Social media influence (or lack thereof) can have a big impact on how prospective clients see your law firm. From the type of content you create to who you follow and even how often you post, your potential clients will most likely get their first feel for who you are from your social media presence. According to GlobalWebIndex.com, more than half of all buyers (54%) do social media research before making their first call. In 2020, this is how people are doing research before consuming anything, even legal services.
Unfortunately, just because social media management is important does not mean it is easy. Creating a solid, consistent social media presence can be time-consuming for your law firm, cutting into your billable hours and reducing productivity. Even if you decide to have another member of your team complete the social media tasks (or share it amongst your partners and associates), it can be frustrating when mistakes or misinformation make you look less competent than you are.
When it comes to social media strategies for law firms, it is okay to recognize that you might need outside assistance. Here are the five red flags to be on the watch for in order to know if it is time to involve a marketing professional to outsource execution on your social media strategy.
Recent research shows that procrastination is actually a coping mechanism that your brain uses to deal with tasks that it feels emotionally unprepared for. Creating or curating high-interest, clickable content can give some of us low-level anxiety that translates to putting off the task until the last minute. And, of course, once the deadline has arrived, it means scrambling to post anything—even if it is not the right tone or includes mistakes that will reflect badly on your law firm.
- The Time Sink-Hole
If you find yourself more and more aware of how much time your social media is taking away from your billable hours and daily business responsibilities, that’s a clear red flag that you might need to find a professional to take it off your plate.
Kevan Lee, of Buffer.com, suggests that organizing, creating, and implementing a social media strategy can take up to 12 hours per week. Although I have found that independent and small law firms take less than this, on average, it can still take between 4-6 hours each week to find content, write blog posts, scheduling social media posts, and respond to social interactions. If this is time you cannot afford to invest every week, it might be time to hire outside help.
That was intentional. You read that right. What seems like such a small thing like a typo or a misplaced word can actually mean that you are rushing through your social media posts without taking the time to do a necessary editing step. For many solo attorneys, this is because there are no other eyes to review social posts before they need to go out. Possibly, this is also because of the tendency towards procrastinating this emotionally exhausting task.
Small, consistent inaccuracies actually highlight a deeper issue: the lack of time and attention to detail that many prospective clients are looking for when they are in need of a lawyer. While you might be fastidious when it comes to legal strategy and trial preparation, your social media blunders may give off a much different impression.
- Inconsistent Posting, Branding, and Quality
Attorneys who find that their social media posts are feast-or-famine or sometimes do not quite fit in with their core brand values (usually because multiple people are posting on the law firm’s behalf) are giving off the wrong impression to potential clients. Instead of allowing an insight into their firm, their social media can actually be a liability. It is wise to cut losses and invest in an outside professional to ensure that every piece of public communication highlights your law firm’s strengths and capabilities.
- Boring Social Media
Social media is about connecting with people. No matter how consistent your social posting scheduling or how deliberate your brand maintenance, you just may not have the writing or marketing skills necessary to engage your audience.
It is never fun to admit that you simply are not selling your legal services as well as you could. Fortunately, a professional marketing consultant can. If you are finding that your likes, page follows, and other social interactions have stagnated, it may be time to get a professional opinion on the types of posts that will best lead to increased engagement and traffic to your website.
If you are interested in learning more about how to make your social media work for you, contact me. I would be happy to review your current social media strategy and find new ways to engage your audience, increase your brand strength, and focus your time and energy on your clients—not your LinkedIn.