#033 – Why Your Social Media Engagement Is Suffering
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Why Your Law Firm’s Social Media Engagement Is Suffering
Hi, I’m Annette Choti, an attorney of 20 years that created Law Quill, a marketing agency for small and solo law firms. Join me to learn how to grow your law firm through digital marketing strategies, SEO, social media, and more. Let’s get that law firm of yours more online visibility, a larger digital footprint, tons of organic traffic, and more clients. I’m so excited. You’re here, click that subscribe button and join me in the legal marketing lounge. Hello, friends. Welcome back to The Legal Marketing Lounge.
Today’s gonna be an awesome episode. And if you haven’t hit that subscribe button, why haven’t you done that yet? Go do that or listen to this podcast and then do it at the end. And I would like to once again, thank our sponsor, which is the best-selling book, Click Magnet, the Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide for Law Firms. It is the book that I published just recently that has already been receiving critical acclaim. Listen to this. It’s a quote from Karen Dunn Skinner, who is an attorney and global advisor to the International Institute of Legal Project Management in Canada. And if you don’t know this, I work with lawyers both in the United States and Canada. This is what she has to say: Imagine seeing your firm consistently at the top of the search results in Google ahead of your fiercest competitors. Click magnet gives you a step-by-step guide to making it happen. Annette Choti explains in simple terms, how to set up your website, a piece of Google, and its army of bots and put your SEO in order so you can grow your practice. Click magnet gives you clarity, a path, and the tools you need to grow your business.
Thank you so much, Karen, that is a raving review. And I am honored that you would take the time to read my book and leave me such a glowing recommendation. So today’s episode is the reason your law firm’s social media engagement is suffering. It’s going to be rough, but it’s well worth the listen. And the reason is that social media is not going anywhere. Social media marketing is not going anywhere. And it’s really important that if you’re going to spend the time to market your law firm online, you do so effectively and efficiently. And it can be discouraging to continually post on social media, whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or, Instagram without any results. And you think you have really good content, I’m sure you wouldn’t put it on there if you didn’t think it was good content. And you see that there are some followers, but your audience just feels distant and new leads are non-existent or slow to trickle in.
All law firms solo small, and mid-large all crave social media engagement with potential clients on social media, but often don’t know how to get that or how to fix what’s broken. And on top of all of that, social media platforms always appear to be moving the goalposts and tweaking the rules.
So just when you think you may be on to something, all of a sudden, your engagement drops, if your social media engagement is not performing the way that you want it to. And again, you have to give it some time. Legitimately you have to give it time. It’s something that I preach over and over. Are you sick of hearing it, you’re sick of hearing it, but you indeed have to give it some time. But if you’ve given it some time, and you’d like some answers, here are some ways that you can relieve this suffering, that you are not getting the engagement that you want on social media. With a growing number of social media platforms, it can be tempting to try to be everywhere at once we all have FOMO right?
Avoid These Mistakes on Social Media
You are on Facebook and you are on LinkedIn but all of a sudden you see Tik Tok you see clubhouse you see people on Instagram should you be on Twitter. Social media Omnipresence is not the answer.
Stop Being Omnipresent
So the first mistake you might be making is trying to be everywhere at once. Social media platforms are all different. They all serve unique audiences. So use some discernment on where to concentrate your energy. If you do want to be on more than one social media platform, I highly suggest getting a social media marketing schedule billing tool.
So the one that I like is SmarterQueue, it’s SMART, er smarter. And then queue all one-word smarterqueue.com. And this will allow you to create social media posts in advance, post them, and then also have them go to more than one platform. And this, this sort of batching is gonna save you a lot of time. But even that being the case, once you post something, you need to be sort of engaging with people if they’re writing to you.
