The key to success for any law firm is to build a strong list of clients and retain them by strengthening your relationships with them.
Social media and employee advocacy are a great way to do this because it presents another way to engage with clients, build up your credibility, and expand the brand awareness of lawyers and their firms. When lawyers promote themselves on social media, they’re also promoting the firms they work for, so it’s mutually beneficial.
“It’s about having a continuous relationship, connection and touch points with your clients or potential clients,” said Sameena Kluck of Thomson Reuters, during her session at AMPlify 2018 in Boston. “But whether I'm engaging or not, my clients are. They're out there. They're going to be looking me up. I should try to somehow control that message or what I'm putting out there."
Kluck, a strategic account executive, manages relationships with some of the largest law firms in the Washington, DC area, and previously practiced civil litigation defense for Behr, McCarter & Potter in St. Louis.
She credits employee advocacy and her own effort to broadening her presence on social media to many of the professional opportunities she’s received.
How to be an advocate
When Thomson Reuters implemented an employee advocacy program, Kluck was hesitant at first to mix her personal social media accounts with her professional life, but she quickly found a huge opportunity for herself. Through social media, Kluck started developing relationships with industry influencers and new clients, in addition to strengthening those with existing clients.
By expressing her insights, and being an advocate for organization, she gained credibility and attention from her peers. Kluck eventually started blogging for her company, and received offers for speaking opportunities at industry events.
Working in law requires a great amount of experience, education and skill, so it’s not something everyone can do. This is what makes lawyers unique and gives them credibility. They have a license to share their insights and expertise with others in their industry. In return, they’ll get noticed and develop a following.
By sharing your insights and engaging with peers, clients and prospects, opportunities will follow for your organization and for yourself.
Benefits of employee advocacy for your firm
Employee advocacy allows the expert lawyers in your organization to be influencers. They have the background and the credibility, and all they have to do is share their knowledge with the right audiences.
When employees promote company content and initiatives, their followers are more receptive to it than if it were shared by a brand account or ad. This results in higher engagement, higher click through rates, higher conversion and further reach.
But outside of promoting your content, your firm benefits from promoting the personal brands of employees. The expertise of its lawyers is the product a law firm sells. By promoting the insights of your legal team, your firm looks more credible.
How to convince lawyers to buy-in
Often times you’ll have employees at your company who don’t want to mix their personal social media accounts with their professional lives. That is very common and not a hurdle you have to worry about.
A successful employee advocacy program does not require 100% of your employees to be part of it. Of course, the more dedicated people you have in the program, the better it will be. So how do you convince some of the employees who are skeptical or are just dragging their feet?
“The best way I've found is show them that their clients are sitting there on LinkedIn, Twitter and maybe Instagram and Facebook, every day,” Kluck said. “They’re just missing that [opportunity]. Show them where their competitors are following their clients, and how their competitors are engaging with their clients every day.”
Again, social media is another avenue to engage with clients, prospects and influencers, but in a more casual way. It allows you to control your digital representation, and engage people you want.
“You’ve got to sell the value to your attorneys or your employees in terms of what's in it for them,” Kluck said. “I was that resentful person who didn't want any part of your programs whatsoever. Now, the best part of my day is engaging on social media, connecting with people.”
Employee advocacy can help your organization expand its reach, and leverage your industry experts. It also allows employees to gain credibility and drive more opportunities.