A large part of social media strategy involves writing. Unfortunately, many people don’t enjoy writing and even the savviest digital marketers don’t always consider themselves strong writers. Fortunately, there are a few best practices that legal marketers can implement to create even better social media content for their law firm.
One of the best things your team can do if you’re serious about improving your social presence is to create a Social Media Style Guide. This will inform everyone on your marketing team about how to post to social using approved messaging, while staying on-brand. Include a mission statement, an audience summary, your ideal brand voice and tone, approved branding elements, and ideas about which messaging should go on which social platform. Make sure anyone who will be posting on your law firm’s behalf has access to this document. You can also include these best practices to help guide post creation:
Legal Marketer’s Guide to Writing for Social Media:
1. Use the active voice
Writing posts in the active voice (vs. the passive voice) will make your content clear, direct and therefore more engaging. To be clear, the active voice is a style of writing that puts the subject at the beginning of the sentence, followed by an action, and then the object that receives the action.
2. Think of your audience (not yourself) first
Just like in conversation, it comes off rude to only talk about yourself. Think about what your audience wants and create posts from there.
3. Follow the Problem + Agitation + Solution (PAS) copywriting formula
Understanding the problems your target audience face is critical to writing engaging copy. To follow the PAS formula, make it clear that you understand the challenge or pain point your audience is experiencing, then convey how difficult the problem is to endure (throw salt on the wound), and round off your message with the solution to the problem.
4. Make sharing a goal
People will share things that they believe their network will find valuable, so write with that in mind. People also like to share things that reinforce their values or identity, or make them feel connected to others.
5. Ensure posts and the pages they link to align
If your post is linking to an external page, then it’s critical that the messaging on both lines up. It’s frustrating to click on a link and be taken to something that doesn’t relate.
6. Make sure copy connects with any images
Similarly, if you’re using images they should relate to the post content. Copy and images should tell the same story.
7. Be concise
Be as succinct as possible when writing on your topic. Avoid complex language and use short sentences. People skim on social media, so punchy posts tend to work better than long paragraphs.
8. Avoid sales-driven messaging
When writing organic (not paid) social content, you want to avoid pushy or aggressive messaging. You can encourage people to take action without veering into salesy territory.
9. Pique curiosity
Write in a way that makes people want to click. Remember that you don’t need to tell the whole story up front – the goal is to get people to take another action.
10. Use tools
Run your post copy through a tool like Grammarly to make sure it’s free of errors, and use tools like Hashtagify to find relevant hashtags for your tweets. There are plenty of tools out there to make your job easier.
11. Take a look at your competitors for inspiration
You can look to your competitors – or you can look to the top ranking law firms on social media as ranked in our 2020 Social Law Firm Index – for inspiration.
In many cases, firms similar to yours will have an audience like your own. What kind of content are they publishing on social media? Which posts are receiving the most engagement? This will provide you with ideas and help you to identify gaps and opportunities with your social media content.
You can use a tool like BuzzSumo to analyze your competition’s most shared posts. Remember to always offer your own unique perspectives on any topic you might want to explore.
12. Include calls-to-action at the end of each post
A call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your social copy should be crystal clear and tell users what you want them to do. A great CTA should include active words. For example, “for more information, check out this article” or “for more tips download our guide.”
Communicate the benefits of your CTA. What will the user get out of completing the task in the call-to-action?
Network-Specific Social Media Writing Tips for Legal Marketers
There are a variety of social media platforms for a reason – if they all performed the same function, there would only be one! Each channel offers different audiences and different purposes. That means that in order to get the best results, your strategy should differ across platforms.
- Ideal post length is 150 characters.
- Remain professional and communicate expertise
- Pose questions or highlight important statistics that relate to your content
- Include 3 hashtags to extend reach.
- Tag relevant people. For example, the attorney who authored the content you’re promoting.
- Keep posts short.
- Avoid promotional calls-to-action.
- Write shareable article headlines.
- Share more than headlines as post copy.
- Don’t go overboard on hashtags (we recommend using two).
- Pay attention to post length – add a shortened URL
- Try to tell a story within a tweet.
- Use trending hashtags but don’t go overboard on hashtags (we recommend using two)
- Talk to people rather than at them
- Tag other relevant accounts.
- Remember, Instagram is a visual network – ensure copy and photos align.
- Use trending hashtags at the end of posts.
- Keep the tone conversational.
- Ask a question your audience can answer in the comments.
- Use emojis
- Make your text stand out; experiment with font generators. All you do is type your text and see it in a dozen cool font styles.
We encourage legal marketers to write social media posts armed with the following information: knowledge of your audience, knowledge of your competition, and knowledge of how you can help. If you have a good idea of who your audience is and what they’re looking for, what your competition posts and what is resonating, and the personality your brand wants to convey on social media, you have the basic information needed to create compelling posts.
Though many forms of media are becoming more popular on social media, it’s still powered by the written word. Getting the text portion of your social media posts right is key in a successful law firm social media strategy. In order to be successful, follow our legal marketer’s guide to writing for social media.
Do you need help driving real business results through social media? Our social media offerings can be customized to your law firm’s needs and realities. In addition to social media management, we offer social media consulting and training for our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Updated and republished from August 24, 2020.