Social media now plays a crucial part in helping most businesses to reach out to their customers and potential clients, but not every industry has been quick to jump on the bandwagon. For some law firms, regulations and privacy concerns have meant they have chosen to stay away from social media in favour of a more traditional, old fashioned marketing strategy.
These firms are however missing a huge opportunity to establish themselves as thought leaders on social media, by sharing easy-to-understand information, insightful blog posts, company news and helpful contacts for those in need of advice. Here’s why law firms should use social media to help;
- Increase online enquiries
- Establish themselves as thought leaders
- Stand out from their competitors
- Demonstrate their expertise in a chosen field
- Share relevant information
- Monitor topics and practice areas online
- Showcase employee experience and profiles
- Directly reach their target audience
A few years ago McKinsey published a report which stated that law firms have a LOT to gain from social media channels, as businesses such as “professional services firms, more so than other businesses, are innately social organisations. They depend very heavily on social interactions – with clients and among professional colleagues — to carry out their work and develop new business.”
Many law firms are already partaking in ‘social media listening’ which is an effective way for them to monitor different topics and practice areas, however they are missing out on an opportunity to connect with their audience. It’s important for all businesses to adapt their structures and processes to keep up to date with technology so they don’t get left behind and having a presence on social media falls under that remit.
Where do we start?
We always advise that you should select your social media networks wisely and appropriately for your sector and business needs, then ensure you can maintain them to a consistently high standard. Out of all the social platforms available, LinkedIn is one of the most popular channel for law firms. Christina Hoole, European marketing director for LinkedIn, says the benefits “can seem intangible, but they are, nonetheless, about brand, visibility and ultimately what lawyers get out of networking in the real world”. In other words, online networking is as important as real-world networking and status-building for lawyers – and that means very important!
This useful infographic by Hootsuite explains how law firms can utilise LinkedIn:
By also joining conversations on Twitter and commenting on relevant news articles, lawyers can also showcase their expertise on particular areas of practice. Over time, this will increase the visibility of your firm’s expertise on the network, building your reach and engagement as your follower numbers increase as well as on Google searches, as Tweets are now indexed by Google.
How do we reach our customers and clients?
Writing and sharing company blog posts is a fantastic way to demonstrate your expertise and a study by Inside Counsel, Greentarget, and Zeughauser Group found that in-house respondents are reading attorney-authored blogs just as often as they are reading blogs authored by professional journalists. Social media is a brilliant tool to share this, as law firms can write and talk about what they know about online. This makes their service and value to clients more tangible, helping to turn contacts into connections.
The Law Society of Scotland has useful tips about using social media platforms, including having a social media policy in place for all partners and staff, and also a reminder that professional responsibilities apply regardless of the medium of communication.
If you are a law firm and would like some advice on how to create a successful social media presence, get in touch for a no obligation chat!