So even though you’re posting to all of these places, just make sure that you have enough bandwidth to answer people back or hire a virtual assistant or someone in your office to help you manage your social media. Or you can hire a digital marketing agency to do that, as well. To determine where your ideal clients gather, and then just be there for them. And don’t try to spread yourself too thin.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
The second mistake you might be making is that you are working harder and not smarter. So I just mentioned, the tool, Smarterqueue, which I believe again, is the least expensive for them, you know, for the money and for what you get to be able to schedule posts at strategic times of the day to repeat post, it’s great, it’s a great resource.
However, you have to figure out where you want to post and be strategic. So I want to talk about where people are hanging out and where your potential clients might be. And one mistake people make is putting a lot of effort into a social media platform. And their people aren’t there, their potential clients aren’t there.
So this is a bit of an audio cheat sheet on how to post on various platforms versus Facebook. Facebook is a very high value, low volume, social platform, make sure that you are not posting five or six times a day on this platform, you can create a Facebook page for your law firm.
Create a Facebook Group
But another thing you can do that is very clever, depending on your practice area is create a Facebook group for something adjacent to your practice area.
Let me give you an example. There is a motorcycle attorney that I know does a lot of car accidents and trucking accidents, but also does significant motorcycle accidents because he is a motorcycle enthusiast. He’s been riding motorcycles for four decades. He has a Facebook page for people in his area that relates to motorcycle activities, rallies that they have events, and gatherings. And that is just about those people. Well, of course, he runs that Facebook page and those people get into motorcycle accidents. So he has created an entire ecosystem of people who potentially either need his services or will refer him to people who are not in that Facebook group. It’s frankly brilliant.
Post on Facebook Groups
So take some time to think if there’s something adjacent to the services that you could create as a Facebook group. If you can’t think of anything like that, it’s great to become involved in other Facebook groups, where your people are, if you are a divorce attorney, it might be great to hang out in mom groups, and it might be great to hang out in groups that are within your community, where people are just talking about their lives.
It’s important that when you join these groups you do so in an authentic way you don’t want to get into someone else’s group and then just start spamming your legal services all over them. So you want to engage with people and provide value to them and engage with them on a personal level. And then while that takes time, it is very effective.
Remember, if you are going to be posting yourself or your law firm on Facebook, keep your posts between three and seven times a week. Once a day is maximum. Keep the posts short. Try to avoid promotional content. Focus on engaging headlines and as always, try to get people back to your website and off of Facebook. Get them away from the cat videos or whatever’s going on.
You want to post about your newest blog posts, new services that you offer anything going on with your law firm to get them off of a social media platform and back onto your website, or your real estate on the internet.
Okay, the next one is Instagram. Instagram is ideal for highly visual businesses. So, if this is you if you’re willing to commit your law firm can use compelling images and video. Now we all know video is a big part of Instagram to attract attention to your law firm. But again, are your people on Instagram.
Use Instagram for Visual Businesses
If you are a criminal defense attorney, your people may not be on Instagram in the sense that they are not looking or in the market for an attorney while they’re on Instagram. Intellectual Property attorneys do fantastic on Instagram because their people are there their potential clients are their artists, musicians, and people who need their intellectual property legally protect. So determine whether or not you feel your people are there. And then use those compelling images and videos to try to attract them.
For Instagram, you want to keep your feed posts to about once a day. And again, you want to plan your content when people are around and there are different algorithm hints that Instagram can give you that will tell you when your people are there. Keep your Instagram posts conversational. Keep them light-hearted. Ask your audience a question that they can answer in the comments. Use hashtags for sure, use emojis, they are huge on Instagram. And again, try to get people off of Instagram and onto your website through consistent, authoritative articles.
Next up is Twitter. Twitter is fast. It’s a fast-paced platform. It’s based on brief, snappy little updates. And the most success comes from one to three tweets a day. This is a commitment, if you are going to be on Twitter. The people that are on Twitter, love Twitter, and they engage often. So just know ahead of time if you are going to go on Twitter, it is going to be probably a commitment.
However, you can also retweet other content from other people, law firms, and influencers, and sharing a comment from one of your happy clients can be effective that is great to show testimonials.
