In Social Media, They’re Not All Going to be Home Runs
Ever feel like using social media to market your law firm is a no-win situation?
Big, fun social campaigns generate plenty of attention for other companies, but your law firm can’t position itself as frivolous and maintain any credibility. Then again, boring posts that don’t get shares, likes or retweets don’t seem to contribute much to your client roster.
I get the frustration, but one of the things attorneys need to keep in mind when they engage in social media is what they should realistically expect.
If you’re hoping your posts will attract large audiences out of nowhere, then you’re probably thinking about the value of social media the wrong way.
My recommendation for law firms is a change in attitude. Rather than constantly swinging for the fences and viewing anything less than a home run as a failure, think about how the medium actually works:
- First off, take the word “viral” out of your vocabulary. This sort of thing happens so infrequently that unless you’re also the kind of person who plans to fund next year’s budget by winning the Powerball, it shouldn’t even be part of your thought process.
- Next, understand that consistency is what builds an audience. If you’re saving your breath online because you’re always waiting for inspiration to strike, I’ve got bad news for you: When you finally do post something, no one is going to be around to read it. You shouldn’t fill your social feed with nonsense, but a reticent or DOA social account is worse than none.
- To that end, make sure you’re encouraging your audience (no matter the size) to engage with you. People will interact with your firm when you give them a reason. Ask questions of your followers, start a poll, or explicitly invite them to comment on your posts. That’s when the magic starts to happen online.
- Finally, remember that this is a long game. Success won’t happen on day one. The best social media posts are those that get viewed steadily over a long period of time. A flash in the pan post might get a lot of initial attention, but that kind of “success” is fleeting and effervescent. What you want is a post that solicits engagement and continues to send a positive message about your firm for more than an afternoon.
These ideas matter to law firms because, in its current state, most people use social media to find out if they want to work with you as a business — not to find you as a first step.
Social media is more of an evaluation tool (as opposed to a search engine). So imagine your prospective clients viewing your social activity in the aggregate. If they glance quickly at all of your posts, what does it tell them about your firm’s approach and personality?
The truth is, in many cases you won’t see the work that your social media activity is actually doing to shape your brand. But I still say, “swing away.” Just because they aren’t all home runs, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth stepping up to the plate.
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