Here’s Why all Legal Firms Need a Social Media Presence
Today, rival companies work hard to harness the opportunities provided by social media in the legal sector. To fail to do so yourself is to find yourself quickly overtaken.
Below Tino Triste, Tecmark’s Search Strategy Director, provides an in depth analysis of the legal profession’s social media presence, the key steps in managing a social media presence, and offers some tips on keeping up with your competition.
Social media for legal firms is one of the newest, cheapest and most effective forms of marketing within the sector, but why exactly do legal firms need social media, and how can it help your practice to grow?
Do Legal Firms Need Social Media?
When asking the question “do legal firms need social media?”, many companies will argue that the approach provides them with access to a brand new platform filled with potential clients, many of whom are actively seeking representation. However, there have been a few recent cases of major brands rejecting social media altogether.
In early April, cosmetics brand LUSH announced its decision to close its UK-based social media channels in favour of direct interaction with customers, giving the reason that it was too “limiting” for their purposes. However, LUSH is an international company with thousands of employees and the capacity to employ specialist customer service advisors. Its reputation as a retail outlet is already well known, and, with hundreds of shop fronts across the UK alone, it remains highly visible. Time will tell whether these elements alone will be enough to maintain its financial success.
For less visible specialist organisations operating in a more saturated sector, building a strong presence online ensures a greater reach without any major expenditure. It will also help to attract visitors who may not otherwise have found their way to their site. Finally, it provides greater opportunity to research the marketplace both in terms of the activities of rival companies and prospective clients.
1. Increased Visibility
The more platforms with which your firm engages, the easier you will be for clients to find. It’s important to retain high levels of meaningful activity across those platforms to continue to add to your follower tally, keep users interested and maintain a top position within the rankings.
2. A Sense of Trust
Social media accounts with large numbers of followers, high quality content that is regularly refreshed and numerous interesting interactions inspire greater trust. If a user can see that there are many people interested in what your company has to say, and that you consistently engage in discussion about relevant current affairs in an expert manner, they’re more likely to be interested in engaging your services.
3. Remaining in Touch
Social media for legal firms doesn’t just enable you to stay up to date with the wider goings-on within your field. It also helps you to add your voice to discussions, and keep track of your company’s reputation by observing the conversations users are having about you and your services.
4. A Wider Potential Client Pool
A visible, trustworthy, knowledgeable and self-aware law firm is the most likely to appeal to users who are seeking the services you offer. As a result, you’ll achieve an increased level of client engagement.
How To Use Social Media as a Legal Firm
One of the first steps you should take is to research the very best law firm LinkedIn pages and Twitter channels (to name just a few potential platforms).
One good example is the LinkedIn profile of Karen Holden, founder of A City Law Firm in London, which presents a clear and detailed summary of her career to date. It also includes a list of the awards she and her firm have achieved, links to articles she has published, real-time updates of her regular online activities and a list of the other groups with which she has engaged.
Mills and Reeve’s is the first UK law firm Twitter account to appear after searching both “UK legal firm” and “UK law firm”. This displays excellent levels of activity including the intelligent use of hashtags and user handles. The page features a strong design, with at least five different types of post being added, shared or quoted per day. The company has also added a significant number of images and videos to their account and enjoy a follower count of over 9,300 at the time of writing.
The Irwin Mitchell Facebook page is also a great example of how a clear and easy-to-read “About” section can really work in a firm’s favour. They’ve included links to a firm’s website, up to date opening hours and details of achievements and awards. They’ve also filled every subsection of the page, including purpose-made videos, images and events, and regularly share a variety of updates. Under “Info and ads”, you will also be able to see how they have used paid promotion to their advantage – however, this approach is not always necessary.
As you can see by looking at the above examples, there are a number of actions you can take to ensure that your social media accounts deliver as much as possible:
1. Update Regularly
Decide on the ideal number of posts to add per day, per platform. They should be engaging, relevant and varied. Some may be articles shared from elsewhere with your expert comments below, some may be law-themed video guides, some may share a blog post from your own website. When managing social media for legal firms, everything must be relevant to your practice. In order to keep the tone of voice consistent throughout, it’s a good idea to only have one or two members of your firm managing your updates.
2. Engage Effectively
When managing social media for a legal firm, you should take care to only “follow” the accounts of relevant individuals and businesses with whom you’ll have a productive relationship. When sharing a post on Facebook or Twitter for law firms, include all relevant hashtags to ensure that your post is easily visible when the topic in question is searched for. You should also include the @ symbol before making reference to another account’s handle or username, as this will notify them that you wish to interact.
3. Keep all Information Clear, Concise and Optimised
The most important information to share is your firm’s contact details and web address. However, you should also add a concise description of your services and details of any awards you have won or testimonials of your services. It’s best to include top search terms to your profile biographies – for example, adding “we are a trusted criminal law firm” to your description will mean that your account will show up in the search results of anyone who types in “criminal law firm”.
Social Media Accounts You Should Have
The most relevant and regularly visited sites for social media in legal are LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, though a YouTube account may also be useful for those who wish to create vlogs or video guides surrounding an area of their practice.
Remember, in order to make the most of your social media platforms, your firm should:
- Remain active
- Engage productively
- Keep all content relevant, engaging, user-friendly and varied
- Use a consistent and clear tone of voice
- Share links to your site and contact information regularly
- Keep profile information up to date and clearly linked to your site