Social Media for Lawyers 4

The “What” Guide continued…

We are finally at Part Four in the Social Media Series. Whew. What a journey.

Writing about social media and learning all its “ins and outs”, the “what to do’s” and “what not to do’s” and all its deep, dark secrets has been a real eye opener. For us at least. It has kinda made our head spin. 

Not just because of the stacks of information but also because there is an almost inevitable conclusion that being on social media is by far and large one of the most important things you can do for your business – 

  • Law firms being urged (especially by us) to jump on the social media gravy train as of yesterday!

And (once again) with stats like there being “4.48 billion people actively using social media worldwide” running amok in our minds, it made us think of the following quotes – 

“Social media is the ultimate equaliser. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage.” – Amy Jo Martin, author of Renegades write the Rules (a book that should definitely be on your Read Now list)

“The first rule of social media is that everything changes all the time. What won’t change is the community’s desire to network.” – Kami Watson Huyse, PR & social media strategist, entrepreneur, CEO Zoetica Media

“Social media will help you build up loyalty of your current customers to the point that they will willingly, and for free, tell others about you.”Bonnie Sainsbury, Co-Founder of Social Media Smarter

“Content is fire. Social media is gasoline.”Jay Baer, keynote speaker, emcee, author, and entrepreneur

“Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media“Lori Ruff, speaker, author

Yes, that’s quite a few quotes. 

And we have not included them to sound arrogant, or be “know it all’s”. That’s not our style.

Rather it is in an effort to truly understand social media – its reach and its significance – that we looked to the people who have used social media in a way that has sky rocketed their careers, their businesses and ignited their stardom. We sought out those that have used various social media platforms to their ultimate benefit. And their businesses (and careers) have not only soared but they have raked in millions and millions of dollars. 

Just from using social media. 

And before we continue, this made us think of one more thing – Expression. The ability to express oneself. The ability to showcase your thoughts, your opinions and your feelings in a way that speaks to others, that appeals to others and by so doing, engages with others. Of course, this reminded us of Martha Graham (an artistic force of note) who said – 

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”

And Martha’s words could not be truer. 

You see, we now understand that just like a stage set for a dancer to express themselves through movement, social media is the stage that is set to undoubtedly allow everyday people, large companies, small businesses and law firms alike, to express themselves. In words. And in a way that will appeal to others and will, yet again, engage with others. Enabling conversation, debate and most importantly – exposure to larger audiences which could potentially become larger client bases.

And isn’t that, truthfully, the bees knees?

With that….

Let’s continue with the lowdown on (other) social media platforms

Again, at the risk of repeating ourselves, you will need to make decisions as to which platforms will make the most sense to you. Remember – 

“there is no one-size-fits-all approach that anyone can offer you. The hot water that softens a carrot will harden an egg.” ― Clayton M. Christensen 

So use the platforms that speak to you – 

YouTube

Sure, when one thinks of YouTube, you immediately think back to all the times you watched a music video of your favourite band. Just the other day we were listening to Livin’ on a Prayer ourselves. On YouTube.

Funny that.

So the question invariably is – How can lawyers use YouTube to their best advantage?

Well, with 122 million active users daily and 1 billion hours of content watched globally – every day – it makes one think – Whew! That’s a lot of viewers!

According to Good2BSocial – 

“Video continues to be one of the most effective content formats online. In fact, research shows that marketers who use video can grow revenue nearly 50 percent faster. With more than 1 billion users, YouTube is by far the most popular video platform there is. More than 50 percent of people watch more than an hour of video on the platform a week, making the platform ideal for law firms to promote themselves. If your law firm is not on YouTube, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to engage and connect with clients and prospects”.

YouTube generates the second most traffic of all websites in the world, second only to Google (which actually owns YouTube). 

But what does this mean for you (and us)? 

Well, with stats like that, audiences are referencing YouTube for everything from entertainment to how-to videos. Often. 

Not only that but according to Global Reach – “If Google is the Queen, YouTube is the Princess”. Meaning? Not only is YouTube the second most popular website in the world (behind its owner Google), it’s also the second largest search engine in the world behind Google

And what does this show? YouTube Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is off the charts – because YouTube is actually a video and information search tool.

Foster Web Marketing says that – 

“Web video is a proven way to get more contacts. Videos are a must-have marketing tool on any law firm’s website. If you’re already creating videos for your website, then it’s a natural next step to syndicate your videos on YouTube. The great news is that uploading videos and creating your own YouTube Channel (where your videos will be showcased), is FREE”. 

