Building Your Law Firm's Business with 10 Social Media Hacks
There's an easy way for law firms to think about social media. Instead of a vast, overwhelming network of talking heads, social media is one thing and one thing only for businesses: Opportunity.
There's a palpable demand for legal expertise on the Internet.
Exhibit A: the outcrop of "DIY" template sites, offering boilerplate legal documents to customers and users. And, all the legal term searches as your potential clients are searching for answers, insights and solutions online.
Many law firms are still grappling with how to harness the power of social media to extend their reach. What can your law firm do with your social media marketing to become the answer those web searchers are looking for?
There is a massive opportunity for businesses to harness the sheer power and reach of platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Utilize these 10 social media hacks for law firms to get back on a competitive track.
10 Hacks for Better Social Media Marketing
If you ask Mark D. Poniatowski, a lawyer based in Northern California, LinkedIn has managed to kill the "feast or famine" maddening cycle that most businesses, self-starters and entrepreneurs face, regardless of industry.
Committing just three to five hours on LinkedIn a week, his business saw an 10x ROI resulting in $12,000 of new referrals.
Those sort of stats speak for themselves.
Analytics-driven marketing is a strategic way to test the efficacy of two things: Firstly, the platform itself and, secondly, your social media strategy.
Go ahead and start using LinkedIn's blog feature to publish regular content.Then, hook up Google Analytics to track referrals to your website, levels of engagement, and click-throughs.
Optimizing each lawyer's profile should be on your radar next. The whole point of this is to be able to stand out in a search. Optimized profiles have several key features that should be harnessed in order to "game" those search results, narrowing it down from nearly 400,000 hits to a handful.
Aspects of your profile you should be optimizing are:
- Vanity URLs
- Cover photos
- Customized links in the contact section
- A personable summary
- A detailed, scannable "Experience" section
- Links to published articles and awards
- A robust "Skills and Endorsements" section
Company Profile Page
At the level of brand building, create a company profile page no matter how "boutique" your operations. This will allow lawyers in your firm to list your firm as their place of employment, further optimize search results and give your articles a home.
If LinkedIn is the place to establish your authority, then Twitter is the place to connect and have conversations. It's your firm's opportunity to comment on goings-on within current events, whether legally-significant or not.
3rd Party Aggregators
Social media aggregators can help you keep a track of two major things: your content across multiple social platforms and interactions with your content through comments, retweets (known as "RTs), likes, shares and more.
Social media streams and sites don't exist in a silo. Even though each site is essentially "at war" with each other for the main commodity — a user's limited attention — users will have multiple accounts across these platforms.
So using an aggregator is the first step to keep your pulse on the larger conversation and to use hashtags that are trending before they become overused.
Conversation & Commentary
Which leads us to our second point. Many lawyers in law firms, masters of the written word, will spend hours agonizing over what to comment on and how to craft the perfect tweet.
But there is no such thing as the perfect tweet. Let go of this need to inject every set of characters with wit and wordplay. While you do want quality over quantity, write more humanly.
They call it the "Twitter-verse" because, within its microcosm, interactions are happening rapidly.
Your tweets should focus on two things: commentary on current events or inserting yourself into a conversation thread that's already happening, providing expertise or context, as you might in a real-life conversation. Make sure to use hashtags, even in your replies.
If you're attending a legal proceeding, feel free to "live tweet" it in order to make it like an event and drum up more on-demand interaction.
Rules of Engagement
While you're testing out and gaining traction on Twitter using the above two hacks, create a process for yourself that you strictly follow for engagement.
For example, for every person who shares your content, you might choose to send them a personalized DM, follow them and then RT a few of their tweets over time. This can be a sort of "If-This-Then-That" rule that everyone in the firm follows.
Paid digital campaigns on Facebook focus primarily on using Facebook Ads Manager. Often, law firms new to Facebook will make the mistake of "boosting" or "promoting" a post. You want to avoid that because, not only is the ROI of a boosted post shaky, at best, the rules for Facebook are changing once again.
Instead, you want to set up a very simple sales funnel that might look something like this:
Begin by creating a blog post or a piece of content like a podcast. Then, set up an ad with a targeted audience and run the ad with a budget of "x" amount of dollars of ad spend a day. Then, have an opt-in set up on the page to capture visitors' email addresses for your mailing list.
Of course, you'll also want to set up a Facebook Pixel to track conversions and click-throughs. But, go the route of a structured campaign rather than random, "boosted" posts and you'll have a much more robust result.
Going Live in Facebook Groups
Facebook 2018 changes mean that content from groups is going to be much more heavily privileged. Posts from within groups that people are a part of are going to be the things that show up on their newsfeed.
This makes things very simple for you: Firstly, instead of posting all your content to your business page, focus on building a Facebook Group. Reroute visitors from your business page to your group every opportunity you get.
Then, set up a schedule for a weekly "Facebook Live" video where you share a useful piece of information. This is what will show up in your group members' feeds and build your firm's authority and visibility.
Using Content Distributors
Once you've created some amazing, action-oriented, authoritative and expert content, use a tool like Outbrain to distribute your content.
While they are "ads," they don't feel like ads to the user. They feel more like article and content recommendations. Outbrain does all the heavy lifting to figure out who to send which recommendation to, based on its behavioral targeting. All you've got to do is craft the ad and have some back-up content.
Mining Personal Networks
And, lastly, there's one thing that simply can't be beat when it comes to social media: Access.
People who use social media to post and then consume others' posts are essentially looking for access into the lives of others.
Harness that by allowing your firm's lawyers to mine their own personal networks. They can share your firm's events, useful information and even do a "Live Video" on their own personal Facebook pages, which will then be seen by their friends and family.
And since Facebook's 2018 changes are pushing these personal connections more, this is one of the most strategic things to do right now.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.