Without a doubt, it is a good business practice for your firm to have a social media presence. In today’s day and age, social media is where your client base and potential client base are spending their time online, regardless of your practice type. So, you and your firm will soon be conspicuously absent from the discussion if you do not have a social media presence. However, even if you got to the social media party a little bit late, your success on social media will be predicated on how well you are able to engage.
1. Energy leads to engagement.
The social media platforms where you place your attention deliberately and consistently are the places where you are most likely to get engagement. So, pick your preferred platform (or platforms) strategically by who you want to engage with most. While less than twenty percent of adults who use the internet are on Twitter, for example, nearly 60 percent of all journalists use Twitter regularly. Most marketers see journalists as the most important conduit to the public, so depending on who your practice serves and who you are trying to reach, Twitter may be the place to be. Facebook, however, is more social-focused than business-focused, so if your brand strategy is to present your firm as laid back and approachable with a more conversational demeanor, you may want to spend more of your time on Facebook.
2. Use Hashtags.
On Twitter, as well as Facebook and Instagram, hashtags raise your visibility and help to create engagement. Hashtags are used to “sort” the conversation, so those talking about the same topic can find one another. For example, if you search for #legaltech, you will find the latest and “top” – or most interacted with – tweets on law and technology, and you will also find companies that include the phrase “legaltech” in their descriptions/online bios.
So how do you know which hashtags to use? Twitter will tell you what’s “trending” in your area, that is, what topics people are talking about at the moment. To figure out if there are conversations happening online otherwise where you might be able to lend expertise, there are sites like Buzzsumo. The site lets you search for a topic area, and then shows you which articles are getting the most engagement and visibility on social media – and it will even break down engagement by social media platform. Another source that can help you find the right hashtags to help you engage is Ritetag. Ritetag will show you the number of people engaging with a particular hashtag in real time, which should help guide you in selecting the hashtags you want to use.
3. Position yourself as an expert.
Social media provides an opportunity for you to position yourself as an expert. Individuals and companies are more likely to engage with you if there is something in it for them – your social media platform shouldn’t serve solely to promote your practice. As an attorney, you have particular expertise in a particular subject matter, so consider sharing an article (or a link to an article and lead with your unique insights), a blog post, or another resource and explaining its importance or relevance.
4. Give away free resources.
While there are ethical concerns with sharing legal advice online, hosting a live online Q & A where you can answer simple questions or provide basic background information on a particular area of law is a good way to “give” something to your audience while also heightening your own visibility.
There are many ways to create a strong voice and brand on social media, but the easiest way to create a presence is to be present. Engage in conversations and engage in the content that others are producing and placing on social media. Share content and be sure to credit (and compliment) the person who produced it. If you are actively engaging with others, they are likely to begin to engage with you, making your content more “buzzworthy” and giving you a greater change to connect with potential clients.