Social Media and Websites
Studies show that people increasingly shop for lawyers on the internet. And the trend is expected to continue, meaning that law firm websites and social media accounts are more important than ever in retaining new clients.
If you created your website a few years ago, it’s probably time for a revamp. If your social media accounts are incomplete and neglected, it’s time to at least get your profiles in order. And if you haven’t updated your blog in months, it’s time to rethink your blogging plan.
Is Your Website Mobile and Up to Date?
More and more, consumers are using their phones and tablets to shop for goods and services – including legal services. That means that if you have a website that doesn’t read well on a cell phone, you may be missing out on clients. The best websites today are mobile responsive, meaning that users accessing your site on a mobile device will automatically see your content in a mobile-friendly format.
In addition to being mobile-friendly, your website should be up to date. It should include updated profiles and photos of your lawyers and information about significant accomplishments. A firm blog that hasn’t seen a new post in months looks bad. If you’re not committed to consistent blogging, consider calling the blog something else, like “articles” or “resources and information” and deleting the dates on the posts.
How Do Your Social Media Accounts Look?
Lawyers as a group have not been quick to embrace social media, and at least some of the lawyers in your firm may have incomplete or nonexistent social media profiles. Because of its business use, most marketing professionals recommend that all lawyers, at a minimum, have a LinkedIn profile that is fully completed and includes a photo. It’s common for people to check out other professionals on LinkedIn, and the lack of a profile or photo can make you appear outdated or not serious.
Some lawyers have made excellent use of other social media platforms, including Google+, Facebook and Twitter, as well as lawyer review sites like Avvo. Many marketers recommend that you set up profiles on a variety of sites, but then focus on one or two where you will actively participate.
Creating a Content Strategy
Websites and social media are all about content – the information that you publish for your followers, connections and website visitors. A content strategy is a plan for producing and publishing this content and measuring its effect.
To develop an effective content strategy, start by evaluating your willingness and ability to produce content in the first place. Although websites and social media have been great marketing tools for many lawyers, they do require consistent effort. Be realistic about what you can do, or hire others to do.
Then identify your audience. Who do you want to reach with your content? Think about the type of content your audience is likely to see, read and share. Different types of clients may respond to different content. For example, consumers who conduct internet searches might read blogs, practice area pages and postings on Avvo. Twitter can be an effective tool if you’re marketing to young entrepreneurs, but not so useful if your ideal client is an elderly person.
Next, begin to develop ideas for content and create a publication calendar that shows what you will create and how you will publish it. Answering questions that clients commonly ask is a good place to start. You might also identify trends in your niche, write case studies and respond to topics in the news. Decide how to measure your success and use those measurements to plan your future marketing efforts.