You may have the best written and most informative content in the world on your blog, but without a social media strategy, you’re likely to be missing out on a huge swath of your possible audience. Social media channels are ideal for pushing out your own content, with the view of bringing viewers to your website. It also represents an opportunity to interact with potential clients and build brand awareness in short, easy-to-digest morsels.
But with new social media channels popping up all the time, the very thought of developing an up to date social media strategy can seem overwhelming. Do you want to be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Periscope, Meerkat, Mushroom…? I just made that last one up, but if you felt a tiny frisson of anxiety that there was something new you hadn’t heard of, you wouldn’t be alone.
The bottom line is that even if social media seems infinite, your resources are not. This is where drilling down into your strategy can help you identify where its worth investing your time.
Your starting point, of course, is that you want to reach, not just the widest audience, but the most potential customers for your business. To do that, you need to understand who your customers are. Buyer personas can help with that, but if you haven’t done a buyer persona yet there are some other ways to get started.
1. Ask your customers
Surveying existing customers, either formally or informally, can give you rich insights into their motivations and preferences. You may already know how they found out about your firm in the first place, but ask them what other social medial platforms they use, and what they use them for – business, personal pleasure or a combination of the two?
2. Consider your demographic
You probably already know what age brackets your client base falls into, as well as their income and education levels. Pew Research undertakes regular surveys of social media use across America, with the same demographic findings broadly holding here in Australia. This research will help you pinpoint where your people are.
3. Consider your brand
Social media platforms all have a ‘personality’, and their audience reflects that. As well as your research around who your customers are, spend some time thinking about who your business is. If your law firm was a person, who would it be? Are you serious, staid, quirky, committed to social justice, a good economic manager, how do you vote, what do you value?
Is your firm an all-rounder, community-minded and given to oversharing like Facebook? Or artistic and creative, preferring to communicate in visuals than words, like Instagram? LinkedIn is the serious cousin that will suit most law firms, but don’t discount the power of Twitter to get your content in front of eyeballs as well.
Organic brand awareness is helped by limiting your social reach to a few judiciously chosen platforms. If you spread yourself too thin, you may come across as unfocused, whereas a targeted approach tells your customers that you understand them, and that you think like them.
4. Look to the competition
Where are your competitors? Find out which social channels your industry competition is using, and follow them on all of those channels. From there, you can see where they get the most engagement and what sort of content they’re pushing out across each channel. Of that content, consider what elicits the most reaction – is it infographics, links to website content, videos or something else? This kind of research will give you an insight into both the where and the what of your social media strategy – and with a bit of planning it will mean you can go one step beyond the competition!
And remember, once you’ve chosen the social media platforms that work for you, stay involved. A social media strategy only works if you commit to it!