Legal Cheek says that when it comes to marketing LinkedIn and YouTube appear to be the social media platforms of choice for big law firms. Legal Cheek went on to say that from research they gleaned from Passle, “a growing number of law firms are turning to YouTube to share their expertise, with 144 out of the 200 firms now on the video sharing website’.

So, it’s time to get some videos on to YouTube and utilise their powerful presence to further your reach. Remember – informative YouTube videos are a vital element in social media marketing for lawyers. Videos not only make your information easier to understand but also allow you to inject your personality into the content. And this makes your videos a lot more engaging than other content formats.

Plus, you’ll be appealing to the huge portion of the audience that prefers to consume video content over text content. So make sure you regularly create YouTube videos to explain relevant topics, tell interesting stories and discuss trending topics. 

For more insights into the wonders of YouTube, click on Sprout Social’s 25 YouTube stats and facts to power your 2021 marketing strategy.

Lights. Camera. Action (we say)!

TikTok

What is that? It kind of sounds like a cocktail you find in Hawaii. Or is that just us?

Probably just us….

Because, in fact and according to W3Lab, TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms of all time. And with currently 700 million active users per month (ranking it in the top 5 most popular social media platforms), it is estimated that TikTok will have 1.2 billion users worldwide before the end of 2021.

Wow!

So what is TikTok?

TikTok, quite simply, is a social media platform and video sharing app. It focuses on visual content which has a short duration – users create and stream short content in the form of a 60 second (or less) video. These videos can then be downloaded or shared across various social media channels. Or to put it more correctly – these videos can virtually be shared on all other social media platforms. In addition, “Tik-Tokkers” can like and comment on the content that they enjoy, share it with their audience and follow users they deem to have good content. Which will hopefully be you!

And while Millennials tend to use Instagram more, TikTok is the absolute winner among Generation Z (and if you recall from our article Social Media For Lawyers – Part III, the youth of your future clientele is extremely important). 

So, how does TikTok work for Lawyers?

That’s the big question isn’t it?

It may be a little surprising, but forward-thinking lawyers are successfully incorporating TikTok into their social marketing strategies. Seems odd, huh? But true. Lawyers using TikTok are reaching potential clients and helping people more than ever by simply showcasing their legal knowledge in short, entertaining videos that can be easily recorded with their mobile phones. 

It’s so easy. 

And by creating content in this way, TikTok is becoming the new place for lawyer’s to be. #LawyerTikTok.

And remember this – remaining at the forefront of new marketing strategies sets you up to successfully grow your practice. And TikTok has a large and growing audience. So it seems like the perfect match. Growing audience on TikTok = Growing audience and potential clientele for you. Win-win.

But how do you use TikTok?

  1. Download the TikTok app from the App Store or Google Play;
  2. Create an account (this can also be done from your desktop or laptop computer);
  3. Complete your profile – 
    1. Upload a profile photo and consider a profile video (something to keep in mind – whilst it is a good idea to keep the same profile picture across multiple social media platforms, a traditional headshot may not be the best choice for TikTok. Sure, you want to be professional, but you need to also be authentic and approachable. So perhaps choose a profile photo that is informal and conveys your energy rather than just your standard headshot. But choice is yours. If want to keep the same picture – that’s all good too);
    2. Select your “Name” i.e. the name that will appear on the top of your profile helping users identify who you are (it will also help other users search for your content more easily);
    3. Select your “Username” i.e. what is referred to as “your handle”.  It will be the unique portion of your account URL and will also be seen by other users when they view and search for your content;
    4. Complete your “Bio” – the ever important Bio. Telling people who you are. So, tell them that you are a lawyer and share information about where you are and what you specialise in. It’s a good idea (at this point) to include links to your website and other social media accounts. It’s also advisable to include a disclaimer that your videos are not legal advice. But TikTok does not give you many characters to use in your Bio. So make sure you get your message across in a short and snappy way.
  4. Convert your account to a TikTok Pro Account to get analytics data about your account’s performance and engagement, which is always good to know. 

With TikTok however, not all your video content needs to be about law. Remember you are trying to show people who you are and what your practice is all about. So engage with your audience by showing them clips of your daily life, things that you are excited about, people that you work with, celebrations and announcements. Bring your audience into your world. 

But a word of caution. Do not get discouraged if you are not a viral TikTok sensation overnight. It takes time (like with everything) to develop your voice, get the hang of things and build a following. There will always be a trial and error phase. But remember – this type of marketing can (and should) be fun!

So, go have some! 

Reddit

According to Backlink, Reddit has 52 million daily active users and over 430 million monthly active users.

And according to Oberlo, Reddit is the sixth most-visited site in the U.S. – which means more people visit it than Instagram, Twitter, eBay, LinkedIn, or Netflix.

