Publish, Like, Share, Repeat: Best practices for legal social media accounts
Reputation Ink works with a lot of clients on their social media posts. From drafting to advising, we are always happy to get social.
In our experience, a lot of law firms are weary of spending potentially billable hours on managing social accounts. How important is social media really when it comes to your law firm’s business?
Well, short story: Very.
Whether we like it or not, social media is a huge driver of communication. And new business.
When you invest in social, you’ll be in good company. An Attorney at Work survey showed that 96% of responding lawyers use social media, with 70% including it in their marketing strategy. Which is good! Because more and more time is being spent on social media by your potential clients.
If this bandwagon still feels like it’s moving too fast to comfortably jump on, don’t worry. We’ve got your back.
Post like a human, not a business
A tendency among law firms is to only repurpose press releases and firm announcements into social posts. Which makes sense. I mean, we are big fans of repurposing content ourselves. But it’s important to tailor your social media posts to your potential clients’ interest.
Social allows for a type of informal communication that is hard to replicate elsewhere. By encouraging lawyers at your firm to share or comment on posts, they have direct visibility (and accessibility) with potential clients. Remember: People hire lawyers, not law firms.
Pssst. Fun fact, just between us: Almost half of surveyed attorneys said they’ve gained new clients through social media.
Yes, people love to watch cat videos and post pictures of their messy toddlers on social media. But they also connect with their favorite brands, companies and agencies. Be available for (current and prospective) clients to learn more about you and why your expertise is a good fit for them.
And do it in a social way!
There is plenty of space in your marketing for buttoned-up content. Social is a chance to be personable.
Not getting the results you want? Let’s dive deeper
So you’re already investing time in social content? Great! You’re ahead of the game.
Is this the part where you scoff at my “half of all attorneys blah blah got new clients blah blah”?
I hear you! If you aren’t getting the results you want from social, let’s walk through some important (but easily overlooked) factors:
- What does your SEO research look like?
- Are you providing thought leadership content that can help your audience, rather than touting the amazingness that is you? (People aren’t reading your stuff to help you; they’re trying to find ways to help themselves.)
- If a piece of content doesn’t offer help or advice, is it valuable to your audience in a different way?
Remember: Share things of value. Tell your story. Be personable.
Make it worth the time for followers to keep you around. It’s great that your firm was ranked in Benchmark and you should let people know. But why is it noteworthy that you’re card-carrying award winners? What do you do particularly well?
I know spending time on social can seem like a luxury, but it’s so important for building your client base. Respond to questions and comments on your content. It’s in the name: Be social.
Social media shouldn’t feel like all work and no play. Remember to have fun. I’ll say it again for my friends in the back: Clients hire lawyers, not law firms. Play up your firm’s culture and participate in appropriate social media holidays. For example, what can you post for Love Your Lawyer Day on November 1?
Location, location, location
Once you narrow in on the kind of content you want to promote on social, now it’s time to look around and create a plan for the different social platforms.
Since there are multiple social platforms to choose from, when time is limited, it’s important to focus your energy where it will have the most impact.
According to Attorney at Work, LinkedIn (84%) and Facebook (80%) are where most lawyers are spending their time, with Twitter being utilized by 59% of marketers. Be where your competition (and potential clients) are.
But, like, how?
Content? Check. Platform? Check. Now it’s time to strengthen your social media game with these quick-and-dirty recommendations:
- Images aren’t just nice to have. They grab attention and posts with images receive 2.3 times more engagement. They actively increase eyeballs on your posts.
- Consider using a social media management tool (38% of legal marketers do). These include Hootsuite, Google Analytics, TweetDeck and Buffer.
- Use an agency. They’re good at that sort of thing (cough, cough). If you work with an agency that specializes in legal PR and content marketing, they know how to create content calendars that show off your attorneys’ successes. If you’re an attorney interested in upping your personal social game, enlist the help of your in-house marketer to develop a plan.
- We also encourage in-house marketers to establish a social media policy for the firm. Nothing crazy, but take a minute to define for the firm what qualifies as good social content. Who will handle publishing big wins – marketing team or lead attorney? Otherwise, these simple things can quickly bottleneck the process.
Okay, but when?
Believe us. We know social media takes time. Time many marketers don’t have. But upping your social media game can reap big rewards.
And don’t stress about being on multiple platforms all day long. Best practices are:
- For Facebook, post no more than twice a day (once being recommended). Post-lunch is the best window to grab people’s attention.
- For LinkedIn, one post a day is great, especially late morning.
- For Twitter, go bananas. Twitter moves quickly so if you can tweet multiple times a day, phenomenal.
If you are posting the same content on multiple social platforms, we recommend changing up the language a bit and adding hashtags when appropriate (Twitter and LinkedIn). Need hashtag help? Stay tuned!
A few parting words
We know there is a lot to consider when diving into social media. Before we leave you to the likes and the posting, we wanted to share a few more words of wisdom:
- When appropriate, remember to tag clients/partners/organizations. This widens the reach of your post.
- Anonymize when necessary. We know you want to show off the amazing work you are doing, but of course client consideration comes first. Need help anonymizing your content so it still remains sharp? Reach out to your firm’s marketing agency for help.
- Use hashtags mindfully. We are all #blessed to live in the glorious age of quick searches and interconnectability. But that means we have to be smart about how we are participating.
- If you are using social for your firm, we think it’s great when firms have personalized hashtags. For example, if you do the marketing for Gambrell Law Offices, we love #GambrellCares to showcase your philanthropic efforts. But let’s not get crazy. One or two personalized hashtags is wonderful, but don’t get too in the weeds.
- Remember: The purpose of hashtags is that they are general enough that people can use them as a search function and join with others in conversation around a topic. It helps your audience find more content. For Rep Ink content, we use “#legalmarketing” and “#contentmarketing” because people are more likely to be looking there than #ReppingThatInk
Do you have any social media tips for law firms or other professional services? Comment below!