As of January 2016, social media platforms saw in total 2.3 billion active users, so it’s more important than ever that your legal firm is building its community in the social media space, but it’s also important to avoid these 10 social media pitfalls.
1. Fear of Starting
One example of poor social media is never starting; you miss out on brand awareness opportunities and the chance to engage with potential claimants. So find out where your audience is and get your firm on those channels today!
2. Once it’s out there it can’t be taken back
Social media is in the public domain so once you post something it will always be there. Yes you can delete posts if you notice something wrong but chances are someone has already captured a screenshot and is ready to post about your failure. So just make sure you proofread your posts and don’t say things that don’t match your brand guidelines.
Poor social media management is an example of how it can all go wrong. It might be that you give management out to too many people and posts end up going out left, right and centre, or it could be that your social media account manager leaves without handing over control and therefore leaving you locked out. The use of an editorial calendar and a central login document with usernames and passwords can help solves these challenges.
4. The wrong channel
Another big pitfall of social media is using the wrong channels. There are so many different channels and it can be easy to just jump on the ones you know best, but that might not be where your potential claimants are. So it’s important that you reach your target audience and make sure you’re using the channels that fit them best.
5. An inconsistent message
You’ll probably be using a number of different social channels to make sure you have a diverse way to reach out and engage with your audience but its key that you keep a consistent message across those various platforms so as not to confuse your audience as they move between your social channels.
6. Spelling and grammar
For a legal firm, spelling and grammar are important but in a rush to schedule those weekend posts at the end of a Friday afternoon, or producing some reactive social content surrounding the latest breaking news, it’s easy for mistakes to be made. So again it’s key that you proofread posts and if possible get a second pair of eyes to proofread them.
7. Negative feedback
By being out in the public domain and having places where claimants and potential claimants can post about you, you have to be prepared to receive negative feedback which others will also see. The plus side of this is that it allows you to address these complaints and negative comments and provide a pleasing customer service, if done correctly.
Not only can you receive negative comments for being out in the social space, you can also get into trouble with simple mistakes such as, not researching and understanding a trending hash tag or having a forgotten scheduled post go out at a bad time. This can make your firm look foolish or as if it’s trying to get in the limelight of tragic events, such as a scheduled post regarding a serious injury going out after news has broken regarding a celebrity suffering such an injury.
9. Offending claimants
A big example of poor social media is offending claimants from external business accounts, such as partners, solicitors and other employees. You need to have clear guidelines regarding social media usage of your firm’s employees. From making sure that their personal channels aren’t tied to your firm and in the instance that isn’t possible such as managing directors and partners, then they need to try and distance their personal accounts from the firm account by stating that any posts are solely their opinions and not the firm’s.
The final example of poor social media is hijacking, if this occurs it potentially won’t be you or your firm’s fault but it can have huge ramifications for you. So it’s good to be aware of possible hijacking aspects from someone taking over your account, or making a dummy account to confuse your followers, well as the misuse of hash tags you try to use.
There you go ten social media pitfalls which can really damage your firm’s brand image.