If it were possible to take a snapshot of the entire social media landscape once every six months, chances are you wouldn’t recognize you were looking at the same thing from picture to picture. Social media is very dynamic and fluid, and it seems like just when we get the hang of how to use it—everything changes. Many law firms have historically shunned social media as being too casual to convey a professional image to their clients. But as more and more people from all age groups have begun looking to social platforms for engagement and recommendations, we’d be wise not to ignore its potential as a marketing tool.
That said, if your law firm has established a social media presence within the past few years, chances are your practices are a bit dated. Let’s take a look at what many experts believe marketers believe will be the “new rules” for best social media practices this year.
Gone are the days of simply buying Facebook ads or tweeting something funny from time to time. Users tend to ignore repetitive content, and Search Engine Journal emphasizes that no one wants to see nothing but boring ads on your page. Mix it up: share articles, blog posts and short videos that educate your clients and position you as a thought leader. Then, when you post the occasional “come in for a free consultation” ad, they’ll be more likely to listen. (Also, frequent posting prompts the social feed algorithm to show your content to more users.)
Focus on More Personalized Engagement (e.g., Messaging)
With all the recent pushback on privacy issues and sharing false news stories on social media, users have a larger distrust of what comes over their feeds and may tighten their privacy settings so they see only what they want to see. At the same time, more users seem to value the ability to reach a business instantly via the instant messaging functions of Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. Some companies are now also using instant messaging in a similar manner to email marketing, where users can agree to receive IMs and texts from them. Hootsuite recommends focusing on a blend between public and private interactions on social media this year.
More Stories, Please
In the past couple of years, social media users have become enamored with “stories”—the feature on Instagram, Facebook and even YouTube in which users post short videos or images that expire in 24 hours. People like stories because they feel instant and immediate, and many now pay more attention to stories than standard posts. A number of social media experts agree that marketers should apply more attention to posting stories as this trend gains steam. You can utilize this feature in your law firm to announce everything from new promotions to upcoming workshops.
Focus on Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing (i.e., getting people with large social media followings to endorse your product or service) has become the new “golden egg” of marketing. According to Social Media Today, 59 percent of marketers plan to expand their influencer budgets in 2020. While this trend has spread like wildfire, a number of experts predict influencer marketing will begin to mature this year, with influencers giving more authentic and believable endorsements of products they truly believe in. You might not need an international Instagram influencer with 50 million followers to endorse your law firm—but as a starting point, perhaps you have a client or two with a large presence who might be willing to talk about your firm.
Let Your Team Become Brand Ambassadors
If you’re not careful, keeping up with social media can become all-consuming. One way to avoid this pitfall is to share the responsibility of creating content. Employee advocacy has become an important trend, according to Search Engine Journal, who quotes Photify CMO Ted Rubin: “Empower your employees and they will power your brand.” Let your team share become brand ambassadors for your law firm, both on your social profiles and on their own profiles.
If you need helpful advice on how to integrate social media into a wider marketing plan for your firm, we’re here to help. Give us a call at (888) 907-9958 for more information.