As you’ve realized, social media is here to stay. Most law firms already have a LinkedIn company page and are on Twitter. Some also have a Facebook page and have posted videos onto YouTube. A few of have been using Google Plus and Instagram. All of this helps with your firm’s internet presence.
What about the social media presence of your lawyers?
Clients and potential clients will likely search for information on the internet regarding a lawyer’s expertise and experience. A lawyer’s bio on a law firm website is just one part of a virtual introduction. It can be further elaborated on through bios and updates on social networking platforms.
You may say that you already mention your lawyers in your updates and tweets. For example, you may have congratulated lawyers Jane and Jim for winning a certain award. Did you, however, not mention award winners John and Jill because they aren’t on social media? It’s unfortunate you couldn’t tag them, as a reader could have clicked on the tag, gotten a better idea of the lawyer’s expertise or interests, and may have also clicked on the link in the bio to learn more about the lawyer.
Why should law firms even care if your lawyers use social media?
There are many reasons. For instance, from a marketing point of view, the more lawyers who use social media on a professional basis helps to increase the awareness of the firm’s expertise and culture. As lawyers regularly use social media, they’re more likely to provide updates on social media instead of updating their bio on the firm website.
So what can law firms do this year to increase the awareness of the firm’s expertise and culture? Here are two activities to focus on:
1. Empower Your Lawyers to Use Social Media
Likely most of your lawyers aren’t using social media. Also, not all of them will want to use it. I’m sure, however, a good number of them do want to increase their effective and efficient use of a social networking platform. For example, I assume many of your lawyers are on LinkedIn, and some are only accepting invitations rather than also sharing updates or listening for engagement or networking opportunities. I’m sure some would use LinkedIn more if there was a session focused on the benefits of LinkedIn and how to leverage it.
So what can law firms do to increase the benefits of social media use for lawyers?
Education. By educating lawyers on how to use social media, you will increase their comfort level in using it and reduce the non-billable time for them to learn it themselves.
Some areas to incorporate into your social media training for lawyers include:
- which social networking platforms the firm uses and how the firm uses each one;
- which social networking platforms lawyers may want to use;
- how to set up an account, build a profile, share updates, and network using social media;
- the shorthand and shortcuts used within a social networking platform;
- lawyers to connect with to start building a follower base;
- what to share and where to find firm content to share;
- professionalism issues to keep in mind;
- what the firm’s social media policy says; and
- whom to contact at the firm if lawyers have questions.
With more lawyers on social media mentioning your law firm in their bios and updates, you will be increasing the awareness of your firm. You will also be helping your lawyers build their profile, increase their networks, and sharpen their communication skills. If clients are hiring the lawyer, not the law firm, why not empower your lawyers to use social media?
2. Celebrate Social Media Day
Thursday, June 30, 2016 will be Social Media Day. It will be the seventh year of celebrating this day of global reach. Although every day is a day to shine on social media, Social Media Day provides a more formalized day to focus on social media activity. It’s an opportunity for law firms to do something creative on social media to get noticed.
Your Social Media Day activity can range from launching yourself on a new social networking platform to executing a campaign specifically designed for this day. Some campaign ideas include:
- taking advantage of #ThrowbackThursday to highlight some past events or blog posts, or to tell the story of your firm;
- showcasing the lawyers at your firm who are on social media and their expertise; and
- sharing photos and quotes representative of the firm culture.
For Social Media Day, you can also engage in an offline activity. For example, you can hold a seminar for clients about social media and the law. Don’t forget to use social media to share interesting tidbits from the seminar as it happens.
I look forward to seeing what social media activities law firms will be participating in this year. If your firm needs help with developing a social media campaign for Social Media Day, or empowering your lawyers to use social media, connect with me to amplify your social media presence together.