How To Use Social Media For Business Development

You’ve probably recognized by now that social media activity can be useful for business development purposes… but you may not have figured out exactly how to make that happen for you. All too often lawyers tell me that they’re working hard but not seeing any meaningful results from their social media activity. It’s frustrating and enough to make you question whether the effort is worthwhile. After all…

Social media too often becomes a time-consuming activity that seems to promise results are just around the bend—the next post, the next connection. But some lawyers have cracked the code.

Since as far back as 2016, my favorite resource for lawyers has been the annual social media white paper from Good2BSocial. This year’s report offers some good tips (the do’s and don’t-do’s) based on a survey of AmLaw 200 firms’ social media, with winners identified by name and the reasons for their success analyzed. (If your firm is nowhere near the 200, don’t worry: the tips apply regardless of the size or type of firm.)

Note that registration is required to read the report.

It’s worth it if you’re looking to up your social media efforts.

The whole report is worth reading for its analysis of which firms excel in social media and why, but let’s focus on key points:

  • Podcasts and video use are on the rise: consistency in production and targeted content separates the successful from the also-rans.
  • Firms are increasingly focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as corporate activism.
  • COVID-19 resource centers remain useful, though not as hot as they were in 2019 and 2020. The most successful firms created their resources from a client-centric point of view.
  • Targeted content cuts through the noise of social media.
  • Just posting doesn’t work: only engagement can build relationships.
  • You must track data to measure social media performance. Otherwise, you’re just guessing at whether your efforts are paying off.
  • Know what distinguishes the platforms from one another and how to use each most effectively.
  • Focus on your clients and potential clients, not on your own firm.

The bottom line? You must tailor your posts to your clients’ and potential clients’ interests, you must engage with those clients and potential clients, and you should go beyond text to audio (podcasts) and video content.

If that feels overwhelming, take heart: when you take the time to create a cohesive social media marketing plan, you can harness the work you do (whether that’s answering questions that multiple clients are posing, presenting a CLE program, or writing an article, for example) and repurpose it in multiple forms and formats, then share it in ways designed to reach your target audience.

To succeed with this, you must create and use a cohesive plan, not just “do social media.”

There’s more useful information in this report, so please do read it if social media use is any part of your marketing plan. Most importantly as we’re still in the New Year’s glow, decide what your objectives are with social media and then create a plan you can follow consistently.

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