Social media can be an exceptionally powerful tool for a number of things. Whether you’re looking to plant yourself as an authority in your market, connect with the people who have made you successful up to now, or draw in more clients and brand loyalists, the sky is the limit. But with the possibilities being so extensive, too many people get lost in looking up. The reality of the matter is that while your eyes may be pointed towards the possibilities of viral campaigns, a stream of eager clients, and the rest of your peers recognizing you as the pinnacle of your respective market, your feet haven’t moved. You’re stuck in place and you don’t even realize it.
My BridgeTac co-founder – Jeff- and I have coined a number of terms. One of these is “silent followers.” We both wince when we come across law firms that have thousands of followers, but little-to-no engagement. While they have thousands of people “following” them, it becomes painfully obvious that while they might be leading, no one is falling in step. Instead, it turns into something more akin to shouting from a stage as the rest of the world passes on by. You might have worthwhile things to say, but without cultivating an audience through strategy and a clear directive, your words are falling on deaf ears.
If this is your firm, the question begs to be asked, what returns are you getting on your investment? What’s your ROI? You’re investing your time – and subsequently money – into the content you’re producing, but is anyone engaging with it?
Whether this hits uncomfortably close to home or if you’re afraid of finding yourself on a trajectory towards revolutionary numbers that have underwhelming support, following these tips is a surefire way to make sure that you’re getting use out of your social media accounts.
It’s infinitely easier to garner engagement when asking questions. By asking questions, you’re inviting your followers to have a conversation with you. While writing that you had sizable success with one of your cases is great news, the only reasonable response to this news are “liking” your posts or commenting with some form of congratulations. But, if you change the narrative by highlighting your recent success and then ask for your audiences’ recent successes, you’re opening up a conversation by inviting them to join.
Example: “The Lucky Law Firm was recently awarded the title of ‘Best Lawyers in Seattle.’ We’re very proud of our firm! What successes have been driving you lately?”
If your firm is posting only when you remember to do so, it’s time to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Consistency is key to a worthwhile social media presence and is especially important in developing lasting engagement. When developing online relationships with your audience, you need to be ready to respond to any thoughts, questions, etc. they might have. If you only check your Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn once a month, you’re bound to leave people feeling that their relationship with you is far from being a priority. In addition, by staying consistent with the material you share, your name will be the first to come to mind when someone is interested in a topic you recently discussed. To help with this, consider using a platform such as Hootsuite, a tool we recommend to our clients and have implemented for a number of them.
More is not always better
Speaking of consistency, just because you have the capability to post article after article doesn’t mean that you should. This is a huge pitfall that a large number of firms fall into; there is such thing as posting too much. If you’re sharing multiple pieces of material on a daily basis, it becomes readily apparent that you’re more interested in media than the social aspects of the platforms. There’s a reason it’s called social media. Use the platforms to engage, to share relevant information, and work to make sure that the material you’re sharing has a purpose other than padding your statistics.
When 10 is greater than 5,000
We should start with a rule that Jeff and I have for our clients – Don’t ever pay for likes, shares, followers, etc. Those are nothing more than vanity metrics. These numbers aren’t real and don’t do anything other than encourage a culture where each of your peers judge one another by meaningless numbers.
5,000 silent followers can’t hold a candle to 10 engaged brand loyalists.
That’s the truth of the matter. For many firms who are spending tens of hours each week curating and putting out content, they are fighting a battle against themselves. They aren’t impressing anyone, they’re not developing brand loyalists, and they’re not focusing on anything other than how their peers perceive them. However, if you can specifically reach out to and engage with 10 new people a week, by the end of the year you would have over 500 followers that were interested in what you had to say and would want to share it because they know how valuable it is.
The quickest way to have people tune you out is to forget the social aspect of social media. Ask questions, be active, and discuss worthwhile topics and developments. You’ll be amazed at the doors that open when engagement is your number one objective.
Latest posts by Isaac (see all)
- 5,000 Silent Followers – a.k.a., “Where’s My Engagement?” - July 11, 2016
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