Sharing your law firm’s news and substantive legal posts via social media is one of the most potent (and absolutely free) ways to amplify firm accomplishments and your lawyers’ valuable thought leadership.
Our rule of thumb is that, if it’s on your website, you should be promoting it on social media. That includes blog posts, announcements about new lawyers and new partners, “best lawyer” recognitions, speaking gigs, media appearances, how to subscribe to your email newsletter, and more.
But don’t stop there.
Need help refreshing (or launching) your social media presence? That’s why we’re here! Muse Communications was named Dallas’ best legal public relations firm by the readers of Texas Lawyer (although we represent clients all over Texas). Just drop us a line.
Slingshot Your Message to a (Much) Bigger Audience
Most small/mid-size law firms don’t have a ton of followers on social media, but that’s OK because you still have access to hundreds, if not thousands, of clients and potential clients who are connected to your individual lawyers and staff online.
Think about it: How many followers does your small firm have on LinkedIn? A few dozen, maybe a few hundred? Now, consider how many online connections there are among your more senior lawyers and staff. Probably more than 500, each. Even your young associates likely have a few hundred LinkedIn connections by the time they’re a few years out of law school.
If you employ eight lawyers and four staffers who have 200-500 connections each (which is not out of the question), and they share your content on their personal profiles, then you’ve just gone from being seen by 100-ish people who follow the firm on LinkedIn to potentially being on the radar for several thousand readers.
Of course, we know that’s not a one-for-one equation. The algorithms that determine whose news gets shared on whose timeline is complex, and those same algorithms take into account each user’s social media “juice.” But it’s a safe bet that if you can get 12 people to share your LinkedIn posts, more people will see it than if none of them did.
Make it Easy for Your Lawyers & Staff to Share Your Content
Getting those people to share that content, however, can be challenging. Lawyers are busy, and most people don’t want to be seen as “spamming” their friends and contacts. And, of course, business development isn’t billable.
To increase the chances the lawyers and staff at the firms we work with will actually share their firm’s social media posts, we typically send an email to everyone at the firm (with our clients’ permission) and provide them with a link to the social media post and, importantly, some suggested language people can use when they’re commenting on or sharing the post.
That last step — including some suggested language — is crucial because it lowers the barrier to those on the receiving end of the request to share the post on their personal timelines. Even if they don’t use the exact language we provide, we’ve at least given them an idea of what they can say if they’re at a loss for words.
It’s also wise to include some basic instructions for how to share the posts. We have discovered that not everyone has the same level of social media literacy, especially those of us who came of age when the microwave was the hot new kitchen gadget. So, including some how-to instructions can be helpful.
What’s the Point of Social Media Shares?
You may be asking, “What’s the point of all this? Does anybody actually get business from social media shares?” The answer is yes. Just as many lawyers get most of their work from referrals, a trusted endorsement on social media can be just the seal of approval a prospective client needs when deciding which lawyer to hire. I know of more than a handful of attorneys who can trace a piece of business back to a timely social media post that was later shared by a trusted intermediary.
A law firm’s lawyers and staff are your most important ambassadors, and they should be encouraged to amplify the good work you’re doing. Make it easy for them to do just that, and watch your firm’s audience grow exponentially.
Amy Boardman Hunt is all about helping lawyers find their voice and showcase their expertise. When she’s not doing that, she’s trying to find great hiking spots in Dallas. If you know of any – or you need a legal marketing muse – drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.