Starting your Social Networking journey - a guide for Professional Services firms

  • //images/social_media.jpgWith a few exceptions, the professional services sector is still proving itself reluctant to embrace social media.  A lack of understanding, a fear of the risks and a question mark over the returns all lead to a preference to watch from the stands rather than become immersed in the thick of the action.

    And yet the public at large is being consumed by it, time spent online is dominated by it and the core attribute of trust is shaped by it.

    So what should a professional services firm do to ensure it enjoys the benefits while protecting itself from any possible downsides?

    At the tail end of last year, the Law Society issued a practice note on Social Media.  Practice notes represent the Law Society's view of good practice for member firms in a particular area.  The note on social media is a balanced set of advice, which could be adapted and adopted by any business.

    Here are the main points:

    Social media offers profile and client engagement on a large scale, at minimal cost and with manageable risks, if you adhere to the same ethical obligations as you would in an off-line environment.

    • Act with integrity
    • Don't allow your independence to be compromised
    • Don't do anything to compromise the trust the public places in you
    • Don't break rules on confidentiality or disclosure
    • Don't confuse personal and professional use.

    All of the above are important points, but it is inadvertent breaches of confidentiality that present the greatest day-to-day risk. For example, if you comment on Twitter that you are in a certain location at a certain time, you may unintentionally disclose that you are working with a client on a project that the client would consider confidential.

    A short social media policy is all it takes to put some firm-wide guidelines in place.  The Law Society recommends including:

    Guidelines for engaging: What are the limitations on what can be discussed, commented on or promoted?

    Management: Who will manage your practice's social media policy and be responsible for ensuring confidentiality, compliance and consistency?

    Roles and responsibilities: Who will take responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the different activities, and who will be able to participate in social media activity within your practice?

    There is more detail on these headings in the note, so take a read if you want more information.

    Once you have put in place the safeguards you feel your firm needs, you are ready to embrace the benefits. Like any journey, you shouldn't set out without a road map and it is worth re-stating the guidance contained in the infographic in our last post.

    • Define your target market - and what it wants to read and share
    • Get the tone of your posts right - be relaxed, yet true to your brand personality
    • Identify which types of engagement are effective - this is likely to require some experimentation
    • Look at it as a long term strategy - not as a tactical campaign
    • Keep it real and relevant - if you don't have anything relevant to say today, don't say it
    • Create a schedule for updates - regular updates are needed. Planning ahead and sharing the responsibility across the firm helps
    • Monitor and measure - there are plenty of free analytical tools available.  Use them to measure, learn and improve.

    There is myriad information online describing the various networks.  LinkedIn, Twitter, You Tube and Facebook are the main ones and sufficient for any professional services firm to be going on with.  Please contact us if you want more information on any of these.

    If your firm is not engaged in social media, now is the time to review your stance. We live in an abundant society.  As human beings, we need direction and approval in the choices we make.  We are no longer reading papers in the way we used to, instead we are gathering our news, information and recommendations online. Your firm needs to be active and omnipresent in this space. 

    Challenge the assumptions in this post by all means, but use it as a prompt to find out more. Don't allow fear and ignorance to be your reason to abstain.

Related articles

  • Read More

    SharpSpring launches visual workflow builder to enhance lead generation and sales

    SharpSpring recently announced the launch of their Visual Workflow builder. The new feature intends to make the process for creating workflows easier and brings it in line with the likes of Pardot...

  • Read More

    Why can’t we make faster business decisions?

    Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Blink, argues that the lengthy procrastination that often takes place in decision-making is ‘post self-justification’, because we actually make up our minds pretty...

  • Read More

    Marketing activity so bad it’s quite literally criminal

    A news article came out through the Bangkok Post (we found it through The Verge) last week about the arrest of three Chinese nationals. The trio had been paid over £10,000 a month to run a...

  • Read More

    Jason Dilworth joins The Marketing Eye to develop technical capability

    Financial services marketing agency, The Marketing Eye, has appointed Jason Dilworth to the new role of Technical Director in a move designed to expand and develop the company’s data-driven...

  • Read More

    A third of B2B marketers are tracking sales through social

    For an industry whose origins and continuing existence rely heavily on the accurate analysis of statistics, the insurance sector would do well to note the seismic shift taking place in modern...

  • Read More

    Repeat, Repeat, Repeat – 4 reasons to keep contacting the same prospect list

    Asking someone to buy your product or sign up to your service after only one mail-shot or email is unrealistic. We can’t expect that one email, no matter how carefully crafted, will be enough to...

  • Read More

    Promoting video content on social media

    So, your business has splashed out on a big, beautiful high quality piece of video content, you are going to want to stretch it as far as it will go, right? Then don’t do what everyone else does...

  • Read More

    Four Facebook ad campaigns you should be running to attract and retain investors

    With around one-fifth of the world’s population on Facebook, you would think generating brand awareness and leads from it would be a piece of cake. The reality is less straight forward. With a...

  • Read More

    6 quick wins when you first sign up to marketing automation

    Marketing automation systems are powerful, intelligent and the bedrock of many businesses' marketing strategies, but getting to learn and understand them takes time and dedication. Not becoming...

  • Read More

    7 characteristics of social media implementation in B2B marketing

    If you look for evidence of the potential benefits to B2B organisations of social media, you will see both lead generation, as well as brand reinforcement are being addressed to great advantage....

Take the first step

To find out more about how we can help you grow faster, please get in touch. We'd like to hear from you.  Or try our instant marketing healthcheck, it's free!

Quick Contact

Quick contact


Contact us

T 01825 765617


Our offices

Full details of our offices in London and Uckfield more

Request a call