Before your law firm can begin utilizing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms to share content and connect with your target audience, you must first develop a strategy. Whether on a weekly or monthly basis, the blog posts, case studies, earned media coverage and graphics that your firm will post should all be planned in advance. The process of outlining the content that you will share with your followers is called a proactive social media plan. While it’s certainly important to have that plan in place, it’s not the only component of your overall strategy. There will also be opportunities for your firm to respond to a comment from a follower or provide your observations on a relevant breaking news story, also known as reactive social. Since both are integral in your overall distribution and promotion strategy, here are some tips on how to develop your proactive and reactive social media plans.
Proactive Social Media
With important cases and other various responsibilities to focus on, having a proactive social media plan allows your firm to prepare social media content days or weeks in advance. This prevents you from having to come up with something to post each day or missing a post because other priorities consumed your time. It also gives your firm time to prioritize the content you want to share with your target audience.
For example, let’s say your firm publishes a new blog post on a weekly basis. As a valuable component of any content marketing strategy, these posts can and should be shared on your various social media platforms to drive traffic to your website and identify any potential new business leads. With a proactive social media approach, your firm can draft copy days before the blog post is even written. Then, on the day it’s published, all you have to do is add the link to the previously written copy and your blog is ready to be shared with your audience.
A proactive social media plan also helps your firm maintain an integrated approach to your marketing efforts. That means your social media messages, blog posts, podcast episodes, videos and any other content are all working toward the same goals. Staying on track with this approach can be difficult – if not impossible – when social media content is being created on the fly each day. Think of it like taking a trip to Disney World. While it may be fun to just run around the park and visit everything you see, an itinerary will go a long way toward ensuring you don’t miss anything of real importance.
Reactive Social Media
As the name suggests, a reactive social media plan is the flip side of the coin as far as your firm’s overall strategy. While proactive social media posts keep your followers in the loop on what’s happening with your firm, reactive social media is your opportunity to be a part of ongoing conversations that are taking place at that time. Anything from responding to messages, comments or questions from your audience to your firm’s reaction to any trending topics is an example of reactive social media.
Where reactive social media ranks as a priority will vary from firm to firm, but it certainly can’t be ignored. It provides another opportunity to connect with your target audience and continue to generate brand awareness. Let’s use Facebook comments as an example. Your firm shares your weekly blog post on Thursday, as outlined in your proactive social media plan, and a follower leaves a comment to praise your content or request more information. Without a reactive social media plan, that comment will likely be ignored by your firm and potentially cause your follower to lose any interest they might have had in connecting with you.
Reactive social media also includes any breaking news that may present itself after your proactive plan has already been established. A prominent case relevant to your firm’s practice expertise is a prime example. Through reactive social media, your firm can provide insight and a deeper understanding into the subject matter to your target audience. While on the surface the case may not directly involve your firm, it’s an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
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Best of Both Worlds
If you think of social media as one big conversation between your firm and your target audience, it’s easy to see the importance of utilizing both proactive and reactive social media plans. By planning your content in advance, your firm can develop the best strategy to accomplish your goals, while staying on top of relevant breaking news and any comments or messages allows you to prove your knowledge and establish a deeper connection.
Just as chocolate and peanut butter come together perfectly to create a delicious Reese’s cup, incorporating both proactive and reactive plans gives your firm a social media strategy that will shine. If you’ve never developed your proactive and reactive strategies or if you’re interested in learning more about how an integrated content marketing approach can better position your firm, let’s connect. We’d love to share more about how we can create real results for your firm.