We’ve all heard that social media is a great way to promote a law firm, but who has time to post something to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., every time the firm puts content on its website or blog?
A solution is a social media management tool called Hootsuite, which allows you to simultaneously and automatically post to all the major social networks, thus quickly reaching colleagues, existing clients, and potential new customers. By creating content to post and scheduling content to multiple networks at once using Hootsuite, lawyers can expand their social media presence without delegating more time to social media management.
Creating a Hootsuite account is easy and free. Once you have created an account, the Streams button (represented by a house) allows you to add social networks by clicking on a channel’s icon and entering the associated login credentials. The stream is then added to your Hootsuite account. Currently, Hootsuite allows users to manage popular social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Mailchimp, and Slideshare.
Schedule Messages in Advance
While you can post messages to your social networks using Hootsuite, its real benefit lies in allowing you to schedule messages weeks or months in advance from the Publisher icon (represented by a paper airplane). By spending just 15 to 30 minutes in Hootsuite, you can ensure that your followers see one message per day that you’ve planned — thus keeping your law firm at the top of their mind.
This can be helpful when you are trying to maximize your reach. For example, if you have an opening for a paralegal at your firm and you want to broadcast the message within the legal community, social media can be a boon. Hootsuite allows you to schedule that message once and target multiple channels.
To schedule a message, simply type your message into the box, and then select the social networks that you want to post to by clicking on their associated icons in the Find Profile box. By clicking the icon associated with the preferred social network, you can post the same message to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or customize which user group sees the message.
You can further personalize your social presence by attaching an image or file to your post using the paperclip icon. Clients can feel a greater connection to you when you post pictures of staff hard at work, show volumes of paper being organized in preparation for a trial, or find other ways to make the business of law feel a little more personal.
Once you are ready to schedule the message, select the date and time from the calendar and then click the grey Schedule button at the bottom right of the text box. If you wish to save the message as a template, click on the disk icon to the left of the Schedule button. This can be useful if you regularly send the same sort of message (like a list of your regular hours) and don’t want to create the content from scratch each time. To have Hootsuite automatically schedule your message at a time when it will have the biggest impact, select the AutoSchedule button.
Analytics Measure Performance
All Hootsuite users can receive analytics that show how their social channels have been performing under the reports button (graph icon). The reports show overview, engagement, click-throughs, and Google Analytics data. These can be helpful to demonstrate the ROI of using social media. If you’re considering giving social media to a summer intern, you can show them analytics to help them see what type of content has performed well and is likely to perform well again.
Hootsuite offers three levels of plans: Free, Pro, and Enterprise. The Free plan can accommodate up to three social networks, up to two RSS feeds, and basic analytics, message scheduling and reporting for one individual. The Pro plan can accommodate up to 100 social networks, unlimited RSS feeds, and enhanced message scheduling, analytics, archiving, technical support, and reporting for two people. Hootsuite Pro costs $9.99/month, comes with a 30-day free trial, and should accommodate most users. There is also an Enterprise plan, which offers even more features and can accommodate an unlimited number of users.
If you find that you want to be more active on social media, but can’t find the time to post regularly, Hootsuite may be the solution.