The A.R.T. of Social Media for Lawyers
When I speak to law firms, many of them do not understand what social media is all about. No, it is not just about posting adorable cat videos, funny memes, the one-way communication of “it’s all about me,” or even about trying to attract clients (even though that is an end goal). Social media for lawyers is first and foremost something that we should all agree on and understand: BRAND MANAGEMENT.
Did you ever Google your firm? What are people saying about you, and where are they saying it? Odds are it is on social media. You can see the posts on Facebook and Twitter. So what is the best way to begin to manage and engage with people discussing your brand? Start by claiming your firm’s profiles on social media.
Why Should I Claim My Social Media Profiles?
With nearly three-quarters of American adults using social media sites either on their desktops or their mobile phones, this is a potential client base that cannot be looked over. By claiming your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn), you allow yourself to create a social presence that supports your firm’s goals. Prospective clients can encounter law firms through social media, and you should have a conscious approach to developing an effective social media presence for your law firm.
What Is An Effective Social Media Presence?
An effective social media presence is one that ultimately forwards your business goals, which usually means bringing in new clients. As you focus on building your firm’s social media presence, always remember you are looking to build on three core concepts that I like to use the acronym A.R.T. to describe:
- you are an Authority on the law
- you are Reputable, and
- you are Trustworthy
How Do I Practice The A.R.T. of Social Media?
Practicing the A.R.T. of social media is not an exact science or a step-by-step how-to guide, it is a philosophy. The implementation of that philosophy will vary based on your law firm’s goals.
Here are our recommendations:
First, you become an Authority by commenting on the law, using data and precedents to backup your comments, and sharing valuable content that provides a benefit to your audience. Showcase your knowledge: share and comment on that news article relative to your area of practice and location or write a commentary on a recent change in the law. People look for lawyers because they do not know the law. Show potential clients that you are fluent and up-to-date on the law.
Secondly, you become Reputable from your customer reviews, your published works, as well as your good standing with the bar association. How do you expand on your reputation? Two simple ways are: get additional client reviews on your profiles (e.g. Facebook, Google), and get Martindale-Hubbell Peer and Client Review rated. Show potential clients how well people hold you in their regards.
For more information on how to get reviews on Google, read David DiGregorio’s post on “Getting Google Reviews for Your Law Firm Just Got Harder.”
And finally, you become Trustworthy by adding the human engagement factor to your presence by responding to your clients and by understanding their needs. People hire lawyers that they trust because they feel that the lawyer understands them and can help them after their initial communication. Show your compassion and willingness to help.
Will Applying The A.R.T. Get Me More Clients?
Much like the traditional word-of-mouth that people use to recommend lawyers that they know, like and trust, building your social media presence by adopting the A.R.T. philosophy can address those needs on the digital level. There is no guarantee that your phone will be ringing off the hook after your first post, or your first response to someone that commented on your post will become a client, but a timely effort will help in the long run in managing what people say and how they feel about your firm.
Remember, today’s social media users could become tomorrow’s clients. Learn how to grow your social media presence with our Social Starter product.