Choosing to develop your law firm’s book of business through social media marketing can be a decision, fraught with variables.
Do you bandwagon on the latest platform? How does organic traffic, differ from paid?
Is it possible to track social media ROI?
Should you keep paying your partner’s kid to do, whatever it is they do on the law firm’s Twitter account….
Recognizing that effective legal marketing strategy achieves both short term and long term business objectives, your law firm’s social media must be focused on essentially two things; growing awareness of your brand, and generating leads/clients.
Let’s cover the basics of social media marketing for law firms, learn why you should partake, how you can grow your total addressable audience, and how you can track all this back to actual revenue.
Why should your law firm be on social media?
Marketing your law firm via social media is not a new idea, and it remains one of the easiest ways to establish an online presence.
According to the American Bar Association 2020 Websites and Marketing Survey, lawyers are overwhelmingly on social media, but see varying results of success in regards to generating business.
In our own research and interviews with lawyers that use social media marketing to great effect, we’ve discovered a theme of pairing content with a way to track and measure effectiveness across a campaign, while appreciating the nuances of social media as a community building platform.
So the question becomes, how to grow your law firm’s online audience through social media, and where?
Best social media platforms for lawyers
You’d like to know exactly which social media platforms and advertising ecosystems your law firm needs to be on, right?
You’re nervous you have to start lip-syncing and dancing and we totally get it; we won’t desert you.
The truth to an effective law firm social media strategy, isn’t to go “where the eyeballs are,” but rather research your own client database, their demographics and media preferences, to discover where you’re most likely to generate client relationships that mirror the one’s you’ve already initiated.
After a simple but comprehensive client experience survey, like above, you may discover your most valuable clientele prefer Instagram to Facebook, that you don’t have to TikTok but SnapChat, or that clients prefer email marketing and listen to the radio.
You’ll never know the best place to look for new clients, unless you know where your current ones came from.
How can I grow awareness for my law firm on social media?
Extracting value and ROI from social media has eluded most law firms, not because of lack of content marketing, but of lack of marketing strategy.
Referring again to that 2020 ABA Marketing Survey, out of a possible 5, lawyers marked their ability to measure marketing effectiveness, at a 2.9.
We can also refer to our own empirical (Twitter poll) data to show another side of the argument….
Again, the ABA Survey shows lawyers are struggling to measure marketing. Well, maybe that’s because they aren’t really measuring it?
Law firms produce immeasurable amounts of organic posts, with no promotional budgets or straight selling ads to be seen, and wonder why they never see results on social media.
Legal marketers have to appreciate the difference between brand building vs sales activation, when it comes to social media marketing.
If you need sales on Monday, no amount of organic content on social media is going to get you there. However, without a long term plan to build an audience, particularly through content marketing, short term sales alone won’t be enough to grow your business.
As discussed in our Legal Marketing Nutrition Guide, most legal marketing budgets are solely focused on, and measured by, short-term sales uplifts.
While smaller advertising campaigns create spikes in revenue (indeed they appear successful at the moment), brand-building marketing activities, which can ensure the long-term sales growth of the law firm, are typically ignored.
Prioritize ad budgets to produce great content that’s focused, not only on lead generation, but also aligned with a consistent brand strategy aimed to win online market share.
There is a compelling argument in favor of content marketing which the 2020 ABA Law Firm Marketing Survey unearthed, in this case for video and blogging in particular.
Only 5% of respondents maintained a legal topic blog, and just 3% of respondents produced their own videos for marketing purposes.
So there is a huge market opportunity for lawyers to make good content, both written and visual; so what kind of content do you make?
Ed Herman of the law firm of Brown and Crouppen, has worked with a production studio for the past few years to create the hilarious, and Emmy Award winning, “Ed Versus” video series.
The ability to leverage such entertaining content into an addressable audience through social media for a lawyer, is nothing short of marketing majesty, but the truth is, he had help building this empire, and if you’re looking for award-winning results, you’ll need help too.
One of the most important aspects to having a solid marketing partnership woth a social media vendor you can trust, is creating campaigns that are attached to measurable goals and metrics you can understand.
How can I measure ROI for my law firm’s social media?
Although it’s easier to just determine whether your firm is turning a profit, it is important to put the work into figuring out which marketing dollars are contributing to that profit (and if money is being wasted on certain campaigns).
Start by separating your marketing campaigns by medium: television, online, social media, etc. And track results from your various online marketing efforts, using something like this ROI Calculator.
For example, you may be allocating a certain portion of your budget to offline efforts, or pay-per-click or specific social media campaigns. When you can manage and analyze these individual campaigns to determine whether they are producing quality leads, then you can adjust investments and better allocate spend.
Some of the tools we use to track leads include:
- Call-tracking software that ties unique phone numbers to specific marketing campaigns
- Google Analytics UTM parameters in URLs that identify which campaigns are driving traffic
- Live chat services in which leads can be tied back to individual online campaigns
- Specially designed and marketed webpages with unique contact forms for tracking submissions
- Special content that requires a prospective client’s contact information in order to download (think ebooks, calculators, etc.)
- Audience behavior analysis software (helps reach potential clients)
Regardless of firm size or budget, the basics for an effective social media strategy for your law firm must include great content, long and short term marketing goals you can measure, and a plan to cultivate relationships with audiences on platforms that are more likely to turn connections into cases.