There is no doubt that social media has become an important marketing and communication tool for most businesses. But which are the best social media platforms for solicitors?
You may be tempted to use all platforms to ensure you get the most out of your online output. However, that may waste a lot of your time – or even cause damage.
Indeed, in this blog, we have looked at the pitfalls of social media before. So has the SRA.
There is a plethora of social media outlets available: Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin, Instagram and Pinterest are the most widely used. So, how do you know which ones to use as your major platforms?
Don’t do things upside down.
It’s really easy to look at Facebook and Twitter because they are the most widely used and just go for them. I did that when I joined LawWare. I quickly discovered that my target audience, the legal profession, places more credibility elsewhere.
There are 90,000 UK solicitors with Linkedin accounts. It is valued highly by the legal profession. So, guess what? LawWare’s most heavily used social media platform is now Linkedin.
Before you make your choice, do things the right way up. Ask yourself two very basic questions:
- What are my business objectives?
- Which channels do my target audience tune in to?
Define your business objectives.
You’d expect a classically trained business manager to come up with this annoying question first. However, it makes sense to do the analysis.
Let’s look at an example. Imagine you are a medium-sized practice catering to both private and commercial clients. Then, ask yourself in which of these two areas you would like to expand. Base your decision on which expansion is likely to yield the most profit and be the easier to bring in.
Once you have made this strategic decision, your choices of social media platforms will be determined by the target group of clients themselves.
Which are the right channels?
By deciding your objectives and selecting your audience(s), you have, in effect, determined the platforms to use. Just do the research and find out which social media outlets your prospective clients use.
If private clients are your preferred choice, think about Facebook and Twitter. If it’s the younger end of the private client market, use Instagram and Pinterest as well. For commercial targets, it could be Linkedin or a combination of several others.
If you are struggling to find out the right channels for one of these audiences, ask your existing clients. Or, even easier, go online and find them on each platform. A pattern will quickly emerge. You will also find that some of the platforms offer demographics on their users to assist you in making the right decision.
Choosing the right media is one thing. Delivering the right content is another. As with media selection, your target audiences will determine the type of content you serve up to them. There are a number of options available:
- Blog posts
Inevitably, you’ll use a mix of content types to achieve the desired effect with each of your audiences. However, it’s worth remembering that the most powerful tools for attracting attention are video and imagery.
Take a look at the infographics below for each social channel.
With a little thought and a consistent approach, you can make social media an integral part of your new business development, repeat business and client care.
The art in choosing the best social media platforms for solicitors is about aligning your business goals with the platforms appropriate for your prospects and the content you are readily able to create.
Mike O’Donnell, May 2019
A little help…
I won’t provide you with a long-winded run-down on which platforms to use for your particular audiences. Instead, here are a few infographics, courtesy of Spredfast, to give you a taster for a number of the platforms.
You may also find these two articles useful.