Social Media and the Legal Profession
Find your influencers and social media champions
In many ways social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) have become a way of life for your employees and your employees of the future and these tools can be a great way to raise the profile of the firm, its employees and their expertise. However, to make more of an impact, you should be managing your social media in a joined up way. Finding your influencers and social media champions internally can help you build and strengthen your social media offering.
If you are not using social media much and want to improve your social media presence take the time come up with a social media strategy.
- Start by revisiting and updating your social media policy as necessary. Your social media policy should encourage (not prohibit) your employees and remind them to use social media in a professional manner – setting out some common sense guidelines.
- Give your staff a lunchtime training session or workshop to both remind your employees or your social media policy and to get those who don’t currently use social media on board or to get those who do use social media engaged. Help your employees understand why they should get involved – e.g. examples of where social media has led to business, or formed part of a successful campaign.
It is crucial to your social media strategy to have employees who use social media well to increase your reach (otherwise no one is listening). Each of your employees will have a different network (audience) on their various social media platforms and therefore utilising their network helps you to easily start conversations in those different networks.
Internal Social Media Champions
Internal social media champions are employees that promote the firm, the firm’s objectives and their colleagues on social media to help raise the overall profile. Everyone in the firm is a potential social media champion. If they are using social media – you should be encouraging them to be one.
Start simple. Ask individuals in your firm to retweet/like/share and comment on the posts that the corporate account is putting “out there”. As a firm you should make it easy for your employees to find this content and circulate/share this content.
You will also need to give your staff the tools that they need. Depending on your social media strategy this might be things like branded templates, help with their profiles, a to-do list or checklist, or extra training.
Once they have been doing this for a while, you will get a feel for the individuals that are enjoying using social media and that naturally share and promote as part of their general routine, or perhaps are making a name for themselves and getting high engagement in a particular sector or on a particular topic. These are your potential influencers.
What are influencers? Influencers are simply people who influence a decision. Their audience makes a decision based on their recommendation. Every industry has them (including the legal profession). It is likely that your internal influencers will be people who are industry experts and thought leaders in their area of expertise. However, this is not always the case. People can become influencers due to their tone of voice, sense of humour and witty commentary.
Identify these people internally and help them excel as influencers and your social media champions. You might find them naturally due to their use of social media, or you might find them through the analysis of your network or you might do an internal survey to find volunteers.
In addition to sharing corporate content you should encourage these employees to write articles for the website or on LinkedIn and post and share this content on social media. In addition to showcasing their expertise they will be able to showcase the firm.
Once you find the right people you need to empower them and equip them with the extra tools they might need as influencers. Depending on your overall social media campaign this might include things like enhanced newsflow, additional background for key campaigns, preferential access to senior management or marketing teams and the use of the website.
Next time we will talk more about what you can do on an individual level to raise your profile.
By Coralie McKeivor (@coralie_mck)