Using social media to connect with legal consumers today

Throughout the U.S., shelter-in-place orders have led to many noteworthy societal shifts and personal reprioritizations. People who previously didn’t use their ovens, have turned into avid bakers and technophobes are now having weekly video conference happy hours. Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has also led to dramatic changes in people’s social media use and the types of content being shared.

While social media platforms were popular before COVID-19, as more people have been forced to stay at home, use of sites like Facebook and Twitter has grown exponentially. And it’s not just people sharing videos of their kids and pets while quarantining — in the last few months, social media has become the place where people are going to connect and share news and information at the local level.

While many of your firm’s marketing plans may currently be on hold, social media’s spike in popularity as a means of connecting and sharing legitimate news presents opportunities to engage with potential clients, raise awareness of and strengthen your brand, and provide value during a very uncertain time.

If you’re planning to share or comment on news articles via your firm’s Facebook or LinkedIn accounts, there are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind, including:

Do offer comment and perspective, but don’t criticize

The chief brand-building benefit to sharing news on social media is that it establishes you, and by extension your firm, as being informed and up-to-date—exactly the type of attorney someone wants to hire. While, when appropriate, it’s fine to offer well-reasoned and diplomatic commentary, shy away from doling out harsh criticism. With so much negative and polarizing rhetoric already out there, it’s not worth alienating potential clients by criticizing a policy or official they may like or support.

Do post and share reputable articles, don’t spread misinformation

Social media can be a powerful vehicle for disseminating fact-based information. It can also, unfortunately, be used to spread of rumors and misinformation. When posting on social media, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you don’t share flawed and misinformed commentary and news stories. It doesn’t take a journalism degree to do this – just good judgment and a discerning eye.

As you select content to share or comment on, consider only well-established news sources. Be a skeptical consumer and think twice before sharing an article that doesn’t contain an actual reporter’s byline or that’s published on a questionable website. In an effort to curb the spread of misinformation, social media platforms have worked to improve how they identify, and subsequently penalize, offending account holders. You don’t want one of those accounts to be yours, so be diligent and responsible when sharing or commenting.

Do offer a blend of content, don’t be unbalanced

Choosing to share or comment on news stories on social media, doesn’t mean you need to do so constantly or exclusively. Including posts about what’s happening at your practice or trends within a specific practice area is another way to connect and engage with potential clients. As you select what to post and when, be strategic and purposeful. Provide a blend of content in your social media streams that is interesting and relevant to your audience and also make sure everything aligns with your firm’s brand. Aim to maintain a good balance between content that is focused on current events, the legal industry, and your practice. Finding a balance is key. If your content veers too much in one direction or the other, it can make for a very disjointed and confusing user experience.

With so much happening around the world and throughout the U.S., sharing news and insightful comments via social media can help position and solidify your firm as a trusted information resource. When choosing content to share and amplify, it’s important to be restrained and strategic in your approach. To learn about other effective and low-cost digital marketing tactics for small law firms, check out our latest guide: Online Marketing Essentials For Small And Solo Firms In Uncertain Times.

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