There are two things I think law firms and lawyers can do a better job of mastering. One is social media, and the other is branding. With both of these areas lacking in staffing, budgeting and overall buy-in from management and senior attorneys, how can we even begin to talk about the best practices and tips related to using social media for branding?
Some legal marketers see social media marketing as a uniquely consumer focused concept. I see social media as the ultimate branding tool, regardless of what sector your business falls within or what services and products you offer.
The Power of Social Media for Law Firms
First, social costs much less – monetarily speaking – than any other marketing and branding tactics. As long as you have skilled social media managers, in-house or contracted, as well as a strategy in place, social media marketing can be a tremendous value.
Social media is also a great place to share your brand’s story. The unique advantage of social media is its social factor. By creating quality content that demands engagement, you can have your brand’s message broadcast to a much larger audience than if you were to use any other medium.
Social networks are also a great tool for monitoring your brand in real time. By following what people are saying about your brand and watching for interactions with your brand’s social handles, you can get a better sense of your reputation in the marketplace.
So how do we do a better job of both branding and using social media to convey our law firm’s brand identity?
Here are a few tips to consider for effective branding through social media.
- Have a good content strategy in place before you start to push out brand messaging through social media. This strategy should outline how your firm’s paid, earned, social and owned media operate and integrate with one another.
- Identify core values that the firm lives and operates by, and then find a way to convey these values in a way that resonates with your audiences. Also, rely on your content marketing strategy to help you be consistent in all your brand activities across all media.
- Translate all branded messaging to speak to your audience with a client-focused mindset, as opposed to an internal one. It isn’t about you; it’s about what the brand means to its community.
- Use branded images and graphics to ensure all messages are associated with the brand identity. This will help provide a quick, at-a-glance reference to facilitate brand recognition.
- Break down the firm’s target markets by audiences/communities, and set up the appropriate social network accounts for the firm, practices/industry groups, and/or individuals. Keep in mind that not all networks are appropriate for all situations.
- Create your branded messages in long form and short form so you can better leverage them based on restrictions set by each social channel.
- Share information that benefits your audience. By providing a service to your online community, you will be more likely to reap the benefits of social media’s exponential word-of-mouth power.
- Work to understand the benefits and limitations of each social network before you dive in too deep. Each channel has its own guidelines and best practices..
- Law firm branding is about loyalty, trust, and creating a relationship between the brand and the consumer. Whether you are branding your firm, a practice or individual, it’s important to always create messaging that is in line with the overarching values of the firm and that makes the audience’s interests a priority.
- Be creative and strategic. Social media is noisy, and the only way to be effective is to break through the noise so you can connect with your buyer/consumer/audience.
Branding is a promise and a differentiator, and social media is an amplifier for your voice. The two go hand in hand, but both need to be thought through strategically before they come together.
Have questions about the intersection of branding and social media? Reach out to me, Terry M. Isner, at email@example.com for assistance in achieving your social media goals.