When we released The Social Law Firm Index 2016 last month, one of the key observations we uncovered in our study was how leading firms have evolved in their use of social media. At our recent The Social Law Firm Webinar, the discussion turned to the topic of Twitter and LinkedIn best practices for law firms. Our research confirms that Facebook has become the ideal platform for community relations and recruitment; a great way to communicate the culture of the firm and raise awareness of its community initiatives. However, our guest speakers confirm that for business development and lead generation, nothing beats Twitter and LinkedIn. Law firm marketers Josh Epstein, DLA Piper and Jay Plum, Morrison & Foerster, joined our panel to reveal the secrets of their success as validated by their strong showing in the 2016 Index.
DLA Piper counts a large portfolio of global corporate clients and thus a significant target audience for them is in-house counsel. Not surprisingly, LinkedIn presents itself as the ideal platform to reach them. DLA Piper studied their constituency carefully, uncovering these primary reasons why in-house counsel use LinkedIn over other platforms. Those primary reasons? To stay connected to a larger network of:
- in-house colleagues at other companies
- outside counsel they work with or have relationships with
- business and industry leaders
- news and information
- leads to new opportunities
Josh Epstein explains that DLA consciously adapted their LinkedIn strategy to mirror these motivations to visit. It was clear that they could be most influential in providing clients and prospects “news you can use.” News, of course, refers not to attorney announcements at the firm. The key to content selection is “client-centricity; the news must be of some constructive value to the reader and lend further validation of the DLA Piper brand and our focus on client first.”
DLA Piper boasts a considerable breadth of practice areas operating in diverse geographies worldwide. The firm retains its sector relevance by carefully cultivating Focus pages and Sector Focus pages within LinkedIn so that they can drive qualified interest to a dedicated area of high relevance. Epstein also points to LinkedIn’s Elevate tool, which helps individual attorneys efficiently curate third party news content to share to their networks. LinkedIn is an excellent billboard to continually broadcast thought leadership in a targeted manner using these powerful features.
Twitter is different than a billboard. Jay Plum of Morrison & Foerster explains, “Compared to Facebook or LinkedIn, Twitter is far more immediate and engaging. You have an ability to touch your followers directly, but the platform requires frequency and dedication to be effective” as a productive channel for business development. If LinkedIn is the billboard that your firm can point to for its bona fides, Twitter is the channel to reach out and grab attention. It has served well to attract industry and market influencers and the press. Plum explains how grabbing attention can manifest at a large law firm:
Use provocative language: You only have 140 characters with which to motivate a prospect to look into your firm further. Staid, reserved language just doesn’t work here. Twitter is like advertising: you only have one chance to make that first impression or the follower will swipe right past your tweet.
Incorporate bold images: Good2bSocial discovered what Sprinklr confirms across all industries, that a visual associated with a post nearly doubles the likelihood of that post being viewed, and raises the likelihood of the post being recalled two days later by 65 percent! Morrison & Foerster has taken care to develop artistic visuals that strongly associate with the content to communicate their intended message; and as a result have experienced similar increases in engagement.
Use certain Twitter initiatives to partner with clients and organizations: Develop a hashtag strategy to facilitate prospect discovery and post-campaign research that benefits both firm and partner. Accumulated research can help partner and firm in evaluating various marketing or legal strategies or uncover areas for further investment.
Repurpose content into tweets: Plum shared with us some very creative things that his team was able to mine from already created content or content developed for distribution elsewhere. For example, a recently published and highly relevant client alert was broken down into a David Letterman-style top-ten list of guidance. This top ten became fodder for the ten tweets scheduled by Plum’s team to promote the alert; each tweet could stand on its own as a piece of compelling data; all together a themed enticement to followers to check out the entire alert.
In case you missed it, you can click here to View the complete webinar now.
Effective deployment of your time and money to social media is critical. Epstein and Plum confirm the impact of digital to their firms’ success. Is your firm a social law firm? Here are two ways to find out. First, if you’ve not done so already, download and read The Social Law Firm Index 2016 to find out how the AmLaw 100 is using social media and what trends are moving the needles of reach and engagement. How does your firm compare?
Interested in Twitter and LinkedIn best practices for law firms? Take a no-cost social media audit from Good2bSocial. Share some basic information on your social media properties and keywords, and our experts will contact you to discuss the strengths and opportunities for your firm and reveal what your competition is doing in your patch. Click here to get started.