At the end of the day, Twitter posts should tell a quick story. It should include tags for other relevant users. And it should include a maximum of two hashtags per tweet, not a ton of hashtags are going on Twitter. Again, you can always link I sound like a broken record, right? Like you can always link back to content on your website, get people off Twitter.
Next up LinkedIn, LinkedIn, you need to be on LinkedIn, no matter what type of law firm you have, you need to be on LinkedIn. And just as an aside, I’ve done a lot of articles on this, and I’ve done podcasts on LinkedIn. But just as a brief refresher, you should have a law firm profile on LinkedIn. But you need to be doing all of your engagement on LinkedIn as your personal profile because people do business with people.
LinkedIn is a very profession-driven platform. It is the preferred platform for lawyers. Not only are clients of yours there, but it is an entire Monstress networking tool for you. If you post multiple times on LinkedIn a day, I’m talking 3456 times a day, and every day, your engagement is going to plummet. So aim for Once a Day the most. But four or five posts a week is great.
Try to do this on weekdays rather than weekends. Because, again, LinkedIn is a profession-driven platform, people are on it during the week. Now I’m not saying don’t post on the weekend, I’m just saying that typically, engagement is less on the weekends.
An ideal post hovers around 150 characters LinkedIn is playing right now, showing either two lines or five lines, none of us can figure out what their strategy is or how to get five lines to show versus two. So what that means is that sometimes you’ll only see two lines of text and you have to click below it to see the entire post. Sometimes you’ll see five lines, whatever you’re doing, try to capture someone’s attention as quickly as possible in a liner to try posing questions. Try getting people engaged, don’t just post thought leadership, and then leave it at that because people don’t really often have anything to say to that even if they’re interested. So you really want to get people engaged. And again, because I’m a broken record.
Post Your Website Content
I will say that you need to always be posting the content that you are putting on your website. You need to be posting links to that content and If you are posting consistent weekly content on your website, right? Okay, if you’re not, that’s a whole topic for another podcast, which I’ve done. And there are some articles also on my blog.
But if you’re not posting consistent content, it’s difficult to grow online. And if you are posting consistent content, then frankly, you have something to say on these social media platforms. And you are going to provide value, which is the very next thing I want to talk about .
Post Compelling Content
Why is your social media engagement might be suffering, it might be suffering, because the content you are putting on there is not actually compelling. It’s not interesting to the people that are reading it, this is just some time for some tough love. And if you seem to be checking off all the boxes so far, and you feel like no an ad, I’ve done all of these other things, and I am posting consistently and I’m really drilling down on one or two platforms, then maybe it’s time to evaluate the actual meat of the content that you are offering your audience. It may be solid, it may be true, it may be factual, but it just may not be interesting to your potential clients. Think about who you engage with on these social media platforms. There is a lot of busy noise on social media, and your content just needs to stand out.
Content works differently. It depends on the platform being used on, for example, Instagram and Facebook. You could be sharing your community involvement, anything that you are doing, philanthropically different cases that you’ve had, you can’t say specifics. But some of the interesting awards you’ve received, or perhaps success stories that you have with cases, on LinkedIn, you want to be sharing content that speaks to colleagues and showcases your thought leadership for the lack of a better phrase.
So here are some tips for you to produce quality, relevant content on social media that is interesting. So use the active voice, don’t use passive voice, and try to promote a sense of action and interest. Something recently that happened to you includes pictures of you outside the courthouse or perhaps even on a family vacation to give a bit of a more personalized approach.
Always think of your audience, not your business, not your law firm. First and foremost, think about what would be interesting to them, even if it’s a little bit personal, they might be interested in that address the needs of your audience and then offer a solution. If you are an estate planning attorney, perhaps you can say, I have done a lot of research on cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, and estate plans, check out my most recent article here on my website. What is your thought about cryptocurrency that’s relevant? It’s interesting. It’s addressing the needs of your audience. It’s offering a solution, which is an article on your website, right with a goal that you have, regarding your posts. Make sure that whatever you’re writing about isn’t superfluous, because it will get lost in the noise.
