Social media, when used properly, is a very effective way to promote your Legal services and gain inbound leads. But social media isn’t just effective for products and brands, connecting with the right people, with the right content and the right opportunities can be effective for almost any business, including law firms.
Understanding your Audience
Before you start using social media to promote your legal services or law firm it’s important that you understand who you are talking to. social media is a place where people go to either catch up with friends or build new connections so anything promotional is disruptive to that experience. If you understand the audience and who you are targeting in detail this will define what you say and how you say it.
The best way to do this (if you haven’t already as part of your wider marketing strategy) is to create customer avatars (customer Persona) for each type of client, look at the customer base collectively and then generalise the key information about them, write down everything about them for example:
Position: Company Director (SME)
Company: Party Supplies Northampton Ltd
Overview: John is a busy business owner with 4 staff, family person who likes to work flexibly, The business turns over 200k per year
Pain Points: John wants to regain time back again since he started the business to see his family more but work has become busier and busier, he finds the larger his business grows the harder it becomes to keep abreast of legal changes.
Social Media used: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
This will give you a reminder of exactly who you are trying to “talk” with.
You can make as many of these as necessary so you can start to grasp who you are talking to, you’ll also find a pattern in pain points such as: time, cashflow, skills shortage and so on.
Another way to understand your audience better is to pick up the phone and ask your customers about their problems and how you are solving them or how you can go about doing so.
When you’ve got to grips with exactly who your customers are you can then work out which social media platforms they will be using so you can effectively target and build relationships with them there. Just because you enjoy using instagram, doesn’t mean your customer does, just because Facebook is getting bad press doesn’t mean your customers aren’t using it.
Generally speaking for professional B2B services Linkedin is really effective because people are there specifically to build a relationship in a business capacity.
Create a Content Plan
Before you start posting on social media it’s a good idea to have a plan with the content you are going to share. Generally speaking, your content should do one of the following things:
Educate your audience
The content should never be promotional or too salesy. It’s a put off for people if you are selling, without providing any value at all.
Articles and Blogs
It’s important that you create the content yourself or outsource it so that you have content assets that will help you gain inbound enquiries and generate conversation over and over again. The best way to get started with creating content is to make a list of questions that you get asked the most as an advisor and then set about answering each one in as much detail as possible. These answers will become blogs or LinkedIn articles. What happens is when people are looking for the answers to their problems and you are there with the answer, it helps to build trust with your potential new client this also helps you to build a knowledge library which will add considerable value to your existing clients and will work for you to gain inbound enquiries over and over again.
You will find that many other people have answered these questions online but they haven’t answered them in the same way as you and wouldn’t you rather be sharing your own content than competitors on social media?
Social video is one of the most effective ways to be seen on social media today, with the algorithms favouring video and it’s attention-grabbing nature, means that it’s worth getting the camera out and creating content this way. Because people like to consume content in different ways it’s worth creating videos that also answer the questions you’ve already written out, A short social media video posted by the advisor can help to boost personal brand awareness and help the audience get to know them better meaning that it’s easier to build those all-important relationships that lead to inbound sales through social media.
Taking content from the articles and snippets from the video you can create content assets to go out via your social channels regularly, facts, helpful information, news and memes about the problems your audience face are effective, using tools like Canva means that you are able to create your own social media images branded to your company or outsource this depending on time and budget,
Once you have all of your social media assets you can start to schedule content out via calendar tools such as Buffer, ContentCal and Feedalpha. These tools help you to ensure you have a constant flow of messages going out on social media, it also means that you will be able to effectively measure the success of the content you’ve created and shared. As a general rule, ensure that the content shared is 90% value and 10% promotions. Do share valuable content from other sources if you think your customers will find the content valuable or helpful.
Building an Audience
It can be very quiet on social media with no followers or connections and although your content in the long term will help you to build an audience, using the social networking advertising platforms can help you reach more of the customers that matter to you much faster. All of the social media platforms have an accessible ad platform and it’s worth putting aside a small budget to start with for testing. The platforms also have courses which help you to understand how to create advertisements.
It’s important that you do both organic content creation and advertising together to get the best impact from your investment in content creation and paid ads.
Over time as you start to become an active social media user or content creator, you’ll find more people start to engage, it’s important that people are replied to quickly even if what they are saying is negative or challenging but remember it’s a public forum so always get down to the nitty gritty of your conversations over direct message or email. By commenting on other posts with your helpful answers to questions, means that others will see you and this will further help to build your authority on social media.
Social media success can be measured but it depends on the KPI or goal you set in the first place.
Metrics such as likes and followers are not always an indication of how well a campaign works, use unique URL’s and look at click-throughs to websites, put a call to action in the post.
For many of our clients its not about large numbers, it’s about measuring how much penetration you are getting into your target audience. Which means that low numbers of traffic are okay if it is the right traffic coming to your website.
Take your time to look at the analytics on the social networks, on your own website analytics, how do they match up, are you getting click-throughs?
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment, not everything you do will work the first time round, not every post will go viral! Stick with it, learn from mistakes and do not be dissuaded, building relationships takes time, build them for your business and you may just find a new loyal customer base.