♫ All the little birdies on Jaybird Street
Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet…♫
Music and Lyrics by Thomas Jimmie, recorded by Michael Jackson.
Would you pay attention to an emerging marketing platform that has seen a 663% increase in people over the last two years looking for recommendations around professional services? I would imagine you would. Twitter is that platform. Now: how many of you have a thoughtful, continual and strategic presence on Twitter that engages the community from which you draw your clients? While we are at it, how many of you have a digital media marketing plan that includes Twitter and other social media platforms? If not, according to research carried out in the UK by Orange Business, you may be overlooking a big opportunity: “[S]econd on the list are solicitors, who may not be aware of the fees they could be missing out on by not engaging with the public and other businesses via Twitter,” (https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-news/twitter-becoming-key-referral-source-for-solicitors-says-research).
Orange notes that lawyers need to do more than just be ‘on’ Twitter. You need to demonstrate your expertise, show that you know what you are talking about and share information far and wide. In other words, your Twitter presence should be part of a comprehensive and strategic social media marketing plan (a “SMMP”).
How do you build your SMMP?
First, you need to learn about how SM is being used by lawyers in your area(s) or practice. Look inwards and determine which services you provide that you wish to market and learn how other lawyers (perhaps in other jurisdictions) are using SM in relation to these services. Are they engaging on Twitter and if so, what hashtags are they using? Did they create YouTube videos that speak to their knowledge of an area of law? Are they on Facebook and if so, have they posted videos, articles or interviews? How about Instagram? Reddit? Quora? Snapchat? The idea is to think beyond LinkedIn, which frankly, every lawyer should already be on.
Now, determine what people are saying about you and your firm on SM. Research using Google, Facebook, Twitter and other SM platforms and see what is being said about you and your firm, if anything. This gives you a starting point together with an assessment of the SM landscape.
Determine how your target clients are holding conversations in SM that are relevant to you and your firm. What topics are they discussing? This gives you a target of where you need to be in terms of platforms and topics.
Now set your strategy. How are you going to go about SM posts? Videos? Photos? Articles? Will you engage in Twitter conversations on select topics? Comment on recent cases (hint: don’t use your recent cases – too easy to breach client confidentiality). Establish SM goals for your marketing focus.
Schedule your time and updates for SM. You will need regular, consistent and timely updates. How much time and money will you expend? Set a budget.
Set up the metrics that you will use in determining if you are meeting your goals. You need to see if you efforts are bearing fruit.
Reach out and experiment and start to build your SM networks. Follow people. Comment. Experiment. Learn how people use the different platforms and become part of the community. Don’t hesitate to consult with SM experts to save time and speed up the process.
Your SM presence should aim to refer people back to your blog where your more detailed content is located and where people can learn about you (after all this is social media). Your blog is where you demonstrate your in-depth knowledge via the posts that you have written and people can find your contact information.
Unlike an advertisement, SM is a dialogue with your potential clients. Your skillful tweet tweet tweet can take you from being just another birdie in the tree to a rocking robin.
Who are the knowledgeable legal marketing personalities and organizations that are available to assist you in your marketing journey?
LMA: The Legal Marketing Association is an international organization composed of consultants, vendors, lawyers, marketers from other professions, and marketing students. It has a Western Canadian Regional Governing Board, with Vancouver’s own Susan Van Dyke of Van Dyke Marketing & Communications as the 2019 President. They are a tremendous resource for all areas of legal marketing. Follow their blog to stay current on news, trends and more. blog.legalmarketing.org
In terms of on-line presence, you should be able to learn a great deal about legal marketing by seeing what advice experts in the field place on their blogs and web pages – for free. Examples of their work allows you to gauge the impact of their work; awards allow you to determine what their peers are saying about them. Here is a sampling of those people and organizations that I and others, consider strongly influential.
Skunkworks: The team at Skunkworks have become a local tour de force for lawyers and law firms here in BC. Doug Jasinski, Marnie MacLeod and Jeremy Hessing-Lewis have all done their time in the legal trenches and speak the language of lawyers and marketing. Their blog and examples of their work are a good place to start to see what local firms have achieved in thinking about their marketing message. https://skunkworks.ca/blog/
Stemlegal: Steve Matthews and his group form a web development, publishing and strategy juggernaut for the legal profession. They are a local company with a national presence and influence. Steve is tireless – not only does he look after his legal marketing company, he manages slaw.ca – Canada’s online legal magazine, he runs lawblogs.ca – Canada’s comprehensive listing of Canadian Legal Blogs, legalpubs.ca – which tracks the latest in Canadian legal publications and runs ClawBies.ca – Canada’s annual legal blogging awards.
Eva Chan: After practising advertising, marketing, and IT law at a national Canadian law firm for over 10 years, Eva is now a social media strategist, consultant and trainer. More to the point she provides social media-related services to lawyers and law firms. A ClawBie award winner, her blog https://www.evachanweb.ca/blog/ has articles such as Social Media Opportunities and Risks, How To Write an Engaging Social Media Post and Twitter tricks and treats (aka tips). She asks (and answers) such questions as: What One Thing to Advance Women in Law Will You Do?
Fishman Marketing: Ross Fishman, although located in Chicago, has a strong presence here in Vancouver. His web site is loaded with great advice and insights into the world of legal marketing. Review his numerous case studies to gain insights into his thinking and work. Subscribe to his blog to stay current on his innovative ideas. https://www.fishmanmarketing.com/blog-2/
The Rainmakers Blog: Stephen Fairley consistently receives accolades for perhaps the best legal marketing blog on the Internet. A recent post was one of my favourites: 5 Ways to Attract your Ideal Client. Another was: How to Determine Which Social Media Networks Work Best for Your Firm. https://www.therainmakerblog.com