The question I tend to get asked most about from other attorneys and social media experts is whether to use Snapchat and if so, how to effectively use it. For those of you new to my blog or who may not know me—I’m an attorney but also have extensive experience in social media, having worked with over 100 different brands. If you are an attorney or social media expert with clients in the legal services industry, this post is for you. Here is what I can tell you about Snapchat and how you may want to use it.
Snapchat, alone, is not enough. For lawyers, Snapchat needs to be a component in a broader social media strategy. And if your client demographic uses Snapchat, you need to use Snapchat.
Snapchat is currently one of the largest social networks and eclipsed Twitter for active users as of June 2, 2016. The platform is predicated on the non-permanence of the content: you can send a “Snap,”— typically images, gifs, slideshows, and they’ll be removed from the record after the receiver reads it. Snaps can go directly from one user to another or from one to many.
In terms of brand strategy, sending snaps works because there’s an illusion of scarcity for content you produce. People love to see something ephemeral and exciting. There’s no real SEO component to it—you put your account out there on your other social channels, open your settings within Snapchat to the public, and start producing content. You don’t even get the normal statistics you would from other platforms but instead get a Snapchat score that keeps track of how well you’re doing.
For attorneys, the best way to convert clients through social media is to show them you’re human, interested in what you do, and concerned about the wellbeing of others. Social media is a great way to ingratiate yourself in the niche communities you want to cater to. If you’re still trying to build some sort of SEO score and spamming links on social media sites and platforms back to your blog or website you’re probably hurting yourself.
I really can’t emphasize enough that the best way to convert clients is to ingratiate yourself in their communities and build your own in the process. If you’re simply going through the motions with social media you’ll probably fall on your face. With Snapchat you have the opportunity—should you wish to use it—to build a unique brand-differentiating presence for yourself as a legal practitioner as well as an individual.
You could, for example, publish a quick video of yourself giving a short rundown of what your options are if you’re a YouTuber and someone is fraudulently flagging your videos. If your firm caters to small businesses you can send out snaps about the importance of trademarks and brand management. Part of the beauty of Snapchat is you only need to transmit a kernel of knowledge or a glimpse at your practice in 5-10 seconds.
Snapchat is a great way to put a human face on your brand. You can display what your law firm’s culture is like, simultaneously signaling that your firm is tech savvy. However, it does need to compliment your social media efforts and you can’t fall asleep at the wheel. Dead social media accounts is never a good look. If you’re a solo practitioner definitely take some time to consider where your efforts are best spent—is Snapchat something fun that you’ll enjoy? Then it’s probably a good venue for you to communicate with your niche community that you’ll curate. If you’re a law firm with an advertising and social media budget you need to evaluate whether Snapchat allows you greater access and credibility with the communities you want to participate in.
The biggest takeaway should be a lesson about social media generally—you need to communicate with a large audience and become the go-to person or firm if they need help. You might not directly convert clients from your audience, but if they love you, they’ll recommend you for everything. Snapchat is another tool for making you, your brand, and your firm more approachable.
Posted in: Social Media