It’s important for lawyers to be active on social media. With nearly half of the world’s population using social media platforms, they’re a natural place to reach and influence prospective clients. On the other hand, misusing social media channels can do damage to your reputation or chip away at credibility you’ve worked hard to establish. We recommend compiling a social media guide to help lawyers understand the approved ways to use social media platforms – and be sure to include these 10 common mistakes that we see lawyers make.
1. Responding angrily to negative comments.
The more active you are on social media, the more likely it is that eventually you’ll get a negative comment. Remember that you can use this feedback to learn and grow. Approach them with an open mind and don’t lash out at the commenters. Keep in mind that other followers will notice how you respond to any negativity – so keep it classy.
2. Posting from the wrong account
If you are an avid social media user and have several personal accounts, you could run into the problem of forgetting to switch between accounts before posting. It would look poorly for you and your firm if personal photos and posts were inadvertently sent on behalf of your business.
3. Lack of consistency; posting only when you feel inspired.
You’re not always going to feel creative or motivated, but it’s still important to post often in order to build your brand and grow your practice. This is where creating a content calendar and scheduling posts in advance can help. There are several tools that can help you manage this process effectively.
4. Too much self-promotion
While providing useful, informative content is a must, don’t just post information about yourself, your website, your clients, or your services. Post links to educational and helpful content that is relevant to your clients and target audience. Specifically, content that can help solve some of their pain points. And of course, provide valuable information about other topics to build yourself as an authority.
5. Not taking the time to respond to commenters.
When followers comment on your posts, be sure to respond. Engage with your followers, respond to tweets, LinkedIn comments, and other feedback. Show them that a real person exists behind the lawyer, and that person is someone they would like to work with.
6. Ignoring the best network for you.
Facebook and Twitter are great for communicating with potential clients, but if your target audience is on LinkedIn, you are wasting time. Do the right research to determine where your potential clients or referral sources are and be there.
7. Ignoring photos and videos is a social media marketing mistake.
Graphics are more attention-grabbing than text, and video is increasingly important in search results. Furthermore, video marketing is a great lead generation channel. Research shows that marketers who use video obtain 66% more qualified leads per year. Integrate pictures, videos, or infographics when appropriate. On the other hand, remember that the information you want to get across is the essential part of your posts. Even if you have stellar videos or graphics, you still need to put thought into your verbiage.
8. Not understanding what your target audience wants.
If you notice that your posts aren’t resonating or generating interest, you might need to look closer at who you’re targeting and how you can help them. Take a close look at the lifestyle, personality, needs, and challenges of the people who follow you. While focusing on creating value, also make sure you provide a variety of post types so that followers don’t get fatigued.
9. Not aligning content with the channel.
Many people are on every single social channel, but chances are they use the different platforms for different purposes. Simply posting the same content across different channels is a pretty common social media mistake. Understand what each channel offers and how people use them, and post accordingly. For more information, refer to our guide on the type of content that works best on each major social media platform.
10. Hashtag use and misuse.
Hashtags originated on Twitter, but have since expanded to other social media platforms. They are a great way to reach a wider audience and join popular conversations online. However, hashtag use can easily backfire if you aren’t careful. Some posters overuse hashtags which can make content look unprofessional and deter readers, as well as lead to spam followers. You should ideally use 2-3 appropriate and relevant hashtags for each post on your firm’s social media page.
The legal industry relies on strong relationships and referrals, and today’s word-of-mouth is social media. Social media offers so many ways to get your message out, but there is plenty of room for error if you don’t take the time to perform research and focus on an intentional strategy. Don’t fall into any of the bad practices described above.
If you need help developing a strategy for delivering the right message in the right way on social media, contact us today for help. We have vast experience helping lawyers and law firms achieve measurable success through social media.
Updated and Republished from October 2020.