Millennials learn about things online primarily through the use of social media. The trend in legal marketing has been toward search engine optimization (SEO), but according to software and services provider SDL, most millennials prefer Facebook and Twitter over search engines for content discovery. SDL’s research also suggests, that millennials prefer hyper-targeted content. Hypertargeting is the ability to deliver advertising content to specific segments of the population based on their demonstrated behaviors and interests. Social media platforms like Facebook provide ad targeting services that show ads to specific users based on keywords from their profiles, pages and posts that they have “liked,” events that they have responded to, and applications that they have used.
One thing that is certain is that law firms have not fully exploited the power of social media in their marketing strategies. A lot of this is fear-based. Firms tend to be conservative, sticking to tried and true methods. And social media is a new frontier. Good2bSocial conducted a groundbreaking joint study with Above the Law that examined the 50 largest law firms in the U.S. They found that firms were still in the very early stages of deploying an effective social media presence. Law firms had been primarily using social media for press release distribution and to announce rewards—and this was not a successful strategy. Since this study was published, law firms have switched gears to focus on content marketing. The current trend is to aim to position one’s firm as a thought leader in a niche practice area.
To fully exploit the power of social media, firms need to get creative. A good idea is to hold regular meetings with all stakeholders, including rainmakers, senior management, IT experts, marketers, and millennial associates, law clerks and interns to devise a specific firm strategy. It is critical to listen to the voice of the younger generation. Most millennials grew up with social media, and they may have great ideas that more experienced participants would never have considered. Some topics to discuss at these meetings are your mission, goals, and tactics.
Once you have developed a strategy, create a detailed schedule and calendar. You can decide how often you want to post, on what platforms, what topics, and what time of day. Overexposure is definitely something to consider. Millennials are attracted to dense, high quality content. You don’t want to sabotage your efforts by posting weak content just to get something out there. When developing your posting schedule and calendar, consider alternating content over different social channels. Ensure that you never show the same content on different outlets.
In addition to links to recent blog posts, some ideas for posts include commentary on trending topics, client testimonials, issues of local concern (local news, weather and alerts), and links to your inbound website. But the key takeaway here is to be open to a creative approach to social media marketing, and try to foster an environment where stakeholders feel comfortable brainstorming and sharing new ideas.