Pretty much across all industries and sectors, social media for marketing purposes seems to be misconstrued. Many still see social networks as ‘shout about stuff’ platforms, simply for sharing snippets of information. Law firms have been adapting radically and rapidly to market themselves on social media, but most use platforms such as Twitter and Linkedin in a pretty simplistic way. Don’t get us wrong, their posts are great, they are informative, they are full of images and videos, they are attracting followers. But if you often think to yourself, this is a lot of effort for little return, remember there are other ways you can use your social profiles.
Let’s run through five of our favourites:
- Research: We’ve put this one at the top, as it’s so often overlooked. We’re all so busy posting on social media, that we don’t take the time to look at what others are doing. This could be researching competitors (what they are talking about/offering their clients), it could be looking at trending industry topics, or it could be scouting out possible partnerships and connections to make. Linkedin is a great space to get informed about every legal topic under the sun – you can be sure someone has written a blog on the topic you’re looking for. So, stop those fingers tapping for a moment, and start scrolling and researching.
- Recruitment: Many are doing this one already actually, but we thought it worth pointing out. Linkedin, particularly, is an excellent platform for recruitment, and increasingly firms and agencies are using it exclusively to recruit. And don’t forget the importance of what your profile looks like, in terms of attracting talented professionals.
- Brand identify and online presence: If a prospective client looks for a firm online and cannot find a listing, he or she may make judgements about that firm’s ability to do any number of other things – not to mention they won’t find any details to contact. A website has for a long-time been a ‘must-have’, but social network profiles are quickly following suit. Prospective clients would be surprised to find a firm didn’t have at least a Twitter and Linkedin profile. The likelihood is, if you don’t have these profiles, they’ll stumble across another firm that does.
- Conversions: It is very difficult to convert a potential client online via a social platform, however you can achieve what’s referred to as ‘soft conversions’, where you achieve some form of interaction with potential clients. This could be a user downloading a PDF guide you have created, or reading a blog article, or it could be a comment or conversation over Linkedin. Nothing is going to take the place of good old fashioned face-to-face meetings and sales calls, but social media certainly has something to add in terms of ‘warming up’ leads.
- Positioning and relationship building: If you post strong, suitable, useful and insightful content, then you will build up a reputation. This doesn’t deliver sales in a direct funnel, but it does have a positive impact on your firm. Secondly, you can build up a personality and an approachability that a website just can’t. People like to do business with people, after all. Therefore you should use your platforms to make you seem human and approachable – whilst demonstrating your expertise.
We haven’t even touched on hashtags, using it to talk to journalists, responding to current affairs topics, or internal communications. Perhaps we’ll save that for another time. If you’ve got any interesting ways to use social platforms, we’d love to hear them.