So, you are a law firm (or a business) and you want to be on social media. Great. Before you take the plunge (and I think you should) think about what you are actually going to do once you have your accounts and pages set up.
To me there are a variety of types of firm/business use. Here they are along with their potential results.
Just the Presence
Do you just want to be able to tell people, “yes I am on social media?” Have the appropriate logos on your website? Have another way for people to recommend you or possibly find you? Add some minimal SEO? Ok, that’s fine. But keep in mind that minimal effort means minimal results. Social media is not a magic bullet. You get out of it what you put in. So with this kind of effort you really can just lay claim to having another spot on the Web. That’s fine, I won’t discourage you from it. But you need to be aware of the potential results and not expect miracles. As I often say, when it comes to social media, if you build it they won’t come.
To me moderate social media is when someone has the accounts and adds some content that changes. The normal type of content will be a blog or vlog (video blog) that the firm updates on some reasonable basis which is then automatically put on all of the social media accounts. This sort of presence will help a bit with SEO (depending on how often you post and what kind of response you get) and will at least give people a reason to come back from time to time. But generally speaking it still isn’t very social. The firm isn’t looking for a response. It is more of a newsletter. The main issue here is keeping up with the posting or you can easily slip down to just the presence.
The nice thing about minimal is it can be a great way to get your feet wet. But it would be better if at some point the firm moves up to something a bit more active.
Moderate is where I would like to see most firms. The moderate presence means the firm has well developed social media sites on which the members are posting on a reasonable basis. Blog/Vlog posts twice a month, Facebook posts once or twice a week, items encouraging a response from readers. The problem is many firms see this as overwhelming. It really isn’t. If you break the work up or find people who like to write (or vlog) it really isn’t that much work. But sometimes when looking up from the bottom of a hill, it can seem more like a mountain.
This kind of social media presence will show an impact. Over time the blog posts will help increase SEO, the Facebook/Twitter and LinkedIn presence, with the right efforts will see followers. The firm is using the tools well.
Most firms won’t make it to the high level unless they happen to have someone who just loves social media. These are the people who like to blog, enjoy to interacting on Facebook, appreciate tweeting. These folks and firms are comfortable online and it shows. The attorneys and firms who do this can become well known. A person who comes to mind is Kelly Erb who is known as TaxGirl. She has built a huge career and presence for herself on social media. She knows what she is doing and manages her time and her social media use well. The impact is readily obvious when you search the Internet, look at her blog and you can see the results.
Think about it
Before you get involved with social media, think about what you plan to do with it. Who will be involved? How much work will be put into it. Be realistic about what you will do and who will do it, along with how often it will happen. And be aware, as with most things, social media will only give back what you put into it. A nice, moderate presence will be a great marketing source for your firm or business. Strive to create such a presence via social media, but if you cannot, try to find ways that will work for you so your presence is at least minimal and you are taking advantage of the social aspect of social media. I recommend that people who simply don’t feel they have the time just dip their toes in. Try a weekly post on a Facebook page. Try a monthly video blog. See how it works and develop a plan for moving forward. Before you know it you might well just have climbed the hill and developed a strong following online, which can only help your reputation and your market share.