Having a social media presence has become an essential part of doing business in the modern world. A law practice that isn’t interacting with the public on at least one or two social media platforms is as good as invisible. Cultivating an appealing image through social media is an integral part of modern marketing and public relations for any law firm.
With so many different platforms available, and each having its own specific characteristics and quirks, it can be difficult to put together a solid plan. A solid plan, however, is necessary. The only thing worse than not having a social media presence is having an ineffective social media presence.
To make sure your firm gets going in the right direction, we’ve put together a social media strategy checklist. If you’re just starting out, this checklist will help you put together a reliable social media strategy. If you’ve already started building a presence, it will show you where you might be able to make adjustments to improve the effectiveness of your current strategy.
✅ Define your audience. The single most important part of planning your strategy is to know your audience. Everything you do is going to be geared towards nurturing and growing your audience.
You should be as detailed as possible when considering who you are trying to reach. Think about age, gender, profession, marital status, etc. No detail is too small to be considered. Go beyond generalizations. You shouldn’t be looking for “people who need a lawyer.” You should be looking for “people in the New York City area who have recently been involved in a traffic accident and might be looking for a personal injury or criminal defense lawyer.”
✅ Select your platform(s). If you’ve created a good profile of your ideal audience, you should be able to pick out the social media platforms they are most likely to use. For example, if your audience is made up of professionals, they’re likely on LinkedIn and Twitter. If you’re looking for millennials or retired seniors, you’d probably do better with Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
It’s important not to spread yourself too thin. Try to pick one to three platforms on which to be active. It’s much better to do well on one or two than to perform badly on five or six.
✅ Define clear, realistic goals. It is important to have clear and specific goals in mind as you’re planning your firm’s strategy. For example, are you trying to generate more hits to your website, or increase your following on a specific platform? Do you want more subscriptions to your newsletter or are you trying to generate more inbound telephone consultations?
Make your goals as specific as possible. “Increase our Facebook following” is not a clear goal. “Increase our Facebook following by 20% over the next 60 days” is clear and measurable.
✅ Create and curate content that speaks to your audience. With a clearly defined audience and realistic goals in mind, the next step is to create and share content that aligns with your goals and provides real value. It should be educational or help audience members solve a problem. You could, for example, post content on legal terms and examples, or news involving trials or changes in the law.
A general rule of thumb is that the content you share should be about 30% your own (if you have a sufficient pool of content to draw from) and about 70% from outside sources. The idea is to show that you are knowledgeable and up-to-date in your area of practice without making your account look like an endless, self-promotional commercial.
✅ Create policies on how to respond to your audience. If more than one person will be interacting with your audience, it’s important to make sure everyone involved knows what’s expected of them. Responses should appear unified and consistent. The personality presented should be that of your law firm, not the individuals doing the posting.
It is especially important that everyone involved knows how to deal with negative comments. Responding improperly to negative comments can do great harm to your law firm’s reputation.
✅ Measure your results. Like everything else involved with online marketing, you should be tracking the results you get from social media. You should be watching several factors such as:
- Size and growth of your audience on social platforms
- What types of content create the most engagement
- Visitors referred to your website through social media
- Leads generated through social media
You’ll most likely come up with a few more statistics to watch depending on the area(s) of law your firm is involved with and what your immediate goals are.
Following the steps above as you plan and revise your law firm social media strategy will help you to achieve the best ROI possible. Sticking to the checklist will ensure that you remain focused on your goals and whether or not you are reaching them. You’ll always know if you’re moving in the right direction, or if you need to rethink your strategy and make adjustments.