Law Firms Should Syndicate Social Media for Maximum Results
Attorneys who want to make time for social media among the competing demands of court deadlines, client meetings, and practice management can increase their online visibility with a few simple publishing techniques.
This article shows you how to create and implement a social media syndication plan that will increase your law firm’s Internet marketing visibility. Learn how you can develop and leverage your firm’s customized content to populate a broad range of social media outlets.
Common social media applications for lawyers include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Broadly speaking, social media refers to any type of Internet and mobile-based tool for online networking, collaboration, and information sharing among web-based communities.
Getting Started With Social Media
Launching a social media campaign is actually quite simple. Signing up for LinkedIn, Twitter, and even a blog can be done in a few minutes. Momentum may quickly wane, however, when a busy attorney faces the on-going challenge of creating fresh content.
Start strategically by creating a 6-12 month editorial calendar. Let’s say you have an intellectual property law firm, encompassing several types of services. Pick one topic for each month.
Topics for three months of a calendar quarter could be: 1) copyright law; 2) patent protection; and 3) trademarks. Next, break each monthly topic down into four weekly supporting articles. For example, copyright law topics could be: a) fair use guidelines; b) protecting a copyright; c) international copyright issues; and d) negotiating licensing agreements.
Now that you have your calendar, you can start to write your articles in advance. Of course, the schedule can be interrupted or supplemented as needed to reflect breaking news. Each blog post should be at least 250-300 words, including strategic use of keywords to attract visitors through search engine marketing. Writing for the web actually means writing for both Google and your actual site visitors.
Leverage your Social Media News Feed
Select one primary point of publication for your social media news feed. A blog works well for this purpose through the use of the “RSS” feed. RSS is an acronym for “really simple syndication,” which means that your blog acts as a real-time news feed that can be used to distribute your content to other social media applications. Interested readers can also automatically subscribe to your blog using the RSS feed.
As a starting base, make sure all your social media accounts are properly set up and populated with a description of your law firm.
Plan to publish one main article from your editorial calendar to your blog at least once a week (more is better). It is fairly easy to use free services like HootSuite or NetVibes to then automatically transmit your blog posts to your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts. Alternatively, many social media services make it easy for you to automatically import blog posts by simply specifying the RSS feed within your profile.
You can easily extend your reach to multiple social media outlets without the need for additional time or effort when you leverage your original blog articles using these techniques.
Appoint a Social Media Manager
An essential ingredient in social media success is to put someone in charge of your campaign. Lawyers should be practicing law, so even the best laid plans for an attorney to manage a blog or other Internet marketing campaign will quickly fall to the wayside in the face of court and client demands. Look for a seasoned legal marketer with Internet marketing skills who understands the importance of complying with attorney advertising and other ethical guidelines to help manage your social media campaigns.
Business development through thought leadership marketing is a leading reason many attorneys are attracted to a blog and other social media services. The right legal marketing partner will understand strategic planning issues, the importance of keyword placement in blog posts, and the type of audience you wish to reach. They may even help you draft preliminary blog posts for your editing and publication.
Monitor Social Media Feedback
Social media is interactive, meaning that prospects and followers will comment on your posts and otherwise interact with your material. Prompt responses will make a favorable impression on your audience. In addition to publishing fresh content regularly, you will want to watch for direct comments, republication (like “retweets”), and independent commentary.