There are more than 21 million social media users in Australia alone.1
Social media can be a very daunting world for any business to enter into. There are more than 10 different social media sites globally, and with audiences varying across those sites, it is not easy to choose what, if any, sites you should be on.
Social media does provide practices and solicitors with an opportunity to speak directly to their community and build their authority, however solicitors have less leeway than most when utilising social media.
While social media generally involves a less formal and more robust level of engagement, solicitors remain officers of the court even when engaging on such platforms and conduct on these platforms is a direct reflection of our profession.
With reputational risk in mind, what content works for lawyers and practices on social media and how to best manage their profiles are frequent questions we are asked in Practice Advisory Service visits. Social media is a very personal and subjective choice, so this isn’t an easy question to answer, nor is there one formula that’s going to work for everyone.
But we’re here to help, so we have rounded up some considerations and questions we think all practitioners and practice owners should ask themselves in regards to their social media profiles and content.
These questions aim to function as a strategy pulse-check for both practices with well-established social media profiles as well as practices looking to start a social media account:
Do you want your brand to be entwined with your practice’s brand?
- A personal brand style social media account or keeping your personal and practice accounts separate, informs a lot of your social media strategy. This question is one of the key decisions when investing time, money and energy to social media. If you want to keep your private life private (which we recommend) you should keep your social media accounts separate and ensure your security settings are firmly in place on your personal accounts.
- Let us know in the comments if you would like social media security setting tips to tighten your account’s security.
- If you proceed with a personal brand style account, consider how much information about you as a person and practitioner you are willing new clients and strangers to know before they meet you. You should be mindful that your client’s interest must always take precedent to your own.
- Understanding this will set a clear boundary for social media content and how you strategically want to be seen on public channels.
How many channels are you willing to manage at any one time and how much time are you happy to assign to the management of these channels within your weekly administration?
- It may be that, at the beginning, you choose one channel and concentrate on how that works and become familiar with its functions and audience.
- There is no doubt that social media can be a time consuming activity. Allocating time in your day and week to your practice’s/brand’s social media will help with not making it feel so overwhelming.
What variances in content types would you want your practice to post versus you as a person? There may be some crossover, so how do you ensure the different audiences are gaining value while sharing a similar content piece?
What is your ideal audience on each channel, and what are the content themes that will attract these audiences to your profile?
How does your audience like to engage with you/your brand/your practice?
What is the primary objective of your channel? To educate? To market yourself?
There are, of course, many other considerations – however, these are a great starting point.
We also have Guidance Statement No.24 covering ethical considerations on the use of social media and law practice websites that you can always refer to and we recommend reviewing at any point of your strategy and/or deployment.
If you have more questions about social media, the Practice Advisory Service (PAS) is a complimentary service offered to QLS members. Our solicitors have years of experience running their own practices and are able to provide guidance in essential areas of practice management and business management.
Submit an expression of interest for a consultation with a Practice Advisory Service solicitor today.