The idea of using social media as a marketing tool to promote a law firm can sometimes be met with a hint of scepticism. Misconceptions about how people use social media channels can be rife. They can include Facebook being perceived as channel limited to people catching up with friends and family, Instagram being all about frivolous food shots and fashion and LinkedIn as a place where you host your CV if you are looking to find another job.
The majority of hesitancy expressed by lawyers to use social media as a marketing tool is that they simply don’t use the channels themselves.
However, sometimes it is important to forget what your personal preference for social media is and instead consider what your client’s preference for social media is.
When done correctly, social media marketing can help us achieve some of your fundamental business objectives. If your clients are using social media channels, then that means you can reach them there with marketing that will help your business grow.
Here are just a few business objectives that your marketing can help you achieve:
Business Objective #1 – Build a sustainable brand
Using social media as a marketing tool can help raise awareness about who your firm is, what you do and what makes you different. Building a brand that people can get to know, like and trust requires a persistent and consistent marketing effort.
Not everyone will need legal advice right now, however when they do need it, you want your firm to be the first that they think of. This means being visible so that people know about your firm. People can’t access your services if they don’t know you exist.
If you invest in building a brand that communicates what your firms does and what makes you unique, people will be far more likely to buy from you when they need some advice as opposed to a firm that they’ve never heard of.
Business Objective #2 - Position the people within your firm as experts
Australian law firms have A LOT of legal qualifications, expertise and IP sitting within each legal firm. Don’t wait until someone is actually sitting in your office for them to realise just how experienced and knowledgeable you are. By writing blog articles or creating short videos about your area of expertise you can demonstrate to people how much you know about a topic. This means that when people want to make a decision to employ a lawyer that they trust as an expert – they think immediately of you.
Business Objective #3 – Increase the number of ‘right clients’ to your firm
Achieving high levels of staff productivity and generating profitable billable hours are desired outcomes for legal firms. When you serve the ‘wrong type’ of client, you risk chewing through unnecessary time and money.
Consider your clients and think about which type of clients are profitable to the business and result in additional benefits, such as spreading positive word of mouth. These are the clients you want more of. Social media marketing allows you to subtly demonstrate that these are the clients that are best suited to your firm.
Business Objective #4 – Increase revenue
Unless you are in the business of providing pro-bono legal services, if you don’t have revenue – you don’t have a business.
Social media marketing can help you achieve the softer marketing objectives such as awareness and positioning, however it can also drive short term volume driven objectives, such as collecting email addresses or encouraging people to book appointments.
For example; why not run a Facebook campaign that collects email addresses in exchange for a downloadable e-guide designed to help your clients understand the importance of verification of identity.
Social media marketing can play a vital role in helping your firm achieve its business objectives. Your clients are using social media. This then is a vital communication channel that can help the right type of client know more about your firm, position your lawyers as experts and increase your firm’s bottom line.