An Open Letter to Tweeting Lawyers
If you think that your social media presence is a huge hassle that you’re forced to deal with and maintain, STOP. If you think that social media success for law firms is an unattainable feat, STOP. Stop thinking and start realizing that social media can be an incredible opportunity for your firm! The faster you stop with the negativity and start with the opportunity, the easier it all gets. Of course, getting the right kind of help for any stage of your tweeting career can’t hurt either.
Oh, wait, so you’re not a social media expert? Well, that makes sense because you’re a lawyer!
It’s okay, and frankly normal to have no clue where to start or what to tweet about or to be so bogged down with everything else you must do for your practice that you forget Twitter even exists. So, how can you get some insight?
Social Media for Lawyers: The First Step
Let’s be real. Discussions about “social media for law firms” are probably rare if not nonexistent at your firm, right? Doesn’t that seem problematic when most likely your firm is actively using social media to promote its services?
One of the best ways to learn about something, as you’ll probably agree, is by asking questions and having discussions about it – and no, I do not mean asking your 20-something nephew who manages his fraternity’s Twitter handle for social media advice. I mean having discussions with other tweeting lawyers who are seeing Twitter success and asking, “How do you do it and what advice can you give me?”
Once you’ve exhausted that avenue and you’re ready to see your own Twitter success, who can you ask for help and what advice should you look for?
You’ve learned that your nephew’s advice is no good, and you’ve learned that suggestion you tried – assigning your millennial-age, less-than-willing attorneys and paralegals to the “social media management team” you created – was equally unsuccessful. Your answer now is simple. You need professionals!
How to Find a Social Media Professional Worth Your Time
Hiring experts who specialize in law firm social media marketing can give you that support you’re looking for. However, searching for the best fit for your firm’s needs can get overwhelming. To help narrow down your search, here are a few examples of terrible social media advice for Twitter to look out for:
- “Post as much as possible. The more you post, the better.”
There’s no magic number of posts. The ideal number of posts should be based on your firm and what your Twitter audience responds to. A cookie cutter approach will not work here, and truthfully, posting too often will cost you follows. If the suggestion is something ridiculous like 100 tweets per day or is about syncing all your social accounts to save time, run, run far.
- “Hashtags on hashtags on hashtags!”
If you’re just starting out with Twitter, chances are you don’t know a lot about how hashtags work or why they’re even used. This is one of those social media topics you should get familiar with, especially if you plan to send some tweets out yourself.
The person handling your account should be an expert on this, but if they suggest that you start hashtagging every word in a tweet, don’t listen. When you hashtag a word or phrase, you’re essentially linking that whole tweet to a ton of other tweets that have hashtagged the same thing. Generally, a tweet containing more than 2 hashtags becomes distracting and disinteresting to your followers, and this is not what you want!
Another common mistake is to make up your own out-of-the-blue, random hashtags. This is bad because one, a random hashtag does absolutely nothing for you, and two, that entire tweet significantly loses visibility. So, for example, this would happen if you tried to use something like #ThisIsWhyILovePurplePolkaDots in a tweet. Seriously, go search for that hashtag in Twitter. You’ll see that no one else would care about the fact that you hashtagged your love for purple polka dots.
- “You don’t even need to be on Twitter. Social media is all about Facebook.”
If you’re told that you shouldn’t mess with Twitter at all, move on. Yes, Facebook is very important for social media marketing, but that’s no reason to cut out every other platform.
On the other hand, if you’re told to have presence everywhere, keep searching. There are way too many social networking sites out there today to be able to maintain a meaningful presence everywhere. The idea seems great initially, but it would end up being a big waste of your time and resources if you tried. Remember, you’re a law firm, not a Kardashian.
Bonus Round: 1 Essential Question to Ask:
“How would you plan to manage my firm’s Twitter account successfully?”
This is a smart question to ask because regardless of the answer, you’ll learn a lot about the company’s or individual’s process and what kinds of potential results to expect. To be able to answer this one, they should want to know how you define success and what your expectations and assumptions are first. You want a strategy for posts, engagement, and progress reporting that is unique to you!
A great social media strategy should be based on your realistic ideas of success and expectations, combined with the expert’s knowledge of the subject and proven experience with similar clients. The worst answer to get would be, “Get started now and worry about a plan later.”
Setting Your Plan Into Action
Now, here’s our advice for you – to get the results you want from social media, your law firm needs the right kind of support, strategy, and expertise that won’t happen with just anyone.
If you’ve read this far and still think that nephew of yours is the best way to go, then we can’t help you past this initial advice. However, if you can relate enough to feel like this letter should have been addressed to you personally, you should get in touch with us today. We’re here to answer all your law firm social media questions.
Having a strong social media presence keeps your firm fresh and current in the minds of your clients and your local community, which in turn makes it easier to connect with prospective clients searching for legal services right now. Don’t let an opportunity like that slip by. Let us help ensure it doesn’t.
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2023 OAJ Winter Convention
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