What are SMO services for lawyers?
SMO stands for Social Media Optimization. Many lawyers know that SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is about taking proactive steps so that Google will rank your website higher than your competition when displaying search results. SMO services for lawyers is one of our legal marketing services to maximize your presence on relevant social media pages in order to keep your name recognition high. So many tasks, so little time! One of the first things we recommend to lawyers is to build out your LinkedIn profile. We tell our clients that Facebook is akin to the backyard BBQ, whereas LinkedIn is more like going to an association or chamber of commerce meeting. Facebook is personal, LinkedIn is professional. What should lawyers do to maximize their social media presence? First of all, you need to go to your LinkedIn profile and make sure it’s current and accurate. PSM has written many articles on how to use LinkedIn, the most recent of which was featured in the ABA’s GP Solo Section publication, e-Report. We encourage you to read How to Master the New Rules of Social Media Marketing, written by PSM Founder and President, Terrie S. Wheeler, MBC. The article discusses how the rules of social media and the algorithms that allow your content to be seen, are changing.
How do SMO for law firms work?
The first thing a law firm must do when looking at SMO services is to assess all the firm-wide social media profiles (versus individual lawyer social media pages). Most law firms will maintain a Twitter feed, as well as Facebook and LinkedIn company pages. We look at the content strategy. Who is writing the posts on behalf of the firm? Do the posts reinforce the firm and its practice areas? Do the posts provide links to content on the firm’s website?
When the assessment is completed, we develop a social media plan for the firm that involves identifying the key audiences for the firm’s social efforts, as well as determining the voice and personality the firm wants to use – one that will reiterate its overall brand messaging.
Generally, our clients at PSM rely on our team to do the research and implement the SMO strategy.
Are SMO services for attorneys really necessary?
Why is SMO important? Just as you want the “right” people to find your website, you want the same people to follow the firm on social media. Proactive social media efforts have minimized the need for lawyers to do public and media relations, a.k.a., pitching reporters, editors and other journalists to please cover YOUR law firm; that your news is better and more relevant than the other firms pitching the same reporter.
While nothing beats a great feature story on your law firm in a major daily paper, the biggest difference between SMO and PR is that with PR, you or the firm generally “pitch” a reporter or editor you want to write an article on your firm. Maybe they will choose to, but likely they will not. With SMO, you are directly delivering your branded messages to the exact audience you want to see, like, share, and follow the firm.
Most social media sites today offer pretty impressive analytics that enable you to determine how much traction your social media posts are getting. Most lawyers have heard of Google Analytics, the tool installed on your website that allows you to track visitor activities on your website. Social media sites can offer the same, albeit, not as robust, tools to evaluate the fruits of your social media labor.
At PSM we assist our clients on managing the ROI of social media through sophisticated social media analytics reports.
Interested in SMO services? Contact us.
Common Questions About SMO for Lawyers
Social media is changing and evolving. We recommend our clients create a daily posting schedule for their LinkedIn company page, Facebook company page, and for Twitter. We use a service called Buffer.com as a social media aggregator so you can take each post and “broadcast” it out to all your law firm’s social media sites. Consistency is key.
Law firms should use social media as a legal marketing strategy to keep the firm’s name recognition high. As you know, social media can be rather random. Not everyone spends time every day on social media, yet, they may catch up on the weekend. You want your friends and referral sources to keep you top-of-mind, so even if they don’t review your post at length, they think about your for those few seconds and are reminded that you are a lawyer and that you have a thriving practice.
Yes. There are many thoughts and ideas about how to do effective social media as a law firm. A law firm social media marketing consultant can provide a big picture approach to social media, then help you boil down your specific strategy to what will be the best for your law firm. Just like every other law firm marketing strategy, you need to have a plan!
When PSM Marketing conducts a social media audit, we:
- Visit each social media site and look at it for branding consistency compared to your website
- Look at the content of your social media posts
- Analyze how many people are liking, following, and sharing your content
- Determine the quality of links the firm is using and whether the ratio is correct for linking to outside content versus sending viewers back to the firm’s website
- Look at the social media efforts other law firms you compete with are using
There are many other elements of a social media audit for a law firm, but the above bullets give you an idea of how comprehensive the process can be.
Social Media can be used to improve your law firm because it will help you build strong name recognition and awareness with your friends and fans. The way to best use social media in a law firm is to build a really strong LinkedIn profile, making it as complete as you can. Then send contact requests to people you know and have worked with including past law school contacts, business contacts, community contacts, association contacts, and more. Make sure your firm then has a professional develop company pages for your firm on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram (if you are committed to regularly posting photos) and Facebook. Then use a service like Buffer.com to help you efficiently post timely and relevant content and updates on all your social sites.
The biggest challenge facing law firm social media is consistency. Many times, law firms start out strong with regular posting. Then it will be a week between posts, followed by a month or more between posts. If social media is going to help your law firm grow, you must make a commitment and post on a regular basis. For our clients, we create monthly content calendars, the client approves the calendar, and PSM Marketing posts every day on every social media site. Our clients love this!