On this, the sixth day of social media and digital media, Jennifer Simpson Carr, Business Development Manager, Tech and Life Sciences, at Lowenstein Sandler, talks about social and digital media strategies and how it is important that they are integrated with your firm's overall communications strategy.
What has shifted in the last 12 months in social & digital media?
Visual and interactive content continues to become an increasingly important way to stay relevant and interesting, particularity in B2C – e.g., cinematic pins (A motion-based mobile ad format on Pinterest. When a user scrolls, the image moves, and when a user stops, the image stops), immersive videos or 360 degree videos (a view in every direction is recorded at the same time, shot using an omnidirectional camera or a collection of cameras), and, of course, virtually reality.
What has caught your eye recently as a smart use of social & digital media?
In legal, firms catch my eye with smart uses of content as well as writing for the reader. Most people want sounds bites – how does this impact my company, why should I care, what should I do? Some firms are great at catching a reader’s eye (through sound bites, infographics, etc.), giving the facts you want to know quickly and offering an option to “read more”.
Has your firm implemented a successful social & digital media strategy or campaign you’d like to share?
Earlier this year, I led a communications campaign for our VentureCrushNY event (an invite only program created by Lowenstein Sandler’s Tech Group with a carefully curated list of founders and other tech entrepreneurs, senior execs from larger tech companies, VC, Growth Equity, Private Equity and angel investors in tech). The event attracts nearly 1,000 attendees annually. The event hashtag that was used on Twitter trended third in the United States the day of the event.
The campaign was successful because of the planning and preparation. We determined our key messages up front, defined objectives, developed a written pre-, during and post-event strategy, as well as agreed to a clear plan of execution. We promoted our campaign through external and internal communications. Externally, we sent invitations, confirmations and follow-ups leading up to the event. We supported these targeted communications with more broad efforts such as Twitter and the VC website, and always tried to be engaging and visual with our messages. Internally, we provided guidance and promoted participation through communications to our attorneys that explained our efforts and outlined how they could participate and engage.
Our day of execution included a great team of business development, marketing and communications folks including a campaign manager, a content lead (pulling sound bites from the event), two social media personnel (live tweeting, liking, sharing and engaging with users), as well as a photographer. Engagement was one of our key objectives, and since engagement must happen in real-time, we prepared an anticipated Q&A sheet and provided the team with pre-written replies that answered questions and linked to relevant information. We were very pleased with the results and have continued to leverage momentum throughout the year.
To view the Twitter portion of the campaign, checkout #VentureCrushNY.
What’s the biggest challenge for law firms trying to be active in the social & digital media space, and how can they overcome it?
I think the biggest challenge for law firms is viewing social and digital media as separate and apart from a “traditional” communications plan. Your digital strategy is part of your communications strategy, and while the concept of “digital marketing” may feel rather new at some firms, it is, and should be documented as part of a firm’s overall integrated communications plan. It should seamlessly support branding and messaging efforts. Additionally, before jumping into digital (whether it be a blog, engaging in social, etc.) firms should determine whether or not the firm (as well as the practices and individual attorneys) should be engaging in digital and social and at what level. It is important to evaluate where you will make the most impact and reach your target audience in the most efficient way. Once those questions have been answered, define KPIs and how success will be measured. This will allow firms to strategize accordingly and determine up front which data points matter most to the organization and achieving goals. Once launched, use the analytics to adjust your strategy as needed.
ABOUT JENNIFER SIMPSON CARR
Jennifer Carr joined Lowenstein Sandler LLP as a Business Development Manager in 2013. With nearly 10 years of experience working with law firms throughout the United States, Jennifer has extensive experience developing and executing integrated marketing communications programs with an emphasis in digital and content strategy. Earlier this year, she earned a Mini-MBA at Rutgers Business School with a concentration in Digital Marketing.
In case you missed it:
Save The Date!
Save the date for Tuesday, January 17, 1 PM CT/ 2 PM ET as the Social & Digital Media SIG is kicking off the new year by tackling an important issue. "Conquering the Generational Content Divide: What You Need to Know to Reach All Generations with Your Digital Content," with presenters Molly Miller, Chief Content Officer, ALM, Helen Bertelli, Vice President, Infinite Global Consulting, and new Social & Digital Media SIG co-chair, Karen Cariello, Vice President, JD Supra. Register early so you can get this important webinar on your calendar!