Social media undoubtedly has a major role to play in marketing a law firm and improving services to clients, but the best way to maximise it involves fitting it into the right digital marketing strategy.
There are very few law firms today that lack a social media presence of some kind and those that do tend to be small and new operations that haven’t managed to do it yet. In today’s market, the public will expect to find lawyers online.
Quite simply, social media is ubiquitous and anyone checking out the websites of legal firms will swiftly find that nearly all of them appear on at least one platform. Most appear on several.
All this makes sense. After all, two-thirds of the adult population in the UK uses social media regularly, with Facebook and YouTube the most popular. Moreover, most people don’t just use one social media account. For example, someone working for a law firm may have a LinkedIn account for professional contacts as well as something like Facebook for personal use.
This means social media offers a clear and obvious benefit to firms who use it well, raising awareness of what they are about and have to offer, with the potential to reach millions of possible customers.
What can you do to make social media an asset to your firm?
Of course, just establishing a social media account is no guarantee that a law firm will suddenly enjoy a flood of new clients. It can be very easy to have a token presence, neglect to produce any truly relevant content about the services on offer, or fail to outline the unique selling points of the firm.
All that will do is ensure that visitors to the social media platform are given little or no extra information and are not taken any further down the buyer journey.
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Before even considering how this may fit in with a wider marketing strategy, there are some obvious things can be done using social media to help market a law firm, or indeed any kind of enterprise.
- Publicise the firm’s unique selling point
- Provide details of special offers and discounts
- Highlight awards and accreditations achieved by the firm
- Post content that tells a story to raise awareness of what the firm does
- Use the interactive nature of social media to communicate with potential and actual customers
- Pay-per-click advertising
Once there is a commitment to doing these things, it will become automatically necessary for plenty of time and effort to be spent in making regular posts, keeping content up-to-date and thinking ahead to what will be posted tomorrow, next week or next month.
Why social media works best within a clear marketing strategy?
So far, so good. This kind of social media activity is likely to have a positive impact, raising awareness, generating leads and improving your communication with existing and potential clients alike.
However, social media is just one of several tools that can be deployed in a digital marketing strategy. To use this on its own will not only mean you miss out on the benefits of all the other things you can do; it will also make your social media itself less effective.
The reason for this is that if you have a multi-faceted digital marketing strategy, each element should complement each other. Therefore, some parts of your strategy will help your social media and, in turn, your social media can strengthen other parts of the strategy.
For example, the following are all tools that you can use in a digital marketing strategy that can drive more traffic to your social media sites:
- Organic content with links to your social media pages
- Email marketing with direct links to social media pages or to other content that, in turn, links with social media.
- Paid search with links to social media.
Similarly, your social media can complement your other marketing activity in all kinds of ways:
- Content such as news and law marketing blogs – or links to them – can be posted on your social media.
- By providing an interactive platform, your social media creates an opportunity for satisfied customers to sing your praises, with their endorsements having a positive effect on leads who are considering investing in your services.
- It can be used to reinforce a consistent message that appears in other mediums. For instance, a YouTube video could include content on a similar them to a blog, helping increase the number of times a potential customer encounters a marketing message.
Why you need to know your customers?
Building an effective marketing strategy that uses social media in conjunction with other digital tools requires some careful planning in order to make sure the right mix is in place.
A central consideration will be your buyer persona. This is the archetypal characterisation of the kind of customer you are aiming your marketing campaign at. It will consist of various common elements:
- Demographic: Details such as age, sex, marital status, family situation, ethnicity.
- Lifestyle: Elements such as profession, income, location
- Needs: What their problems and desires are, which a campaign will focus on
The aim of the campaign is to relate every part of the campaign to the persona to make sure it is aimed at the right people and carries a message that will resonate with them in terms of their values and their needs. Above all, it means transmitting the message that your law firm can provide the solution to their needs.
Just as things like organic blog posts should be constructed with personas in mind, so should social media content. Part of this is about choosing which social media platforms to use; for instance, LinkedIn is ideal for professionals, whereas Instagram or Snapchat is more suited to younger people.
You also need to consider the situations your personas find themselves in. For example, if your target customer tends to have limited free time, long blog posts may not be a great idea, whereas short, snappy content that gets straight to the point will be.
This is one of the reasons having multiple social media sites can be a great idea: If a law firm operates in different fields it can benefit from targeting various personas according to the social media platforms they use and the particular forms of communication they provide.
- Video (Facebook / YouTube)
- Images (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram)
- Blog posts (LinkedIn)
- Short posts with links (Twitter)
Once again, a crucial part of the choice of which form of social media to deploy in each case is the question of what else is being used in the campaign. For example, if your campaign is using a lot of organic, SEO-enriched blogs on your own site, it makes sense to republish these on a social media platform.
How social media helps customer retention?
The use of social media as a communication tool in the post-purchase stage can be the most effective way of all to make your campaign a success. All the work done to take your leads through the various stages of the buyer journey, from awareness through consideration to purchasing decisions could be aided by social media; But you can also capitalise on the hard-won success of getting new customers by using your social media accounts effectively to grow your interaction with your new clients.
In doing this, you will create the opportunity for them to provide good feedback, ensuring you not only get positive comments, but are also alerted to any problems so that you can swiftly respond. Solving these will help with customer retention, as well as giving the satisfied clients an extra reason to advocate your services to their friends, family and colleagues.
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