I’ve seen a few articles out there about social media for law firms and solicitors but I never feel like they go deep enough. The ones I’ve discovered don’t give the practical information that the person running the social media for a law firm could use effectively. This is aimed at firms who deal with wills, probate, lasting power of attorney, conveyancing, dispute resolution and HR but really, the information applies to any law firm.
Solicitors and law firms can make fantastic use of social. You deal with people, usually at significant points in their lives: house buying and selling, wills, power of attorney, disputes…
Your business is people and that’s why social media can potentially work so well for you.
Social media is often thought of as a necessary evil. When the industry you’re in is heavily regulated and you have to be so careful about what you say, it can seem a bit of a minefield.
So some top tips here for anyone running the social media for a law firm:
Have a strategy Strategy strategy strategy! Don’t just post what you THINK people want to see. Work it out. Look at what competitors do well. Copy the good bits. Think ahead and create a strategy for eg the next 6 months. Use a calendar and ensure you’ve thought about significant days and get creative with your team about how you can celebrate or mark certain days. Think about activities you could introduce to allow us to relate to you: so some firms celebrate National pet day by introducing solicitors and their pets. Pets on social media: always a winner!
Remind people that you are human, not a corporate body. No one can identify with a business – people identify with people so let the public see that you are all individuals. And portray yourselves as nice people to help win trust and get your brand recognised. It’s that simple…
- Sponsor a local football team or similar
- Sponsor a local charity
Network and take pictures while you’re there. Ask for permission to share the pictures on your social media. Tag the business owner you took a picture with. Flatter them and they are likely to share it on their social media (if you just post a picture of them, a share is unlikely to happen).
Use social media advertising: the advertising capabilities on Facebook (and Instagram because they’re the same company) are incredible and you should most definitely be using this. We’ve seen excellent results running campaigns for the solicitors firms who are prepared to give it a go. You can find the people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer through a range of remarketing activities, targeting based on interest, age, and circumstance. Targeting capabilities have changed a fair bit since more regulation came in, but a good marketer will know how to engage the right people.
If, for instance, you would like to target people on an intro level such as will writing, you should be looking to create a positive but emotive advertising campaign that connects with people and how they feel about the issue. You can then target perhaps with a remarketing and lookalike audience campaign: so you will have had remarketing code on your website (if you haven’t got it on there, get it on there pronto!) and you can create an audience that ‘looks’ like the people who have visited the Wills section of the site. You then target that audience with your Wills advert.
Ensure one person is responsible for managing your social media strategy We’ve seen law firms task many different people with posting when it’s their turn to do so. This leads to a disjointed, corporate feel to the social. There needs to be an experienced social media manager at the helm.
Write interesting, pertinent, relatable blogs Do a bit of research to find the most-searched search engine terms that are related to the type of legal advice you give. Then formulate a series of blogs around them. (Use Google Adwords keyword tool to find the search terms.)
Use Facebook live A lot of people are worried about doing this, but you don’t need to have some well-executed video to present to the world. All you need to do is show you’re human. Talk to the camera about someone you helped and how it feels good to help. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it short and sweet to begin with (and you can record the video first if you prefer – going LIVE is just better for reaching more people). It’s important to add subtitles if you can because so many people will listen without sound (this can be added using Facebook’s own video subtitle tool) Make sure you gesticulate well, or even better, have an interesting prop to get people to notice you in their newsfeed.
Do use LinkedIn more: it’s the platform that possibly takes the most willpower to use as it’s not the easiest to use, but spending a bit of time of it, commenting on posts, supporting peers, and contacts, will help you be more visible. And if you are a bit of a writer, write blogs that avoid legal speak: you’re not aiming at your peers (unless you’re looking to climb a professional ladder) your aim should be to raise your profile, give out free information and help when you can. This will all help amplify your message, build trust, and help people feel like they can get in touch.
Deal with reviews and comments This is one of the reasons many businesses shy away from social media: the fear of negative reviews and comments. The thing is, it happens with any and every business: a person will tell quite a few people about a negative experience and you’ll never know about it. If they can comment on social media page instead, YOU then have a chance to respond. This will show the world how well you deal with complaints and it gives you the opportunity to turn things around. Show how well you deal with negativity and therefore what a professional business you are. You can also help outweigh any negative reviews by making asking for reviews part of your sales process: so ask people for a review when you’ve done a great job and when they’re feeling most benevolent.
Don’t post ‘for-the-sake-of-it’ content Someone told you that you need to be posting daily or at least three times a week. We’d say three times a week is a decent amount BUT only if you have something interesting to say. You might win some engagement with your one good post and then annoy followers with a bland click-to-website blog that no one is really interested in.
Don’t write a load of boring blogs to drive traffic to your website. People aren’t interested in clicking through unless it’s relevant to them. We see way too many ‘spotlight of the week’ or ‘introducing xyz solicitor’. The only people who’ll respond are other solicitors and their friends and family out of a sense of duty. You can still introduce the people who work there, and we’d recommend that you do, But do it in a fun way and DON’T make people click through to your website to see these people. Do a little bit of research into what other businesses do and adopt what you see as being successful.
Don’t just talk about you. Talk about issues people face and give some free advice right there on social media with all the qualifiers you need to add. Blogs about things that are pertinent and relatable are great: it’s the boring jargon-filled ones you need to avoid.
Don’t bother with instagram unless you have great pictures or you’ve come up with a creative, visual strategy: otherwise you’ll be grappling around trying to make decent content and really, there’s little point when Facebook and adverts are such powerful tools.
There is always more you can do on social media and the list of what you can and should be doing is fairly endless. But none of us have endless time to spend on social media, so if you’re going to do it, make sure you do it well. If you’d like any more help, we’re always here to advise, come up with a strategy, train you or your team, or manage the social media for you. So feel free to get in touch.
Thanks for reading!