You probably know this by now.
Social media marketing, if done right, provides an incredible opportunity for legal service providers to increase their visibility and, by doing so, attract a consistent stream of new customers.
And while this is undoubtedly true of all types of businesses, you also know that the legal world is somewhat different: maintaining a professional image, along with compliance with professional standards and regulations are crucial principles that must inform all legal marketing strategies, with no exceptions.
This, however, does not mean that legal professionals and firms should forfeit on the opportunity to leverage the revenue-generating potential of social media advertising channels.
It simply means that any social media marketing strategy must be well-crafted and well-thought-of in order to enable legal firms and professionals to leverage the power of social media advertising in an elegant and compliant way.
So, where do you start?
Create a single piece of content that will serve as a hook to attract leads
Many legal firms have tried using social media to market their services, to absolutely no avail.
Let’s make one thing clear: this is not because of social media’s unsuitability as a platform to market legal services. Rather, it’s down to the specific type of strategy used (or lack thereof).
The outdated (non-effective) way of sharing content on Facebook is by publishing a post first, then boosting it to reach a wider audience in order to try and counterbalance for the radical drop in organic reach over the last few years. Typically, relevant contact information is added towards the end of the piece so as to allow potential clients to get in touch with the business, should they wish to do so.
The problem with this approach is that it’s non-strategic and open-ended, in that it doesn’t give the service provider an opportunity to follow up with those who have consumed the content in question, and by doing so attempt to turn them into a paying client.
With this ineffective approach, when people click on your ad or content, you are leaving the next action step entirely in their hands: you’re effectively relying on them to contact you and enquire about your services from a single random post.
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The problem? Users may not be ready to get in touch there and then; they might have seen your content at a time when it is not convenient for them to call or email your business; or they might have gotten side-tracked while in the process of getting in touch. Whichever the case, once they leave the platform or your blog or website, they are highly likely to forget about you, especially if they’ve only ever experienced one or two touch-points with your business.
When taking this old-fashioned approach, brand recall is not an option, meaning that you’re leaving money on the table by only capturing users who are ready to take action there and then (a teeny-tiny minority).
If you consider that, based on recent studies, the average number of touch-points needed for users to even consider purchasing your services amounts to 21 to 27, you’ll quickly come to appreciate how repeated exposure through strategic follow-up is an absolute must.
Given all these challenges, how can you capture and retarget your prospective clients through the power of social media advertising?
You can still do this through a valuable piece of content, by promoting it on Facebook or any other social media platform..but with a twist!
Do NOT stop after publishing your content on social media. Instead, make your content “gated”, which is, accessible only in exchange for the user’s contact details, namely their email address and, optionally, their telephone number. This will enable you to reach out to them over and over - with their consent of course - through regular follow-ups including more valuable content aimed at establishing you as the authority in your field.But wait! I hear you ask...
What exactly is a GREAT piece of valuable content?
It’s something your target audience will find valuable and helpful in solving a problem they’re actively looking to solve. A piece of writing, a video, a training that will effortlessly and elegantly position you as an expert or thought leader in your field. Be sure to give it an intriguing and interesting headline, and always avoid ‘boring’ labels such as ‘report’ and ‘white paper’. Instead, call it an ‘ultimate guide’, ‘cheat sheet’ or ‘bible’.
Avoid technical legal jargon - instead, explain the problem and the solution in layman terms...use the same language your prospects would use when describing their problem to their family or friends.
Crucially, avoid all sales pitches and limit your call to action to an invite for a consultation - an effortless and professional way to secure business without coming across as salesy.
Remember, people hate being sold to by people they do NOT yet know, like or trust: the aim of your content, then, is simply to have them book a consultation, which can then be leveraged to sell your services once the know-like-trust factor has been established.
Capturing their emails is the most crucial part
In a digital age where people are being bombarded with information day and night, users need to be reminded that you exist - and how you can help them - over and over before they decide to consider working with you.By capturing your leads’ contact details in exchange for access to your valuable content, you are actively securing every business’ greatest asset: your potential customers' contact information, which will then enable you to reach out to them with more valuable content and strategically-placed calls to action in order to build trust and credibility over time. Do this, and you’ll be their first port of call the very moment they’re ready to seek legal advice.
The Bottom Line
Leveraging the power of paid advertising on social media to market your legal services is not only possible...it’s the smart thing to do, but only as long as this is part of a wider strategy to grow your customer base and establish your expertise and credibility amongst an audience of potential clients.In an age where most businesses are present on social media, but very few have a strategic approach to their social media presence - you must craft effective ways to reach your audience not just once, but over and over again (remember the 21 to 27 touch points!).
The key to establishing your authority and credibility as a legal professional and by doing so attract clients online in a systematic and predictable way?
A strategic, consistent approach to online client acquisition.
Promote your services randomly and without a well-defined strategy, on the other hand, and you might as well be throwing spaghetti at the wall and hope and pray they’re going to stick.