Social media is an essential part of marketing and business development today and most law firms will miss opportunities if they’re not active on social. Social media can generate leads, foster brand awareness and nurture relationships. Fortunately, one great thing about social media marketing is that it doesn’t cost a lot of money to conduct campaigns – just some know-how. Here, we’ll cover how law firms can create social media campaigns in 8 steps.
8 Steps for Creating and Running a Successful Social Campaign
Here’s our 8 step social media marketing guide to help you identify your social goals, engage audiences and optimize your results.
1. Align social media marketing campaign goals with overall firm goals.
The first step in creating a campaign that will succeed is setting realistic goals. Follow the SMART goal framework (creating goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely). This means creating goals with timelines attached that contribute to larger firm objectives. For example, if your hope is to gain more leads this year, you might plan: “Using LinkedIn to increase our newsletter subscribes by 10% over the next 3 months”. It’s important to remember that each social channel represents different tactics. Generally speaking, to create new leads, you want to measure conversion metrics that show the effectiveness of your campaigns.
2. Thoroughly understand your audience.
It’s important to understand the makeup of your target audience and what matters to them. This requires significant research, and we suggest creating client personas. Make sure you have documented ages, geographic locations, industries, job titles, income levels, interests, etc. It’s important to use more than just gut feeling to collect this information – you need to collect actual data. Every social media platform collects analytics on their followers so that’s a good place to start. Your firm also likely has data about their clients, and your business development team can present you with some ideas on who they speak to and what their interests are.
3. Research your competitors to look for gaps and opportunities.
Just like your audience, you need to also understand your competition and what they’re doing. Perform a SWOT analysis where you collect strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats on your main competitors. This will help you to see where firms are more established and where there are gaps to cover. You can also conduct “social listening” by using tools to monitor certain companies on social using their handles and specific keywords. This will help you to understand what people are reacting negatively or positively to.
4. Perform a social media audit.
Before you dive into a social media marketing campaign, you want to have a real understanding of where you are at. To perform a social media audit, follow these steps:
- Make a list of all your social media accounts and evaluate each one against brand strategy.
- Find the posts on each account that had the best engagement.
- Document the overall performance of each channel with the analytics that channel provides.
- Track the results over time – keep a regular schedule for monitoring this.
- Calculate the return on investment by channel and by overall social efforts.
Using this information, you can see what’s working and what hasn’t been. Use this data to understand who is interacting with your content, which channels your audience is more likely to be using, and how your social efforts compare to what you’ve seen from competitors. You also want to check for imposter accounts, to ensure there are no other brands or people misrepresenting your law firm.
5. Set up new social media profiles and/or refine your profiles.
First, choose your networks and back up those decisions with the data you’ve collected. We suggest creating a simple mission statement for each platform to help guide your overall strategies. Then create new profiles or optimize the ones you have. It’s probably not worth your time to make a profile on every single platform – plan to leverage the few that best align with your firm goals and target audience. Make sure to use consistent branding, complete all of the fields present in the profile, use keywords and descriptions that are accurate and good for search, and use high quality images.
6. Source the best ideas for each platform.
This process can be as creative as you want it to be. Likely, you already have plenty of material for creating great posts or have several places to look, such as:
- Success stories and case studies
- Industry websites or online events
- Other brands’ effective social posts
- Industry newsletters
- Forums or online conversations
- Sales and marketing teams
- Asking your followers what they’re interested in
7. Create a social media calendar.
An important part of a social media campaign is documenting a posting schedule. This will help you to have posts created in advance and leave room for posting timely items when they will have the greatest impact. The schedule should have the dates and times of posts across specific channels. Make sure to include the specific items and topics you plan to cover on a day-to-day basis. Review your calendar to make sure posts are properly spaced. We suggest using a tool such as HubSpot to help with this process.
It’s important to follow the 80:20 rule when posting: 80% of your content should be educational, helpful, or entertaining, while only 20% should promote your firm and services. Other professionals suggest the rule of thirds, where one-third of your content is from thought leaders in your industry, one-third promotes your own firm and generates leads, one-third engages personally with your followers. The bottom line is that you need to create an appropriate mix of content, limiting self-promotional posts.
8. Measure your results and adjust as needed.
Use a variety of metrics to measure your social efforts. Ideally, you will have identified some metrics as part of your goal-setting process, and you can use the social platform’s analytics to track this data. You can also use UTM parameters to see how social efforts are affecting web traffic, such as campaign mediums and sources. It’s important to review and perform tests across your social campaigns regularly. Along with the analytics data, you can simply ask followers or clients about the effectiveness of your social media.
Social media changes all the time, so it’s important to stay on top of trends and adjust your strategy accordingly. It takes some time, but it’s always worth staying on top of your social media efforts and using the platform to connect with clients, prospects and referral sources.
We conduct a SMAART™ audit for many law firms which results in a personalized, step-by-step social media strategy. If you’re not sure where to start in optimizing your social efforts, that’s a great place to begin and gain a thorough understanding of performance across social channels, along with messaging and targeting recommendations by platform.