Lately I’ve been exploring concepts related to how to effectively engage with clients, prospects and other key influencers using social media to both strengthen your brand but more importantly, to generate new business.
At the end of the day, every single social media marketing effort should be designed to support your firm’s business development efforts. That being said, not every post can focus on the business of the firm. Sometimes the highest-rated posts are actually the ones where a firm showcases its “softer” side. For example, pro bono and community service activities, as well as the people of the firm engaging together.
Why do these posts do so well?
Simply put, because they illustrate a firm doing good for the community/world and that that makes clients feel better about spending money on their outside counsel. Your clients immensely care about diversity, pro bono and community at the law firms they use.
Also, posts like these help to bring to life your firm culture, which can be a powerful recruiting and retention tool.
The Ongoing Value of “Soft” Content
We all know that it’s not always easy to generate a steady stream of content (which supports the idea of staying top of mind with those contacts in your network that may need someone like you through consistent touchpoints).
Those of us who work at small- and mid-size firms know that it can be even harder to have something smart to say often. And whether you are creating original content of your own or sharing others’ content, the key is to post content that is value added, helpful and demonstrative of your uniqueness on a consistent basis. The reason for this is twofold – 1) you will help to build your brand and become seen as a subject matter expert; and 2) you will be top of mind when someone in your network has a matter that fits your background and expertise.
All that being said, sometimes there days where you just don’t have a whole lot to say, but as we know, it’s imperative to stay on a consistent content posting schedule, following your editorial calendar to ensure that you have the right content mix.
Incorporate Holidays Into Your Social Strategy
I have a few tricks on what to do so that you aren’t playing the role of a mime in your content strategy. It just takes a little creativity and bringing to life your firm’s “softer” side. You can file this away under the “what to say when you have nothing to say” content umbrella that I have mentioned in earlier articles (or your evergreen/owned media strategy). This can build your brand, lead to new business and the best news – it will make your lawyers very happy. This is especially important for those who work at smaller firms where it may be harder to get top-tier media coverage on a regular basis.
So how can you do this at your firm?
Take full advantage of the many holidays that pop up throughout the year and build them into your social media strategy. Featuring major holidays is a no brainer, but lesser known holidays (more on those later) can also make for great social media posts, helping you showcase your uniqueness.
This is a clever way to outshine your peers. You can demonstrate that you are a good corporate citizen and show that your firm and your lawyers have a bit of personality. It can get monotonous and dry to constantly post about your victories, events and firm news.
For example, at my current firm, Tarter Krinsky & Drogin, we created a social media campaign for Women’s History Month where we highlighted the women at the firm (lawyers and staff – which was awesome) and their backgrounds (using visuals that we had repurposed and reused – their headshots).
We featured interviews with each of the women on their tips for success and their career paths. We also encouraged each of the women to share the interviews to social media in order to tap into their powerful personal professional networks (tip: always remember to encourage your lawyers to share posts to their own networks on LinkedIn or else you will be missing out on reaching important people in their valuable personal networks!).
Another firm at which I worked had a large population of veterans and saluted them (using pictures of them in uniform) on Veterans Day. You could do the same for just about any holiday – Lunar New Year, Fourth of July, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Administrative Professionals Day, the Super Bowl, MLK Day, National Donut Day – you name it. Get creative! Depending on your firm, you could have some fun with National Selfie Day on social media by encouraging your summer associates and other employees at the firm to share their selfies.
Include Custom Imagery; It’s Easy As…
Every holiday is an opportunity to do something creative and differentiating on social media. At the very least, you can easily create and post a custom image for all of your social media channels. You can easily do this using my favorite online tool, Canva.com. This terrific site, which has an accompanying app, enables you to create perfectly sized graphics with or without your logo. Canva makes design accessible through its various templates. It’s a great tool for firms with a limited budget or marketing professionals without a lot of time.
Some other things to consider when using holidays as part of your social media strategy:
- Use trending hashtags: Popular and relevant hashtags can extend the reach of your firm and its lawyers on key social media networks. If your content is great and if you use them, your firm can attract more followers during and after the holiday. A great (and free!) online tool to help you find trending hashtags is hashtagify.me. Try it and you’ll thank me later!
- Get involved with the community: Don’t forget that many holidays are also about community. So find ways to get involved as a firm or even in a smaller group with colleagues on a holiday in a parade (such as for Fourth of July), community event or for a charitable cause. If you can team up with a client, even better!
- Calendar it. When you create your content calendar for the quarter, think about how you can incorporate holidays into your posting schedule. If you don’t have a lot going on in a particular month, find a holiday that will engage with your target audiences. In a sea of 200 top law firms and another 200 mid-size firms – anything you can do to stand out will help to differentiate your firm. Remember to schedule your social posts in advance using tools such as Hootsuite or SproutSocial so that you can enjoy the holiday yourself. These kinds of tools enable you to pick the time and date of when you’d like to post your content.
Now kick back and enjoy!
Holidays to Inspire You
Here’s a list of some holidays (mainstream and a few unusual ones) you can use to get started (note – the dates are for 2019):
- January 1 – Start off the new year by wishing your clients a happy new year
- January 21 – Martin Luther King Day
- February – Black History Month
- February 2 – Groundhog Day: This day marks the time that the groundhog comes out of its hole at the end of hibernation. You could get creative with this date!
- February 3 – Super Bowl – Depending on which teams are playing, you can use the Super Bowl to your advantage (maybe a friendly wager with another firm or a client?)
- February 5 – Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year
- February 17 – Random Act of Kindness Day: Why not take the opportunity to create a piece of content that helps someone else? Brilliant!
- February 18 – Presidents Day
- March – Women’s History Month
- March 14 – National Potato Chip Day (I just had to include this one)
- March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day
- March 31 – Mother’s Day in the UK
- April 21-April 27 – Administrative Professionals Week
- April 22 – Earth Day
- April 23 – World Book Day – why not feature your lawyers’ and staff’s favorite books? You can reuse and repurpose this content in a recruiting campaign.
- May 12 – Mother’s Day (U.S.)
- May 18 – Bike to Work Day
- May 27 – Memorial Day
- June 16 – Father’s Day (U.S.)
- June 7 – National Donut Day
- June 21 – National Selfie Day
- July 4 – Independence Day
- July 17 – World Emoji Day
- August 26 – National Dog Day – feature a campaign where you have to match the dog to the lawyer or staff member at your firm – could be great fun!
- September 2 – Labor Day (US)
- September 29 – National Coffee Day – could be another fun one to feature especially if you have firm-branded coffee cups in the photos
- October 16 – Boss’s Day
- October 27 – Make a Difference Day
- October 31 – Halloween – you could feature the children of your lawyers and staff in a Halloween campaign
- November 11 – Veterans Day (US) and Remembrance Day (UK) – a day to remember the fallen soldiers and those that have served your country.
- November 15 – America Recycles Day
- November 28 – Thanksgiving
Note: This article was originally published on JD Supra.
[Stefanie Marrone helps law firms effectively tell their stories and find their unique voices. Over the last 17 years, she has been working with some of the most prominent law firms in the world, developing and executing global revenue generating, business development, internal and external communications strategies, including media relations, branding, content marketing and corporate journalism, and multi-channel content marketing and thought leadership campaigns. Learn more.]