When you start to use social media to help achieve your law firm marketing goals, you may be looking for how to create the most efficient social media schedule. 3 in 4 marketers say that creating content is their biggest scheduling concern today, and because social media requires consistent content generation it can be difficult to make time for. In this guide, you'll learn 7 tips that can help you more effectively create social media schedules that work for your law firm, while avoiding some of the most common pitfalls for companies using a social media schedule.
#1: Be Realistic With Your Social Media Schedule
Some law firms believe that they can just spend an hour or two a week on social media and that their strategies will still generate new clients. A quick, possibly misspelled tweet and a couple of Facebook updates that are rushed through aren't going to impress anybody. Allow your marketing professionals enough time in their social media schedules to actually give you the kind of quality content that will make you stand out from the crowd.
Since a huge percentage of Americans now use social media, and since the vast majority of clients today research attorneys online before scheduling a consultation, you may want to dedicate a significant portion of your overall marketing time to your social media schedule. Social media schedules are largely being underutilized by attorneys, and really learning to use social networks well will give you a huge edge in the modern marketplace.
#2: Break Your Social Media Schedule Into Chunks
Social media offers endless opportunities for distractions, no matter who's implementing your social media schedules. The best way to make sure that your social media schedule doesn't start bleeding into your other scheduled marketing times is to break the schedule into small chunks. Make sure that you've got all of your social media tasks for the day and the week built into your daily and weekly social media schedules, and allot specific amounts of time for each small task. This will be much more productive than if you just divide the schedule into “half an hour for Twitter,” “an hour for Facebook,” and so on.
#3: Analyze Social Media Activity For Optimum Efficiency
Not all of the aspects of your social media schedule will work equally well when they're implemented in the real world. Social media schedules should be adjusted once you have enough data to begin noticing trends in what works and what doesn't. If you see that you're not able to attract many followers or achieve your goals with a particular social media platform, it shouldn't keep occupying part of your social media schedule.
#4: Make Short, Medium, and Long Term Goals
Some law firms make the mistake of just deciding on their short or long term goals for social media and social networking. However, you should consider making three different social media schedules: one for your daily responsibilities, and another two with your medium and long term goals and ways to achieve them.
By having these three sections of goals, you can help to remind yourself of the big picture when you're aggressively pursuing short term goals. This can ensure that you don't take any steps that would be incompatible with your overall long term goals for a temporary gain. However, keep in mind that your long term goals should have a great deal of flexibility—remember that social media services can come and go, and that you don't want to be the last person left who's using a particular app or website.
#5: Allow Flexibility in Your Social Media Schedule
Just because your short term social media schedules indicate you should only spend half an hour using a particular service today doesn't mean that you should always spend exactly that amount of time. For instance, if there's any kind of major debate breaking out on your Facebook timeline, or you've got a disgruntled Twitter user trashing your firm, you need to put out the fire before you can consider pursuing other goals in your social media schedule.
This is why you should always consider your social media schedules to be guides rather than strict rules. In some cases, if enough is going on with a particular social network on a particular day, you may want to let other social networks slide for a little while.
#6: Use Software to Create Social Media Schedules
If it's proving difficult to create a social media schedule for your law firm, you may want to download some type of social scheduling software. These types of software help you to create social media schedules for a wide range of social apps and websites. You can customize the messages that you want to be displayed on each different social site, and you can then automate your social media schedule so that messages are sent out at the time when they'll be most likely to be read by the largest number of people. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of social media schedules, and ensures you're not confined to doing your social media work at specific times of day to maximize effectiveness.
#7: Monitor Your Automation Consistently
While it can be great to have a computer program take care of doing some of the social media schedule grunt work, you also need to know the social media schedules that your program is using. Why? Because you don't want to send out an automated update that could be perceived as insensitive or problematic. If a recent news event has happened, like a natural disaster, it could make some types of messages seem offensive even if they would have been completely acceptable during a time that didn't involve a disaster. For example, you wouldn't want to use any social media updates involving waves or floods after a well publicized hurricane or tsunami. This kind of faux pas is one of the biggest reasons that no matter how much automation goes into your social media schedules, you'll still need a human overseeing the automated updates.