Social media is important. Whether you’re trying to boost your brand or show consumers you’re up to date with the industry, effective use of social media can be the best way to do it.
However, as is the case with all marketing techniques, the execution is the key to obtaining real results.
Check the list below to find out if your firm has fallen into a social media trap and – most importantly – how to get out of it, fast.
Category 1: We’ve made some social profiles because we know that we should – now what?
The number of solicitors, conveyancers and will writers who fall into this trap are huge and it’s easy to see why. Your business is growing and you feel, in order to engage with a wider audience, you need to be active on social media. The problem is, you simply don’t know where to get started. As a result, your newly created profiles therefore sit there gathering dust, soon to be forgotten by you and your colleagues. Perhaps every now and again one of you thinks “we must do something about our social profiles” but alas, nothing gets done.
If your firm fits into this category then you’d probably have been better off if you’d never created the social profiles in the first place. Many firms who have social accounts (usually on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn) but post little or no content are actually harming their businesses far more than they probably realise.
How you think it looks
In your mind, an inactive social account probably just shows you are busy and don’t have time (or don’t see the benefit in spending the time) to update it. In reality, many potential customers will look for your Facebook and Twitter accounts (particularly if you are predominantly a b2c business) to look at how active your business is. They’ll look to see how good your customer service is socially and how engaged you are with your customers in general. Are you an exciting or interesting business, that the potential customer wants to be associated with? Are you an expert in your field – someone they can trust?
How it really looks
If your social profiles exist but are absent of any valuable content, what kind of impression does that give to potential or existing customers? Whilst in reality, you might just be unsure how to utilise the platform, a lack of regular posts comes across as being disinterested, disengaged & lazy. I’m sure this is the last way you’d describe your own firm, let alone the way you’d like anyone else to describe it.
Category 2: Look at us!
Companies that over-share about themselves are damaging their brand almost as much as people who don’t share anything socially. If your company constantly posts about how great you are, it is time for a reality check. Social media is called ‘social media’ for a reason – it certainly shouldn’t be a one-sided affair. If your audience isn’t listening you will be creating content purely as a vanity exercise with no real value to your firm. Don’t fall into this trap. Talking at followers will just make them switch off, so make the most of your social media accounts to engage with and start meaningful conversations with other users. The real-time aspect of social media means it’s the best place to do this.
Category 3: We used to be active but didn’t see any real benefit, so we stopped posting
This is a very common mistake made by law firms who fail to fully grasp the importance of social media and the role it can play in the client’s decision making process. Companies falling into this trap can often be identified by social profiles with an out-of-date logo that no longer matches a rebrand or an abrupt stop to fresh posts. This often happens when a company fails to see any new leads or engagement coming in through social channels so they simply stop posting.
Just take a minute to think how this looks to a potential or existing customer: The company used to care and engage but now they can’t be bothered. Perhaps they aren’t trading any more. I’ll give them a miss.
Whilst you probably began posting with the hope of gaining new leads, you’ve now given potential customers a reason not to contact you. In abandoning your social profiles, you’ve achieved the very opposite of what you intended to achieve when you started out.
Category 4: The wrong tone
A huge proportion of law firms simply get the tone wrong when communicating from a professional account. Many firms get far too opinionated with their postings and end up alienating huge swathes of potential customers. We often see this in the will writing industry with smaller outfits understandably wanting to show they are knowledgeable, personable and passionate. However, it’s important not to overstep the mark.
That being said, it’s important to retain an element of personality when posting on social accounts. Many firms are too formal in their approach and come across as stand-offish and unapproachable. Striking the balance can be tricky at first, but it’s bound to gather the best results in the long run.
Whilst different platforms may require differing levels of formality, it’s important to be consistent. Decide on the tone that suits your business for each platform and stick to it.
Category 5: The grammatical error-ridden post
Nothing turns-off potential customers like a series of social posts containing spelling or grammatical errors. Whilst everyone of course makes mistakes, consider how it looks to a consumer:
If they don’t even take their online persona seriously, how will I know they’re taking my legal query seriously?
For example, we’ve seen a high number of will writing professionals make several errors on their social channels, and whilst they might seem small, this can totally deter the potential consumer. Why would someone trust your firm to write their will if your own advertising content is full of spelling mistakes?
What can I do to redeem things for my business?
For a busy firm that has been established for many years, social media can seem more like a chore than a valuable business tool.
This is hardly surprising; when you’re faced with a heavy caseload, the last thing you want to be thinking about is how many ‘Likes’ you’ve got on Facebook. Couple this with the compliance issues that many firms face and you can quickly find yourself out of your depth.
What’s more, social media can be very time consuming, especially if you want to utilise the platforms effectively. Make sure you focus on the social platforms that will be most beneficial to your business; there is no point spreading your time or budget too thinly across too many sites. If you need help working out which sites will be the most rewarding for your company we’ll be publishing an article article on the topic shortly (so bookmark us).
Damage limitation – the art of ‘not losing’ potential customers
Even if you don’t think you’ll be able to use social media for active lead generation, we suggest that you at least maintain a regular presence on one or more social platforms. This way, it gives consumers and potential clients a way to engage with you in an environment they are comfortable in.
Even if people don’t engage socially with your profiles, having an active social account can benefit you in other ways. For example, when they research your business, they’ll be able to see you’re regularly posting online and are much more likely to place trust in your firm. Don’t risk sending potential clients to a competitor who has taken the time to be socially active.
Social Media management
Our social media management services are specifically designed for the legal sector.
As well as understanding how to post the right mix of promotional and industry content, our graphic design department can design tailored accompanying images to grab the attention of an interested consumer. Pairing our specialist knowledge of the legal sector with our digital marketing expertise, we understand how to best represent your brand on all the main social platforms and boost your online presence.
We can help
Social media need not be a painful experience for you and your company. If you recognise your own business in one of the above categories and would like some professional expertise, please get in touch. Whether you simply want us to brand your social profiles, or would prefer to outsource full monthly social media management, we’ll be happy to discuss your needs.
Contact us today by calling 0800 133 7127 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.