Be brief, you simple language, and short sentences, people are scrolling through quickly, they just skim this social media. Well, you know this, you’re on social media to write. So people are not looking for large blocks of text that they need to go through, right. Also, make sure that in every sentence or two sentences you just hit return and give them a little bit of white space. That’s just a practical tip not only on social media but also on your website. In your articles.
You just need to give people who are looking at your content on a phone or, or on a desktop, a little bit of visual space for a break for their brain. You need to avoid messages that sound like a sales pitch. You need to try to spark curiosity. You need to stay error-free try to you know, use your grammar and spelling checks and try a variety.
Use video, use an infographic using a slideshow, those are really big on all of the platforms right now and use them to your advantage and listen. You don’t need to look like a supermodel. Okay? You don’t need to know Steven Spielberg to come out and shoot this for you. You can literally just get your cell phone and start taking short videos. I hope that those tips helped. And now here’s a little bit more tough love. Are you ignoring feedback from people, because in today’s online marketplace, people use social media to discover more about you and how people are interacting with your law firm?
So if people are giving you comments on your social media, and they’re great, then you should be responding to those because you’re engaging people. If people are writing negative comments on your social media, perhaps you should avoid posting that type of content in the future. And certainly don’t get in arguments with them. If you’ve posted something that is slightly controversial, whatever it might be, maybe you didn’t even expect it to be controversial.
Respond to Comments Professionally
Or maybe it’s perhaps political, or it hits a topic regarding some sort of social issue, you might want to reconsider posting something like that in the future. But if you feel compelled to do that, then just make sure that you don’t get into an aggressive verbal dispute with those people that are commenting on your social media, because other people are going to see that as well. And when people actually do reach out to you, personally through a private message, direct message, it is essential for you to respond in a timely way. Again, if you receive any negative feedback, it is important to remember that there are attorney client privileges. And there are certain things that you may not be able to say on social media that you really want to say, but it would somehow violate attorney client privilege. So just be really conscious of that as well. If you are going to respond, just respond promptly and professionally, and then re-evaluate whether or not you want to write those kinds of posts again.
Give a Call to Action
The next mistake you might be making is not giving your social media followers a call to action. And what that means is you’re just not telling them what to do. If they don’t know what to do, they’re sure not going to do it. So be sure to include a simple call to action in every post, or almost every post when it’s appropriate. So what does that mean? Calls to Action can include an opportunity to sign up for your email list, to click this link to go read a blog post. To share your social media post on that social media platform with others, you could offer a free download, you could say private message me for a free download.
Now you’ve started a more personalized conversation with someone when they get that download whatever it is the top 10 things you should do before filing for divorce, whatever it might be, you could offer an invitation to sign up for a webinar or a free class. Or you could give an announcement of an open house or a community event you’re sponsoring. At the end of the day, you want to have them do something not on every single post every single time. But it’s really good because then you’re giving them a way to engage with you.
So I hope that so far, I’ve given you some actual rubber hits the road tips, but I want to give you some even more actual practical tips, why your social media engagement might be suffering, what you can do to fix it, you need to get your law firms team to promote your social media accounts on their own LinkedIn pages. So unless you are a solo practitioner, in which case, you might still have a virtual assistant or paralegal, some other person in your law firm. But in most cases, you may have a couple of attorneys in your law firm or more, you need to have them also be posting on social media, if they don’t have time to do it, what you can do is create a post for your Facebook page or your LinkedIn page. And then they will have the responsibility of copying and pasting that to their own personal social media profile.
And publishing that. Because then you are getting frankly, more bang for your buck, you are then taking one social media post that you’ve created regarding your law firm, and you’re having 510 People post that out. And at that point, it is exponentially increasing the amount of people that will see it.
