Strategic Social Media for Law Firms

Responsibility for what employees are saying about your law firm across social media networks is making its way to you, marketers (if it hasn’t yet).  So marketing needs to find out what employees are doing with social media. Much like a traditional media audit, a social media audit will identify whom within the organization is engaging in social Web conversations. Create a matrix or a spreadsheet to help you visualize your reach and use it to set up a strategy.

Beyond simply knowing who is doing what and where,  scan the participants for influential “voices” and report on who is producing good content. Those who are currently engaging in social content may not know of others in the firm who engage on the social Web.  You may be missing an opportunity to share content and expertise among influencers.

Best Practices

A sweep of the conversation both internally and externally should identify areas that need to be addressed or policies and practices that should be implemented. Detailed strategy, policy, training, and even one on one coaching will round out a best practices approach to developing and leveraging your law firm’s social Web footprint.

Policies

The best policies contain simple, permission-based guidelines. Permission based policy isn’t just about setting rules; it’s about strategy.

It doesn’t patronize employees with a lot of detail, but does cover the five P’s of social conversation: Placement, Persona, Privacy, Posting and Professional ethics –restricting commercial speech, creating unjustified expectations, and client confidentiality.

Rules that aren’t understood, are too complex to remember, or are too restrictive are counter-intuitive to the very nature of the medium and are thus rarely effective. However, that being said, it IS the law firm’s fiduciary duty to their clients to require employees engaging in the social conversation to color within the lines.

Strategies

It’s valuable to demonstrate permission through action. I recommend that you showcase social media examples from important individuals inside the law firm to energize others and to set the tone for dialog that matches the culture of the organization.

Creative campaigns to increase visibility with target audiences can establish your law firm (or a lawyer) as a thought leader, mobilize client referrals, or improve your online outreach. Create a menu of strategies to circulate (some that they can do right away and some that may require additional guidance.)

Strategies may include:
• Setting up or re-launching a corporate blog with a clear editorial calendar
• Leveraging unique Twitter streams
• Engaging with social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn
• Influencer outreach in conversational media
• Creating a walled garden social network for key corporate clients
• Content propagation campaigns
• Social media content seeding

Consider hosting half-day workshops for all levels –beginners, intermediates and enthusiasts. My company, Lawgravity.com, can help you.

1 Comment

  1. Mark at Defero Law
    December 20, 2010

    Hey Jayne, great blog and still relevant 18 months on.

    Reply

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