Law firms can no longer afford to treat social media efforts as an afterthought in the digital age. Your clients, competitors, and thought leaders are using social media, so why aren’t you? We’ve given five pointers for legal professionals looking to get started on social media below, and there are a wealth of other resources available that deal with social media in greater depth. Anything we’ve missed? Sound off in the comments!
Pick a goal and go where the audience resides:
Social networks aren’t Pokemon; while there’s a pervasive attitude that businesses need to ‘collect them all’ and maintain a presence on each to be successful, a little strategy goes a long way. Find where your audience is and where your messages will carry the most impact, and focus your efforts there. Your law firm probably doesn’t need a Pinterest account, but Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, SlideShare, and Quora are all viable channels for a law firm to be part of, with vibrant legal communities. Pick a few, post, engage, and measure effectiveness, then limit your involvement to the ones that work best. Avoid bragging or begging: In order to avoid the pitfalls that come from the professional rules of advertising governing lawyers, it’s important that attorneys avoid bragging about previous case outcomes or actively soliciting business via social media channels. Bad messaging:
- “Case finally over. Unanimous verdict! Celebrating tonight.”
- “Won a million dollar verdict. Tell your friends and check out my website.”
- “Won another personal injury case. Call me for a free consultation.”
- “Another great victory in court today! My client is delighted. Who wants to be next?”
- “Just published an article on wage and hour breaks. Let me know if you’d like a copy.”
Discuss general legal content: This is where content marketing can be beneficial for your firm. By providing or curating content that is valuable to potential clients (much like we do here at Clio), you can create engagement and start building trust with people who will keep your name in mind the next time they require your services. A recent report shows that 58% of consumers trust curated or editorial content from businesses rather than direct marketing messaging. Wondering where you can find great legal content? Look no farther than our Twitter account (okay, maybe a little farther–but it’s a good start!) Discuss firm activity outside of representation Remember, you’re bound by ethical obligations to not discuss the details of your representation, but you’re free to discuss community involvement initiatives that you partake in. Whether you’re giving a talk before the local chamber of commerce, sponsoring a softball team, or hosting a booth at the county fair, clients and fellow attorneys will appreciate a glimpse into your firm culture and community involvement. Another great way to build trust and engagement without running afoul of advertising rules and ethical quandaries. Show personality Don’t be afraid to show your true personality online. With millions of users tweeting, Facebooking, blogging, Instagramming, and more, the only true way to stand out amongst the noise is to develop and use your own distinct voice. In the words of your parents, don’t be afraid to be yourself! Want to learn more about how you can market your firm digitally? Join us for ‘Let Your Clients Find You: Marketing Your Firm Online‘, our free webinar on Tuesday, June 24th, featuring Gyi Tsakalakis and Clio’s own Joshua Lenon.