Last time, I discussed how to take advantage of the web crawlers used by search engines. Meanwhile, as many law firms finally embrace the phenomenon of social media as a marketing platform, lawyers are beginning to open more Facebook accounts and make an effort in building their brand through the many features of this platform. One problem that seems to be a reality for most firms, however, is the inability to post much in the way of content. Legal Productivity says:
Twitter and Blogging are pretty much one-trick ponies. But Facebook has a whole slew of features, not to mention the trickiness of blending personal information with work information.
As with your firm’s website, when it comes to search engine optimization, content is key, and Facebook requires some of that clear cut, high end content as well. There are many options to consider when seeking out valid content to post on your account, and I’m going to go over a few of them right now.
Transfer Your Data
I have talked a bit about Facebook, Twitter, and other less socially accepted media platforms for law firms in the past, and while I have listed pros and cons for using each, one thing that I must encourage all of my clients to do is embrace your choice. Once you have decided to go ahead and utilize the functionality of Facebook as a marketing tool, don’t do your job half way. You need to put the same dedication into networking here that you do on your website. Nextpoint suggests:
Posting to Facebook is easier than many social media sites. But remember that Facebook you will want to post the entire URL into the body of your status update. Facebook will then create a link preview, including a headline, any available image, and a short synopsis of whatever is available at the link you’re posting.
One way that you can do this is by transferring data from your site or blog directly onto your Facebook page. You can post once a day, or once a week, and each post can be a link to a new blog update, a video that was uploaded to your firm website, or a tidbit of news that is interesting in your niche. Not all Facebook posts need to be original content, so long as they are still quality content with a focus in your field of law.
Get Visual For Your Clients
If you can’t think of new and exciting content to post each week, and you want a little more than just links to the firm’s blog every time something hits your Facebook wall, consider getting photographic. Facebook loves photos, and so do the people who use the site. It may not be as photo-centric as Instagram, but it still operates on a fairly visual basis. In between key updates, add a little spice to your Facebook world by snapping up a few photos of the office at work, business functions, or interesting images that can be captioned with a quote about your firm. For example, if you are looking to draw in more business in the personal injury or worker compensation niche, an image of upturned carpet where someone could trip, or a slippery walkway could lead to the title, “this is an accident just waiting to happen.” Mycase.com says:
Photos foster the greatest engagement. One way to include photos on your page is to post photos of people from your law firm – this helps to humanize your law firm. Increase engagement by tagging photos and permitting “open tagging.”
If the rest of the lawyers in the office are willing to jump on board, you could post a new image of each member each week with a bit about what kind of cases they enjoy working on, or just fun candid shots around the office.
Bring In The Team
I have made this suggestion in the past for company blogs, but it works just as well for Facebook accounts, too. If you find that you are running short on information to post to your firm’s wall, get the team to help out by putting the content for your account on rotation. If each member of the office takes turns to post something each week, not only will you have a full line of continuous content on the go, but it will be genuinely unique because somebody new is writing each post.
This works for videos, photos, or long wordy updates about the firm and what they are working on now as a team. It may also help to have each lawyer sign off with their initials or a distinct signature after each post so that potential and current clients can see that this is a team effort. Similar to using imagery to humanize the firm, this sort of behavior will also help clients to see the humanity in your office, and that is always an attractive factor for a law firm, especially when clients need to hire you for personal or upsetting cases.
Invite A Guest
Just as you can have a guest poster on your blog, you could invite a local writer, celebrity, or another law firm to take part in posting some content on your site once a month. The more localized the guest is, the better the impact will be on the community in which you live. Having a guest poster from a nearby firm, or a less competitive but still relevant industry leader will bring in new readers, and make it more interesting for the town in which you live.
Another way to utilize the concept of guest posting is to take this opportunity to add client testimonials and reviews to your Facebook account. Adding a review or testimonial once a week brings in new content, and it can be particularly wonderful in terms of brand loyalty and brand awareness if the client is posting directly to your account of their own accord. In order to allow guest posters for your firm, you may need to do a little bit of research in terms of security settings, but Facebook isn’t as intimidating as it seems, and once you get the swing of things, you will never look back.
