As a law firm marketer, I watch as law firms slowly start dipping their toes into the social media waters. Many are still trying to figure out how social media fits into their overall marketing strategies. Some want to understand the ROI potential before jumping in headfirst. Others want to wait and see what similar firms are doing first.
But you don’t have to wait to see the immense impact that social media can have.
Recently, news of actor Paul Walker’s tragic death exploded in social media within minutes. Fans, friends, strangers and neighbors collectively mourned and remembered the popular “Fast & Furious” actor. Hashtags like #RIPPaulWalker and #PaulWalker brought millions of people from across the globe together to publicly mourn. Within 24 hours, more than 2.2 million people had “liked” the Fast & Furious Facebook dedication, more than 350,000 people had shared it and many of the top comments had tens of thousands of likes.
This power to share in a collective consciousness was also prevalent in the overwhelming social media response to San Francisco’s “Batkid.” For those of you who missed the 406,960 tweets or the 21,683 Instagram and Twitter photos shared with the #SFBatkid hashtag, Miles Scott is a 5-year-old boy who always wanted to be a superhero, specifically, Batman. While battling leukemia, his family connected with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which coordinated mass public involvement via social media. More than 15,000 people volunteered to help enact the adventure through the streets of San Francisco. The November 15 event engaged an estimated 750 million people across social media channels.
— Make-A-Wish Bay Area (@SFWish) November 18, 2013
In addition to creating a “buzz,” the #SFBatkid hero day saw 1,000 visitors per second to Miles’s wish.org page – ultimately crashing the website’s servers.
These social media examples strike a chord with readers and connect with people on an emotional level. When people find social content that triggers emotion, they are more apt to share it in their social media circles. And, thus, the exponential amplification. In the case of Paul Walker, it provided a means for millions of fans to collectively mourn the loss of a beloved celebrity and to learn more about his amazing charity, Reach Out Worldwide. For Miles Scott, it helped make a little boy’s dream come true and bring attention to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
When developing social media content for your law firm, think about, in addition to thought leadership and promotional content, stories that will resonate with your audience and convey genuine emotion. Making human connections requires thoughtful understanding of what content will connect with your target audience, as well as a degree of emotional vulnerability.
If you’re still unclear about how to use social media for lawyers, start by asking a few questions:
- What stories about your law firm could be shared on social media that will resonate with your audience?
- Which existing marketing initiatives could benefit from social media amplification?
- If you have a blog, how could your firm use social media as a distribution method?
- Can your website visitors easily share your content on their social media sites?
Stop doubting the power of social media marketing for law firms. Instead, start brainstorming ways social media can amplify, attract and engage your target market.
If you have any questions about how your firm can incorporate social media into its law firm marketing strategy, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Google+. And please consider making a donation this season to Reach Out Worldwide or Make-A-Wish Foundation.