Home > Marketing, Social Media > Law Firm’s should Review their Social Media Efforts

Law Firm’s should Review their Social Media Efforts

 

All law firms need to have a marketing plan and that plan needs to contain social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and blogs.  If your year has not started using these networks to engage with clients and prospects then now is the time.  This post will cover a suggested plan on social media for those firms just starting out with it.

SocialMedia

Social media helps create more buzz and discussions about your firm.  Social media is a lot of little things that hopefully will create more activity regarding your legal services.  For social media to be successful it needs to be integrated with your existing marketing of live events, case studies, webinars, target emails, newsletters, press releases,etc.  Social media needs to part of your firm’s culture.  A culture change takes time to accomplish and will require educating your staff about social media.

A goal of the social media part of the marketing plan is to include the social media needs, wants and ideas of different specialties of the firm. Social Media improves the communication to and from clients, prospects and other lawyers.  It also allows for gathering of information on competing lawyers and their service offerings.

Goals – First write down the goals that you want to accomplish with social media.  Here is an example of some goals:

  • Getting started on social media so that social media becomes part of the regular marketing process.
  • Improve firm perception with prospects.  As more law firms begin using social media more and more, your firm will need to do so as well to be perceived as a caring, involved, organized, knowledgeable, leading edge and professional law firm.
  • Improve firm’s digital presence so that your firm is found easily and more often on the internet when searched for by individuals.
  • Communicate out to those interested in your firm in the communication method that they desire.  Many individuals prefer the use of such tools as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to get information.  Your firm would use social media to promote events, notify about trainings, announce webinars, mention client case studies and inform about the firm’s services.
  • Improve communication into firm by people with the communication method that they desire.  Many individuals are comfortable and prefer using tools such as Twitter and Facebook. They use social media to provide product feedback, mention support issues, make enhancement requests and request information.
  • Improve monitoring of competing law firms and their legal services so that your firm can quickly respond to their offerings.  This will be done by monitoring the competitor’s digital presence and social media efforts.
  • Improve monitoring of mentions of your firm on the internet.  Some of these mentions might be requests for information which should be responded to quickly.  Some of these mentions might be negative which also need to be responded to quickly.
  • Increase traffic to the company website and improve search engine optimization (SEO) as social media will provide more linkage to the site and will make the site more ever changing.

Components – Once you have your goals set, define what you are going to do.  Classify your social media tasks as phase 1 and phase 2 items.  Do not try to take on more than you can handle.  For example select Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Alerts for phase 1 while YouTube videos and Blog will be done in a 2nd phase.

Facebook

Facebook is the leading social media tool.  Many individuals use Facebook as the way to stay up to date on the activities of friends and organizations that they care about.  Law firms create Facebook Fan pages so that those with an interest in their firm can get information easily and quickly.  A Facebook Fan Page usually has a more casual feel to it than a firm’s website.  Pictures and lighter tone pieces are used on a Facebook Fan Page rather than on the website which is more formal.  Facebook Fan Page should have a similar look as the  website.  The target audience is clients, prospects and partners of the company who use Facebook.  After the Fan Page is created, promote it on firm’s website, mention in newsletters and add to email signatures.  Set a goal such as to update Fan Page at least once a week with an update on firm events, webinars, trainings or service offerings.

Twitter

There are those that desire to get information via Twitter.  Twitter information is fast, current and short (140 characters).  Twitter is an excellent tool to drive individuals to a website so that they can get more information about events or services.  Anyone can be a follower of a particular Twitter account.  Therefore the desire is for anyone that has a Twitter account and would have an interest in your company for them to sign up to be a follower of your firm on Twitter.  Twitter Profile Page should have a similar look as the website.  Target audience is clients, prospects and partners who use Twitter.  After Twitter account is created, promote account on firm’s website, mention in newsletters and add to email signatures.  Set a goal to send at least 5 tweets a week on events, news releases, webinars, training and service offerings.  Tweets can also be industry related.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is known as the business professional’s social media tool.  It is a great tool to find individuals, law firms and companies.  LinkedIn has the ability to have a company page and create groups which have members that are interested in the group subject.  Therefore your firm can create a group that is targeted for your clients and their needs.  LinkedIn does not require as much care and feeding as Facebook and Twitter.  Initially, LinkedIn will be used by your firm as a way for people to find your firm.  The LinkedIn company profile will drive people to the firm’s website.  The target audience is business professionals with an interest in your law firm.  The initial strategy is to create the profile and maintain accuracy.  It is also recommended that all the lawyers and important staff in the firm have individual LinkedIn profiles so that they can be easily be found by other individuals.  And the profiles should be reviewed by the firm’s marketing team to make sure their is consistency in the profiles about the firm.

Google Alerts and Competition Monitoring

It is important to know what is being posted about your firm, your legal services and your competitors on the internet.  This is done by setting Google alerts on specified terms.  If these specified terms are posted on the internet Google will send you an email notification.  These emails will need to be reviewed with the appropriate person in the company notified if something needs to be responded to.  Also someone outside of your company will need to follow competitor’s Twitter account and competitor’s Facebook Fan Page.

YouTube

YouTube is a highly searched tool for videos.  Videos are usually less than 10 minutes in length (less than 3 minutes preferred) and usually are not very formal.  Many firms put testimonial videos of happy clients on a custom YouTube Channel which they control.  Many individuals at your firm will need to assist in the creation of videos including selecting topics and being shown in the videos.  Target audience is clients, prospects and partners who access YouTube looking for information on your firm, your services.  The strategy is to announce videos on firm’s website, mention in newsletters, send out Tweets and post on Facebook Fan Page.  Set a goal to post at least 1 video a month once you have started posting videos.

Blog

A blog is a great way to show legal expertise and to provide information to those that want it.  There are multiple blog tools that can be used with WordPress being the most well known.  The blog should be integrated into the firm’s website.  A blog is time consuming as it does take time to write the blog posts.  Consistency is important to having a successful blog.  Blog posts will probably need to be written by multiple people at your firm (or ghost writers) who have the expertise necessary for the posts.  Target audience is clients, prospects and partners who would like to see information related to your firm and its services.  The strategy is to announce blog posts on website, mention in newsletters, send out Tweets and post on Facebook Fan Page.  Set a goal to post 1 blog post a month once you have started your blogging.

Calendar/Costs – Now that you know what you are going to do and why you are going to do it, create a time line or calendar of when you will be tackling these social media tasks.  Mark down when you are going to set them up and when you are going to promote them.  Create a reminder to do your postings and monitoring.

All most done.  Now you need to estimate what this is going to cost you.  Many of the additional costs to do social media are in the marketing labor necessary to setup, post and monitor.  Many of the tools used are no cost items for the basic versions.  Create an estimate on the number of additional hours of marketing time it will take to do these social media tasks.  At a minimum count on 1 to 2 hours every business day to be spent on social media for the company.  If you don’t have the resources to handle this consistent effort then look into getting an outside consultant to assist setting it up and doing some of the initial work.  But for it to be successful you still need to be involved.  Once the social media process is in place, consider bringing on an intern to assist with the social media activity.  If YouTube videos are on your list, I recommend purchasing a video camera (estimate $500 with a case, memory card and tripod).  I know that time is your most precious resource but if done correctly your efforts in social media will pay off.

Incorporate social media into the firm’s efforts.  Social media will increase the communication with the firm’s clients, prospects and partners.  Hopefully, this increased communication will increase the number of new client opportunities.  Remember that the social media plan will need to be reviewed on a regular basis.  It should be a living, ever changing document.  Wish you great success.

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