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law firm social media communicationsThe previous weeks have marked a new era in the legal industry and in business operations as a whole. In light of the new reality, law firm marketers have to be realistic about the behavior and tendencies of social media users and the implications for marketing. Communications need to adapt to address the real-time issues and subject matter that is top of mind, otherwise it will not resonate with your firm’s audience. People don’t want to just see business as usual on your law firm’s social media feed – that can look tone-deaf. Here are some tips for managing your firm’s social media communications during the coronavirus pandemic.

Review and pause or edit scheduled posts. 

Law firms must continually review any scheduled social media content to assess its relevance during these uncertain times. It’s possible that a shift in strategy altogether will be necessary. Stop your scheduled posts and review all of them as some might just fall at the wrong time. Pause or edit any that are irrelevant right now. Continuing to post about a case study seems insensitive and out of touch. Save these posts for a later date.

Another key consideration here is when people will see your posts. Many professionals are working at home while taking care of children or other family members. Their time spent online is likely to be non-traditional. Adjust the previously scheduled posts to cover more of a range. 

Value conversations over clicks. 

Many law firms are tightening their belts and adjusting their budgets. Depending on your practice area, business might slow down. This is a great time to focus your social media efforts on building relationships, supporting each other, storytelling, and entertaining. When people are browsing social media, they want to be informed on the current situation and also have their mind taken off of the bad news. Create posts that show the human side of your firm – share positive news, be humorous, etc.

Ensure an effective social media policy is in place. 

Ideally your law firm already has a social media policy in place, but if not, this is a great time to craft one. It’s important to be sure everyone in your firm takes the same position on this – or any other – crisis. A strong policy, shared across members of your firm, provides guidance on how to access social media, internal communications plans, and the approval process for any external content. 

Communicate thought leadership.

These times are incredibly uncertain for everyone right now. Firms that choose to offer guidance and build trust with their audience during these difficult times are the ones who will be able to stay solvent in the long run. Offer educational blog posts or webinars that offer guidance on the legal landscape as it relates to coronavirus. Now is the time to focus your law firm’s social media communications on enhancing your thought leadership position and nurturing relationships. For tips on how you can better position your firm’s content to break through the noise, check out our post: How to Make Your Law Firm’s Content Stand Out When Everyone is Writing About the Same COVID-19 Topics.

Cite only credible sources. 

There has been a wealth of misinformation spread about Coronavirus since the first day we heard about it. Adding to that misinformation not only damages your law firm’s reputation, but knowingly doing so also lacks integrity. If you haven’t previously used a fact-checking protocol, now is the time to create one. Publish only credible and easily sourced statistics, data, or general information. Law firms that fail to do so on social media will look uninformed.

Leverage social media monitoring and listening. 

Social listening refers to the practice of tracking mentions and conversations on certain topics. Analyzing those relevant conversations helps legal marketers to not only track and leverage that information, but also to respond to conversations that could affect your firm. Set up monitoring across each of your channels to capture mentions of your firm, its attorneys, competitors, and services. Right now, it’s especially informative to note how your competitors are responding to Coronavirus issues – and how their followers are engaging with that response. See: 6 Best Social Listening Tools for Law Firms.

Provide value and added education. 

While social distancing, many people are unable to attend conferences or other events that they had planned on attending. You can help support those individuals (and gain some leads in the process) by sharing your own wealth of knowledge. Offer virtual events like online round tables, webinars, podcasts, etc. Use some of your remote time to create more impactful content. This is also a great time to increase collaborative content – reach out to other employees, clients, advocates, or professionals that you’ve previously partnered with to tell stories that your audience will find interesting and helpful. Both current clients and future ones will appreciate your extra effort in providing value to them during a difficult time. 

Takeaway

The Coronavirus is impacting nearly everyone and it’s impossible not to adjust our day-to-day marketing collateral. Law firm marketers need to be flexible and adaptable in pivoting their social media communications strategy toward one that is relevant, informative, and timely. Ensure your firm’s messaging is educational and inspiring, and not overly promotional.

If you need any assistance reviewing your social media strategy and creating compelling content, let us know. We are working as hard as ever, and ready to support our clients through these unprecedented times.

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