Editor’s Note: If you followed the 12 Days, you may have read a short post noting my role as co-chair of the Social & Digital Media SIG in 2018. I am thrilled to be given the opportunity and grateful to serve in this leadership position where I can further contribute to the Legal Marketing community. I want to thank our current chairs, Stefanie Knapp and Karen Cariello, for their generous support, and for allowing me to jump in early to participate in the planning of the 12 Days. It is LMAers, such as these, who selflessly dedicate their time and energy to not only generating amazing content for our members, but for creating an environment of collaboration and support to encourage growth and development for the legal marketing community.
I am thrilled to be on board and look forward to bringing pertinent programming and content in 2018. Please feel free to connect with me to introduce yourself, share ideas for the SIG, or just say "hello.”
Wishing everyone a very safe and happy holiday season.
As you plan for the New Year, engaging your attorneys in social media can help you leap ahead in your digital efforts in 2018. “Employee Advocacy”, or attorney engagement as I call it, is the promotion of your firm and content by your attorneys. Why do I think attorney engagement is an important initiative to undertake? Obviously, your attorneys are a part of your marketing strategy to build brand awareness - - why not leverage that on social, too? Using attorneys to deliver your message online, including on social media, also helps put a face to your firm.
Let’s look at the numbers:
- Brand messages are re-shared on average 24x more frequent social shares when brand message is distributed by an employee vs. brand.(MSL Group)
- Messages received 8x more engagement when content is shared by employees vs. brand (Social Media Today)
- Employees have on average 10x more connections than brand channels do. (MSL Group)
Here are a few ways to stay on the Nice List, or get moved to the Naughty List as you develop your attorney engagement program.
The Nice List
- Clearly define realistic goals that tie into your overall marketing and communications strategy. Identify your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), understand how you will obtain, track and report against your KPIs.
- While a consistent message is important to support your brand’s identity, keep in mind that you won’t project sincerity when identical messages are posted by dozens of attorneys in a short period of time. A few ideas to proactively address this issue are to provide several narrative options to attorneys for each piece of content, encourage attorneys to add their personal voice to the message, or segment the message by practice or industry group, providing each with slightly different narrative based on the target audience.
The Naughty List
- Participation should be encouraged but not mandated. Many of your attorneys may be uncomfortable or unfamiliar with social media. Forcing them to participate can create an adverse effect on your efforts, or worse, create easily avoidable missteps on. Instead, consider offering incentives or gamifying, if it fits your culture. This may encourage attorneys that may otherwise note have been engaged to become involved and learn more.
- Don’t assume that your attorneys know how to use or navigate social media platforms. Provide training such as a 101 session to help attorneys identify which channel(s) is the right fit, become more comfortable with using the specific channel(s), walk through the steps of how to share and engage with content, and provide tips and best practices.
Attorneys are constantly making new connections through personal efforts and business development supported activities. Leverage these ever-growing networks by creating online brand advocates in your attorneys and watch your reach and engagement grow!
ABOUT Jennifer Simpson Carr
Jennifer Simpson Carr is highly regarded in developing, executing and measuring the results of successful integrated business development and communications programs with an emphasis on content and digital. With 10 years of experience working in law firms across the US, she has worked extensively to help firms and attorneys engage target audiences and win new business in competitive markets.
Jennifer received her BA in Communication Studies from East Stroudsburg University, a Graduate Certificate of Marketing from The University of Texas at Dallas, and most recently earned a Mini-MBA in Digital Marketing from Rutgers Business School.
Coming in January!
LMA’S Digital & Social Media SIG is launching a benchmarking initiative. It’s designed to give legal marketers comparable data to enable them to assess the effectiveness of their programs and strategies. We encourage all firms to participate in order to make this as useful as possible. Details coming soon!