It may not seem like the most likely of businesses to benefit from it, but law firms can find many advantages in the use of social media.
If you’re feeling a bit stuck for where to start with social media, we’ve compiled a list of tips that’ll make bringing social media into the workplace a breeze.
Do your research, and form a plan
It can be tempting to sign up for every social media platform available, only to find that you spend too much time on them, without feeling much benefit. Make sure to explore different social media sites before you dedicate bigger amounts of time to them, and discuss how they may benefit or disadvantage your company.
For example, LinkedIn is focused on businesses and business people, and doesn’t offer much in terms of engaging with people as Facebook or Twitter would. This would make it an ideal site for networking, or for forming more professional relationships.
Twitter, on the other hand, is a much more informal and socially-focused social network. Twitter can often end up being distracting, due to the high levels of interaction you can have with other members, but it can also prove useful if you wish to answer customer queries, or keep customers informed of company news.
Form a Social Media policy, and double-check everything
It may be a funny occasion for a smaller or less serious business, but a social media mishap could massively ruin the positive reputation that a law firm must have. Law firms must always be highly professional and trustworthy- as fun and as attention-grabbing as it may be to post cat videos, take a second to think about what sort of impression you want to give your audience.
Not every employee is going to be social media savvy, however. Appoint a senior member of staff to check any content that is set to be shared through social media, and encourage employees to go to this member of staff if they have any concerns about social media usage into the workplace.
Before implementing social media into your law firm, make a set of rules that all employees must adhere by, and stress the consequences of any rule-breaking. For example, purposely posting inappropriate material on the firm’s Facebook page, despite being advised not to do so by another employee, results in a month-long ban from using social media whilst at work.
As well as adhering to all of these rules, make sure that your posts and presence on social media still have a personality. It’s important for your customers to know that it is a group of human beings behind the company, not robots. You could occasionally post behind the scenes photos of the company, have posts introducing readers to the employees at the firm, or perhaps have occasional Q&A sessions through Twitter or Facebook.
Be creative and consistent
No one wants to trawl through ten pages of a blog with similar content in every post, or visit a Facebook page that consists of advertisements. Aim to mix things up a bit with your social media presence, as to keep your audience’s attention.
If it’s a blog you’re looking to get writing, why not include guest writers from time to time? They can offer a totally new perspective on your blog posts, and may make suggestions for future ones.
If you plan on having one set employee deal with social media, why not still take suggestions for content from other employees? Perhaps have an informal meeting where they can make their ideas heard, or have them give suggestions directly to the appointed social media employee. This way, the content is more likely to feel like it’s coming from the company as a whole, not just one person.
Consistency is also a key element of having a social media presence, in terms of content and how often it is posted. Make sure every piece is relevant to law, the company, or the company’s services in some way- failing to do so is often inappropriate, and can make people take the company less seriously.
It’s also important to post frequently, and to ensure that any questions or comments from your audience are answered promptly. Again, failure to do so may be detrimental to your company’s reputation- imagine if a client had no access to a phone and had a question they needed answering as soon as possible?
We hope you take these tips on board- social media can open up a world of opportunities for any business.
This article was provided by Managing Partner, a leading global resource on law firm management. For more advice on all aspects of law firm management visit http://www.managingpartner.com/.