Last week we discussed the success of our Instagram competition in work, with the winner taking their place in the Curated Media Hall of Fame. While the contest focused on the account with the most followers, the true aim of the competition was to establish if Instagram was useful for law firms.
We concluded that Instagram provided a “behind the scenes” feel that is often missing on other social media platforms for legal companies. Through Instagram firms could show that although they often conducted business professionally, and deal with numerous serious issues, they too could have a bit of fun along the way. We thought this week we would analyse some of the worst social media marketing practices and tools for sharing legal content.
In order to understand some of the worst processes and tactics used by companies in social media, it is important first to comprehend the best practices for utilising the sharing of content through social media.
Many people believe they are failing in social media due to the type of content they are producing, or as a result of how their account is managed. Often this is not the case. Most of the time, companies fail in their social media strategy because they fail to understand properly what they are trying to achieve. It is important to form a plan, not ad hoc tactics, and stick to it as long as it is proving successful. If your traffic is up through social media and your followers and subscribers are rising at a fine rate, don’t change your policy. It is important to stick with your plans and ensure that your own style is consistently shown on your social channels.
It is vital when using social media, whether it be Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or other popular sites, that you put in what you expect back. If you interact and listen to your followers and engage with trends, you can expect to become a respected part of their social world.
When you are managing a social media channel, it is worth noting that you do not control the message and how it will be interpreted. Rather, you are contributing to a much bigger picture. Following the publication of content on the social web, people will inevitably mash it up, stretch it, and reshape it according to their interests. Don’t be surprised if you see your content elsewhere, or shared on other social channels. Rather than trying to control this, you should accept that this is a natural part of sharing content online. Like it or not, your content will be put elsewhere and used by others. Instead of seeing this as a negative aspect, focus on the benefits of this, as it should all link back to your site and your brand.
Feedback and interaction with your content should be encouraged, in order to appeal to others to follow a similar pattern and engage with your content.
One of the worst practices that can exist on social media is appearing to be fake. Remember your audience. People do not wish to be on their break in work and read dull, formal and unauthentic messages. Whether you love or loathe social media, it is a community. Those who do not embrace this idea quickly fall out of favour and fail to make a connection with users of the platform.
One of the most concerning issues regarding social media strategies is that despite being relatively easy to implement, many companies fail to listen to users, analyse trends and take a proactive approach. It is important to look at what has been successful and what users have not been keen to interact with. Many firms are too pushy with content or try and encourage users to buy too often. Whilst it may seem like a smart idea to try and push potential sales on Twitter or other sites under certain hashtags, this often comes across as desperate, causing customers to disengage.
Pinterest- Unless your company is a creative, product based retail company, Pinterest may not be the best tool to use. Although it has just under 50 million users, Pinterest is used to save images or creative ideas that others can replicate and seek inspiration from. It does not serve well with regards to content, with most ideas used to spur on other projects. Furthermore, it is commonly used for those wishing to create or purchase hand-crafted products, meaning that it does not present the best marketplace for content or legal content. If you create infographics or powerful images then perhaps Pinterest could be used, however, it would be at the bottom of a long list of more suitable alternatives.
Myspace- While Myspace is a tool for content and music, it is a dwindling forced in the social media world, and certainly one that is used less and less for business. While this may still be proving successful for your content currently, it’s days are numbered.
Facebook- Facebook is useful for content, therefore it’s inclusion in this list may be somewhat controversial. However, it is only listed here as a caution. Many businesses believe that social media is Facebook and nothing else. There is no doubt that by putting content on Facebook it allows it to be seen, however, it is limited to the fact that you need shares and followers to expose your content properly. Unlike Twitter and Instagram, it is not wholly effective for distributing engagement content. Certainly you should use Facebook, although it does require a significantly large following to be successful, therefore, have it, but don’t invest all your time in developing your Facebook channel. It is also important to note that Facebook is a personal social media account. Whilst it is possible to manage pages and promote articles and products, it is more commonly used for remembering birthdays, an online game of scrabble and sharing cat memes. Although law firms require some sort of social space on Facebook, it is certainly not the best channel to expand your marketing.
Whilst it could be argued that many channels are not appropriate for businesses, it is important to note that if your digital strategy is excelling through one of the channels listed above, then you should continue using it. Like all marketing, certain channels can become less effective. It is imperative to continually monitor the success of each social media channel in order to not only get the best out of your content, but of your audience. If a strategy that was working is no longer proving successful, and your audience have moved to another social platform, it is crucial for the success of your company that you move with them.
In order for law firms to get the most out of their content it must be well written and presented to the correct audience.
If you require advice on your social media strategy, or if you need specialist legal content we can help. At Curated Media we specialise in the creation of high quality legal content that is unique to your company. To find out how we can help your online growth contact us today.