Just as in many other industries, social media provides law firms with the opportunity to connect with existing and potential clients while also showcasing their services in today’s in-demand world. Not only that, but just as there seems to be a myriad of personal injury firms touting their services online, there are just as many defense firms out there as well. Deciding who to target and building an audience for these highly specialized firms can be a difficult task.
The Importance of Social Media Audience Building
You wouldn’t agree to be a speaker at an event with no attendees, would you? This same notion applies to social media. In order for social media marketing tactics to work for any law firm, it needs an audience. Though it’s important to note that building a decent social audience isn’t something that happens overnight, as there are many other companies and other brands also vying for social media attention. Not only that, but you want to ensure you are connecting with the right people for your firm and its practice areas.
Audience building is doesn’t just apply to newly created social media accounts either. Reaching out helps the firm to reengage with people and excite them about new information.
Utilizing the right platforms
There are a ton of different social media platforms out there, but that doesn’t mean your defense firm needs to be on all of them. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are three platforms all law firms can utilize, regardless of their area of practice. More image-based platforms like Instagram and Snapchat don’t often translate as well with legal services, as oftentimes these are tailored to showcase everything from vacation photos, food snapshots, and selfies—not your latest trip to the courtroom.
2.23 billion people access Facebook every month. With that many eyes on the platform, you can bet your firm’s competitors are present. Though recent changes have affected both the platform’s organic reach and its advertising capabilities, there are many ways defense firms in particular increase brand awareness and bulk up their audience.
- Boost your practice areas with blog content
It’s no secret that content is king when it comes to digital marketing, especially when it comes to social media. Companies who regularly blog receive 97% more links (and inevitably clicks) to their website as well. But, how does this all work for a commercial litigation firm, you might be wondering. It’s actually simpler than you think.
When blog content is written on topical news and posted to the firm’s website or another digital property, the law firm should share this content to its Facebook Page and boost the post to increase its reach. This ultimately allows others who wouldn’t normally know about your firm to see what it is you do on a more tangible scale. When boosting Facebook content, you can spend any amount of money you choose and select what type of demographic is likely to see it beyond your existing Page followers. Once the post is live and boosted, the firm should then engage in social media community management by watching for when users interact with the post, like the firm’s Page, and/or click social links to arrive at the firm’s website.
- Invite new friends
On Facebook, you can, and ultimately should encourage friends and colleagues to like your firm’s Page. This can also be done with those who may have interacted with your content in the past, but not actually liked the Page. When reviewing previous Page posts to see who engaged with them, you will notice a button next to the profile of engagers who have not yet liked the Page that says “invite.” Once you click this button, that user will be invited to like the firm’s Facebook Page.
This allows prospective new followers to take a look back at your content and “like” the Page. It’s a fairly quick and easy way to capitalize on the value of the Facebook users engaging with your Page and gives them a chance to further a relationship with the law firm.
- Engage with organizations and groups
Social media engagement is a powerful tool for growing your audience. The average person spends roughly two hours per day on social media, making it essential to ensure your brand is capturing enough attention. One way to get this attention is by interacting with organizations and groups on Facebook, such as legal organizations such as the State Bar of Texas and the International Association of Defense Counsel. It’s important to engage not only with groups like these but also with others related to your areas of practice and geographic location. Think of social media engagement as an extension of networking and meeting new people.
Facebook groups in particular, are a great way to indirectly promote your business and build a loyal following. There are many legal industry-related groups out there for defense firms to interact with. By joining and interacting with these groups and organizations, your firm engages with a larger online community.
LinkedIn can be an incredibly useful tool for law firms; however, far too many use the platform solely to look at other firms’ updates. Learning how to leverage LinkedIn and employ best practices to achieve your own business goals is essential to growing your audience on this social network.
- Optimize your profile
Increasing your firm’s exposure and audience on LinkedIn begins with ensuring the firm’s Page is properly optimized. Include relevant keywords throughout your Page, and ensure the headline and summary are added. For example, if your firm focuses its practice on insurance coverage defense and is based in San Antonio, make sure you incorporate “coverage defense Texas,” “insurance defense attorney San Antonio,” and other relevant keyword phrases containing the proper geo-modifiers. This way, in the event someone types those keywords into the LinkedIn search bar, your firm’s Page will appear in the results.
- Engage with colleges and employees
Law firm employees can be some of the most influential social connections that can help your firm grow on LinkedIn. They can increase the reach of your LinkedIn Page content while simultaneously increasing its visibility. Encourage your colleagues and employees to engage with your posts to help spread the content to their own individual networks, therefore increasing your company’s reach on the platform.
Many professional businesses and organizations utilize Twitter regularly to provide thorough and quick customer service, discuss topical happenings, and monitor real-time news updates. Twitter works wonders for law firms in particular because many potential clients already use the platform. Additionally, attorneys across the country use Twitter, providing networking opportunities and the channel keeps users up-to-date with the very latest related information and opinions.
- Tweet regularly
Though on Facebook and LinkedIn you can often get away with a posting schedule of once or twice a week, on Twitter you will need to be more diligent. The life of a tweet is around 24 minutes due to the high volume of tweets posted on the platform. Because of this, posting twice per day is often the recommended frequency.
- Follow related accounts
Take the time to review the users Twitter suggests you follow and/or search to see what accounts provide information that is valuable to your firm. When you follow a related firm, attorney, or organization, it expresses interest in what they post and do. Just following accounts doesn’t generate much engagement. You’ll also need to regularly check in on these users, liking and retweeting their content. The more often you interact, the more likely they are to interact with you.
Lists are a feature unique to Twitter. At the top of the Profile page of any Twitter account, you might see a tab labeled, ‘lists.’ Here you can organize Twitter users into different groups, such as news media, clients, partners, professional associations, and vendors. If your firm has a CLE or event coming up you can also organize them into groups for attendees and speakers as well. You can also subscribe to other accounts’ lists. Using lists yourself and subscribing to others’ lists helps optimize your Twitter profile and increase engagement, which again, can help to grow your audience.
Want to Learn More?
There’s a lot more to social media than meets the eye. Are you interested in learning more about engagement tactics and audience building for your defense firm? Contact the marketing experts at Stacey E. Burke, P.C. today and we can help curate a strategy that works for you.