Last week I had an interesting phone call with a client, in summary:
Client: “I got a thank you note, did you cover it on my social media profiles?”
Me: “I did not know about the note, can you send it over?”
Client: “You should just have it!
The basis of this conversation inspired this blog post which is basically a beginner’s guide for lawyers with social media programs. I know what you’re thinking; “why do I pay you if I need to contribute?” The short answer is you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to, but the biggest social successes come from a joint effort between marketer and attorney. You should also consider three things:
1. We are posting on behalf of the business, you may want to adjust what topics are added to your social media profiles and check on the brand voice.
2. As much as we wish we could, we can’t work out of your office – so we can’t see your day-to-day life. A lot of people follow lawyers on social media to live vicariously through their Harvey Specter-like lives – sharing office pictures, fancy lunches, or attorney struggles will resonate with a larger audience than just links to content.
3. You have personal contacts that we may not have access to. Getting people to follow brand new LinkedIn or Facebook accounts is hard if you aren’t putting money into advertisements. I constantly remind my friends to follow me on Instagram and Twitter, you should mention it to your colleagues too.
Everything posted to social media should serve a purpose. Whether it’s to sharing your expertise, showing your unique personality, finding clients, or flaunting your successes, your social needs to be fluid. While you have outsourced the majority of your work to a marketing company, you should still help supplement your profiles for maximum results.
The most important step in this process is knowing how to use your social profiles.
You or someone in your office should know how to login and post to your social media accounts. This is important because your profiles represent your brand, and comments may arise that only you can address. To get started work with your marketing team, they will be able to train you to access and manage your account. You also should also consider long-term. If you decide to cancel your marketing program, there will be several social media accounts under your name floating around. I recommend designating one person in office to check your accounts at least once a week. If you feel as though you don’t have the time or resources to spend on this, consider linking your accounts to your phone. Nearly every social network has an Android and iPhone app that you can log into and setup to notify you when someone contacts you via these mediums.
Having a mix of articles, personal posts, lawyer humor, reviews, and photos likely makes your firm more dynamic than the 500 other law firms in your area.
If you feel that you will not have time to post, tell your internal or external social media coordinator (like ONE400!) about upcoming events before they happen and take pictures at the event. Whether you text, email, fax, send by horse-drawn carriage – just get the pictures to someone on your social team who can upload them to your accounts. Take pictures of anything interesting that happens in your office and send all of them off for someone else to sort through and manage. Remember, social is sharing, so it’s better to have too much content instead of too little.
“Great holiday office party with the partners!”
If anyone ever promises you 10,000 followers in a month with no effort, you are being scammed. Purchases followers may look good on paper, but they do nothing for your brand. I can tell within about 2 seconds if someone has purchased followers online, and this practice marks you as untrustworthy. Social profile growth takes time – you are literally asking someone to like your firm online, publically. However, if you put in the effort, results will follow. You will find an interested audience who engages with your posts, and that would gladly refer you to their friends.
Make sure you let people know you are active on social media! Attaching your profile links to your email signature and website is a great place to start without being intrusive. You should also have some sort of signage in your office that says you are on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. When you are speaking to a happy clients, ask them to like you online and leave a review if they are comfortable. It’s a digital world, be aggressive!
Sometimes we will get specific questions on our attorney’s social accounts that we are incapable of answering – usually related to pricing agreements. If you are outsourcing your social media, be sure to open every email from your team as it comes in. If a question comes in on the weekend, try and be proactive about responding. It will show the client you care, and are available should then choose to retain you.
Last but not least remember to have fun online. Comment on profiles you find interesting, make comments on current events, and turn followers into fans.