that informs, rather than solely promotional content. The more you provide credible and valuable information, the better you’ll be able to showcase your expertise.

In the legal industry, your potential customers won’t make a decision about where to take their business just based on promotion. They would consider your knowledge and credibility as well as your experience before they decide to hire you.

This makes it crucial to constantly share informative blog posts and latest industry news with your social media followers. And don’t just limit yourself to content from your own blog. Make a habit of curating content from other relevant sources and reputable industry blogs.

Freshfields does a great job of sharing informative blog posts that their social media followers would find helpful.

6: Respond to comments and queries

Social media provides you with a platform to build connections and engage with your audience. In fact, consumers are highly dependent on social media as a brand-consumer communication channel.

The Sprout Social Index 2019 found that 47% of consumers reach out to brands on social because they have a product or service question. 40% do so because they have a bad experience, while 31% do so to share their ideas or suggestions.

So make the most of social media to engage with your prospective clients. Respond to comments on your posts and answer questions that people may have about your service. Show the audience that you’re listening and that you’re there to help.

Take for example how Allen Law Firm takes the time to thank one of their clients for a positive comment.

Image Source: Facebook

For larger firms with a bigger audience, this process can be extremely taxing and time-consuming. This is where you can utilize Sprout’s engagement tools to save time and streamline your social media management.

You’ll be able to quickly identify priority messages and comments across all social media platforms using a unified inbox. Use the customizable filtering options to categorize your incoming messages based on specific keywords, networks, profiles and more.

7: Tell your brand story

Law firms can also use social media to tell their brand story. This can be highly effective for humanizing your brand and forming an emotional connection with the audience. So you’ll have a much easier time winning their trust and loyalty.

You can share stories about your firm’s achievements, its history and more. You can also use social media to put your employees in the spotlight and put a human face to your brand.

White & Case does an excellent job of this on Facebook. They regularly share interviews with partners, stories of their associates and news about charitable events they organized.

The closing argument

As you can see, there are a ton of opportunities to utilize social media for marketing your services and engaging your prospects.

Make sure you get the social media basics right and then try out some of the ideas we’ve presented in this post. Additionally, you can also study your competitors’ social media strategies to get inspiration and new ideas.

Are you already using social media to promote your law firm? Feel free to share your insights and experiences in the comments below.

This post The guide to winning social media for law firms originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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