In [Part 2] of The Ultimate Online Marketing Checklist: Social Media I gave you the ‘what’ for what your firm should be doing on social media. In this blog, I’m going to go through the ‘how you should be doing it’ – it’s usually the trickier bit, but we’re giving you a social media plan which outlines exactly what you should be considering.

The simplest way to ensure you’re posting regular, quality content with consistent messages and leveraging the content you already have, is to come up with a social schedule for what you plan to post, and when.

The social media plans we produce and implement for our clients are usually in the form of a calendar (although this can differ depending on the company and audience size).

To develop and produce a social schedule similar to ours, we recommend taking time to sit down with your team every quarter to highlight all of the noteworthy dates coming up.

For example, some dates you should be including are:

  1. Key dates in the legal calendar such as possible legal decisions regarding driverless cars, Brexit and International Day of Justice.
  2. Any external campaigns your firm is running (make sure to schedule enough time to build anticipation, promote and run follow up promotion). This includes, but isn’t limited to, hosted events, guested conferences, engagement campaigns and surveys
  3. Key dates for your clients, these will differ depending on the industry you’re targeting. If your target clients are construction firms, you should consider noting dates that will impact them e.g Heathrow’s third runway, HS2 or Hinkley Point C energy plant. Alternatively if your target market is the retail sector then the dates you record should reflect that.

Once you’ve established these, you should input them into a calendar-style document, which will serve as the ‘bones’ of your social media plan. Then, take a look at your existing assets and mark when you’ll promote or re-promote these. For example:

  1. Your existing content (e.g blogs, presentations, interviews)
  2. Your services
  3. Client testimonials
  4. Any statistics that promote the legal industry or sector you target

(Hint: try and align these with the key dates above for maximum impact)

It’s important to get the balance right. These assets should be posted at regular intervals, without overwhelming your audience.

Having a social schedule, which acts as a guide for what you’re going to talk about and when, will increase your content’s exposure and limit its repetition.

As we tell all our clients, these social calendars should be used as a point of reference and inspiration for social posting, they are not set in stone but are instead designed to be flexible. Good social schedules should leave room for ‘reactive posts’, as and when the industry requires it.

Reactive marketing is the real-time social media marketing response to current events that are going viral or receiving a lot of attention – (source: Indie Tech).

Two of the most crucial things to remember about social media are:

  1. Your pages should always be relevant: You should always try and be as reactive as possible. If there’s a well-broadcasted legal battle or corporate lawsuit that’s attracting a lot of attention and you have something to say about it – do! This will keep your brand current and your content fresh. (Not to mention you’ll capitalise on the exposure.)
  2. Tailor your content to the platform: Don’t use the same copy on each platform. You’ll have different audiences on Facebook to Twitter and LinkedIn. You don’t have to change the content itself, but you should alter the wording of the post and the way you address your audience. For example, you should utilise hashtags on Twitter, but not on LinkedIn – they’re redundant.

Developing a social media plan takes a little bit of time to begin with, but it will ultimately save you vast amounts of time in the long term, as you won’t be scrambling around for content that’s “good enough”. If you need a hand getting started, take a look at the social media schedule template that we use as a starting point for our clients, here:

(Click on the image below to download this quarter’s calendar)

If you’re struggling to tailor your copy according to your audience or platform, or you’re unsure on who your audience is and what they’re interested in engaging with, we can help.

Using our experience with social scheduling, platforms and the analysis functions they offer, we can develop a targeted social media plan that supports your wider marketing efforts and engages your audience with content in a way they want to engage with…which means you get maximum exposure with minimum effort!

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