If you’re marketing on social media, you should follow the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of what you post should be useful and interesting to clients and prospects.
Twenty percent or less should be about your new hire, an award you just won, or other info promoting your firm.
Another tip: every post should include a picture or video. Posts with images get 90 percent more engagement than text-only posts.
Those two pointers come from lawyer and social media guru Guy Alvarez, the founder of the digital marketing site Good2BSocial.
“Social media is an excellent way to strategically grow your professional network in a way that isn’t ‘spammy,’” he says. “Every year our company surveys the top 100 law firms in the country on their use of social media. The bottom line is they’re all using it.”
Alvarez was the guest speaker at a Raleigh workshop sponsored by the Raleigh/Greensboro/Triad Local Group of the Legal Marketing Association. Following are six takeaways from his talk.
Takeaway #1: LinkedIn Rules
LinkedIn is the platform of choice for law firms. If you’ve got a LinkedIn presence, the next step is to join and participate in LinkedIn groups that match your practice profile. This will provide a built-in community of interest. Share articles and news with your group. Use hashtags to target recipients. Use the “mention” tool to notify specific users.
Takeaway #2: Facebook, Not So Much
Recently there’s been a significant decrease in the number of firms that are active on Facebook. This is partly because of privacy concerns and partly because the Facebook algorithms have shifted in favor of personal, not professional content. Only 10 percent of professional content posted on Facebook will be read by your targeted audience.
One major exception: Facebook works well for practices that are consumer-oriented like personal injury and family law. For maximum impact, use Facebook ads to promote your posts.
Takeaway #3: Thought Leadership and Competitive Intelligence
Social media is a great place to establish yourself as a thought leader. Do this by posting interesting, original content in your area of expertise. It’s a non-intrusive way of building credibility. Users can access the information when and if they choose.
You can also use social media to acquire valuable information on your clients and competitors. Research their background, experience and interests. Discover and tap into their networking channels.
How often should you post? There’s no set formula. Come up with a schedule and stick to it. That way, your audience will know when to expect new content. Better to post once a week and do it regularly than more often but erratically.
Takeaway #4: Twitter is the World’s Largest Cocktail Party
For lawyers, Twitter is an effective way to reach influencers and news reporters. They go to Twitter for leads and sources. Use hashtags: one or two per tweet, no more or less. If you use Twitter to promote a blog post or article, tweet at least three times. Vary your language each time, and use different hashtags.
Instagram is the platform of choice for millennials. Law firms use it primarily to reach and recruit them.
Takeaway #5: How to Determine ROI
Start by having a specific objective. Why are you using social media? It might be to generate leads, to drive traffic to your website, to establish yourself as a thought leader, or to cross-sell other services. Tailor your post to suit your purpose. Track all responses to gauge effectiveness.
Takeaway #6: Curate Your Content
Don’t just throw stuff out there. Share information that will engage your audience. Tell them why you think it will interest them. Personalize your share. Over time, you’ll be seen as a reliable source of relevant content.
How do you use social media? What tips would you offer?