But what is it?

Reddit works a bit like a forum. But really is in a niche of its own. 

Referred to as “the front page of the internet”, it combines web content, social news, a forum, and a social network into one giant beast of a platform. Registered members can contribute to the site with content such as images, text, videos, and links. All content on the site can be voted up or down by other members. It is like a melting pot of trends, media, a collection of communities, called “subreddits”, micro-cultures, and inside jokes. In fact, whatever you can think of, there will be a subreddit about it.

And it is awesome!

It hosts discussions on a wide range of topics like news, science, movies, video games, music, books, fitness, food and very surprisingly – the law. 

And with the meritocratic system used by Reddit, it ensures that interesting content rises to the top of the page and uninteresting content falls into an abyss. As a result, Reddit is the birthplace of most internet memes and viral sensations. 

For any (aspiring) legal professional looking to see new perspectives, learn something new, have a good laugh or even make new (online) friends, Reddit is the place to be.

According to SmallBizTrends – 

“Among the thousands of subreddits are people looking for some advice, not necessarily from an attorney, but definitely some legitimate expert advice.

And if you’re vigilant and searching the right communities on Reddit, you can offer that advice to the person looking for it. And once they find out you’re a lawyer, you may be the first person they turn to as their representative in court.

A person visits the Law topic on Reddit and finds a subreddit on agreements with contractors. If this is an area where you’re an expert, you visit there and find someone who’s having a problem with a contractor they hired. They’re not getting anywhere with the contractor and they need legal advice.

If you supply them with the proper legal advice, that disgruntled person could turn to you and ask you to represent them”.

In fact, for lawyer specific conversation and according to the article 20 places on Reddit where attorneys, legal professionals and people with legal questions gather lawyers can find a host of places to gather and discuss a range of topics. Including a subreddit not to be missed r/Lawyertalk.

So, get talking, get learning and get Redditing!

Metaverse

In our article published last week – Social Media for Lawyers – Part III – we said that according to Reuters, Facebook was looking to re-brand and re-vamp their image.

Well, as of 28 October 2021, that is in fact true. In an article published by Business Insider, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram are morphing into Meta. The products Meta owns, including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook, will not change their names however and the platforms will remain as they have always been. But the company formerly known as Facebook (sort of like Prince) will now be known as Meta.

And this is big news.

CEO, Mark Zuckerberg stated that – 

“It is time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that we do,” Zuckerberg said. “From now on we’re going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first.”

On Meta’s website, it also states that – 

“Meta’s focus will be to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.

The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together — and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world. It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it’s ushering in a new chapter for our company”.

In the explanatory article – Connect 2021: Our Vision for the Metaverse, Meta describes how the metaverse will be seen as the successor to the mobile internet — 

a set of interconnected digital spaces, characterized by social presence, the feeling that you’re right there with another person, no matter where in the world you happen to be…. Meta is moving beyond 2D screens towards an immersive experience like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology”.

And with the metaverse and Meta being the “new social media platform” and “the next evolution in social technology”, it makes us wonder whether this is the social media gravy train we have all been looking for? Something that connects everything and allows you to sort of be everywhere?

Meta and the “metaverse” are the next stage in the evolution of social media. An evolution in how we use platforms and how we see them. It will change things. And staying at the forefront of technology, being an early adopter and striking while the iron is hot is how you stay ahead of the game. How you can invent the game for yourself. 

So whilst there are so many platforms to choose from (like the ones we have taken you through), we truly believe that this is the one to be watched, adopted and embraced.

And this sort of feels like flying to Mars. By yourself and without an aircraft. It is that wild and that unbelievable.  

Unknown but so very exciting! 

To finally conclude…..

After all this research, advice and tips, we still don’t know everything. Along with you, we are learning as we go, always keeping top of mind that socials are where we need to be

And with technology and applications moving at the pace that they are (Facebook = Meta), we feel that we all need to be moving with it – at lightning speed. Getting on the social media gravy train has never been more evident. Or more urgent. 

But, it does not all have to happen in one day. As we said, you often need to make decisions and often start small. Choose one platform and get posting. 

We have ended all our previous articles on Social Media about making an impact. In the right way. By using social media to your best advantage – not just to impress but to impact. And impact and expression, for us are key aspects of this discussion which add to the appeal of social media. 

So, to conclude this series, we would like to leave you with the following quote – 

“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” – Tony Robbins

Go make an impact, embrace the amazing change that is before you, move with it and let your imagination soar. Make it happen!

And one more thing – we are right behind you! 

Written by Alicia Koch on behalf of AJS

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