Developing a Successful Social Media Strategy for Law Firms: Part 3 Good2bSocial Digital Academy
Last week, we covered Good2bSocial’s content marketing strategy for law firms module, going over how law firms can use thought leadership to align their business goals with those of their clients. Good2bSocial’s Digital Academy includes eight modules that provide legal marketers with essential knowledge of digital marketing concepts. Good2bSocial’s Digital Marketing Certification offers a module on Law Firm Social Media Strategy, complete with videos, articles, assignments, and webinars that break down how firms can put together a valuable social media strategy. Key concepts covered in the module include how to define a law firm brand, extend the reach and engagement of a law firm’s social media posts and how to build and maintain a following. The module also includes lessons on how law firms can best utilize various social media platforms, including Instagram and LinkedIn.
Effective social media marketing strategies that drive engagement and generate leads are an essential part to any law firm’s business development plan. Despite this, some law firms have trouble implementing a successful strategy. This is a missed opportunity for lawyers to build connections with prospective clients and to further connect the dots between the practice areas and legal matters associated with lawyers’ messaging and the law firm’s brand goals.
There’s a great deal of information out there on how businesses can use social media to define and heighten their brand. The unique value proposition of Good2bSocial’s Digital Marketing Academy is that it distills and refines social media, content marketing, and SEO best practices and applies them to the legal services industry. Ryan King of Ogletree Deakins shared his thoughts on the course, saying:
“This course was excellent. It covered all the major areas of digital marketing and was hyper specifically designed for those in a law firm environment. The number of sessions were just right. The homework assigned for each session was impactful, memorable, digestible, and always underscored the importance of the week’s lesson.”
The Law Firm Social Media Strategy module begins with a social media checklist for law firms, breaking down key concepts that are needed to get started, with defining the target audience being the first step.
How to Define Your Target Audience and How to Choose Effective Social Media Platforms for your Law Firm
The most important step in the process of crafting a social media strategy for law firms is to define the audience your attorneys are trying to target. These steps include determining the following:
What Age is Your Target Audience?
What Does your Audience Do for a Living?
What is the Marital or Family Status of Your Audience?
This process includes going beyond targeting people who just “need a lawyer.” Defining key characteristics of an ideal law firm buyer persona helps the firm understand how to reach the audience they want through targeting marketing collateral directly to them. Tweaking law firm thought leadership and social media to address the needs of where the potential buyer is in the sales cycle.
Once an audience is defined, law firms can then determine which platform to choose to best target them. For example, if the target audience is a professional one, LinkedIn is a good place to start. If firms are on LinkedIn, they should ensure their company profile includes information on company culture, the firm’s business areas, job openings, and links to thought leadership.
An active Twitter account is also a must-have for law firms looking to improve their social media marketing efforts. Twitter is a great place to share thought leadership articles, as well as information on attorney speaking engagements, client events, and well-being initiatives. Including news from the firm itself humanizes the brand, giving the law firm’s Twitter feed personality. Firms can also use multimedia such as photos, videos, and podcasts to make tweets more visually appealing, which can drive engagement.
While LinkedIn and Twitter are useful tools, they’re not the only platforms that can be utilized by law firms for social media marketing. Good2bSocial’s Social Law Firm Index found that 42 percent of the Am Law 200 firms are active on Instagram, using the platform for both recruitment efforts and to reach new clients. Law firms can use Instagram in innovative ways such as highlighting the employee experience at the firm, promoting company culture, and sharing firm accomplishments. By using Instagram effectively, firms can show why attorneys should come work for them, and why clients should hire them.
How to Refine your Law Firm’s Social Media Bios for a B2B Buyer
Talia Schwartz, Good2bSocial’s Director of Marketing, details the strategy behind and the importance of perfecting an attorney’s and law firm’s social media bio and why it is key in helping lurkers actually engage with your firm or your attorneys. Per Fishman:
“If someone is looking at your professional profile, it’s because they think you might be able to help them with some kind of problem…they are more interested in what you can do than who you are. Accordingly, your firm or your lawyers should take advantage of the available space to highlight events or skills that make you stand out as a lawyer in your area of practice”.
Creating Curated Content While Setting & Measuring Goals
The next step is to frame your law firm’s content around the challenges faced by your audience. The key to doing this successfully is to both promote your own content, as well as articles from outside sources. This decreases the appearance of being too promotional and also brings the ‘social’ into social media versus a bullhorn for your message and provides opportunities to interact with potential buyers and /or brand advocates. Generally, content should also be educational and curated to help solve the problems faced by your audience. Module 1 of Good2bSocial’s Digital Marketing Academy details the how and why of analyzing and constructing a law firm or practice group buyer persona which helps contextualize the buyer’s journey and focuses your firm’s thought leadership to match the concerns of potential buyers.
If law firms are going to take the time to create content, then the return on investment for promoting it on social should also be high. This can be achieved by setting realistic goals for engagement and growth. Some key metrics to track include increased brand awareness, higher traffic volume, new leads for newsletters, as well as retweets, shares, views, and comments. Establishing a benchmark can help establish a measurable metric that firms can track over time.
Having the right tools for social media management is essential to streamlining processes and saving time. Common social media planning applications include Hootsuite, HubSpot, SEMRush, and Sprout Social. These applications make it easier to schedule posts in advance. It will take some trial and error to find the right tool for your team, so feel free to try a few programs and figure out what works best. One of the most helpful features of the social media module is the analysis of top-performing law firm Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts.
Achieving Business Results Through Employee Training
One of the last pieces of the puzzle includes creating an employee advocacy strategy, investing time and effort to train lawyers and other professionals on how to properly use social media. This empowers employees to share more on social media platforms, increasing brand awareness, exposure, and reach for the firm.
Law firms can generate business results from social media by finding their audience online, choosing a platform, setting goals, and choosing the right tools. By adhering to this roadmap, law firms can keep track of their goals and achieve results. Good2bSocial’s module on Law Firm Social Media Strategy gives law firms a strong foundation to create a strong social media presence across multiple platforms through conducting audience research, defining a law firm brand, choosing the right platform, creating content that is effective, training employees, and harnessing the right tools to measure progress toward goals.
To learn more about the Good2bSocial Academy and the law firm-focused topics covered please click here.
To Read Part 1 Good2bSocial Digital Academy for Law Firms - Inbound Marketing and Client Journey Mapping, click here.
To read Part 2 Good2bSocial Digital Academy - Content Marketing Strategy for Law Firms, click here.
Stay tuned for more details on the topics and key takeaways included in the other six modules of the Good2bSocial Academy.