The best social media strategies to spark client engagement

Attention to social media is non-negotiable for any attorney or law firm seeking to thrive in this increasingly competitive business environment.

However, randomly posting to a Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter account is unlikely to spark the level of client engagement needed to drive business development success. As is the case with most digital marketing efforts, execution is everything.

So what can law firms do to ensure they’re always leveraging social media to its fullest potential? Here’s a rundown of the best practices legal marketers can’t afford to ignore.

Strive for brand consistency across all platforms

Because consumers have come to expect a seamless, cohesive experience across all of a brand’s social media assets, law firms and their attorneys need to convey a consistent brand message on every platform:

  • All social media pages associated with the firm (including attorneys’ personal LinkedIn pages) should be optimized with a profile picture and header (if applicable) that uses the firm’s logo, colors, and brand fonts.
  • The bio or “about” section needs to be as complete as possible and clearly communicate what the firm does, as well as its values and goals.
  • Every firm page should contain clear contact information, including a link to the firm’s website, a link to a contact form, a physical address, a “help” email, etc.

Target the right audience

Understanding their target audience, i.e., a law firm’s ideal clients, is key to any successful digital marketing strategy. Legal marketers should be as specific as possible in developing client personas, going beyond mere generalities. In addition to age, gender, profession, marital status, and other demographic factors, it’s essential to consider each person’s needs and wants, their legal problems, and how the firm can help them reach a resolution.

Determine the social platforms prospects are using

Once legal marketers have a better understanding of their firm’s ideal clients, they’ll need to conduct additional research to determine which social media platforms their audience is likely to frequent. Fortunately, every social media channel provides marketers access to target audience demographics. Industry reports and surveys also provide valuable information to guide social media efforts, as can the activities of a firm’s competitors.

Create engaging content

Successful social media marketing depends on creating and curating engaging content that meets the needs of a firm’s audience, offers potential clients something of value, and positions a firm and its attorneys as thought leaders in their fields of practice. Unfortunately, too many law firms still rely on purely promotional content in their social media efforts. While there is a place for promotion, most firms see better results when they limit promotional content to around 30 percent, leaving the remaining 70 percent for thought leadership and educational content.

It’s also vital that legal marketers recognize that not all content is appropriate for every social media channel. For example, Instagram is a visual-heavy platform that’s great for content that demonstrates a firm’s unique culture, whereas LinkedIn is far more effective for showcasing a firm’s thought-leadership prowess.

Solidify realistic, measurable goals 

Legal marketing teams that define realistic, measurable goals, beyond mere likes and followers, are more likely to see success. Examples of achievable social media goals include:

  • Raising brand awareness
  • Increasing traffic to the firm’s website
  • Generating new leads for newsletters
  • Acquiring new clients.

In-platform analytics features and tools like Hubspot allow marketers to ensure social campaigns deliver the expected ROI.

Invest in social media tools for maximum efficiency

Most law firms maintain multiple social media accounts and post to their pages several times daily. So it makes sense to invest in apps and tools —  HubSpot for planning and scheduling posts in advance, for hashtag intelligence, Canva for creating beautiful imagery or short video clips,etc. — that ensure the entire process runs efficiently. Legal marketers should also explore employee advocacy tools — SocialHP, LinkedIn Elevate, PostBeyond, or Clearview Social — that make it easier for attorneys and staff to share content with their personal social media networks.

Formalize brand and social media engagement guidelines

By establishing brand guidelines for elements like voice and tone, writing style, color themes, and font style, law firms and their marketing teams can ensure that all posts appear seamless and unified across all platforms. It’s also crucial to have formal policies in place to ensure responses are unified, consistent, and reflect well on the firm. This is especially important when reacting to negative comments, as poorly crafted responses can do irreparable harm to a firm’s reputation.

Leverage data analytics to measure and optimize

By reviewing social media analytics weekly and monthly, legal marketers can identify which tactics work best for their firm and which fall short of their goals. That information can be used to improve content creation efforts and provide the firm’s social media audience with optimized material better suited to their needs.

Social media offers law firms and legal marketers a powerful tool for connecting and engaging with potential clients. But a haphazard approach is unlikely to deliver the desired results. 

Law firms that strive to gain a deep understanding of their ideal clients, the platforms those prospects tend to favor, and the type of content that meets their needs and expectations are better positioned to leverage social media in a way that leads to business development success.

Kevin J. Vermeulen is a partner in Good2BSocial LLC, a digital marketing agency that focuses on law firms and companies in the legal industry. He can be reached at [email protected]

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