Over the past few years, people have grown more skeptical of what they see and read online. “Fake news”, privacy scandals, and security issues have eroded users’ trust in today’s digital landscape (for example, 37% of respondents to one survey use Facebook less as a result of the Cambridge Analytica data breach). Though the largest technology companies have taken steps to protect users’ information, people have grown to expect more honesty and openness from the organizations they follow online.
Authenticity is the key to building trust. People want to do business with lawyers they know, like and trust. By keeping it real on social media, you can enhance the relationship between your law firm’s brand and your followers. Doing so will increase client engagement, respect, and loyalty.
How can lawyers market themselves authentically and on social media?
Authentic law firm marketing is the practice of speaking, writing, and behaving in a way that is transparent and genuine. Remember that followers are becoming increasingly savvy and can easily spot inauthenticity. Here are a few tips for embracing authenticity in your social media marketing.
1. Just be real.
Sounds simple enough, right? As an attorney, you are the product, so it’s important that people relate to you as an individual and professional. Let some of your personality shine through. By showing up and being real, you allow our audience to see themselves in your stories. They can see their own challenges and desires being echoed through what you share, thus making it easier for your audience to connect with you and feel closer to you.
If you love fitness or traveling, or are heavily involved with a local charity, feel free to post about those topics and mention them in your social media bio. Share who you are, what drives you, and what you’re passionate about in your posts.
2. Show some vulnerability.
No one is perfect, so it’s important not to try to portray that you are. People relate when you show them your human side. By opening up on social media, you can improve your online ‘relationships’ like you do your real ones.
3. Be consistent.
You want to customize your various posts to the different platforms you use. This will help to ensure content is relevant and in the format that works best for those users. However, your values and your firm identity should always be the same. Have a brand voice and ensure it’s consistent across all of your social media content.
4. Develop and share valuable content.
Don’t use social media to simply self-promote. Instead, offer thoughtful answers to questions and needed information. If your firm spends time creating content such as blogs, white papers, or infographics, sharing them online is the best way to get noticed and create traction with your social media. Also, ensure you’re not posting solely about what’s happening in your firm. A few key updates here and there are good for followers to know – more than that will bore them. Think of what their challenges are and post information that will support users in addressing them.
5. Skip the calls-to-action (CTAs) occasionally.
The whole point of your marketing strategy (including social media) is to drive new client activity. However, not everything needs to revolve around generating another action. Play the long game by creating posts designed simply to resonate with followers and connect with your audience. Make sure your posts are a balance of those designed to generate leads and those shared simply to create positive moments with your audience.
6. Interact with your audience directly.
The best way to turn your social followers into advocates for your law firm is to interact with them. Get to know your followers and take time to respond to their comments and interest. Respond quickly to any questions or messages you get. Remember that prospects will check your social profiles and immediately find you more credible if you’ve clearly been responsive and engaged with followers.
7. Be transparent and honest.
This isn’t exactly groundbreaking advice, but we can all use the reminder. Social media is full of “enhanced” content designed to make the poster look better. People are becoming more likely to spot this, and don’t appreciate it. Take transparency a step further by sharing behind-the-scenes looks at your staff, your services, events, etc.
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Remember that every item you post will be permanently attributed to you. Make sure posts serve the purpose of not only promoting yourself as a lawyer, but creating trust and goodwill among your followers. It takes time to cultivate an authentic social media presence, but following these steps will help you get there.
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.