Going silent online isn’t the right choice, today. On the contrary, now is the time to boost your social media and content marketing presence.

Prospective clients face daunting challenges. They face job insecurity and income loss. Health insurance and superannuation doubts. Unscrupulous profiteering. Fines for non-respect of social distancing.

Their stress is high:

  • People have lost their jobs
  • Many face unemployment
  • Shops selling non-essential goods are losing sales fast
  • Multitudes of businesses will not last the distance, facing bankruptcy

Yet at the same time:

  • Millions are still working, living, buying and selling
  • People are still suffering from road or workplace injuries
  • Crime is continuing with some states reporting surges in certain types
  • Scams are proliferating
  • Unscrupulous employers are taking advantage of vulnerable staff
  • Family law issues are continuing (anecdotal evidence suggesting increasing) and, yes …
  • Domestic violence is increasing

With traditional avenues of help “closing shop”, people affected are going online. They’re searching Google. They’re surfing Facebook. They’re watching YouTube.

Their questions abound. And yes …

Your law firm has legal answers to Australians’ COVID-19 era problems

Reach out and educate people. Show how your firm can help. Be open for people at this historic and critical moment.

With the COVID-19 crisis, you should be online:

  • maintaining and building your brand;
  • securing your hard-fought-for presence;
  • re-assessing your marketing messages;
  • tweaking (or overhauling) your website;
  • future-proofing your online marketing; and
  • writing new content, projecting your firm into the future.

And yet, many firms have gone into shutdown mode … if not panic mode.

Here’s the thing …

Every firm that has gone silent presents you with a competitive advantage

Be the “open shop” for legal help online.

Be the ear and voice accessible to those in need.

Leave the lights on!

Show your firm is open for business, ready to give expert legal advice and representation.

During this critical time, maintain your online presence

Don’t be the firm that goes into online hibernation.

Ask yourself …

Can your law firm afford to hibernate in the face of COVID-19?

We caution short-term thinking. You’ve invested time and effort in building your online brand. Stopping now for 2-6 months will undermine that investment and the opportunity to build a pipeline of work.

Lost traction could be permanent.

Your organic marketing gains take time

Losing search result ‘position’ can mean being overtaken by other competitor firms who’ve maintained their online marketing activity.

To add fuel to the fire, consider this. The negative impact of abandoning for six months won’t be undone by six months of re-boot. Lost traction could take 12 to 18 months!

Keeping the fire stoked is your insurance policy … but also your continued return-on-investment.

But moving on doesn’t mean beating the COVID-19 crisis drum.

Continue serving up high-quality, helpful legal insights

We’ve heard firms say …

“People are only looking for COVID related content and I don’t have enough to write about.”

I call furphy!

As you could imagine, Social Hive manages many law firm websites. We guarantee you, not everyone is visiting COVID-related pages only.

Certainly, those pages get traffic now when the content is engaging and informative. But for law websites with, say, 100+ pages, non-COVID traffic is still significant.

The same stands for social media feeds (both organic traffic and Facebook paid ads).

Facebook paid ad accounts have been going crazy in the last couple of weeks. This is the case for both COVID-related and “normal” content.

The reasons for this are unclear. But that’s consistent with this pandemic experience. Like most we read about right now, “It’s unprecedented”. We have nothing to compare it to.

It’s clear from our perspective, based on performance results, that people want more. They want both Covid and non-Covid related content.

Continue to strengthen your online presence, making your firm resilient for the post-COVID emergency days

We’re not suggesting that there isn’t a downturn in new client numbers for many, if not most firms.

We recommend you see that as an opportunity for future-proofing your firm, not an abject disaster.

Here are a few things you could be doing, starting now:

  • Review and update ‘static’ content across your website
  • Optimise pages like your “areas of practice”, “solicitor profiles” and “about this firm”
  • Develop a schedule of blog topics, both COVID and non-COVID content
  • Share your content writing tasks across the firm
  • Create a publishing calendar, posting at regular intervals (Google loves new content)
  • Refresh firm profiles on your social media platforms
  • Consider updating your social media banner images

You can also pay attention to the online insight reports. That’s the high-value data coming from Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and LinkedIn Analytics.

Also, draw conclusions from the marketing reports your agency provides. Find areas where you can improve the targeting of your online marketing.

And consider these valuable email marketing actions:

  • Review or build your digital marketing email database
  • Share your content with electronic direct marketing (eDM)

You’ll also want to update your Google My Business page.

  • With office closures due to confinement
  • Publish your new hours
  • Update “virtual appointments” program
  • Add regular posts, too, at least twice weekly and,
  • Change your images.

This work on your Google My Business could boost your local search presence.

And go further:

  • Take time to consider video marketing (like explainer videos or whiteboards); and
  • Consider switching out your visuals for fresh, more powerful images.

Refreshing content is a plus for search engine optimisation. And it improves user-experience for “repeat” visitors. They get a sense your firm is moving forward.

And when it comes to …

Publishing COVID-19 related legal blog posts

Remember …

  • Don’t be alarmist
  • Don’t leverage COVID beyond a focus on its relevance to your practice areas
  • Don’t capitalise on the crisis, like offering free Wills “just in case”

But do … most definitely do this:

  • Keep active online;
  • Be seen and heard on social media platforms;
  • Engage with comments and messages with promptly helpfully; and
  • Communicate in a positive manner while demonstrating empathy and understanding.

After all, COVID is not forever … but your law firm should be.

About the author

Robyn Clissold is the owner of Social Hive, a digital marketing service for small to medium-sized law firms. After working in the legal profession for 30 years, she realised there was no affordable entry-level digital service for law firms. She started her digital agency to give everyone the option to play in the online space.