While I speak to lawyers and law firms a lot about effectively using social media for marketing, I got the pleasure to speak to a group of over 100 social media professionals this month at Social Media Breakfast - Houston about applying these tactics to other industries that may not be as ‘exciting’ as say Target and Miley Cyrus.
I was on a panel with Nicole Buergers, the Marketing Manager for TopSpot Internet Marketing, who puts together social strategies for Industrial and B2B companies and Christine Hollinden who runs a marketing firm for professional services marketing.
Top 4 Tips for Law firms on Social Media:
1) GET ON GOOGLE: Nicole immediately brought up the importance of Google authorship for her clients, and I can’t agree more. Earlier this month, I blogged about setting up Google authorship for a law firm blog or website. In general, take advantage of everything Google. It boosts your search engine return organically.
2) REPURPOSE CONTENT: We all know how much lawyers love to talk. And don’t most of your talks include a PowerPoint? Get smart with creating your online content. My lawyer clients are strapped for time. I make sure they send me their PowerPoint presentations to load onto SlideShare with optimized content to drive online traffic back to their law firm websites. You should also make sure to record your next speaking engagement, or have the organization provide you with a recording. Video is the most highly consumed online content, especially among the Hispanic market/demographic as we learned at a previous social media breakfast. Video of lawyer continuing education speeches and other presentations can be uploaded to YouTube or another online video distribution outlet. Video should be broken up into easily digestible short videos, no more than three minutes each, and ideally a minute or less. You can repurpose the presentation slide show and video by embedding them both in a law firm website blog post and even your email newsletter.
3) ETHICS: A unique consideration within the legal industry is the actual ethics, not just etiquette, lawyers on social media need to follow to remain in compliance with their state bar’s advertising guidelines and overall ethics rules. Examples of legal social media ethics issues can include a client contacting your law firm on its twitter account or its Facebook page; just like if they call the law firm in real life, you must respond to these social media attorney-client communications. When I community manage my law firm clients’ social media accounts, I respond to client inquiries with thank you for contacting our law firm, the best email for your to reach your desired contact is firstname.lastname@example.org (a predesignated internal distribution list, trained in responding according to protocol), then I screen capture these client inquiries and send them to the firm via email immediately. I would strongly advise lawyers to not direct their clients to a website contact form or send them a form auto-response. Respond for real.
4) PERSONALIZE YOUR BRAND: In closing, I can’t over-emphasize enough the importance of embracing the humans that make up your law firm.
Your website and online presence should reflect the culture and people of your firm. Showing the world who you are as people, not just using the web in an attempt to get business, can be beneficial for many reasons. For example, personal Injury lawyers often get a bad rap from insurance companies with deep pockets claiming plaintiffs file frivolous lawsuits or that personal injury litigation drives up insurance costs. In reality, however, trial lawyers speak for those who cannot. Showcasing law firm and attorney charitable involvement is an easy way to shift public perception away from greed and tort reform and toward lawyers as societal helpers. One great organization that lawyers can get involved with is enddd.org. Its network includes lawyers around the nation raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, particularly with regard to texting and driving.
If you are interested in diving into the social media stratosphere or have other online marketing questions, contact Stacey E. Burke, P.C.
*Blog image courtesy of @TheRebusAgency on Instagram.