As of January 2020, there were 4.54 billion internet users globally. For businesses, social media is an indispensable tool to connect with clients, other businesses, drive sales through advertising and promotion. In Nigeria, advertisement of legal services remains miry; however, it is imperative that progressive lawyers take advantage of the media to improve their visibility to clients, while maintaining conduct that is ethical and amenable to the Rules of Professional Conduct.
In his book, “Social Media for Lawyers; Harnessing Social Media Resources to create Visibility and Grow Your Business”, Adedumade Onibokun, Founder @Legalnaija, a legal education blog in Nigeria addresses ethics, justice administration and how to convert clients from social media, among others. Below are excerpts from Chapter 4- How Not to Use Social Media:
- Avoid Misrepresentation: Be authentic. Communicating on social media is still communicating, and just as in real life, people can identify a fake from a few posts. Determine what your brand represents, don’t clout chase, or post a position that is contradictory and could bite back in the future.
- Engage with Unnecessary Comments: In encounters with users who would stir up unnecessary arguments, refuse to have an even-toned conversation or even be abusive, unless these comments directly affect your brand ethos, service or positioning, avoid trading words.
- Share Incorrect Content: Avoid mistakes, especially in your niche area. On the rare occasions that a mistake is made, correct it immediately by deleting or amending the post. Ensure, also, that you apologize to your readers. Along the same lines, ensure that your posts are free of grammatical and typographical errors.
- Jack of All Trades: You do not need a presence on every platform or to be an authority on every subject; identify your target clients and focus on the social media platform that does the best job of reaching the audience. However, you may register your brand or law firm to secure your brand name all platforms.
- Your Platform is not a Billboard: Avoid using your social media accounts as a billboard for promotional content; social media is about engaging, connecting and having fun rather than selling. By truly engaging on social media regularly, you strengthen old relationships, and build new ones – with potential clients.
- Post Inconsistently: Have a content schedule and stick to it. It says that you’re dependable. If at any time you need to take a break, inform your network, and perhaps provide a contact for the mean time.
- Quantity over Quality: Quantity might produce thousands of followers, but quality will invite users who have a real need for your services boosting your Return on Investments (ROI) and/or user engagement.
- It’s All About You: Craft posts using the 60/20/20 rule – 60 percent of your posts should be something of an educational nature relevant to your followers, 20% should be trending, or hot topics and only 20% should be about promoting your firm.
The book, featuring high recommendations from Hon. Justice Tsoho, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and Kehinde Ogunwumiju, SAN, FCIArb (UK) is comprised of eight nifty chapters, and lays a thorough foundational roadmap for lawyers looking to utilize social media effectively for their businesses.