Companies and individuals often ask me how they can become stronger social media marketers.
I always say that it’s not hard to do IF you are committed, consistent and resourceful.
Anyone can be successful on social media if they utilize their content marketing and visual assets more strategically.
It also involves a significant time commitment to stay top of mind with clients, prospects and other key influencers to strengthen your brand and to generate real business. This doesn’t mean you need to post every day but it doesn’t mean that you need to be consistent (let the quality of your content dictate your cadence).
The algorithms on all social media platforms rewards those who post regularly, and posting consistently enables you to build a strong brand. Once you get the hang of it, you won’t be spending a lot of time creating content.
You’ll also set up processes that will make you more efficient in your contact marketing efforts, such as creating a contact calendar and repurposing your high-performing posts.
If you’re willing to do those two things, mastering the techniques is easy. Now let’s get to work!
- Reuse and repurpose everything. Think headshots, practice area images, previously published client alerts, blog posts, articles, videos and podcasts. Every single image and piece of content you have can be used multiple times. For example, you can pull out an interesting statistic, create a word cloud, use icons or big numbers to bring important points to life, a quote or just tell the story in a different way, and voilà, it’s a different piece of content! Use a shared editorial calendar to help you and your team track and manage posts.
- Create once, publish everywhere (but adjust the message for the medium). Delving deeper into the point above, while you should leverage the social platforms most frequently used by your clients and prospects, don’t post the same exact content and image to LinkedIn that you would post to Twitter or Facebook or Instagram. It’s important that you demonstrate to your target audiences that you have mastery of the social media platforms you are utilizing or you will miss the entire point of using social as an effective communications medium. Also, while it’s great if your firm has thousands of followers on LinkedIn and Twitter and the like, don’t forget that you also need to tap into the critical social networks of your lawyers to have maximum engagement and visibility of your posts. Ensure that your lawyers are properly trained on how to effectively use LinkedIn to share and like content or else you will miss out on reaching their powerful networks!
- Develop a visual content strategy. (I am a firm believer that you should post nothing to social without an image – trust me on this). Why? Because content with images stands out much more than when your clients, referrals and lateral prospects are scrolling their news feed. Anyone can incorporate visuals into their social media strategy, you just need to be creative and resourceful. You can easily reuse and repurpose images that you already have. Ask your employees to take photos at every event – iPhones take great quality photos. See below for some of my favorite photo tools to help you create images for free.
- Show vs. tell. Every piece of content you post should be value-added, helpful and client-centric. Don’t just tell your clients why you are the very best lawyers, show them. Always write with this in mind. Remember that most often, your clients are not lawyers. Always put yourself in their shoes. Throw the legalese out the window. Clients want to know who you are and how you can help them. Think about how to demonstrate that you are a leader in your field versus telling someone. It’s that simple. (PS – please follow this advice when it comes to your posts about your recent Chambers rankings!)
- Use evergreen content to your advantage (think holidays, timeless client alerts, spotlights on case studies, practices and lawyers, professional development and careers programs, etc.). This is what I like to call your “what you say when you have nothing to say” content strategy – or perhaps better put, evergreen content/owned media. A strong owned media strategy will build your brand, lead to new business and the bonus – 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 press on a regular basis. At one firm I created a campaign for Women’s History Month where we highlighted the women at the firm and their backgrounds (using visuals, of course) that was very successful. 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 – you name it. Get creative.
- Use free online tools to gain a competitive edge. Working at small- and mid-size firms with a limited budget, I often have to get resourceful. Canva is my best friend when it comes to graphic design and photo editing for social media posts and just about anything else graphic related. I use Picstitch to make photo collages, and CapCut and Captions to create captions for my videos to help me bring social media posts to life.
- Maximize every event and networking opportunity by using social media. Don’t just attend an event and run back to the office. Instead immerse yourself in the conference experience and differentiate yourself as a subject-matter expert by making yourself part of the conversation on social media (engaging on social using the conference’s hashtag) or writing an article on the top takeaways that you learned from it. You could also interview your favorite speakers and write an article (easily transcribe the interview using your iPhone and another one of my favorite tools, the inexpensive online transcription tool Otter). Don’t forget to connect with those speakers (and key attendees you met) on LinkedIn afterwards to continue the relationship offline. Think of every professional activity – such as attending a conference or event – as a way to build your personal brand. .
- Link in on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the most important social media channel for business development and professional networking. It enables you to quickly build and grow relationships, build your brand and stay top of mind with key individuals in your professional network. So, use it smartly and use it often. I have never seen it directly lead to new business more than I have in the last year (hint – use the notifications section to give you reasons to be in touch with VIP contacts in your network – information is power here!).
For all firms and lawyers, the goal of marketing is lead generation and business development. How you get there is by building targeted relationships, staying top of mind, providing helpful content and consistently adding value.
If you think of yourself and your lawyers as legal solution providers, and you always provide value, you will be on the right track!