It is no secret that social media is the most effective way to communicate with clientele, generate business leads, advertise and build a lasting business.
But knowing how to finagle social media marketing for every industry type can be tough, and law firms may be some of the toughest.
For this case study I chose a law firm that is well-known and highly recommended in New York City, but is struggling with the social media execution even though they have a prominent online presence.
Meet Jaroslawicz & Jaros LLC, a prestigious law firm specializing in personal injury. The firm ranks high amongst its competition and boasts 9 “Excellent” Google customer reviews. The website is tastefully designed with videos, testimonials, straightforward information and a contact form on every page throughout the site. And the site is mobile-ready making it ultra easy for potential clients to view it.
But where the J&J firm falls short is in the execution of its social media accounts. Currently, they have a Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn business page and Google+ business page. However, the networks are not monitored, there is no engagement or interaction and the content being shared is the same across networks. Let’s discuss in details what they have done right and where they can improve.
Identifying the biggest roadblock:
The biggest issue a law firm faces in the online community is giving it a personality – letting people know it isn’t just a business, it’s a business that cares. Lawyers and law firms do not have an easy set of stereotypes to get past, which is exactly why social media can be so powerful for them, if it is initiated correctly.
Facebook for J&J Law Firm
Stats: 68 Likes, 2 Talking about this, 0 Were here, 13 Updates
When it comes to appearance, the J&J Facebook page is barely breathing due to the lack of content and color. There is no cover photo and the profile picture is blurry and ill-fitting, but at least it is the company logo.
The About section is filled out amply and contains all the necessary informational bits to let fans know who they are, where they can be found and what they do in a tidy way.
There were 13 updates posted throughout the month of December. All of the updates are links directing the user back to their website’s blog. All of them are accident related, making the overall temperament of the page dreary and dull. It looks like a news stream, sans pictures, videos, cartoons and any interaction. In fact, throughout the month there are no likes, shares or comments.
The page needs a complete overhaul. The profile picture needs to be updated with a clear company logo that fits its placeholder. The cover picture should be used as an instrument to bring color and life to the page. It could be a collage of attorney pictures, a photo of the office or a picture of the view from the office since it lives on the 24th floor of a building in NYC. Anything that brings warmth to the page and humanity to the law brand.
In terms of content, it needs a brand new plan of action. First thing, the golden rule of social media is share 80% of other people’s content and 20% of business content. Only sharing links to the company blog will not generate any sort of interaction, and J&J needs the interaction. And it must incorporate a personality. Facebook is an enormous network full of potential clients and with the new Facebook Search Graph rolling out, J&J will want to invest in reaching those potentials through the page.
There is an unlimited amount of ways J&J can liven things up and share actionable and interactive content for its fans. It needs pictures – client/lawyer pics after a case is solved, day-to-day office pics, or company parties. Willing clients would likely share and/or like the picture, letting their network see who solved their case and advertising for the firm. What about recommendations from clients? They are prevalent on the website – clients should be asked to leave a recommendations on the FB page.
Other ideas would be to share industry-related information that would be interesting to both clients and other lawyers, sharing stories of personal injury victory from other law firms, short interviews with the firm’s attorneys with pictures so fans can get to know them, or promote specials i.e. free consultations.
I would suggest posting twice a day throughout the week and at least once on the weekend, just to keep the ball rolling. It is important to be consistent and provide value. Posting just to post will not win fans or generate interaction – it must grab the fan’s attention and elicit a response.
Facebook should be the top social network for J&J to invest in. It is the best platform to reach current clients, potential clients and to build a brand for themselves.
Twitter for J&J Law Firm
Stats: 1,505 Followers, 0 Following, 165 Tweets, 13 Tweets
When it comes to looks, J&J is not winning on Twitter, either. The background is a generic Twitter background, the profile pic is blurry, there are no uploaded pictures and the tweets are too reminiscent of the Facebook page’s content.
But they did change the profile background to a color resembling the company website and filled out the bio succinctly with its location and website.
When it comes to tweets, it’s obvious that the Facebook page and Twitter account are hooked up to share the same drab information – all of which links back to the company blog. It’s a good idea in theory, but only if a business abides by the 80/20 rule. Social media is all about sharing and no business can be successful in social networks if only promoting themselves.
My suggestions for its beautification are to update the background picture with an informative yet attractive design containing pertinent information about the law firm to the left and perhaps incorporates pictures to add color/life. Also, I would change the link colors to match the yellow from the company website.
The point of making social accounts appealing is to create a sense of congruity that links the social networks to the company website. Potential clients will feel a deeper sense of trust when a brand takes the time to make them feel at home regardless of where they meet online.
I suggest tweeting 5-10 times daily about law news, community information, city updates and company promotion. J&J should reach out to its community, find other lawyers to start conversations with, talk shop, search the web for locals talking about accidents and offer assistance.
As with Facebook, J&J must work on building a personality that can be associated with the brand while sticking to its core values. Finding some law humor cartoons would be excellent and sharing insider pics of the staff would rock.
LinkedIn for J&J Law Firm
Before I begin this section, let’s compare J&J’s LinkedIn page with a company who has adequately filled its page out.
Google may be a much bigger company, but that means nothing when it comes to social media outfitting. What is important is that Google took the time add in colorful and personal pictures thereby making anyone who stops by feel welcome, updates their account regularly and has tons of employees hooked up.
J&J’s LinkedIn page only has 11 Followers for a reason – it’s dull. They aren’t sharing articles, engaging, only have a few of its employees support (5) and it is as colorless as the other J&J network pages.
I suggest uploading cover pictures, sharing articles and news not relating to law, but relevant, engaging with other lawyers and businesses, joining a variety of groups covering industry-related topics or professions that may be especially prone to personal injury.
Bottom line it is important that J&J enter the conversation, wade into the pool and get wet with everyone else.
Google+ for J&J Law Firm
The issues with the J&J Google+ page are the same as all the others before it. The consistently good thing I see is that the About page, contact information and website address are readily available and well-prepared.
But no one, not even law firms can get away with scantily clad social networks. It needs to be dressed up with a cover picture, a prettier version of the logo and well, content.
GooglePlus would be a great place to build a community of lawyers, clients, or local professionals who may be interested in its services in the future, conduct Hangout sessions or get engaged with an engaging audience. And updating it once a day during the week would be sufficient.
Some people may say that Google+ is a lost cause, but I know professionals who find all their clients through Google+ and LinkedIn. It is not wise to discount any social network.
And one last word about social integration
Please, please, pleaseeeee have the website designer make sure the social icons match and are easy to find on the business website. J&J’s website is professional, yet somehow the social links were forgotten and left at the bottom. Social links should be placed at the top and bottom of the website, and in plain site on posts and articles for easy sharing. If it’s tough for users to find them, they won’t bother.
Jaroslawicz & Jaros LLC is already a very successful law firm handling huge cases on a daily basis. But no matter how successful a business is, it is important to remember that one PR scandal or angry client can turn it over in one night. Building a strong social media presence is akin to a guarantee because it gives clients and potential clients the opportunity to get to know and trust the business on a personal level. After all, that’s why social media is so powerful.