Why Your Law Firm Needs Both Organic and Paid Social

When you’re recruiting clients for your law firm in the real world, you probably hope to do so naturally, with referrals, and through advertising and marketing, like sponsoring events or placing ads in magazines.

It’s not so different in the virtual world.

Today, you need both organic social and paid social elements in your marketing plan.

Organic social refers to activity on any of your firm’s social profiles that you didn’t pay for. This includes linking to your blog, retweeting, sharing news articles or liking status updates. Organic social works best when audiences actively seek out your content (which is ideal) or at the very least, your firm. Interacting with those posts means the user found the content valuable, interesting or both.

Paid social is any social activity that you pay to display to a targeted audience. Like organic social, paid social requires that you create posts that attract attention. But Facebook and the other social media giants have created advertising platforms that enable businesses to pay to put their posts in front of users. With paid social, the content is the advertising. It’s your own, but you’re paying to make sure it gets in front of your desired audience, which makes that content more effective.

You need organic and paid social for different reasons.

For one, organic social is very cost-effective. Since all it costs you is time spent creating the piece of content that gets liked or shared, any exposure it gets is free. Second, it can be used as an informal barometer for measuring the value of your content. If one particular type of post gets far fewer reactions than you typically receive, your topic or style may be a little off-base; in contrast, if a link you tweet to your website gets many shares and likes, you can tell your followers have an appetite for that type of content.

However, organic social isn’t enough on its own. In 2012, a typical Facebook post from a business could expect to reach approximately 16 percent of that business’ fans. Today, that same post would reach just under two percent of the same business’ Facebook fans. The reasons for that are varied but include: use of mobile devices for shorter periods of time, rather than desktops for longer durations; increasing “background noise” on social media caused by many brands competing for attention; and ever-changing algorithms that adjust how, when and to whom posts appear.

That’s why paid social media promotion is also necessary. The major platforms all have the option of allowing you to create a desired audience of potential clients using factors like age, location and income level, and then paying to make sure your message reaches their screens. The best part – it’s fairly inexpensive.

Together, organic and paid social can deliver your law firm’s marketing message to potential clients efficiently and cost-effectively.

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