Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for promoting your brand or business, but like any tool, it is only effective if used correctly.
Many legal and accountancy firms use social media daily but despite posting regularly they may find that they enjoy little or no engagement with their followers.
As the name suggests, social media is about social interactions, just posting on a feed and doing little more is like shouting into a vast void – no one is going to hear you.
In the early days of social media, less was often needed to achieve engagement, but a lot has changed and now Partners and the team at every level of a firm have a part to play in growing a following and increasing positive interactions.
It may seem silly, but the first and most important step is to ensure that all Partners and your team are following your social media accounts.
It is often surprising how few team members follow their firm or how many may only follow their firm on one platform, such as LinkedIn, but ignore all others.
If your team haven’t yet followed or subscribed to your accounts, then now is the time for them to do so. However, if personal social media accounts are controversial or perhaps too inappropriate to be associated with a brand, it may be time to create a separate professional account.
Liking and sharing
Every brand wants to see content being shared and liked. However, accounts with a limited number of followers may find it difficult to reach new audiences unless your team and Partners regularly share and like content as well.
Partners and their colleagues are often busy but they should, where possible, set aside time each week to check their feeds, like and share posts that are relevant to them and their clients.
Often the content shared on social media could provide useful information to their contacts, so there are obvious benefits of doing this.
What’s more, if you are seen to be more active on a platform you are likely to grow your own following quicker and drive engagement with your followers by sharing content regularly.
Where appropriate, take the time to comment on the posts made by the practice. It may be that you can add to the conversation and offer extra advice or provide expertise that helps drive the conversation around a piece of content.
Commenting on posts is also a great way to be seen. On platforms like LinkedIn, your connections will see your comments in their feeds and this could help signpost your services to them.
In some cases, it may even help you to create new connections with clients, contacts or even the press.
If commenting, take the time to check what you are posting to ensure it is appropriate, accurate and within your firm’s social media guidelines. If you are ever unsure about a post, it is always best to run it past a colleague or marketing adviser.
Automation and notifications
While interacting with your firm’s social media accounts may seem onerous, there are many ways of setting notifications, while some processes can even be automated with the right know-how.
Having your firm’s social media content pop up on your email or mobile phone notifications is a great way to not only monitor the quality of content going out but also acts as a prompt to interact with your feeds.
Hashtags and handles
Although social media sites search algorithms have made it increasingly easy to find content, hashtags and handles continue to play an important role in helping firms to join in conversations and contact other users.
Before producing a post, it is worthwhile conducting a little research into common hashtags relating to the topic you intend to post about and if discussing a particular brand or business include their @ handle.
These features are common across most platforms, although they function in slightly different ways.
Posts should avoid too many hashtags, as this can make a post look cluttered, but a few carefully selected ones can make a real difference to improving engagement on posts.
Incorporate images, videos and GIFs
Increasingly, social media platforms are becoming focused on images, videos and other animations.
Including some form of imagery into a post can help it to be seen, as well as helping to get more complex points across in an easier to follow format.
Creating graphics or a video can be time-consuming, which is where seeking the assistance of a professional can pay dividends.
Ask for help
Although social media is a fairly ubiquitous part of most of our lives it never hurts to ask for assistance if you are unsure about something.
We have advised a wide range of Partners, managers and marketing advisers on various ways to improve engagement online and are always ready to offer our advice.