Keep an Email List
Another thing you want to do is make sure that you have an email list. You have an email list, right? Okay if you don’t have an email list, some articles and a podcast about that as well. But you need an email list. And one really important thing is to always be telling people on your email list that you are active on the social media platforms that you’re active on, so that they can go for follow you on those platforms and engage with you there, ask you questions.
And again, grow relationships. Additionally, at the bottom of your signature, you may have seen this on emails, you want to put on every single email that goes out. You want to put every way that someone can possibly connect with you on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, wherever you are.
Maintain a Blog
Now, remember what I said, you need a blog, you need to put articles on your website, it’s crucial for SEO. And this is another way to make social media easier for you. You’re already creating these blogs, and then you can put it on all these social media platforms to have people come back to your website. But here’s a ninja trick. Don’t just do that once.
If you are writing content, the chances are you promote it on social media. Listen, the truth is, is that not everyone in your network saw that. And if they did see it, maybe they scrolled past it, maybe they are busy, they don’t have the time right now to go read it. And they just forget about it, right. So make sure that you re post content on social media regarding your articles.
And literally, you can do this every four to six weeks have blog posts that are already written on your website and new social media posts that go to those blog posts. And that is a really great way to effectively ramp up not only your social media engagement and following, but also ramp up the visitors to your website, which is excellent for SEO.
Have More Connections
Another great way to build your social media platforms and presence is to build more connections. And one way to do that is to tag individuals whose content you’re sharing. If you find something really great on LinkedIn, you can share that and then tag that person. Or you can create content yourself and tag certain people and say, What do you think about this, I’m interested in your opinion on it. So it’s a way to sort of nudge people into engaging with you, I will warn you however, there is a trend on LinkedIn, especially to write a to write a social media post. And then literally tag 100 People either in the post or in the first or second comment. And it will trick people once or twice, and then people get super fussy about it. Because you’re just tagging me to get me to go look at your post, which really doesn’t have anything to do with me. But it’s a bit of a bait and switch, you did it so that I would go look at your post which worked.
But now I’m not going to trust you again, when you link to me again, when you at mentioned me again, I’m not going to want to go there because I know it’s just some generic posts that you’ve written and literally 100 Other people are tagged. So I’m not saying it’s not an effective tool, you can do it, you should do it. If there are people within your area or people that you feel are experts that could weigh in what you’re taught weigh in on what you’re talking about. I think it’s fantastic. But just be careful to not again, be spammy or sneaky with it. So there have been many reasons that I’ve given why your law firm social media engagement might be suffering or underperforming.
Perhaps you’re trying to pursue too many platforms. So just settle in, settle in where your ideal audience is hanging out and engage with them and build relationships.
And if you’re busy schedule is making quality content either on your website or on social media difficult, you could consider investing in outsourcing that kind of material that is going to attract and engage visitors of course, I am always here to help and would welcome the opportunity to visit with you for that. And you could find me always on my website, LawQuill.com/calendar is my calendar if you’d like to get on that. And of course, I am on LinkedIn and you can find me Annette Choti on LinkedIn and I would be more than happy to connect with you there and learn more about you about your law firm about your digital marketing goals. I really genuinely love to learn about the people that are listening to me on legal marketing lounge. I don’t get to see all of your cute little faces. So if you can connect with me on LinkedIn,
I absolutely love it and we can continue the conversation there. And again, I want to thank our sponsor, Click Magnet, the Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide for Law Firms. You can pick that up on Amazon and that’s in the show notes. And most importantly, I want to say thank you, thank you for always being here and Listening to this content. If you ever have a suggestion for content that you would like me to put on legal marketing lounge again, you can connect with me on my website, or email me at annette@LawQuill.com or find me on LinkedIn. That’s sort of my happy place. That’s where I’m at. And in the meantime, if you haven’t subscribed to the legal marketing lounge, please do that. Leave me a little review on iTunes, if you think of it and as always, thank you. Thank you so much for joining me in the Legal Marketing Lounge.