What Social Media should Lawyers Focus On?

You can't do it all.

Sorry if that's a confronting truth.

On the flip side, doing nothing isn't really an option either for any law firm wanting to embrace a more active marketing style.

But with Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, Flikr, Tumblr and many others (DeviantArt, anyone?) – where should you be putting your attention?

Frankly – the choice sucks.

But let's check where you're at, and where your attention should be.

Where do “Your People” Hang Out?

On my list of “say it often” topics is the idea of knowing your desired audience and defining them well.

Most lawyers don't do this, so I'll probably keep saying it for a while.

Instead, most lawyers prefer to say that they act for basically every person, business, company and government agency that exists in the known multiverse. That way, if the Scarlet Witch walks into your office tomorrow facing some GBH charges you haven't positioned yourself out of the market (get money in trust though, OK?).

Back in the real world, digital marketing folk have been preaching on “go niche” for a while now.

The reason is this: it actually works.

As opposed to not working.

So the first and most obvious question to ask is: who are you trying to reach, and where do they hang out?

The Big Three

If you're not sure about where your potential clients are spending their time, then we can pretty readily hazzard a guess that they are likely to be spending a bit of time on the big three:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. LinkedIn

If I was generous, and American, I would also add Twitter to that list and call it the Big Four. But since Twitter is a bit of a cesspool sometimes, and less used in Australian than elsewhere, I tend to shy away from recommending it despite its potential opportunities.

Your Choice at This Point

So whether it's “the big three” or just every channel you can think of, you have to make a decision at some point.

Are you going to:

  1. Focus on a single social media channel and devote a tonne of effort to mastery; or
  2. Just create content and post it everywhere you can think of.

Of course there are middle grounds, but these are the strategic decisions you need to make.

With the first option you run a much greater chance of successfully developing your brand on the channel. You'll learn the social media ecosystem, be researching what works and what does not, and mastering the bespoke techniques that the particular platform has available to it for you to use.

With the second option the chances are you'll get a third party social media posting software, create media/text, and simply broadcast it to every channel.

So which is better?

Probably neither.

Focusing can offer the potential for greater notoriety on a platform. It also is likely that your marketing skills will grow considerably more on that platform. However, there is increased risk if that platform decides to change things up to your detriment (I'm looking at you, Facebook organic reach) and you've invested a lot of time and energy there.

Omnipresence has the benefit of wider potential – you might reach more people in more places and you might increase your prospects of being found. However, with content that is likely to be less appealing on a platform-by-platform basis you also run the risk that your content ends up “not good enough” to generate significant play on any given social media channel for you to see results.

The Worst Thing you Could Do

Here's the worst option: saying you're going to “focus” on one platform and then not actually doing it.

So don't do that.

If you're going to drill down on Instagram, then do it. If it's LinkedIn, then I expect to see you there day in, day out, “doing your thing”.

Otherwise you're just going through the motions, and you'd probably be better off not bothering at all.

For My Part…

Being the moderate sole that I am, an in between approach can also work.

That is, choose a primary platform and focus your attention on that.

Possibly pick one or two secondary platforms that will largely just exist, but not be your main game.

Once you've built up an audience on platform A, and mastered its tools, you can then move on to platform B to spend some time and capitalise on your success.

What will you do?



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