Last time, I discussed the Google Penguin algorithm updates. Now, let me get back to the use of social networking sites, particularly Facebook. Many law firms steer clear of Facebook as far as social networking goes, and while I usually recommend LinkedIn for my clients, I have touched a few times now on the ways that different online networks can have positive results for you and Facebook is no different. This is especially true with all of the changes that Facebook has made within the last few months, which allow businesses and personal accounts to take advantage of more benefits than ever before. Cube Social says:
We find that most law firms start out by assuming that the best social media platform for them is LinkedIn, but that’s not necessarily the case. It’s best to do some research first. Create a list of keywords that reflect your law firm’s areas of business. Phrase them in the way your clients might talk about those topics. Next go through each of the major social networks and search for those terms.
People will always complain about Facebook and have something negative to say about it in regards to the way that it compares to other social media, but the truth is that millions use this website every single day, and if you can put it to work for you, you might be surprised at the positive results that come out of your campaign.
Facebook Group Application
One of the latest and greatest changes that Facebook is making in the new year is the creation of a new group application for iOS and Android devices. This allows groups to communicate better through the application, which means that whether you’re chatting with family and friends, or a team from the office that you’re working on an assignment with, you can stay in touch and communicate better. Socialmediaforlawyers.com quotes Facebook in reference to their latest search feature update stating:
With a quick search, you can get back to a fun video from your graduation, a news article you’ve been meaning to read, or photos from your friend’s wedding last summer…Your search results are personalized and unique to you and, as always, you can only see things that have been shared with you.
You can manage conversations and start new ones easily from the convenience of your mobile device. Fortunately, this latest update to the system won’t have any effect on your firm outside of the possibility of you finding it easier to interact with those you work with, but it is still a great new tool.
New Content Controls
In the past, there was really only one way to view your news feed and for a professional law firm that wants to interact with employees, clients, and other local businesses, this can make for a lot of clutter. Fortunately, this new change makes it possible for you to limit what you see, expand what you see, or be selective about which posts appear on your timeline at all. Paperstreet explains:
In an effort to cut through the clutter on News Feeds, Facebook will be using new “volume and content controls” to limit the number of posts from pages that you see in your News Feed.
The types of changes that your firm might see due to this change in content may be the inability to post anything that is too promotional, and the inability to repost content that comes directly from an advertisement. Other than this, you can still promote yourself in a natural and non-pushy way and interact with clients and colleagues easily.
How These Changes Will Work For You
Although the changes aren’t scheduled to take place until 2015, this is a great time to take advantage of the update by clearing out your friends list, contacting any clients with whom you haven’t spoken with for some time, and bringing in possible new consumers by posting professional and original content. Facebook is another tool that you can use to post links to your website, photos of your staff, contests and special offers, and articles or relevant data regarding your firm or specialty. Every new change that Facebook makes is for the benefit of their users, not just for the benefit of the company. Think about it like this: Facebook may have millions of users but those users aren’t likely to stick around with so many other options available these days if they aren’t being treated right. This is one reason that Facebook seems to be doing their best to stay on top and keep their name in the good books of those who use the service. If your firm doesn’t yet have an account, either personal or professional, then it may be time to get on board and create a fan page or an individual account so that your clients, and new potential clients have a way to get in touch with you.
Sharing And Caring
Facebook can also help you better your business and brand by giving clients the opportunity to share information with others on their friends pages, by liking, sharing, linking, and commenting on anything and everything that you post. This is one way that businesses can grow, and even go viral. If you have a website for your law firm and you plan on utilizing it as a client contact base, a Facebook page can bring in traffic to your site, and even make people curious about what you do and how you can help them.
You can post videos, upload rows of photos, and leave examples of previous cases. You can also offer incentives to new users, and find a number of other advantages to the service, including more search results when your brand is typed into Google, and the possibility of a larger following than ever before. This isn’t to say that you should cut back on your other social media and switch to Facebook altogether, but having an account on the side as an additional tool can be a big perk later in the game, when you’re finding it difficult to think up new marketing methods to bring in new business.
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