SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT STRATEGY OVERVIEW SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT STRATEGY OVERVIEW This strategy includes

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Transcript of SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT STRATEGY OVERVIEW SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT STRATEGY OVERVIEW This strategy includes

  • SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT STRATEGY OVERVIEW

    This strategy includes the tactical objectives to be used to accomplish the brand imaging and

    promotion of Blanchard, Walker, O’Quin & Roberts. This strategy is exclusively for social media

    and will be incorporated into an overall marketing plan at a later date.

    “Spending money on designing and building a website without first developing a written

    marketing strategy…is like starting construction on a house without any architectural

    blueprints….Strategy comes first.” James A. Durham & Deborah McMurray, The Lawyer’s

    Guide to Marketing Your Practice, American Bar Association, 171, (2004). Just as with a

    website, creating a social media presence requires a strong, detailed strategy. With an effective

    social media content strategy, you will be able both to interact with potential clients and drive

    traffic to your website. This will increase your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) value and

    page rank. This broadens the firm’s visibility substantially to those people that participate on

    these various social media platforms.

    The purposes for integrating social media into the Blanchard Walker’s marketing plan, as seen in

    the below social media goals, is not to solicit new clients. “Social media adds brand value by

    promoting the firm and its lawyers, establishing lawyer’s knowledge or skills by sharing subject

    articles and news about the firm, building a sense of community, and highlighting the firm’s

    values.” Social Media Guide for Lawyers, Meritas Law Firms Worldwide, 5 (2011). Brand

    value and awareness is one of the most significant marketing tools available to the law firm. It

    allows for visibility across media platforms while not directly soliciting potential clients. By

    building the Blanchard Walker brand via content strategies, without the use of advertising, that

    incorporate social media, it builds a trust in the audience because, simply put, people trust what

    they are familiar with. “Technology today provides law firms with opportunities to promote

    their brand in ways that did not exist in the past…Nowadays, the firm makes use of digital

    marketing efforts such as blogs, social media, periodic newsletters, e-cards and search engine

    optimization techniques to boost brand recognition.” Nicole A. Cudiamat, Study on Small Firms,

    Big Marketing: Part 2, National L. Rev. (2014). http://www.natlawreview.com/article/study-

    small-firms-big-marketing-part-2.

    If your law firm is branded appropriately, the community will know your practice areas and your

    reputation. How this firm presents itself to the corporate community and the public is not only

    important for potential clients but it is also crucial to maintaining the respect of your peers and

    your prominence in relevant professional organizations. Social media has been shown to provide

    a cost-efficient and effective means of building brand awareness. “Some attorneys have found

    that social media can provide potential benefits in marketing, networking, and as a litigation

    resource.” Michael E. Lackey Jr. & Joseph P. Minta, Lawyers and Social Media: The Legal

    Ethics of Tweeting, Facebooking and Blogging, 28 Touro L. Rev. 149, (2012). Blanchard

    http://www.natlawreview.com/article/study-small-firms-big-marketing-part-2 http://www.natlawreview.com/article/study-small-firms-big-marketing-part-2

  • Walker is currently not active on any social media platforms. This content strategy outlines how

    the law firm should enter social media by explaining the goals, legal guidelines, content

    management and content examples.

    SOCIAL MEDIA GOALS

    Blanchard Walker must define the reason that it is engaging in social media. Defining the goals

    of a social media strategy will help firms determine whether it is meeting its full potential.

    Carolyn Elefant, The "Power" of Social Media: Legal Issues & Best Practices for Utilities

    Engaging Social Media, 32 Energy L.J. 1, 50 (2011). It is important to note that the goals set

    forth below are not intended to advertise for the firm nor to solicit clients, rather the goals are

    intended to broaden online visibility of the law firm. The Blanchard Walker social media goals

    are as follows:

     Boosting your overall exposure online: Each social media profile is an extension of your

    website, expanding your reach and giving you the opportunity to funnel prospective and

    current clients to the newest features on your website.

     Increasing brand awareness: When a prospect for the firm’s services comes across the

    Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn profiles and decides to follow or like the firms social

    media page, the firm is then able to offer that individual an inside look at not only the

    business aspect of your firm, but at your personal side as well. This helps people identify

    with your business because they redefine you in personal terms: you aren’t just another

    attorney and/or law firm; you’re the attorney and/or law firm who is sponsoring a little

    league team, who shares helpful articles about recent changes in law, and who gives

    valuable legal advice.

     Increasing SEO efforts for your business website: By incorporated social media and

    mentioning the website in posts, the firm can increase the number of links that track back

    to your website. By adding more websites and resources that link back to the firm’s

    website, the keyword ranking elevates in search engines that describe your niche practice

    areas and the names of the attorneys in your practice. Note: When mentioning the

    website in social media posts, the firm will not solicit and/or advertise their practices, but

    present factual and current information and news. Social media can be used to post

    recent news (e.g. press releases posted to the firm’s website or outside media outlets)

    which will, thereby, increase visibility and searchability of the news content.

    SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT LEGAL GUIDELINES

    As methods of communication have drastically shifted to online media, it has become

    increasingly necessary to maintain an online presence across multiple platforms for businesses

    including law firms. Law firms differ from businesses in that the social media content and

    strategy must be for the purposes of brand promotion and not solicitation. Recent guidelines

    have been put into place for law firms to adhere to. As such, this section of the strategy outlines

    the guidelines set forth by the Louisiana Bar Association that may directly pertain to social

    media marketing with particular attention given to the solicitation rules (reference the full set of

    guidelines for advertising at

  • http://files.lsba.org/documents/LawyerAdvertising/Rule7amended06222011.pdf).

    Competence: Louisiana Rule 1.1 requires that attorney’s exercise a degree of competency in

    their work. Blanchard Walker must have an understanding of social networking sufficient to

    prevent inadvertently undermining or harming clients. If Blanchard Walker develops a social

    networking presence, Louisiana Rule 1.1 requires that the firm have a working knowledge of

    how to manage these online tools. Some now argue that Rule 1.1 requires attorneys to

    understand how social media works, what risks it poses to clients, and the ways it may serve

    clients needs. As society becomes more embedded in social media, a working knowledge of how

    it works may inevitably be critical to competently representing clients.

    Solicitation: Louisiana Rule 7.4(a) prohibits an attorney from soliciting “professional

    employment from a prospective client with whom the lawyer has no family or prior lawyer-client

    relationship, in person, by person to person verbal telephone contact, through others acting at the

    lawyer's request or on the lawyer's behalf or otherwise, when a significant motive for the

    lawyer's doing so is the lawyer's pecuniary gain.” “Multiple studies indicate that Facebook users

    search for parties with whom they share an offline connection rather than randomly add friends.”

    Nicole Ellison, Charles Steinfeld, & Cliff Lampe. (2007) The Benefits of Facebook “Friends:”

    Social Capital and College Students’ use of Online Social Network Sites, Journal of Computer-

    Mediated Communication, 12(4), article 1. http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol12/issue4/ellison.html.

    Therefore, the act of the individual attorneys asking their Facebook friends to Like the Blanchard

    Walker Facebook page would not constitute solicitation due to having a prior relationship and

    not seeking legal employment. Furthermore, for a communication to be considered a

    solicitation, it must be directed to a specific person. That means that a Tweet sent out to all your

    followers and inviting your Facebook friends to “Like” the Facebook page of the law firm that

    you are a member of is not solicitation because it is not sent to a specified recipient with the

    objective of soliciting employment. Additionally, Facebook users have the ability to restrict the

    receipt of solicitous information by changing the settings. Daniel R. Anderson,