You have great content and your followers are increasing, yet your audience is not engaged and you aren’t getting any new leads. If you regularly post interesting content, why isn’t your social media strategy leading to new business?
This is the question that many large and small law firms and solos ask themselves. All firms desire engagement with potential clients on social media but often do not know how to craft effective content or create and implement a strategy that converts to new business. In addition, many social media platforms appear to be continually shifting guidelines and tweaking their rules, making it increasingly difficult to define an effective strategy.
It is disheartening to invest time and effort into posting regularly on social media but feel like it is not really working, especially since it relates to your bottom line: new business. If your social media strategy does not create the engagement with potential clients you crave, consider these nine steps to relieve the suffering.
1. Too Many Platforms
It can be tempting to try to be on every social media platform all the time, extending your presence across all or most of them, and spreading yourself too thin in the process. Omnipresence is not necessary or even desirable in some instances. Each social media platform has a different audience. You only need to figure out which platform your target clients use the most and then concentrate your social media strategy there. Focus your limited time and energy on the social media platform(s) that best serve your law firm’s goals and target audience.
2. Not Scheduling Strategically
Any effective social media plan will include scheduling posts strategically for the time of day and frequency. This may seem impossible if social media is not your full-time gig. However, there are many convenient online tools that allow you to “batch post,” which means drafting posts in advance and scheduling them using an online scheduling tool. Some scheduling software, such as SmarterQueue, will strategically schedule posts for you for the best times of day when your prospective clients are engaging on the platform.
Learn the best times to post on social media and always choose quality over quantity. Here are some best practices for the number of times to post each day or week:
LinkedIn is a profession-driven platform and the preferred platform for lawyers. Ideally, you want to post on LinkedIn three to five times per week, preferably on weekdays rather than weekends. If you post too often, e.g., multiple times a day, your engagement will fall significantly. An ideal LinkedIn post will be around 150 characters in a professional tone. Try posing questions, using hashtags, and tag relevant individuals to improve engagement.
Facebook prefers high-value, low-volume posts; in other words, high quality but not too often. Ideally, post three to seven times a week, keep posts short and captivating, and avoid promotional content.
Instagram is ideal for highly visual businesses or businesses with highly visual clients. On Instagram, your law firm can attract potential clients by using compelling images and videos. Keep your feed posts to once a day and schedule when your target audience is likely to be online. Instagram posts should be conversational, with hashtags and even emojis. Another useful tool is to ask your audience a question they can answer in the comments.
Twitter is fast-paced and relies upon brief, catchy updates. Unlike the other major platforms, success on Twitter comes from one to three tweets each day. This is not as time-consuming as it sounds because retweeting content — yours and others — is simple. Especially effective use of Twitter can be sharing a comment from one of your happy clients. Twitter posts (aka “tweets”) should tell a story, tag other relevant users, and include a maximum of two hashtags per tweet.
3. Content Is Not Compelling
If your strategy is on target, but your engagement is still suffering, analyze the content you are posting closely. Even if your content is quality, it may not be interesting to your potential clients, or it may be getting lost in all the noise on social media. You must post quality content, but that’s not enough. Your content must also be compelling and stand out.
How do you create compelling content? Content works differently, depending on the platform. For example, on Instagram and Facebook, sharing your community involvement may lead to engagement. However, on LinkedIn, you are better served by sharing content that speaks to others in the legal industry and showcases your thought leadership.
Here are some tips to producing quality, relevant content on social media:
- Use the active (not passive) voice to promote a sense of action.
- Think of your audience (not your business or yourself) first and foremost.
- Address the needs of your audience and offer a solution.
- Write with the goal to have your post shared.
- Be brief, using simple language and short sentences. People skim social media and are not looking for large blocks of text to plow through.
- Avoid messages that sound like a sales pitch.
- Spark curiosity.
- Stay error-free by using online grammar and spelling checks.
- Try more variety with video, infographics, and slide shows.
4. Ignoring Feedback
In today’s online marketplace, potential clients use social media to learn more about you and about others’ experiences with your law firm. Do not ignore comments. When people provide feedback via comments, it is essential to respond promptly. If you receive negative feedback, it is critical to respond promptly and professionally. Having a dedicated team member assigned to managing and monitoring social media feedback is very helpful. (And, if you don’t have a team member in your firm, consider outsourcing to have a digital marketing team member)
5. No Call to Action
A “call to action” is where you ask your potential clients to take an action. If they do not know what to do, they will not take action. Be sure to include a simple call to action in your posts when appropriate. Some calls to action appropriate for social media posts include:
- Opportunity to sign up for a drawing
- Social media share buttons
- Sign up for a free download
- Invitation to sign up for a webinar or free class
- Announcement of an open house or community event you sponsor
6. Arbitrary Advertising
If you are paying for advertising on social media, make sure you take advantage of the platform’s tools to target your ideal client or unique audience. Without targeting, it is unlikely you will see a positive return on your investment as the right people won’t see your ad. Examine your advertising analytics, keep what works, and discard what does not.
7. Minimal Promotion
You want to ensure your social media content is promoted by others and across the web. Ask your law firm’s team to promote the firm’s social media posts and accounts on their own individual social accounts. Let people know which social media platforms you can be found on by including links to all your social media accounts on your website, email signature, promotional materials, newsletters, and on each social media page.
8. No Blog
A law firm blog is crucial for search engine optimization (SEO) and can help build your social media following. When individuals find your blog content relevant and valuable, they will engage with it — often by sharing it on their own social media platforms. Post blog links on all of your social media accounts to increase traffic to your law firm’s website and keep the circle going.
9. Lack of Relationships
Social media is about being “social.” In other words, it’s about building connections with your current and potential clients. To build more relationships, share others’ content you think your followers would find helpful, and tag those whose content you share. When you link to other articles or content, credit the author and always mention your sources. When you share their content, they are likely to return the favor later and share your content when it is interesting and on-point for their followers. In this way, you increase your connections exponentially.
Focusing Your Social Media Strategy
There are many reasons why your law firm’s social media engagement may be underperforming. If you are pursuing too many platforms, settle in where your ideal audience hangs out and focus your energies there. If your busy schedule makes writing quality content difficult, invest in outsourcing the kind of material that will attract and engage visitors. Staying focused on the needs of your target client can help you develop a reliable reputation and allow you to gain more traffic in the future.
You Might Also Like These Articles on Attorney at Work:
- “Instagram Benefits and Quick Tip for Lawyers” by Annette Choti
- “5 Free and Quick Tips to Get Started on Your Digital Marketing Plan” by Annette Choti
- “Four Ways to Use LinkedIn to Become a Thought Leader” by Jay Harrington
- “Anatomy of a Successful Bio-Driven LinkedIn Campaign” by Susan Kostal
- “Using Social Media to Protect Your Referrals and Enhance Your Brand” by Mark Homer
- “Legal Blogs: Quick Tips to Ramp It Up” by Annette Choti
Subscribe to Attorney at Work
Get really good ideas every day for your law practice: Subscribe to the Daily Dispatch (it’s free). Follow us on Twitter @attnyatwork.