Q1. How do you keep a level of consistency in your message and retain engagement on a long-term basis?
- Be clear about your target audience and ensure your network includes a healthy proportion of those key individuals and organisations.
- Listen, share, originate, post [repeat].
- Measure your social engagement on Klout, Kred or Buzzsumo identify what works and repeat that approach and for whatever fails to hit the mark avoid doing it again.
- Keep up to date with platform developments and regularly run sessions for departments to share successes and lessons.
- Ensure those charged with posting for your business have the knowledge and capability to maximise commercial opportunities and identify appropriate content to share.
Q2. How should firms organise accounts on platforms like Twitter – one single one for the business? Regionally? By practice? By service type?
A. No set right or wrong method but try and avoid confusing the audience. Consider those with whom you want to connect and if a distinct account is merited due to personality, service offering, sub brand or language and location go for it. My advice is “keep it simple” quite often firms can have internal conflicts or demands which require separate accounts but consider the content that is being created and the objectives. If goals can be equally met by one account rather that two or three stick to the single offering.
Q3. Can a firm have too many channels/ platforms?
A. I would advocate experimenting on a small scale and certainly seeking to secure an account name for the firm for protection and readiness for future action but decide within reasonable time-frames if any new channel requires the investment. Some law firms may consider channels such as Pinterest or Instagram as irrelevant and a waste of time but ignoring their potential without properly evaluating is the real folly.
If an account such as Instagram is able to present a positive reflection of the firm’s brand then ask yourself why you would not want to at least try it.
A large number of professional practices are getting to grips with Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and that seems to many to be enough. If you’re limited in your resources identify which is most likely to be a platform that your ideal audience would be attracted to. Then take time to understand and develop a presence within that medium.
Q4. How do you maintain and protect your firm’s reputation on social media?
A. Great question. No simple answer. You cannot possibly guarantee to protect the reputation but you can ensure that those charged with using the channels on behalf of the firm are appropriately experienced, trained and aware of the consequences of any breaches of your policy. [You do have a social media policy, don’t you?]
As for all other staff they too need to be aware that social media can be a dangerous area to express personal, particularly strident or abusive views. The media channels all too regularly report on examples of dismissals for inappropriate posts. There’s no harm in sharing these examples with your staff as and when they hit the headlines to remind them of their obligations and consequences of breaching the rules.
As we know all too well, social media has its dangers especially in the hands of the opinionated, erratic, drunk, naive, angry or untrained users. Equally it can be a very positive tool to help raise the firm’s profile and effectively engage with those with whom you want to build lasting relationships online and offline.
Take great care in deciding on those charged with managing your online presence and as owners or managers in the firm take an active, ongoing interest in the content that is being broadcast in your name.