Social media has a new trend that promises to help professionals boost engagement and make the most of the latest algorithms instead of working against them. Social media pods are generating a lot of buzz -but can they work for your firm? Here’s everything you need to know about joining a social media pod for your legal marketing efforts.
What is a Social Media Pod?
Pods are simply groups of people who work together to ramp up engagement on each other’s posts. Have you ever liked a friend’s post or photo simply because you noticed that they did the same for yours earlier? This is how pods work, only on a broader and more intentional scale.
To join a pod, you agree that you’ll engage with other member’s posts in exchange for activity on your own posts. The goal is wider visibility for everyone involved. It’s a strategy that several law firms are trying on various social media platforms. Just like with any marketing tactic, there are pros and cons to social media pods. We’ve done some research to help you make an informed decision.
3 Reasons Lawyers Should Try Social Media Pods
These pods can certainly work if you manage things correctly. Here’s some of the positive results lawyers can expect when leveraging social media pods:
1. Your posts are likely to get higher engagement
Sometimes, no matter how great your posts are, they just don’t reach enough people because of the platform’s algorithms. If your post interactions have decreased, you may want to consider a pod. With the help of those new members, your posts are certain to reach a wider audience and generate new comments and likes which signal to others that your post is worth their time.
2. You’ll reach a larger crowd
Getting into a pod will grant you exposure to the members’ audiences. That means it’s almost guaranteed that your content will reach a broader following. Even better, one or two of them may eventually need your services and your firm will be top of mind.
3. You’ll expand your network
One key aspect of joining a pod is to stick to groups with less than 100 people. You also want to make sure that the people in the pod have similar goals to yours and aren’t just random people from diverse industries. Lawyers should join pods with other lawyers, professional service providers, or people who serve the same client base. That way you’re expanding your network in a relevant way and reaching people who will be receptive to your messaging.
And, 3 Reasons Lawyers Shouldn’t Leverage Social Media Pods
As with many things in life, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Make sure you understand the pitfalls of social media pods before you enter into one.
1. They don’t guarantee higher exposure
You may get more likes and comments, but that doesn’t always translate to reaching your target market. Social media algorithms also look for relationships, so they know not to serve up posts to people who don’t seem to know you. If an audience member has never interacted with your content before, they probably won’t see your posts no matter how much traction it’s getting with your pod.
2. Pods take a lot of time
Remember that a key part of being in a pod is returning the favor of engaging. What if you join a pod with 100 members and they post twice a day? That’s 200 items you will need to make time to like or comment on. That could be quite time consuming. Unable to keep up? You’ll eventually get kicked out of the pod for not keeping up your end of the bargain. Only you can decide if you have enough bandwidth for such efforts.
3. Platforms notice (and don’t like) pods
Bots are all over social media and they can access a lot of information. That’s how social media platforms know how much engagement is normal for your content. If you normally get 20 likes and comments and that jumps to 200 in a matter of days, that won’t go unnoticed – and it could get you flagged or banned for violating community standards. In fact, on some channels like Instagram, pods are outright against the rules.
Instead of a Pod, Try These Tactics
Before you decide whether or not pods are right for you, you should know that there are some alternative strategies that can also help you to boost engagement.
1. Genuinely care about your audience
That’s why social media was created in the first place! Focus on building real connections with your followers. Understand what their wants and needs are, and how you can provide value, and post based on those insights.
2. Make your audience want to engage with you
What do you comment on when you browse social media? Things that entertain or inspire you – or drive you to share an opinion. Ask questions to generate dialogue.
3. Prioritize trending themes
That’s what social media platforms do – favor content that is relevant to popular trends (consider the latest “challenge” you saw online). Use hashtags that you see trending.
4. Speaking of hashtags….Make sure to use them on your posts
Hashtags allow users to find you using the search or explore functionality. Research the most popular hashtags on Instagram and LinkedIn and create posts tailored to those hashtags. Tip: this strategy works better on Instagram than Facebook.
5. Tag influencers
but only if you’ve actually engaged with them or have a reason to mention them. If you’ve had a meaningful interaction then you can create a post sharing your appreciation, or if you’ve partnered on something then share the content and tag the person.
Only you can decide if the extra attention and engagement from social media pods is worth it – but remember one thing: social media is about connection, first and foremost. Gaining access to a larger social media audience is important, but the connections need to feel authentic. We suggest that before diving into pods, you take an honest look at your social media strategy. Are you putting in the effort to create valuable content and build genuine connections?
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.