As originally published as part of The Legal Marketing Association’s #12DaysOfSocialMedia here.
What are your top tips for communicating the value of digital and social media in or to law firms?
To be successful in social, you have to be a bit of a magpie, zipping from place to place and story to story, collecting narrative opportunities, tagging those involved, and giving people a sense of the larger communication they are missing if they aren’t engaged in your social media content.
People understand numbers, and they like scorekeeping. We know that, at core, the number of followers isn’t as important as the amount of engagement. The two metrics are related, but aren’t necessarily codependent. That said, especially in the early days of bringing social media to your firm, populated with attorneys who might be agnostic if not downright fearful, share your growth numbers. Do so in some kind of regular cadence. Share your overall statistics, but highlight specific wins. Is there a type of content getting more response than others? Offer a deep dive into those numbers – shares, views, likes – and offer analysis as to why. Gamify the results and play upon the innate spirit of competition among your attorneys.
This next piece is crucial and too often skipped. Yes, tag your attorneys in your posts (and companies and co-authors to extend your reach). However, don’t assume because you tagged an attorney that he or she actually saw the post nor understands the benefit of your efforts. Copy the URL for each post you’ve made related to them from a given piece of content: LinkedIn, Twitter, and, yes, Facebook (so easy to do these days by clicking the share icon and then “copy” or “copy URL”). Send all three unique URLs to them in an email with a subject line indicative of the article, photo, event you shared. Note in the body of the email that you are grateful for their collaboration and that you will keep them posted on comments and shares. Follow up if they get an interesting comment or two. Send those to them. Lead them to the kinds of social interactions that make social media thrive. Play upon human beings’ innate sense of curiosity, need for community, and desire for recognition. Furthermore, summarize, in a semi-regular eblast to the firm, links and images for the posts you are sharing, with guidance on why and how to use.
I guarantee within three months, you will be tripping over material to use, with attorneys clamoring to be part of your efforts, extremely appreciative of the increased attention they are receiving from clients, prospectives, colleagues, family, and friends.
What digital or social media campaign/effort are you most proud of and why?
Clark Hill is uniquely committed to community service. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. In the not-too-distant past we held a day of service called “Clark Hill Cares” firm-wide. One dedicated day for all of our offices to take time away and do good deeds. Leadership wanted to revive the concept, and it occurred to our team that in this present climate why limit ourselves to one day when we could highlight 365 days of service.
Our office members-in-charge and the respective office managers were already organizing and leading a host of community engagement activities. Further, we had individual attorneys and staff members who were deeply involved in their communities, giving selflessly of their time and treasure.
So… why not turn “Clark Hill Cares” (the day) into #ClarkHillCares (the hashtag), which we have used to brand and collect all social media content related to community service. We’ve avoided the trap of narrowly defining what qualifies and what doesn’t nor do we quantify hours and dollars. We may get there, but, in my experience, that is a surefire way to kill momentum in a hot minute.
Year-to-date, across the three channels we use (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook), we have shared over 450 pieces of content using this hashtag, and, more importantly, we’ve created a greater sense of community among our 25 offices (including Mexico City and Dublin) and engendered a digital spirit of camaraderie and cohesion that we couldn’t achieve otherwise. The kind remarks I see colleagues leaving for other colleagues (and some of these people are on opposite coasts and haven’t yet met IRL!) truly inspire.
The results in follower growth, engagement, and reach speak for themselves…
Good2BSocial, in their annual social media rankings, identified great movement for Clark Hill…
- Overall ranking – rose to #60 from #170
- LinkedIn – rose to #28 from #173
- Twitter – rose to #27 from #136
As my fabulous boss Susan Ahern, our Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, commented in an email, which she will probably kill me for quoting here, “To jump 145 places on LinkedIn and 109 places on Twitter, in each case into the Top 30, and to achieve a jump of 110 places in the overall leadership board is an incredible achievement in a very short space of time! This is a great success story for the firm!” And Susan is not typically inclined to use exclamation points. Let alone TWO of them. That’s one helluva way to end an incredible year. So proud of our team and all of the good work represented here.
ABOUT ROY SEXTON
As Director of Marketing, Roy Sexton helps lead Clark Hill’s marketing, branding, and communications efforts, collaborating with the firm’s exceptional team of marketing and business development professionals.
Roy has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, business development, and strategic planning, having worked at Deloitte Consulting, Oakwood Healthcare (now Beaumont), Trott Law (formerly Trott & Trott), St. Joseph Mercy Health System, and Kerr Russell, PLC. He has been heavily involved regionally and nationally in the Legal Marketing Association as a board member, content expert, and presenter. In 2020, he will serve as treasurer-elect for the Legal Marketing Association’s International Board of Directors, after serving as treasurer this year for the Midwest Region. Roy was named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly “Unsung Legal Hero” in 2018.
He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Wabash College, and holds two masters degrees: an MA in theatre from The Ohio State University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He is a graduate of Leadership Detroit and Leadership A2Y, was a governor-appointed member of the Michigan Council of Labor and Economic Growth, and was appointed to the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association Board of Governors in 2012.
He served as an at-large member of LMA’s Midwest Regional Board, served on the advisory committee for Strategies Magazine as well as the Social Media SIG steering group. He has been involved on the following nonprofit boards and committees: First Step, Michigan Quality Council, National MS Society, ASPCA, Wabash College Southeast Michigan Alumni Association, Penny Seats Theatre Company and the Spotlight Players. He currently sits on the boards of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Ann Arbor, Royal Starr Film Festival, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, and encoremichigan.com. He is a published author with two books Reel Roy Reviews, Volumes 1 and 2, taken from his blog of the same name www.reelroyreviews.com.