Ask Daliah: Four steps to making social media work for you
Dear Daliah: How do you use social media to market your law firm?
Dear Readers: I use social media on a daily basis to learn about recent legal trends, build my network, stay connected with existing clients and attract new ones. If you haven’t already leveraged the power of social media, you should start today.
Step one: “Buy up” as much online real estate as you can. I don’t care if you never intend to use Pinterest and you can’t be bothered with Snapchat. It costs nothing to register an account with every platform, and you never know if or how you may be able to utilize the platform later. Preemptively securing usernames on every platform is also a great insurance policy against future users who may have the same name or who try to squat on your name for bad reasons.
Step two: “Develop” your online properties by creating and curating platform-appropriate content. Make sure you are providing valuable information that reflects on your knowledge and shows your firm’s capabilities. Quality over quantity! Whenever possible, use (properly licensed) images and link back to your website.
Some content can be disseminated across every platform, whereas others should be site specific. For example, I curate articles from third-party news sources and link to them along with a short headline. That type of content is appropriate for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. But, for example, I post more “fun” photos of the firm and our activities on my Instagram account that I don’t share on LinkedIn.
Use a platform like Hootsuite to help you streamline the posting process. Hootsuite allows me to schedule all my posts in advance across all my different social media sites. It’s a huge time saver.
Start by adding your friends and existing client lists to your various social media platforms. Then join as many online groups as you can and start engaging with the people you meet there. Online networking is essentially the same as real world networking, but you can do it from the comfort of your couch or your office. An added benefit is that you can better filter through who you want to talk to.
Understand and use hashtags. Hashtags allow you to follow specific topics and events without having to sift through a lot of irrelevant content. Some of my best connections are from people I’ve met using hashtags at conferences I’ve attended.
Finally, step four: Be consistent. Create a social media strategy (where you’ll post, what you’ll post, and how often) and stick to it. As social media continues to evolve, so does your ability to market your firm to a larger audience.
Daliah Saper opened Saper Law Offices, an intellectual property, digital media, entertainment and business law firm based in Chicago, in 2005. Saper is regularly interviewed on national TV, radio and in several publications, including Fox News, CNN, CNBC, ABC News, 20/20, the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. She is an adjunct professor of entertainment law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.