Most law firms now recognize the value that social media marketing can bring by improving brand awareness, increasing website traffic, and boosting conversion rates. A recent study by IBM found that consumers who visited a website from a social media site were twice as likely to convert into a lead as those who went directly to the website. Indeed, social media can be a very effective marketing tool, used to promote your blog, offer a free report, or fill seminar seats. However, publishing random posts on an inconsistent basis won’t result in the best outcome. As with all of your marketing activity, you need a plan.
1. Set goals
Depending on how comfortable you are with social media and how active you currently are, you’ll have different goals for 2015. Goals can include:
- Posting frequency: Post three times each week
- Number of connections: Make 10 new connections each month
- Using a new platform: Now that you’re comfortable with Facebook, it’s time to tackle Google+
Decide what’s important to you and what you want to accomplish, and then write down your goals.
2. Choose messaging & messaging mix
There are different types of posts that you can choose to publish on your social platforms. However, depending on your firm’s culture, you may not want to include all of them all in your plan. Types of posts can include:
- Events and holidays: Promotion of seminars, client events, holidays, and staff milestones are a logical use of social media
- Themes and serial content: Themes such as Money Mondays, Trivia Tuesdays, and Famous Estates Fridays create curiosity and can become habit-forming, enticing your audience to check in on a regular basis
- Community news: Sharing and promoting events that are happening in your local community can be a great way to connect with prospects in your own backyard
- Curated content: Not all posts need to be original content. By sharing valuable information from authoritative sites, your connections will come to recognize your social media pages as great resources, not just self-promoting spam
Consider the advantages of each network when determining what to post on each. Images are the most popular type of post on Facebook, while longer content does well on Google+ and Twitter is where headlines rule.
3. Decide on frequency and timing
When deciding how often to post, you’ll want to consider what resources you have available as well as the best practices for each platform.
- Determine the best days/times to publish on each network
- Estimate the realistic amount of time and effort you and your team will be able to devote to your social media marketing
- Learn the “unwritten” rules of behavior for each network. While it’s acceptable to post almost hourly on Twitter, that would be considered spam on Google+
4. Create curation strategy
Sharing and reposting valuable information that you’ve found on authoritative sites is easier to do if you have a game plan, rather than just publishing random posts that you may stumble upon.
- Use a RSS service to keep up with relevant news and information. Popular readers include feedly and Newsify. Some browsers, such as the current versions of Firefox and Safari have built in RSS readers. There are also RSS reader apps for use on smartphones and tablets
- Add resources to your reader by continuously adding great blogs to it as you find them
- Create a spreadsheet of links to interesting articles that you’ll want to share on your social media platforms. These links can be added to your social media calendar once you being building it.
5. Start building your calendar!
Google Calendar is a great tool to use because it has several features to keep organized, such as color coding. It’s also easy to share the calendar so you can collaborate with your team. That said, any calendar will do, even an old-school printed calendar.
- Schedule any regular content such as blog posts that will be published on your social media platforms
- Schedule posts for each holiday, seminar, and client event
- Schedule posts to recognize any firm milestones within each month, including birthdays, anniversaries, new staff, weddings, new babies, etc.
- Schedule posts for any themes you’ve decided to include
- Schedule curated content, even if you haven’t decided on specific articles. Simply adding “Curated content” on each Tuesday of the month will remind you that you need to locate an appropriate article
- Include other social media marketing tasks on your calendar such as updating seasonal cover art, making new connections, and reviewing metrics
Start with mapping out just your January calendar, including at least two posts per week, and making 5 new connections each month. As you get comfortable, you can move on to tackling the calendar on a quarterly basis. By the time 2015 draws to a close, you’ll be a social media expert!
SEO and Social Media Manager
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555