This brings back memories from the 1990s, when many otherwise savvy professionals handed over their websites to their kid or someone’s relative who dabbled in what was then a brave new world. We got the phone calls when the website built by someone’s son or niece was crashing and/or wasn’t generating any new business. That was when law firms realized that their websites were far too important to be handled in such a casual manner.
Today the same sentiment is informing some social media campaigns. Yes, millennials and Generation Z members are way more comfortable with social media. Their news comes from Reddit and Buzzfeed, Facebook is considered old school and as far as they are concerned, there’s no reason why they should ever be separated from their phones. But unless they are savvy marketers also, your social engagement may end up in the same place as those 1990s websites.
Here are a few questions to consider before you let Uncle Freddy’s nephew manage your social media platforms:
Do they understand the market that you are targeting? Estate planning and elder law firms span a wide group of prospects, from the senior who is preparing for a spouse’s medical care to millennials who understand that they need estate planning to protect their toddler’s future.
Do they know what messages your practice wants to convey? One estate planning law firm may restrict its clientele to those with estates valued at $15 million and above. Another may not have any asset-level in mind when reaching out to clients, as associates handle smaller asset estates and partners speak with the multi-millionaires. Different practices have different messages.
Are they all Twitter, all the time? It often seems like every day brings another new social media platform. While your Generation Z or millennial helper is more likely than a practicing attorney to be tuned into the latest social platforms, consider your target market. If they are all over Facebook with photos of their grandchildren and their golf games, you won’t reach them on Snapchat in 2016. We know, you might reach them there in 2017, as the number of people and the age of users on Snapchat are growing. But not this year.
Do they understand law firm culture? A series of over-the-top claims could swiftly land you and your practice in front of the bar association’s ethics committee. Posting private information about clients, even in the most positive manner, could be equally damaging (and costly) to your practice. And law firms, even when they are somewhat casual, are expected to maintain a certain level of professionalism at all times.
If Uncle Freddy’s nephew is a wiz at social media for lawyers, then it’s worth a conversation. Otherwise, have someone in your office or a professional manage your social media.