You are what you tweet
Can a diet of social media produce healthy profits for your law firm? Rachel Tombs thinks so
You cannot escape the fact that social media has become an invaluable part of most people’s everyday lives. Typically, internet users spend nearly two hours a day on social networks and, astonishingly, studies have shown that the total time we spend on social media exceeds the time we spend eating, drinking, socialising, and investing in personal care.
So, what are the benefits of commencing this social media diet?
Increased engagement with clients and prospects;
A boost of your brand’s online visibility;
Sustained client loyalty;
An uplift in website traffic;
Increased awareness of your special offers and events; and
New clients for your firm.
First, review the Law Society’s guidance and ensure that your website is “visitor friendly” in terms of its look, navigation, and branding. This goes for your social media accounts too.
As with any diet, consider which part of your firm needs “shaping up”. This will determine the type of diet you choose to follow. For example, does your conveyancing or wills and trusts department need some marketing investment? If so, Facebook content and advertising should be considered. You need to be visible on the same online networks as your clients and potential clients, and that might mean stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Facebook advertising allows you to target your audience based on their age, gender, location, relationship status, education level, profession, and, significantly, their behaviour and interests.
If you want to increase business in your commercial or employment law departments, concentrate on a diet of LinkedIn content, where you can start to establish your firm’s authority as the expert in a particular field. You can nurture relationships on LinkedIn with both your existing and potential clients, so they are ready to buy when the time is right.
Twitter allows you to show your personality; it is a place where prospective clients can get a flavour of your expertise and see how you interact with and respond to others. Did you know that your Twitter bio appears in Google searches? Have you used the same words that others are likely to use when they are searching online for your services?
Once you have identified your ideal target audience, you will need to decide on your marketing strategy. Select your topics in advance, as some areas of law are “seasonal” (the number of divorces that are initiated peak in January and September, and for personal injury firms there’s always a focus on “Road Safety Week” in November).
To establish your expertise, add links back to articles on your website or share, for example, “Top tips on drafting an employment contract”.
Don’t make the mistake of constantly selling on social media. You don’t build a lasting relationship with people by just selling your services. You need to build a foundation of trust. Post and tweet regularly on a particular subject, or on the latest piece of industry news, and you will be at the forefront of your prospective clients’ minds when they need you.
Be personable. Share team successes or interesting work you have done within the local community. Have you got a great client testimonial that reinforceswhy someone should choose your firm? Put that recommendation onto an eye-catching graphic.
Video plays an important role on social media. You could create an engaging and fun whiteboard video which immediately grabs people’s attention, or you could create an educational film on a specific topic, such as an overview of the eligibility criteria for someone who has experienced negligence due to a surgical procedure that went wrong.
Make sure your clients and prospective clients are aware that they can engage with you. Consider combining your Facebook and Twitter feeds into your homepage, make social media icons prominent across your website, and add them to your email signatures.
Finally, make sure you monitor and evaluate the results of your diet. One of the greatest tools for measuring social media success is freely available and probably already installed on your website: Google Analytics. Also, if you decide to use Facebook advertising then you can install Facebook Pixel into your company’s website, helping you measure your conversions.
A social media diet that is followed meticulously should result in an increased number of online followers, requests for proposals, positive feedback from existing clients, and better search engine visibility. However, as we all know, diets can and often do fail, and there is little point in commencing a one-month trial of social media and then giving up at the first hurdle if you are not getting the ground-breaking statistics you were hoping for. If you want to see your firm’s profits change in the long term then you need to commit to a long-standing, flexible, well-thought-through campaign, and that, like a diet, requires effort and determination.
Rachel Tombs is the social media marketing consultant at Symphony Legal