Everybody wants to do social media marketing. Many small business owners view it as a panacea for their marketing woes: It’s free, and it’s easy. Of course, that’s not entirely true. It’s not free — because anything that you spend your time on involves at least an opportunity cost. And, it ain’t easy: I mean, nothing worth doing ever is. That all being said, social media marketing is effective, if you make the time, and take the effort, to do it right.
The biggest problem with social media marketing is time management. The point of using social media to build out your law practice is to reach new audiences, at the streams they care about. Maybe someone prefers Facebook, as a method to search for professional services; or, maybe they like LinkedIn. The more places you can cover, the more likely you are to convert clients, because the expansion of your market is essentially limitless. So, social media Increases your opportunities to be where they are.
Now, that all sounds good in the abstract. But, when you consider that being present in all those places involves the management of a number of different platforms and passwords, your head may start to spin. And, if social media marketing involves creating and managing personal and professional Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and other social media accounts, most lawyers would probably elect not to start at all — either because they don’t want to do it themselves, or because they feel that their staff should be doing higher leverage work, and they don’t want to hire consultants or vendors to manage it for them.
Of course, it’s difficult to argue with the thesis. Social media marketing is a pain in the ass. But, if you could eliminate managing each portal separately, it would be a lot easier, right? Well, the good news is that you can do exactly that. There are a number of tools available that will allow you to manage various social media platforms across one dashboard, with a single sign-in. These software, some of which have free versions, like Hootsuite and Buffer, integrate with social media providers, to allow you to manage your accounts at their interface. You simply add the accounts you want, and create content streams. This helps you to view content and to post content easily. The ability to create and view multiple streams across social media platforms means that you can easily repost content that you like, thereby interspersing your own content with others’, which is a way to establish your expertise without coming off as entirely self-promotional. Perhaps the best feature of these systems is the ability to schedule posts for later release. Because one of the biggest issues with social media is that it’s so easy to fall down a rabbit hole and lose hours at a time, scheduling posts allows you to get in and get out more quickly, and with a purpose. If you’re clever, you can even schedule a post for a week or more at a time, and make it your practice to engage with your connections on your time. The ability to parachute in and parachute out makes you a much more efficient marketing tactician on social media. And, if you’re not continually frustrated about what would otherwise appear to be a waste of time, then you’re more likely to keep at it, and that’s a recipe for winning the long game of law firm social media marketing.
Besides, it’s kind of cool to have someone you’re in conversation with ask you whether you just sent out a post on LinkedIn. Then, it’s up to you whether you want to reveal your secret, or not.
I’ll never tell.