Thought Leadership has found its way through social media. More and more experts are recognized as “top voices” and influencers have their newsletters read and profiles followed. As a legal practitioner or quite possibly as an expert in your field, you could be one of them, taking your law firm’s name to more and more people online.
Or, maybe you are one of them already, but you lack the time and patience to build your following with a content development plan and regularly updated social channels.
Content of your own, that is.
How to build thought leadership on social media
The key to success on social media is thought leadership, and engaging with new audiences. Content expanded across platforms has proven to drive more leads than the same old content being reused over and over again for different channels. Your audience is already there, or has been looking for something specific lately – Content made by experts within your industry will be spread across social media faster than anything else!
Your LinkedIn profile will be updated twice a month at best (to be honest), but it cannot hurt having additional articles signed in your name regularly shared and reshared to dozens of interested professionals (and possible clients).
Having a strategic plan for your content can help ground your efforts and provide a clear direction for moving forward.
Always remember to engage your audience with a CTA, maybe a question or poll or other engaging content that encourages interaction or an emotional reaction. Content that gets clicked on more often will rank higher in social feeds!
Content created by experts in your field should be shared regularly across different platforms to increase visibility. Content should not only be available through articles, interviews, guides, and blog posts – these can all contribute towards growing organic traffic, improving SEO results, and increasing conversions via leads. Content should also be created with law firm clients in mind.
There are many different platforms that serve the legal industry, but LinkedIn is by far the most popular network for professionals in law and related fields. But, consider sharing on all networks available to ensure maximum visibility, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or any other platform where your target market might be found.
In order to have successful content with thought leadership from attorneys included throughout your firm’s social presence, you need to use two different strategies:
First, you need to develop engaging content that is worth sharing. Content should be concise and thought-provoking, but the language should also be easily understood by readers without extensive legal knowledge. There are several factors you’ll want to consider when deciding how to write your content:
1) Content Length – First off, long-form videos can create opportunities for lead generation or improve conversions. Content on social media is exactly what it sounds like – short snippets of information, limited in length (most platforms allow for only a sentence or two).
2) Content Type – Content can vary greatly depending on which platform you’re writing for. It could be an interview with a prominent attorney; an article about industry trends; or even tweeting out important quotes.
Second, you need to manage the message of your social media, considering your target audience and the value your content can add to them. If you are producing content that they need, your message will spread further.
In other words, thought leadership helps build trust with your audience. That trust can lead to actual conversion – new business for your firm, and it can also provide a meaningful contribution to client retention.
What do social network users want?
Social media brings together people from all over the world – a principle that can be used to help a law firm grow its reach and improve conversions. Social network users are actively looking for information about their needs, problems and questions before making any decision, so when you publish content that addresses these issues (such as industry trends), it’s likely to get seen by individuals who need your expertise.
Content development has never been easy for law firms, but thought leadership is nothing new. Expanding the impact of a law firm’s thought leadership and expert content can not only improve its credibility, but it also contributes to growing the firm’s organic audience, and improving the firm’s SEO.
Long form content, such as articles, interviews, guides, and blog posts are all examples of content that most law firms are already producing. Law firms should absolutely take that content and optimize it for social media; rather than creating new content from scratch or truncating what you’ve already put out there (a common mistake).
Take your thought leadership pieces and break them down into multiple social media messages that can add instant intrigue or value, and make your call to action one that encourages people to engage, subscribe, connect, or click the link to your website or blog.
Your longer articles and interviews all of headlines, some of clear opinions, advice, important and relevant things that your audience may need to know.
Use this social media headline formula to break down your thought leadership pieces and generate new content:
“Fact: [fill in the blank]. One of the most interesting examples of this is [insert example].”
“This means [fill in the blank] for your company.”
Other ways to up your social media game:
- Keep your online conversations and connections focused on your topics of expertise
- Develop a plan to build your follower base
- Content curation: share relevant content from other thought leaders
- Create a schedule and a plan for publishing
- Make time to be a guest writer or speaker
- Monitor and track your posts
Obviously, this is not everything you need to make the most of your thought leadership, but it will get you started.
Do you have any thought leadership tips that have worked for you? Share with us in the comments section below!
If you are overwhelmed by a need to design your posts, use data to define your audience and strategy, and be more effective on social media in general, you’re not alone, and we have solutions for you.