Our Digital Director Emma Maule looks at how your firm can exploit the opportunities that social media offers to better build your brand.
A strong social media presence is now an integral part of modern marketing. For businesses who wish to make the most of the increasingly dominant digital market, social platforms are a swift and relatively simple entry point.
A presence on the top social sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube) is now a mandatory part of brand building, and it makes sense given the audience available – Facebook is the largest social network with an awesome 2.85+ billion monthly active users.
The impact of using social media is increasingly unavoidable too. According to a recent industry report, 72% of companies use social media data to inform business decisions and 68% of consumers agree that social media enables them to interact with brands and companies.
In short, it works. So, how do you use it for branding?
Building a community
Social networks have at their core the function of connecting people, which makes them the perfect place to become part of a community. And whether you’re looking for new business, lateral hires, or key contacts, networks are invariably where this comes from.
These platforms also tap into the branding power of the community – the opportunity to build relationships and create a network of supporters and brand advocates. Recently a firm we know well was voted one of the best firms to work for by the Sunday Times. That’s brilliant, but how do I know that? They posted on LinkedIn and several of us congratulated them and made arrangements to meet up soon.
Profile and thought leadership
Choose the right social platform for your organisation, get the positioning right, and you can build a strong brand profile, both within the industry and beyond. Providing a steady stream of updates, information and even entertainment contributes to essential brand awareness.
Start creating or challenging popular news, thoughts and theories and you step into the territory of thought leadership. If your content stream is steady, others will subconsciously begin to see your brand as an authority.
A mixture of thought leadership and legal updates combined with plenty on the firm’s culture and values, alongside your own passions and interests shows that you are approachable, enjoy where you work, and know what you’re talking about. You sound like the type of lawyer/firm I would like to refer work to.
Humanise and establish trust
Brands, especially financial and legal brands, can seem faceless and overwhelmingly corporate. Social media provides a very easy way to give your brand a human face that will encourage engagement and generate loyalty and leads.
Social media contributes positively to brand credibility, as a source of information, a customer service channel, and a sane, reliable voice. It’s excellent for showcasing your firm’s values and purpose, giving a glimpse into the lives of those who work there and what the firm is doing to be a responsible business, from supporting local community initiatives to setting targets for net zero.
Business generation by brand differentiation
It can be difficult to believe that something as supposedly frivolous as tweeting could deliver new instructions and attract clients in the real world. However, social media is now one of the most effective ways to generate business.
As we are increasingly digitising our working world, online channels are often the first place that potential clients encounter an organisation.
A top-notch digital presence makes a good first impression, sets one brand apart from another, and can be used to funnel traffic to your website, increasing the chances of contact.
There’s no doubt that strong social content, particularly with the right keywords, can help to increase traffic and improve Google rankings. Google likes social platforms – tweets, LinkedIn posts and YouTube videos often surface near the top of search results, for example.
We’ve reached a tipping point with social media. Whether we like it or not, it is now an essential component of business branding. Embrace it, and you could see some unbelievable results.