If you want to stay relevant, you need to master the art of social media. According to data from the Pew Research Center, 65 percent of adults in the U.S. now use social networking sites, compared to just 7 percent in 2005. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have become an integral part of people’s everyday lives. People turn to social media to connect with others and share experiences, but they also use it to learn more about businesses and services.
By ignoring social media, your firm could miss out on opportunities to connect with potential clients.
Ways Your Firm Can Do Social Media Better
If your law firm is using social media as a marketing tool, the next question to ask is whether you are using it effectively. Try these ideas for using social media better.
1. Add variety. Nobody wants to read the same types of posts over and over again. Mix it up with posts related to your firm’s latest courtroom victories and awards, helpful legal tips, industry news updates, information about the legal services you offer and so on. Use a mixture of visual elements, too, such as photos, videos and graphics. Using variety in your social media content will help you appeal to a wider audience and keep your updates more interesting. And remember — the more helpful your social media content is, the more likely it will be shared.
2. Post frequently on a consistent schedule to keep your profile buzzing with activity. If you prefer to do your tweets, Facebook updates or LinkedIn articles in bulk, all at once, schedule them out across future dates and times so your content is properly spaced out. The last thing you want to do is post everything all at once and then go days or weeks without any new activity.
3. Learn from analytics tracking. You won’t know what type of traction your social media is getting if you don’t track it. Track data such as changes in follower counts, the popularity of your posts (which posts receive the most views, clicks and shares), the times of day your followers are most active, your follower demographics (age, gender, location) and the like. This information will help you better understand your audience, the types of content they are interested in, and the best time to reach them. Many social media platforms allow you to segment your audience and create more targeted posts for specific groups.
To track analytics, you can use the tools that are built right into your social media platforms (such as Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights). Third-party tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer and Sprout Social allow you to track analytics from all of your social media platforms in one place.
4. Engage with your audience. The whole point of social media is to be social. Your social media profile isn’t your soapbox — it’s a place for two-way conversation. Get the conversation going by responding to your followers’ comments, answering their questions and commenting on other people’s social media profiles. You can post questions and invite your followers to respond. For example, if you are a family law attorney, you may want to ask, “Which co-parenting strategies have you personally found the most helpful?”
5. Ease up on the legal jargon. If you use too much legalese in your social media posts, you risk losing your followers’ interest. Instead, use more conversational language so your followers will better understand and relate to what you’re posting. This isn’t to say you should never use legal terms, just keep them to a minimum and briefly explain terminology that may be unfamiliar to your audience.
Related: Connected: A Lawyer’s Guide to Social Media (free e-zine)
Nicolas Gomez is Vice President of Sales at Scorpion Design, where he helps law firms use online marketing strategies to attract new cases and boost revenue. The strategies involve website design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine advertising, online reputation management and more. Nicolas draws his expertise from more than 15 years of marketing, industry and technical experience.